Chilworth House Lower School

Last updated: 29/06/2021

Chilworth House School is an independent, specialist day school in Oxfordshire for boys and girls aged 5 to 12 with complex educational needs, communication difficulties and challenging behaviours.

Values are at the heart of everything at Chilworth House School.  From the unique curriculum model which centres around ‘valuing education’ to the progression of the social and emotional skills and understanding of every pupil.  This is achieved by the development of trusting relationships, which are necessary to enable pupils to engage in their social and academic learning and take positive steps in their preparation for adulthood.

The school’s close knit and long standing staff team have created a truly nurturing and family orientated culture in a tranquil and homely setting. Our expertise and experience sets Chilworth House apart and this is evidenced by  the schools’ ability to engage with every child and release their full potential, both in terms of academic progress and personal development.  The school is partnered with Chilworth House Upper School and shares the same rural setting.

Our Aims & Ethos

We are committed to giving our pupils a happy, nurturing and motivating atmosphere for them to enjoy their learning and where they are encouraged to reach their potential.

Chilworth House School is dedicated to:

  • Achieving the highest quality education and nurturing care so that every child can achieve their full potential academically, socially and emotionally
  • Offering a broad, balanced and stimulating curriculum
  • Providing a happy, positive, secure and caring environment
  • Developing positive relationships between school, home and the wider community

Below are just some of the key features that pupils can experience at Chilworth House School:

  • Rated Good by Ofsted, September 2016.
  • A curriculum model built around core values which promote social understanding, independence, and improved self-esteem. Through accelerated development in these areas our pupils are empowered to access and achieve in all areas of the Primary National Curriculum.
  • An individualised approach to the holistic needs of our pupils has a significant impact on their achievement.
  • Comprehensive on-site therapeutic support enables us to provide a range of tailored interventions including sensory diets and speech and language.
  • Specialist, experienced and dedicated staff ensure that our pupils feel safe, secure and supported.
  • Small class sizes of no more than 8 pupils with high staff ratios and additional pastoral and academic support.
  • Excellent relationships between the school and home. Parental workshops and on-site events are also offered.


Who to contact

Contact Name
Dave Willcox
Contact Position
Head Teacher
01844 339077
Chilworth House Lower School

Where to go

Chilworth House Lower School
Chilworth House
Thame Road
OX33 1JP

Time / Date Details

When is it on
Term Time
Time of day
Session Information
Monday - Friday

Other Details


Age Ranges

Age Range Notes

Age 5-12

Local Offer


Please see link below

Contact Name
Monica Beacroft
Contact Telephone
01844 337726
Contact Email
SEN information report
SEN Provision Type
Specific Literacy Difficulties, Speech & Language Difficulties, Behavioural, Emotional & Social Difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Moderate Learning Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties
Local Offer Age Bands
5 to 7
7 to 11
Needs Level

Special Schools

1. Support for children with special educational needs
1.1: Who will oversee and plan my child's education programme?

Head teacher - School ethos and vision

Deputy Head teacher - Curriculum long term planning, Teaching and Learning, Assessment, Intervention planning

Pastoral care manager - Social development and life skills support

Teachers - Medium and Short term planning to meet individual goals

Teaching Assistants and pastoral assistants - Academic and social development support

1.2: How will I be informed / consulted about the ways in which my child is being helped?

Daily/Weekly phone calls from pastoral care, keyworkers and teachers

Home/School diaries

Post admission review after 6 weeks to share baseline assessment information including therapeutic assessments

Academic/ Social progress data shared termly

Annual review meetings 

1.3: How will the school balance my child's need for support with developing their independence?

With adult to pupil ratios of 1.5:1 our skilled staff are able to be flexible in the amount of support which is given to pupils. This is regularly assessed to ensure that a balance of support and independence is maintained.

Our curriculum model offers pupils a broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum that has 'values education' and the development of social and emotional skills at its core. It aims to be relevant, improve self-esteem, motivation and achievement, develop skills for adult life and engage pupils in their learning. This curriculum is further enriched by weekly activities which develop our pupils life and social skills

1.4: How will the school personalise the curriculum to meet my child's needs?

Our high staff ratios and highly resourced classrooms enable us to individualise learning through Individual Care and Education Plans. These enable us to plan a learning path for all pupils in line with objectives on their statement. 

1.5: What teaching strategies and approaches does the school use for children with learning difficulties, including autistic spectrum disorder, hearing impairment, visual impairment, speech and language difficulties and physical disabilities?

At Chilworth we provide a holistic approach to education to ensure the social and academic potential of all pupils is met. In order to do this, teachers will tailor their teaching strategies to the needs of individual pupils. This may involve Sensory Diets, SaLT programs, elements of the TEACCH, the use of Makaton where appropriate, and the use of Alternative Curriculum programs focused on life and social skills.

