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The Mount Camphill Community
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discovering art on a College 3 retreat

Living and learning

Learning

We have a very wide range of learning opportunities and activities from which we select individual programmes to support each student on his or her path towards greater independence.

We believe that the learning must be embedded in practical activities which are of interest to each student and relevant and useful to his or her future life. The craft and practical skills programme encompasses workshops in gardening, weaving, woodwork, ceramics, baking, cooking and estate work. Making artefacts and products for others promotes self-confidence, social and communication skills, and enables students to develop a sense of being valued for their contribution to the community. These creative and stimulating activities also develop capacities for effective participation in work and interactivity.

A distinctive feature of the College’s provision is the extensive support for the development of movement skills: this therapeutic approach impacts positively on a wide range of skills including self-confidence and esteem, speech and communication skills and practical and craft skills. The specialist movement education programme is provided through the disciplines of Bothmer Gym and Eurythmy.

Some activities in the day programme are strongly focused on supporting progress in skills for life: these include numeracy, literacy and ICT, cooking and travel in the community, and work experience. Other learning opportunities are within the residential provisions and are supported through practising the activity of daily living.

Living

The key element of the success of the Mount is its emphasis on the community of adolescents and young adults with special needs living and working together productively and harmoniously. The Mount offers formal courses set within a structured timetable as well as an extended curriculum based in the 5 distinctive House communities where the students live during term time.

The aim of the House setting is to provide an atmosphere where the potential of each student is recognised and fostered therapeutically, educationally and socially. Placement in a House is based on person-centred assessments to ensure a balance of needs.

Each House provides a high standard of care with nutritious meals of largely organic food. The Houses contain art, furniture and other products made by students and craft tutors, which celebrates their creativity and skill and creates a warm and homely environment.

The 4 smaller house communities comprise 1 or 2 House co-ordinators (and their families), 2 or 3 trainee co-workers, and 4 - 7 students (male and female). This provides an intimate, extended family-type setting. The largest house - a former monastery building - has between 14 and 16 students, with a high ratio of trainee and senior co-workers.

The facilities in each House are excellent. There is a range of single and shared bedrooms (maximum 2 people per room), large living and dining spaces and homely kitchens. The students have access to a library, dvd/video movie resources, snooker table, table football, board games, newspapers and indoor sports area and equipment. The grounds offer space for outdoor activities such as games, walks, gardening, cycling and social interaction.

Rhythm in Daily Life

Students need the security of understanding their environment and the activies in which they engage so that they can anticipate change. Some have an acute need to process change in advance of it occurring and be able to trust that events and activities will happen at reliable intervals.

The daily rhythm implemented in the Houses provides a therapeutic atmosphere for students. Co-workers and students work to create moments both of peaceful reflection and activity, forming a harmonious balance and bringing a healthy breathing quality to the day. A yearly rhythm is built up through the celebration of festivals, giving opportunities to experience and participate in a wide array of cultural activities such as presentations, plays, music, dancing, outings, birthdays and the celebration of meals from many countries.

learning confidence in craft

learning confidence in craft

a student following a recipe

a student following a recipe