Our Approach

Abingdon House School provides a mainstream-style education with a specialist approach, in a supportive and collaborative school community. We remove the barriers and limitations that are all too often placed on students, particularly those with special educational needs, while fostering an enjoyment of learning where creativity and individualism are celebrated.


‘Everyone is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.’

​-Albert Einstein

Our Vision and Ethos

At Abingdon House School, we prioritise our students’ unique learning profiles, talents and individual starting points, truly putting them at the centre of their learning.  

Our overarching vision centres around empowering our students by fostering robust academic skills, nurturing holistic personal development, instilling confidence, and embedding self-belief. Our aim is to enable them to actualise their ambitions and unlock their full potential, becoming happy and productive global citizens well-equipped for success in an ever-evolving world.

Our ‘4Cs’ provides the pillars of our educational model at Abingdon House School, and encapsulate a comprehensive set of skills, attributes, and values that we strive to instil in our students:

  • Confidence
  • Competence
  • Creativity
  • Character


We aim to equip our students for success through a multifaceted approach:

High Expectations and Individual Focus: We prioritise placing students at the core of their learning process while maintaining high expectations and aspirations for each individual student.

Tailored Learning Environment: Our commitment involves maintaining a low staff-to-student ratio, small class sizes (based on 10 students), and a dedicated team of trained and experienced teaching assistants, therapists, and educators who employ universal, targeted and specialist approaches to our academic and therapeutic curriculum.

Comprehensive Curriculum: We have an ambitious curriculum that follows the National Curriculum and is enhanced with a strong focus on personal, life skills and social skills development.  We employ a ‘stages not ages’ approach in line with the students’ level of progress and individual starting points, which supports our students’ ‘spiky profiles’.  At Key Stage 4, we offer a range of qualifications and certifications that enables all students to achieve meaningful outcomes and equip them for their next stage of learning and career development.  Outside of the national curriculum, students are also offered extensive enrichment opportunities to broaden their experiences, learn new skills and develop their strengths and passions.

Integrated Therapeutic Approach: Our curriculum integrates therapy seamlessly into the school day, offering class, group, and individual lessons. The multi-disciplinary team consisting of teachers, teaching assistants, HCPC therapists, mental health practitioners and pastoral support leads engage in joint planning and ongoing assessment of our students’ progress, enabling their provision to be tailored and adapted in line with their progress or emerging need.  Therapists deliver class based social skills and life skills lessons, support students in class during academic lessons, provide individually focussed sessions 1:1, paired and small group, and support students’ life and social skills during unstructured times.

Individualised Student Centred Approach: Each student benefits from a personalised Individual Education Plan (IEP) containing tailored targets and strategies to support their learning journey.  Each student will have a bespoke ‘flight path’ that focuses on their aspirations and ambitions, ensuring that they are gaining the skills, knowledge and qualifications to enable their next steps in education and work.  This is an ongoing collaborative process between school, the family and the student which is continually reviewed and adapted in line with each students’ development, progress and attainment.

Strong Home-School Relationships:  We foster strong connections between home and school and our students thrive within our close knit school community.  A combination of half termly formalised reporting  (including parent-teacher meetings, progress reports, IEPs and annual reviews), regular informal parental contact and close working relationships with external professionals ensures we are continually sharing critical information to provide our students with consistent and holistic support both in and out of school.

High Quality Teaching, Therapy and Support: Our dedicated and passionate staff team have a wide range of qualifications and experience and are dedicated to continual learning and development. Staff members benefit from an extensive and ongoing professional development programme, ensuring they remain equipped with the latest knowledge and methodologies.  Our close collaboration with other educational and SEND professionals, both within and beyond Cavendish Education, enables us to continually share good practice, research and evidence based approaches.

Rigorous Progress Monitoring: We maintain a stringent system of baseline and continual assessment and tracking to monitor all areas of students’ development.

Positive Behaviour Support: We implement a consistent and positive behaviour support system, which focuses on celebrating effort and achievement alongside supporting anxiety and self regulation.

Holistic Development Focus: Our curriculum places emphasis on literacy, numeracy, social and life skills, language, communication, coordination, movement, regulation and overall personal development.  We provide diverse opportunities for education beyond the traditional classroom setting, fostering a broad range of learning experiences and enabling our students to continue to develop and generalise the skills and knowledge they are acquiring.