1.7: What equipment does the school provide?

All materials for class use

PE Kits/bag


School uniform - Jumper, Polo Shirt and outdoor coats and hats

Indoor plimsolls

1.8: What special arrangements can be made for my child when taking examinations?

Additional time

Reading support

Change of location

Range of resources for completing examinations - including IT 

2. My child's progress
2.1: How will the school monitor my child's progress and how will I be involved in this?

All opportunities to assess our pupils social and academic progress are used. The school will attempt to gather and collate as much pre entry data on each pupil so that a smooth transition to the school can be made. Following this a 6 week assessment period will be used for us to gain a clear understanding of your child’s social and academic needs. Using this information an appropriate curriculum program will be designed with interventions used to promote progress. This progress will be recorded and analysed termly and fed back to parents by class teachers. In addition an Individual Care and Education Plan will be created with input from pupils, parents and class/pastoral staff. The targets from this will be reviewed termly and feedback on the progress made against these targets will be shared with parents and pupils. Feedback from all assessment will be reviewed and discussed at annual review meetings.

2.2: When my child's progress is being reviewed, how will new targets be set and how will I be involved?

Every term the Individual Curriculum and Education Plan is reviewed for each child. This will involve a copy of the existing plan being sent home to parents with time given for parental input. This view will shared with class staff and pupils and new plan will be agreed. This will be then sent home for your information. 

2.3: ln addition to the school's normal reporting arrangements, what opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child's progress with school staff?

Our pastoral team are available at all times during the school day to discuss any questions you may have about your pupils progress. They will then relay any outstanding questions to the class staff/ Senior Leadership Team and an appropriate member of staff will contact you as soon as possible (usually on the same day). Class teachers/ Pupils keyworkers will also contact parents/carers on a weekly basis to provide general feedback about progress. 

2.4: What arrangements does the school have for regular home to school contact?

As discussed above, the pastoral care team and Senior Leadership Team are a daily point of contact between home and school. In addition to this, a home school diary and parent mail are used to keep you regualrly informed of your childs progress.

2.5: How can I help support my child's learning?

Homework is set for all pupils and but its completion is on a voluntary basis. In addition to this, Class staff will send a termly activity sheet of suggested activities linked to the class topic.

2.6: Does the school offer any help for parents / carers to enable them to support their child's learning, eg. training or learning events?

Where ever possible we invite parents/carers in to school to work with our education/pastoral team and consultant therapists. In addition, we are working to develop parental forums which involve parent workshops on learning approaches and pupil needs.  

2.7: How will my child's views be sought about the help they are getting and the progress they are making?

Pupils are encouraged to discuss their learning through a peer mentoring scheme and fortnightly keyworker sessions. This information is fed back to class teachers and shared in pupils annual reviews.

2.8: What accredited and non accredited courses do you offer?

Though we do not offer specific courses we do provide a range of learning experiences for pupils. These include Roadwise, Junior First Aid, Junior Citizen and Junior Sports Leaders.

2.9: How does the school assess the overall effectiveness of its provision and how can parents / carers and young people take part in this evaluation?

The school assesses its provision through regular improvement visits from the Witherslack Group and through community links with local primary and SEN provision schools. This information is fed into our school self evaluation and this informs our school development plan. Parents/carers are given an opportunity to contribute to this annually through our parent/carer questionnaire. 

3. Support for my child's overall well being
3.1: What support is available to promote the emotional, behavioural and social development of children?

Our staff team is set up to focus on the holistic development of all pupils. Our high staff/pupil ratio means that we are able to support our pupils social and emotional needs in both formal and informal approaches. Each child has a keyworker for additional support in these areas and our pastoral care team provide additional support.

As part of all pupils baseline assessment period the school uses Boxall Profiling as an assessment of emotional, behavioural and social development and this will then feed into individual targets/support for pupils. These are reviewed regularly to demonstrate progress and plan the next steps of development for each pupil.

As part of our Values based education the school runs a social skills program which is designed to develop pupils social skills and reflect on emotions and behaviour.

In addition, we use our weekly enrichment afternoons as an opportunity to focus on life skills and social interaction.

3.2: What support does the school put in place for children who find it difficult to conform to normal behavioural expectations and how do you support children to avoid exclusion?

We have a consistent behavioural approach across all classes which is focused on reward and achievement. This breaks down the school day into short sections which enable good work and behaviour to be assessed and praised throughout the day. Pupils can see the instant benefits of positive choices through earning points which contribute to their involvement in daily Golden Time and weekly enrichment activities. The number of points a pupil will have after a week indicates which status they will be on, gold or silver, and pupils who earn gold three weeks in a row have a gold t-shirt. Pupils on Gold status have additional privates which is a further incentive for making positive choices. Those pupils who don’t make status each day or week have a period of reflection which enables us to focus on areas of development. In addition, pupil points are logged online in a bank account which can be used to buy prizes each week.

