Skilts has two residential houses which are next door to each other called Otter and Seal. Boys in residence come over to the houses straight from school, where they are looked after by the team of Care Staff, on arrival to the houses all pupils will be encouraged to work on their targets, all boys have targets that include some homework. .
All pupils in otter and seal have privacy in their bedrooms, there are double rooms but pupils have their own space and reside alternate nights, We like the boys to try and make their bedrooms feel like a home away from home, so encourage them to personalise them with posters or photos, drawings or work from school.
Both houses work to the same routine. Breakfast is at 8.30 a.m. after which the boys will be walked over to school. They will be back at 12.30 p.m. for lunch and then come straight over when school has finished. Tea time is at 4.30 p.m.
Free time and structured activities are available every evening to ensure all pupils are playing, building and maintaining positive peer friendships.
All boys are expected to have either a bath, shower or good wash before bedtime which is at 8.30 p.m. Children staying in residence will telephone home every evening to speak to their parents or carers, we also have a phone room available for Pupils with a land line and parents will be given a number on which they can contact their children if they wish to do so, we do insist that someone is available for them to have a chat with and discuss their day. There is a member of staff on sleep-in duty every evening, one in each house, so should your child need anything during the night, there will always be somebody there for him.
And now for the fun bit – the activities!
Although the boys eat separately and sleep in their own houses, we tend to do everything else together. If the weather is nice we may take the boys out for the evening, to the park or for a walk. There is always a football being kicked around, come rain or shine and we have bikes and go-karts that the boys can use if they want to. During extreme weather and dark nights activities will sometimes be based in the school gym where we also have skilts P.E coach to plan and work with pupils on structured activities.
We have barbeques in the summer (and sometimes the winter!) and there is a forested area on site that we regularly take the boys to for them to play hide and seek or a good old-fashioned game of tig.
We have plenty of board games and arty stuff should the boys want to stay indoors or the weather is bad. We sometimes offer cooking sessions with the boys, getting them to make their own tea and we teach them about healthy eating and living.
Both houses have a PC connected to the school’s filtered internet and the boys have access to PlayStations and an X Box with a choice of age-appropriate games which they can play on – but not for too long! We tend to go on a big outing once every term, which may involve a trip to the cinema or bowling with a meal out. We do have a lot of fun in residence and the children who stay always look forward to their nights, but we still expect the boys to follow the school rules and to try to ‘be the best they can be’. Our aim is to teach the boys:
- Independence and life skills
- Social skills
- Empathy and understanding
- How to keep themselves safe
- How to behave respectfully towards others
- How to be a good friend
- How to be the best they can be
We work closely with parents and carers to achieve the best possible outcomes for the young people we look after, and with this in mind, residential staff will always keep in close contact with whomever is at home to keep them informed and up-to-date on their child’s progress.