New Direction School is an independent special day school for boys and girls aged 11-16. It is not a conventional school but one which focuses on working in a holistic way with young people who have failed to engage in mainstream schooling. We deliberately keep our class numbers low in order to maintain the flexibility of the service we provide. Our focus is on discovering the root of a pupil’s learning difficulties. This entails working closely with the young person and their family in order to find them a way back into learning. We maintain our support services after school hours and during holidays.

In the past we have worked with  pupils who have had a wide range of problems and disabilities including Autism, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, ADHD and school refusers. We are confident in our ability to cope with any problems that a pupil may present.  Many of our pupils are motivated to come to New Direction because of the strong support they receive from the whole community that is Ringer Villa.




We begin by talking to the pupil and their family to assess the type of problems they have encountered in the past. Pupils and parents coming to us have usually reached a crisis point in their situation and we feel that immediate intervention is often crucial at this stage.  We begin by deciding on the most appropriate therapeutic input. This could be Family Therapy, Behaviour Modification, Advocacy or Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (E.A.P). We will use assessments made by the pupil’s last school and any other agencies to help us. Our educationalists will assess the pupil’s ability through baseline testing and we will discuss their hopes, aspirations and interests with them. One of the benefits that New Direction can offer at this point is that services previously coming from any number of different agencies can all be provided by the school.

From the results of these assessments we will devise a personalised Learning plan for the pupil. This will be based on our curriculum and tailored to take into account the needs of the individual. The learning plan will provide a timetable of lessons and an Individual Educational Plan which will set targets for the pupil’s progress in the school. This plan forms the basis of a home-school contract where all concerned agree  to help the pupil meet their targets and conform to the school rules. We can also help set targets and rules for behaviour at home.

At New Direction we operate a positive behaviour policy. We believe in reinforcing acceptable behaviour and challenging the unacceptable. We strive to be consistent in this at all times and operate a daily reward system (class charts) to back up our intentions.


Each pupil follows their own timetable which links their Individual Education Plan with the  school curriculum. Whilst we seek to work with a pupil’s strengths and interests, we also take care to ensure they are receiving a broad and balanced curriculum.  Our curriculum consists of 4 key parts: the Core Curriculum (Maths, English and Science), Equine curriculum, Life skills (Personal, Health and Social Education (P.H.S.E)) and Therapy Curriculum.

The curriculum is partially taught in a practical and active way. Our animals and farm surroundings play a large part in our teaching so that we can base our lessons on what our pupils actually experience for themselves. To this end we also use the local environment beyond the school as a basis for our projects and organise a range of visits to fit in with our lessons. In addition we allow every pupil the opportunity to take part in equine lessons learning how to take care of the horses. We use Pony Club to help support and award achievement with this element of the curriculum. We have found interaction with our horses and ponies plays a valuable role in developing our pupils’ social skills and their qualities of empathy and caring for others. The horses and ponies often contribute by soothing and calming the feelings of disaffected young people.

At Key Stage 4 we offer the opportunity to study Maths, English and Biology at GCSE level. If a student is not ready to do their GCSEs at the end of KS4 there is the opportunity to do Functional Skills in Maths and English. Other Level 2 Qualifications such as the Princes Trust Achieve program are offered to students.

We have a range of ICT facilities, including an interactive whiteboard/Tvs, and each pupil has access to computer facilities within each classroom. Internet research is used in many subjects and we teach computer skills as and when appropriate. We do provide PE lessons for each student, these lessons involve the opportunity for our pupils to use local leisure facilities to teach sports such as swimming and climbing. There are facilities for football, basketball, table tennis and snooker on site. In addition we have an enclosed track that can be used for cross-country running and a network of local bridleways that provide for walking. We also look for opportunities for outside instructors to come in and teach different skills to the students such as Yoga and Martial Arts.



We are a registered centre for the AQA Unit Award scheme and are able to offer nationally recognised certification for a wide number of achievements throughout our pupils’ time with us – at both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. These are highly motivating as pupils can see very quickly how well they are doing.

We use Key Stage 3 BKSB assessments help form a diagnostic tool to help us decide what level of qualification is most suitable for our pupil, along with our in-school assessments. Every pupil receives a termly report for their parents/carers to show what progress they are making. The results of our tests are included in these reports.


Throughout a pupil’s education at New Direction we maintain a constant dialogue between all those concerned with the young person’s welfare: parents/carers/our therapeutic team/our teachers/the placing local authority and, most importantly, the pupil themselves.

Targets are reviewed on a regular basis and discussed with all parties and achievement and progress rewarded on a regular basis. We pride ourselves on being flexible enough to meet any needs that are presented to us.


Would you like more information?

Please go to our contact page where you will find a variety of ways that you can get in touch with us.



School Uniform

It is our policy that all students wear our Light Blue School Uniform.

You can now order and pay for School Uniform online from School Trends by visiting

Simply go to the website address, then select ‘Find My School’ and follow the order instructions.  You can either pay online or if you prefer, you can order online and send a cheque to the address below:-

School Trends,

10 Carley Drive,



S20 8NQ.

There are no minimum order quantities and your uniform will be delivered directly to your chosen address.  Other ordering information including sizes, delivery information and the returns procedure is also available online.