Welcome to The Walnuts!
As the school is entering a period of expansion and change I thought that the time was right to have the opportunity to share these developments by way of a website. I hope you find it helpful and informative. We intend to update the information often so it will be worth adding the site to your list of “favourites” and making it a regular to visit.
The governors, staff and parents of the pupils at The Walnuts School are all extremely excited by the prospect of being in new accommodation, co-sited with Hazeley Secondary School , from September 2006. This co-siting will not only enable the school to develop secondary provision as the age range increases to 19 but also pupils of The Walnuts School will continue to benefit from mainstream inclusion experiences that are a successful element of the education the pupils receive.
The prime objective as the school grows will be to ensure that the values and ethos that underpin the quality and success of the educational experiences are not compromised.
For any new parents looking at the website I hope your child will be very happy, and that you and your family will soon feel part of the family of the school. Parental involvement in school life is welcomed and encouraged, as we believe that an active partnership between home and school provides invaluable support.
Our aim is to make the site as useful, fun and informative as possible so if you have any suggestions as to how we may be able to improve the site please feel free to make them by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Walnuts School
The Walnuts School is a community residential special school for pupils with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) situated in a beautiful rural setting in the village of Simpson, Milton Keynes. It is a unique and very special school. Visitors comment on the peaceful and caring learning environment created by a community of people who, through their different roles and responsibilities, create this positive, happy, learning atmosphere where the children thrive.
The majority of the children come from the Milton Keynes area. There are, at present, 60 children on roll at The Walnuts (aged 4-16 yrs), and most have been diagnosed as having Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs).
Accommodation is split between the original house (now used mainly for boarding and dining areas), the main school building and two new temporary classrooms. There is also an art/computer room, food technology area, indoor PE space and two well-equipped outdoor play areas.
There are six classes (groups), and, starting with the youngest group, these are:
There is a high staff to pupil ratio. Class grouping is flexible, at present each group consists of 9/10 children, the class teacher and 3 teaching assistants. The school employs two part-time Speech and Language Therapists for a total of six days per week.
At present it is Council policy to offer children attending The Walnuts School home to school transport. Contracted taxis or minibuses, with an escort, are provided. The school bus with an escort also transports pupils. Some of the younger children are transported by their parents. Parents are responsible for seeing their child on and off the transport.
The school day begins at 9.00am and finishes at 3.00pm.
Lunchtime is 12.15pm to 1.00pm and playtime is from 1.00pm to 1.30pm.
The Walnuts provides cooked lunchtime meals that are prepared on the premises. A register of those pupils who have school meals is kept and an invoice is sent home half-termly (currently £1.20 per day). Some of our pupils prefer to bring in their own packed lunch. If a family is in receipt of Income Support, they may be entitled to free school meals. Necessary forms can be obtained via the school office.
Residential Accommodation - The Boarding House provides the opportunity for children to access the 24-hour curriculum. It is co-ordinated by The Head of Care, with a team of three residential childcare officers. Access to boarding is usually decided, according to need, at the Annual Review. A child may stay for one to four nights, an after school activity e.g. trampolining/swimming, or stay for tea. The residential and school staff liaise closely, ensuring continuity and consistency for each child.
The Walnuts School is well supported by a team of committed Governors and an active parents association – The Friends of Walnuts – who support the school and arrange regular fund raising activities.
There are optional school sweatshirt/polo-shirts in blue and red, bearing the school name and logo, which can be purchased from The Friends of Walnuts. Parents are requested to send in wellingtons, which are kept in school as well as PE clothes, which should be clearly named.The Walnuts has an open-door policy and visitors are always welcome. However, anyone wanting to visit should telephone first, as we are a very small school and need to plan visits carefully.