Fred Nicholson School
Fred Nicholson School – Where we look forward to working together with you on ‘Building Successful Futures’ for all our young people.
Fred Nicholson School is a Complex Needs provision meeting the needs of 162 young people with learning difficulties and associated needs from 7yrs-16yrs. 19 pupils are on roll in our specialist Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) provision in Orchard House (please see more details below). All pupils have Educational Health and Care Plans identifying learning difficulties and a range of associated complex needs. We have high staff/pupil ratios, enabling us to personalise the curriculum and meet the needs of our pupils.
We have a wide variety of roles and career paths to follow on site, from working in the main site classes or working as part of our specialist resource base team through to supporting the extended curriculum and independence with our residential boarding team. We also have role supporting the welfare and medical needs of our young people as well as the valued support roles of the administrative and site teams. Everyone has access to an induction package, training and continued professional development as relevant to their role.
We offer the National Curriculum and learning experiences at a highly differentiated level so that it is relevant to our pupils and enables them to achieve. We work with classes of 12 children, led by a teacher with 2 or 3 Teaching Assistants so that we can offer a high level of support and differentiation whilst encouraging our pupils to be as independent as they are able. As a TA you will support learning in small groups or on a 1:1 basis, as appropriate within a class team.
‘’The pupils at our school make my job the best job in the world! I love that every day is different and the pupils surprise me in wonderful ways each day. I am privileged to be able to help pupils work through a problem, solve a tricky question or complete a piece of work, puzzle or game. We work together to teach pupils the skills they will need to live a happy and successful life.’’ TA at FNS
‘’I completed my Teacher Training at Fred Nicholson School and felt that it was such a warm, supportive and inspiring place to work that when an opportunity arose to apply for a job there I took it and feel very lucky every day that I was successful with my application.’’ Teacher at FNS
Tree House – Residential Boarding Provision
Fred Nicholson school’s residential provision is called The Treehouse and provides 28 placements for residents within 5 dormitories and an independence flat. At the Treehouse we are committed to protect, support and encourage our young people, focussing on their individual needs, interests and skills, encouraging them to achieve and become confident young adults.
As part of the Treehouse team you will support young people with their social and life skills and extended education by encouraging independence and modelling trust and respect between everybody.
Our Independence programme focuses on learning about growing up and building confidence in life skills. Within a role in the residential team you will support young people to access activities and build new skills and memories through achievements they can be proud of. The role includes supporting the development of personal care skills and shifts which include sleeping in duties on a rota basis.
’Working as part of the residential team at Fred Nicholson is such an enjoyable role and, if like me, you like to have fun, be challenged and like your days to be something different each time you come into work. I’ve experienced joining children on Alpaca Trekking, snow tubing and water fights on the field in the summer.’ Residential Childcare Officer at FNS
Orchard Specialist Resource Base
Orchard is a Specialist County Provision within Fred Nicholson School for 19 pupils with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) and associated complex needs. These pupils’ needs cannot be met within other specialist or mainstream schools within Norfolk. The National Autistic Society accredits our Orchard provision; we are proud to be the only school in Norfolk to achieve this level of specialism. We received our latest accreditation in June 2019 and are due our next accreditation in 2022.
Orchard pupils present with ‘spiky’ profiles of strengths and challenges. All have additional complex needs, including a learning disability, alongside their ASC. Orchard pupils may also present with behaviours, which can challenge those around them and hinder their access to education. Orchard pupils may well have already experienced several different education settings. Orchard follows a holistic curriculum approach, incorporating social skills, independence and life skills, alongside supporting pupils with their sensory and self-regulation needs. Training is built into your role on a regular basis in order to support these complex young people.
Roles in Orchard support our pupils in accessing bespoke 1:1 support and follow individualised curriculums and approaches to meet their specific needs. Within a role in Orchard you may be asked to contribute to planning and make resources and visuals to support their timetables. All pupils have access to an individual workspace or work room but are encouraged to access communal spaces and participate in group activities where appropriate. In this role you will also support pupils during break and lunchtimes on the days when you have a duty.
‘’I enjoy working within a larger staff team which comes with working in a Specialist Provision. There is a strong community and team ethos throughout the school, which is regularly recognised and celebrated. Everything we do is for the pupils, and I love being able to deliver bespoke offers to each pupil and their family, to meet their individual needs, interests and abilities. The school offers lots of additional training opportunities and supports staff’s professional development. I have enjoyed learning new skills and furthering my understanding of SEND and how best to support our pupils.’’ Orchard team member
Why work for us
This is an exciting time to join Fred Nicholson School as it continues to grow, creating opportunities for staff development and career progression across its schools.
We place high value on our staff and believe that each member has an important role to play. We encourage staff to develop their skills and talents and provide extensive opportunities.
We recognise the importance of staff well-being and see it as a key priority when building a resilient organisation. We have a well-established staff wellbeing team who meet regularly to discuss wellbeing opportunities.
Remuneration & benefits
- LGPS Pension Arrangements & Teachers Pension Scheme
- Wellbeing support help and advice
- Supportive Policies
- Access to the Norfolk Support Line incl counselling and musculoskeletal services
- Active wellbeing team
‘’…..the whole team across the school are so friendly and not only give 110% to the work they do with the children but also to building relationships with colleagues – teamwork is genuinely alive and thriving at Fred Nics and the result is well supported and happy pupils who enjoy coming to school.’’ Team member at FNS