Where appropriate we tailor the reward system and curriculum planning to create an Alternative Curriculum program for pupils who are struggling to conform to expected behaviour. This will be created through a school based Team Around the Child and will involve additional class/pastoral support, additional therapeutic input, greater contact with parents and flexible timetabling to support the pupil.

3.3: What medical support is available in the school?

The school is equipped to manage the medical needs of a wide range of pupils and these included pupils with epilepsy, asthma, allergies. As part of staff induction all receive First Aid and medication training in accordance with the school's policies and procedures. This is generally sufficient for most medical needs, but where it is not we seek medical advice and additional training to meet the medical care plan of all pupils on roll and prospective pupils.

The medical has developed offsite medical information cards which are designed to inform medical professionals in case of emergency.

3.4: How does the school manage the administration of medicines?

All staff have training in the administration of medicines in school and this is overseen by a lead member of staff who also monitors the effectiveness and accuracy of administered medicine through Medical Administration Records. In  preparing pupils for adulthood we support pupils, who have capacity, in their ability to self administer medicine.

Pain relief is available to all pupils with parental consent and prescribed medicine is given to pupils at the request of parents to support their needs.

The school keeps an update to record of all prescribed medicine taken by pupils at home and at school.

3.5: How does the school provide help with personal care where this is needed, eg. help with toileting, eating etc ?

With encourage and support all our pupils to be independent in their personal care and tailor programs of support as required. 

4. Specialist services available / accessed by the school
4.1: What external SEN support services does the school use, e.g. educational psychologists, teachers for hearing impairment, visual impairment and multi sensory impairment etc?

As part of the Witherslack Group, the school has access to a range of professional services including a range of tehrapists and consellors, mental health practitioners and experts in specific needs. The school also works with CAMHS and Local Authority resources to support pupils.

4.2: What specialist support services are available from within the school?

Our specialist support service includes an Educational Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist and Mental Health practitioner all of which work with the school on a consultancy basis ranging from daily to weekly.

4.3: What should I do if I think my child needs support from one of these services?

Support from these services will be arranged by the school SENCO. However, as part of our baseline assessment all will have an initial assessment inline with the objectives on their individual EHCP.

4.4: How are speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy services provided?

These services are provided based on the need of each individual. Where necessary regular 1:1 sessions with a therapist are provided. In most cases we are able to use our therapists to train staff to administer therapies on a daily basis and these are delivered by Teachers, HLTA's, TA's and the pastoral care team. Where this is not possible we will organise additional support from our therapists to ensure that pupils are given the support they require.

4.5: What should I do if I think my child needs to be seen by a speech and language therapist, occupational therapist or physiotherapist?

If you feel that your child needs a specific type of therapy this can be discussed with the school SENCO. 

4.6: What arrangements does the school have for liaison with Children's Social Care services?

Our pastoral care team work closely with Children's Social Care services from each Local Authority and will attended/ host multi agency meetings as appropriate.

5. Training of school staff
5.1: What SEND training is provided for teachers in your school?

NAS ASC Accreditation LEVEL 1-4

TEAM TEACH Intermediate

5.2: What SEND training is provided for teaching assistants and other staff in your school?

NAS ASC Accreditation LEVEL 1-4

TEAM TEACH Intermediate

5.3: Do teachers have any specific qualifications in SEND?

Dyslexia friendly approaches and screening 

Counselling degree


5.4: Do teaching assistants have any specific qualifications in SEND?

Psychology Degree

6. Activities outside the classroom including school trips
6.1: How do you ensure that all children can be included in out of school activities and trips?

We actively promote inclusion of all pupils on out of school trips and we understand the positive impact these experiences these have on our pupils social and emotional development. We run two whole school trips to a pantomime and Legoland which all pupils take part in. In addition we have a Year 6 leavers camp, over night camps in the school grounds and a range of activity centre experiences such as canoeing, climbing etc. Each class has a budget for class reward trips and education trips and this has led to trips to the UK Space Centre, Cadburys World, Odds Farm, Coral Reef and Science Museum to name a few.

6.2: How do you involve parents / carers in planning the support required for their child to access activities and trips?

Parents are always informed of planned school trips and activities and permission is sought for water/height based activities. The class teacher/pastoral team will contact parents/carers to ensure we have the most up to date medical information and any other relevant information before planning the trip.

