Independent School 11-16

The New Skill Centre is an Independent School catering specifically for pupils with SEN needs aged 11 to 16. We provide a tailored educational provision for pupils who have found difficulty accessing mainstream provision or other forms of education.

We are passionate about providing personalised programmes of learning that enables each learner to rapidly progress. As a small welcoming school, we set high expectations for all our learners whilst providing a learning environment that immerses the young person in a curriculum which meets their needs now and in the future.

Our Vision

Our Vision is to provide the best opportunity for pupils to thrive; enabling the young person to progress academically, personally, socially and emotionally so they can fulfil their potential.

Underpinning this vision is the emphasis and value we place on building positive, supportive and trusting relationships with pupils, family members, carers and other professionals. At all times, we are striving to ensure pupils progress academically and to help all pupils become more resilient, adaptable, confident and capable individuals.

We are keen for you to find out more about what we do and would welcome you to get in touch to organise a visit. Please contact the school on 01473 290276.

Mark Winston


 Jo Kerley


Our Aims

  • To support and enable pupils to become more independent and confident learners who are able to fulfil their academic potential.
  • To enable pupils to develop social and emotional awareness and resilience through recognition of individual need and planned learning experiences.
  • To enable pupils to develop their self-esteem, confidence and resilience to help better prepare them for adult life.
  • To treat pupils with respect and through example, to instil the highest moral values and attitudes towards others.
  • To offer full or part time balanced curriculum, supported through the implementation of nurturing and holistic approaches.
  • To create an environment in which students are encouraged to be courteous and considerate to others, respecting their property, personal dignity, opinions and abilities.
  • To develop and maintain positive relationships with pupils, parents/carers and all other professionals through regular and effective communication.

Our Curriculum

Our curriculum is designed to enable our young people to grow in subject knowledge, skills and understanding, whilst developing pupil confidence and resilience so they can successfully move onto further education, training and employment; so that they may live a life that has purpose and meaning to them and enables them to engage positively in their relationships with their local community and with society in general.

High quality teaching with therapeutic experiences including Thrive, lead to sound academic and personal development. Our curriculum is founded on developing and in some cases, restoring self confidence and self esteem focusing initially on the development of a thorough understanding of the young person and developing trusting relationships between the young person and staff.

Daily, the acquisition of core skills is central to pupil learning. English and Maths lessons are provided daily to ensure rapid progress is achieved in these subjects so helping to unlock learning in all subject areas.

Pupils follow a broad and balanced curriculum, subjects include: English, Maths, PSHE, ICT, Art and design, Humanities, Science, Design Technology, Music, PE, Cooking and Hair and Beauty.

Interventions include: Thrive activities, Drawing and Talking, Numeracy skills, English skills, Handwriting, Spelling and Reading.






Art and Design




Design Tech


Hair and Beauty





English skills



Drawing and Talking

THRIVE approach

Developing self-worth and resilience in our young people is essential. Young people needing support to manage difficult situations can be supported by the therapeutic intervention, Drawing and Talking in our centre as we have a trained practitioner.

New Skill Centre use a nationally recognised approach, THRIVE, to help address social and emotional development needs in young people. There are two THRIVE licensed practitioners within our setting.

The intended outcomes of our curriculum is that all pupils become:
  1. Successful students who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve their full potential.
  2. Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.
  3. Responsible citizens who can make a positive contribution to society,
We achieve this through OUR curriculum which:
  • Is broad and balanced.
  • Will encourage all pupils to reach their full potential.
  • Is flexible enough to meet the needs of the diverse population within the school and matched to the individual needs of each pupil.
  • Builds on pupils previous and existing knowledge, skills and understanding.
  • Reflects the multicultural nature of the local community and built upon British Values.
  • Develops confidence, high self-esteem and independence.
  • Develops a respect for other people and the environment.
  • Prepares students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.

Courtesy, good manners, respect and consideration for others, together with self-discipline and resilience are all important aspects of a child’s education. The New Skill Centre encourages pupils to treat others as they would wish to be treated themselves and supports them in this by providing a welcoming and friendly environment in which they feel valued, trusted and where they are supported to develop high self-esteem and confidence.

Personal development is fostered through our PSHE and personalised curriculum offer and is enhanced through activities, visits and trips that enable pupils to gain a wider understanding of themselves, the local community and understanding of the world around them.

Staff Team

Name Role
Jo Kerley Proprietor
Mark Winston Headteacher
Kim Charlesworth Deputy Headteacher
Steven Mortimore Teacher
Debbie Emeny Teacher
Nicola Edwards Teacher
Jack Redditch Tutor
Zoe Pickering Tutor
Chris Chisnall Tutor
Nathaniel Adams Learning Support
Emma Mirams Transition and Pastoral Lead/Tutor
Carol Maile Office Manager

School Contact Details

The New Skill Centre
2-5 The Drift,
Nacton Road,

Telephone: 01473 290276