Pencalenick School is a unique treasure in Cornwall’s specialist secondary educational provision, offering high quality educational and social support for 110 young people with complex communication learning difficulties and disabilities. The young people who attend Pencalenick come with histories of intensive support and/or social exclusion in mainstream or specialist resource provision. Pencalenick is able to provide an exceptional learning environment where high expectations and standards of achievement are underpinned by flexible, innovative and imaginative teaching styles.
Pencalenick is a high achieving school, one that has a strong sense of identity and purpose. The school provides full access to the national curriculum and emulates a mainstream secondary model where subjects are taught with specialist teachers and accommodation. Whilst there is inevitable differentiation relative to the complex range of needs, most pupils are able to achieve appropriate vocational and academic qualifications. Pupils consistently achieve higher than expectations prior to attending the school. The community also has a strong commitment to continual improvement and self evaluation; it has been at the leading edge of achieving national quality awards, including specialist status in communication and interaction, SEN Business Award, Healthy Schools and Sports Mark Awards.
Whilst most pupils attend daily, the school offers excellent residential care for up to thirty pupils, most of who are resident for geographical reasons and a minority receiving short stay support for social and emotional reasons. The quality of care is of the highest order. A wide range of social and physical learning activities are on offer with strong emphasis on developing independence skills.
The school is situated on a site of exceptional historical and environmental beauty providing a uniquely calming atmosphere, which, combined with a strong sense of community, helps create an ethos where pupils can re-evaluate their own expectations in a constructive and purposeful manner; which stimulates challenges and excites. Creating a state of mind receptive to learning is what is at the core of effective education. Pupils need to trust their environment so that they can feel safe in learning from their mistakes, confident in celebrating their achievements and challenged to overcome future hurdles, independent of direct support.
“We develop strong caring relationships, specialist knowledge, skills and a total belief in every child’s capacity to achieve irrespective of their difficulties.
We are often told what our children cannot do, but at Pencalenick are much more concerned with what they can do. The pupils at Pencalenick School have the same rights as any other pupil in any other school. They have the right to be safe, enjoy their learning, achieve their very best and have access to the highest quality learning opportunities available. Our personalised curriculum, specialist support, groupings, timetable, pastoral and residential care are all designed with this in mind. With rights come responsibilities and we expect our pupils to aspire to being responsible for their own actions and adopt positive attitudes to independent learning wherever possible.
We are often told what our children cannot do, but at Pencalenick we are much more concerned with what they can do.”
Mr Andy Barnett, Principal