7. Accessibility of the school environment
7.1: How accessible is the building for children with mobility difficulties / wheelchair users?

Unfortunately, due to the age and layout of our school building we do not have wheel chair accessibility for all rooms in the school. 

7.2: Have adaptations/improvements been made to the auditory and visual environment?

Door closures have been added to all school doors to prevent doors slamming and causing distruption/heightened anxiety for pupils. We have Apple TV ready TV screens in each room which enhance the visual environment. 

7.3: Are there disabled changing and toilet facilities?

We have a disabled toilet in the school building. 

7.4: How do you ensure that all the school's facilities can be accessed by all children irrespective of their SEND?

Individual pupil risk assessments and pupil profiles ensure that we are able to plan in advance for the use of all school facilities. Where necessary we will provide additional support to ensure that they can be accessed. 

7.5: How does the school communicate with parents / carers who have a disability?

We currently have no pupils that have a physical disability in school. If this were the case we would ensure that additional communication would take place between the teacher/keyworker and parents/carers.

7.6: How does the school communicate with parents / carers whose first language is not English?

Though we currently have no parents/carers with English as an additional language, if this were the case we would ensure that all school information is translated into the appropriate language and that during meetings we would organise somebody to work as a translator between school and home.

8. Preparing my child to join a new school / next stage of education
8.1: What preparation will there be for both the school and my child before he or she joins the school?

Prior to a place be offered at Chilworth House, the Senior Leadership Team will review all available information related to the pupil to ensure that we are 100% confident of meeting all the needs outlined in the EHCP. Following an accepted offer of a place, a member of the Pastoral Care team will visit you at home to prepare your child for their first day at Chilworth House. This will involve social stories about the school day, rules, routines and expectations. At this point the school will organise for uniform and any other resources to be put in place with input from parents/carers.

8.2: How will my child be prepared to move on to the next stage within school, e.g. class or key stage?

We have developed a strong practice of transition betweeen ourselves, other Witherslack Schools and other secondary provisions. This will generally happen in then summer term but will respond to timing of pupil anxieties about their secondary placement and has taken place as early as January. We have developed strong links with secondary schools to ensure that we can offer a range of activities to prepare pupils for their transition. These include peer mentoring, sports tournaments, shared offsite trips and informal visits. 

Whenever we change class groups in school we organisie a transition morning where the new class groups will take part in a team building activity with their new class group and teaching staff.

8.3: How will my young person be prepared to move on to his or her next placement, eg. FE college or Adult Services?

We have developed a strong practice of transition betweeen ourselves, other Witherslack Schools and other secondary provisions. This will generally happen in then summer term but will respond to timing of pupil anxieties about their secondary placement and has taken place as early as January. We have developed strong links with secondary schools to ensure that we can offer a range of activities to prepare pupils for their transition. These include peer mentoring, sports tournaments, shared offsite trips and informal visits. 

8.4: How will you support a new placement to prepare for my young person?

Throughout their time at Chilworth House, we will keep a detailed record of social and academic progress made by your young person. This information will be forwarded in advance of their transition and opportunities will be made to discuss your young person in detail with their new placement.

8.5: What information will be provided to my young person's new placement?

Academic progress data, SATs scores, Reading/Spelling age assessments.

Boxall Profiling information.

SALT, OT , ED Pysch assessments and implemented programs.

Pupil Risk assessments and support plans.

Medical information where appropriate.

Physical intervention data if requested. 

8.6: How will the school prepare my child for the transition to employment?

Though we do not prepare pupils directly for employment, our social skills and life skills programs help pupils prepare for adulthood. 

9. Who can I contact to discuss my child?
9.1: Who would be my first point of contact if I want to discuss something about my child or if I am worried?

Throughout the day our pastoral team will usually be a first port of call for parents/carers with concerns about pupils. However, we pride ourselves on good communication between home and school and it is therefore likely that the class team, Deputy Head, Pastoral Care Manager or Headteacher would respond where appropriate. 

9.2: Does the school offer any specific support for parents / carers and families (such as Family Support Workers?)

Due to the size of the school we do not have a designated Family Support Worker. However, our pastoral care team will liaise with parents to seek support and will represent the school in a range of multi agency meetings.

9.3: What arrangements does the school have for signposting parents / carers to external agencies which can offer support, such as voluntary agencies?

The pastoral care team is currently developing a portfolio of support materials for each local authority area. These will be used to signpost parents/carers to external agencies and support networks. 

9.4: What arrangements does the school have for feedback from parents, including compliments and complaints?

The school welcomes feedback from parents and we would rather focus on issues early on before they have developed into a complaint. However, where this is not possible, our complaints policy is available on our website. Compliments are shared with the whole staff group and where appropriate the Witherslack Group. 

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