The Shrubberies School

Further Education

A tour of The Apperley Centre

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Have a virtual tour of The Apperley Centre to find out more.


Our three Post 16 Department classes are in a new centre which is only a 10 minute walk away from our main school site. The Apperley Centre opened September 2014.  

The Further Education Department accepts students from the whole of Gloucestershire. It provides courses for students between the ages of 16 to 19 years who are unable to access further education at a local college. Students may have sensory difficulties or need a high level of personal care and supervision.  Students generally join us in the school year in which they will be 17 and can remain with us until the July after their 19th birthday.

We do, however, accept students for either 1 or 2 years.  The staff to student ratio is high.


The curriculum covers the following areas:-

  • Personal and Social Development
  • Communication
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Science and Computing
  • The Arts
  • Sports and Leisure
  • Work Related Learning


ASDAN, ‘Personal Progress’ and ASDAN ‘Personal and Social Development’ are accredited qualifications offered at our centre, at Entry level. We also offer Entry level qualifications in English and Maths where appropriate.

Emphasis is placed on developing personal, learning and thinking skills. The curriculum also promotes work related learning.



Learning is enhanced where appropriate by access to the following:

  • Multi-sensory room
  • Dark room
  • Food and Technology Room
  • Hydrotherapy Pool
  • Specialist ICT equipment
  • Kitchen garden, complete with chickens.
  • The local community


There is an option to teach students in smaller sets, grouped either by ability or social mix. Activities are planned and delivered at a pace appropriate to the needs of each student.

Individual targets are set and reported on three times a year, and where possible students are involved in setting and evaluating their own targets. This allows students, staff and parents to see progress. 


The ethos of the department is to treat the students as young adults. We strive to create a relaxed atmosphere in which students are encouraged to make choices and take as much responsibility for their own decisions as possible. The timetable allows for slots of independent learning where students are encouraged to interact/socialise with staff/peers, choose resources for self-occupation or take time out from the group if they need it. A non-confrontational approach is used to minimise challenging behaviours which interfere with positive learning experiences.

Specialist teaching strategies are utilised as appropriate to each student including elements of TEACCH, PECS, multi-sensory approaches, objects of reference, intensive interaction and total communication.

 A main aim of the department is to prepare the students for adult life. We have our own minibus and a programme of community visits is offered which may include cafés, garden centres, local shops  and community leisure facilities. Students are also encouraged to develop work skills through internal or external work experience.

Any other professionals connected to the students are encouraged to visit the centre to ensure we are employing the most consistent and beneficial strategies. This includes speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, social workers and the local community learning disability team.

A multi-disciplinary approach is used to support the students and parents through transition from child services to adult services and to plan future post-school placements. We host multi-professional reviews and take an active role in the CIC process, attending meetings and contributing to planning for provision. 

Transition Reviews are held to make plans for future post-19 placements. School staff invite parents, an independent transitions advisor, any other professionals involved and Adult Social Care Assessment Team. We all support the students through the transition from child services to adult services and contribute to planning future educational, day or residential placements.

How to find the Apperley Centre

Life in Further Education at The Shrubberies School

Qualifications Achieved and Destinations

The Apperley Centre Photo Album