A Welcome from the Head of Care
My name is Katie Kirk and I am the Head of Care at Eaton Hall Specialist Academy. I began working at Eaton Hall in 2000. When I started I was a Childcare Officer and I have been a Senior Childcare Officer and Deputy Head of Care before being promoted to take on the Head of Care position in September 2015. Working my way through the Academy has allowed me to gain a full and detailed understanding of the residential setting, how it works and the benefits for the boys admitted to residence.
Prior to working at Eaton Hall I had completed a BTEC National Diploma in Childhood Studies and had worked with children and young people in both educational settings and residential homes. I have worked within both special needs settings and mainstream settings. As part of the Staff Development Programme at Eaton Hall, I have successfully attained my BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Residential Child Care.
"When my child first started to board I was nervous about it. I needn't have been. Now, I really do not know where we would be as a family without the support." Parent
Residence at Eaton Hall caters for up to 31 boys, Monday to Friday, term time only. The residential element of the Academy caters for boys from year 4 through to the end of year 8 which means the vast majority of pupils have experienced some degree of time in the residential setting before becoming a day pupil. The successful partnership between home and the Academy staff is key to the aim of reintegrating the pupil back into the family home.
We have four boarding houses, or units as we call them. The units we have are Colman, Nelson, Fry and Lind House. On admission, every boy will be allocated to one of these units. On admission to the Academy, your son will have three key adults allocated to them, looking after their social, emotional and educational needs. The Childcare Officer makes regular contact with parents/carers and looks after their social needs. The Teacher Tutor looks after the pupils educational needs and the Case Coordinator supports these two members of staff and is a link to the Senior Management Team.
I am passionate about Eaton Hall and working with the children and families. Through residence and the school as a whole we aim to give all our young people the best opportunities to move forward and prepare them for a successful life after Eaton Hall, whenever that time may come.
"Boarding is absolutely fantastic. I and lots of the pupils love it. All of the staff are kind and caring. Every one of them. Boarding makes a big difference to my life." Pupil
We are extremely fortunate at Eaton Hall Specialist Academy that we have a very skilled and experienced multi-disciplinary team of staff working with, and for our pupils. Our emphasis on working as a team of adults around the child is all part of our day to day practice and in doing so provides the best possible service to them and their families. For further information on how we go about achieving this, I invite you to look at the following documents:
Frequently Asked Questions
For the large majority of boys that join us at Eaton Hall, it is the first time they have lived away from home, and this can initially be daunting for them as well as their family. It is therefore not surprising that many questions need to be asked and answered prior to joining us. Our staff will try and make this process as informative as possible and once a place has been offered, that the transition from home to school is as smooth as possible.
What is the Admission process?In the first instance, we encourage the parent(s)/carer(s) to come and visit by themselves so they can have an open discussion with staff. Once a place has been offered we would expect a second visit, this time with your son. On agreeing to take up the offer of a place we would then take you through the Admission stage. All the relevant paperwork with consent letters, medical matters, clothing lists etc will be taken care of at this point. From the day your son starts he will have three key members of staff; a Childcare Officer, Teacher Tutor and Case Co-Ordinator overseeing his progress whilst at Eaton Hall. These are the key members of staff you can continue to ask questions when they arise about his life at the Academy. To summarise: Initial visit by parent(s)/carer(s). Second visit with your son. If a place is offered and accepted, Admission paperwork. Three key specific members of staff responsible for your son's progress.
How is the residential team made up?Our residential team is managed and led by a Head of Care and then supported by the following: Deputy Heads of Care x2 Senior Childcare Officers x5 Childcare Officers x10 Our team is a very enthusiastic, hard working and caring group of people. In addition to the above we have a very dedicated and able auxiliary team supporting our pupils in the residential setting: A cook with a dedicated team of assistants Health Officer Laundry Officer Our team are appropriately qualified with the Level 3 Diploma in Residential Childcare and all new members of staff are working towards the appropriate qualification. In addition to the statutory qualifications the care team have all completed safeguarding training and Norfolk Step On and Norfolk Step Up. An appropriate mix of First Aid, Food Hygiene and Fire Training has been completed amongst the care team. Furthermore, each individual member of staff brings with them individual skill sets through either academic study, sports, hobbies or clubs and have the additional opportunity to expand and/or diversify through the Academies Staff Support and Development Program. The end result is a rich and varied 24-hour curriculum, benefiting all the boys.
What is a typical day like in residence?An evening in residence 15:30 - finish school and arrive in residence 15:30 - 16:00 - get changed into play clothes and have a snack 15:45 - EARNIE shop if wanted 16:00 - gather at Senior desk and choose structured activity 16:00 - 17:00 - structured learning activity 17:00 - 18:00 - dinner time in the dining hall and reading time 18:00 - gather at Senior desk and choose free activity 18:00 - 19:00 - free time activity 19:00 - 20:30 - bath, medication (for those that require it), phone call time and then settle time A morning in residence 07:30 - staff on duty wake up boys 07:30 - 08:00 - boys get up, wash and dress for school, tidy their rooms and take laundry to the laundry room 08:00 - 08:30 - breakfast and medication (for those that require it) 08:30 - 08:55 - finish tidying rooms, relax in unit until time to start the school day
What sort of activities can my son take part in, in residence?"For an idea of the types of activities that your son can take part in whilst staying in residence at Eaton Hall, please take a look at our 24-hour curriculum.
What sort of meals can my son expect whilst staying in residence?This is a sample of the types of meals we will serve up for the boy's over an Academy day. We acknowledge pupil's birthdays with a birthday cake, shared with other pupils who are celebrating their birthday during the week. The pupil celebrating their birthday also gets a choice of selecting the main meal on the day. The kitchen staff will also prepare special menus to celebrate national/international days, for example see the menu for World Book Day. Our kitchen staff will always cater for any specific dietary needs which will be discussed with parent(s)/carer(s) during the admission meeting.
Who can I contact about residence?If you wish to contact someone at the Academy, please call 01603 457480 and ask to speak with the Head of Care, Mrs. Katie Kirk.