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Phoenix School

Phoenix School is the education provider for all young people admitted to Cygnet Hospital Sheffield. Teaching happens within a well-resourced school unit, with specialist teachers and is equipped with classrooms and an ICT suite. The school also has access to a kitchen, gymnasium, outside courtyard and therapeutic garden.

Our Vision

In partnership with the wider hospital we provide a stimulating safe haven where everyone is valued and respected. We promote resilience and risk-taking by delivering lessons guided by our students curiosity and celebrating all successes.

We respect the students’ rights, beliefs and values providing personalised curriculums and learning opportunities inside and outside of school, which enable our students to be empowered to meet future challenges.

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The intent of our school curriculum is to maintain and develop current educational pathways and/or promote future re-engagement with education, employment or training. In doing so, we believe that young people leaving our provision will stand the best chance of reintegration with community life and therefore a successful recovery journey.

Curriculum Aims

Our curriculum aims to:

  • Provide a broad and balanced education, prioritising the core subjects where necessary.
  • Meet individual needs through collaborative planning with the home school (if in place), parents, and the young person themselves.
  • Ensure equal access to learning, with high expectations for every pupil and appropriate levels of challenge and support.
  • Ensure the acquisition of skills in literacy, numeracy and ICT/computing for all young people.
  • Reinforce the links between subjects so that learning connections are made across curriculum boundaries.
  • Be aligned with the Cygnet values of care, respect, empowerment, trust and integrity.
  • Be adaptable, according to current mental health presentation, in order to support well-being and wellness.
  • Be complementary to, and consistent with, the hospital therapy programme.
  • Promote British values and social, moral, and cultural development.

In order to deliver these aims, Cygnet schools follow three curriculum delivery models.

Curriculum Model A – Enhancing and supporting current educational pathways e.g. continuing subjects and topics being studied in community school/college setting.

Curriculum model B – Should personal circumstances dictate, a bespoke program based on subjects, skills and knowledge that expand on personal interests of the learner e.g. accessing a program geared to potential future aspirations.

Curriculum model C – Educational activities with a primary focus on developing the personal and social skills and mental health functioning in education e.g. school allotment project.

Academic Timetable

Here is an example of an academic timetable to support Curriculum model B:

Awards and Accreditations

The Phoenix School was awarded silver status as a Rights Respecting School in October 2021 and we now working to embed our learning and prepare our action plan for working towards becoming a Gold: Rights Respecting School.

The Rights Respecting School Award is an initiative run by UNICEF UK which encourages schools to place the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of a school’s planning, policies and practice. A Rights Respecting School is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted.

Phoenix School are demonstrating the British Values in PHSE lessons in addition to promoting specific rights e.g. LGBQT+ within the curriculum.

The Phoenix School is a registered provider of the John Muir Award, which is described on their website as “inclusive, accessible and non-competitive, though should challenge each participant.  It encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment through a structured yet adaptable scheme, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.”

We understand the therapeutic value of becoming one with nature by spending time in wild spaces. Studies have shown that being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Sometimes when young people come to us they are unable to access academic work immediately, and so we have to be flexible around providing meaningful activities that can help to make our young people feel that they are being productive.

We are also aware that climate change is a very real and imminent threat to the future of the current generation, and feel that it is our responsibility to foster a sense of ownership towards the conservation and preservation of biodiversity in the natural environment. Through the use of our allotment and the provision of the John Muir Award, our young people are taught practical skills to nurture plants and promote growth.


Katy Edmondson, Head Teacher, Safeguarding Lead and Children Looked After Designated Teacher, Tel: 0114 279 3350
Mary-Jo Brayford, Deputy Safeguarding Lead, Tel: 0114 279 3350
Daniella Jackson, Education Officer, Tel: 0114 279 3350
Rachel Rix, National SENCO Lead, Tel: 07738 716408

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