“At Henshaws College in Harrogate, your independence is at the heart of everything we do. Our flexible learning programmes support residential and day students aged 16 – 25 years with learning difficulties, sensory impairments and physical disabilities. We empower young people with the skills and independence they need to achieve the future they want.
I was lucky enough to get to visit the college, and was delivered a wonderful tour by three students, who had nothing but wonderful things to say about the institution.
Set in beautiful Harrogate, a quintessential spa town in North Yorkshire. The college is surrounded by lovely greenery and there are lots of people busying around.
In terms of what the college can offer the students, programmes are designed to fit the individuals needs and takes into consideration the previous experiences of the student. I think this ethos is perfect when it comes to teaching young people who have additional needs. I find with my own daughter that the curriculum really needs to fit around Scarlett rather than her fitting into a structure.
The college covers all aspect of Independence, Employability, Communication and Multisensory. Providing safe and stimulating environment for children with a range of disabilities and helping them experience the world of work with a variety of enterprise activities to help them gain confidence to enter employment. They also have a brilliant mentoring system in place where the longer serving students mentor the new students in the skills they have learnt the previous year.
The tailor made tour was delivered by 21 year old Tom from Liverpool, 21 year old Fatima from Bury and 21 year old Chelsea from Shipley. Each of the students had come from a variety of educational backgrounds such as mainstream school, specialist VI residential schools and SEN schools.
Tom, who was the main voice of the tour, guided me around all of the rooms and described what purpose they served. His love of sandwich making, a skill developed in 1st year, determined his love of working at the Henshaws Arts and Craft Centre in Knaresborough. His favourite activity is based in the on-sight cafe, serving the general public, he is currently mentoring a first year in the skills he had learnt. “Henshaws is a good place to come-great friends and good stuff in the college”
Chelsea, a third year student who arrived at Henshaws following a mainstream education; “The best thing about Henshaws is that I have learnt about independence which has made me feel really good”. Chelsea has great aspirations to continue her education after leaving Henshaws and wants to gain further knowledge in art and photography. Chelsea loves all things girly! And wants to live independently with a big gang of girls so she can indulge in shopping and nail painting! Chelsea really enjoys the physio programmes and swimming offered by the college, as she loves to get out of her wheel chair and move, Henshaws College makes this possible.
Fatima, who is in her third year at Henshaws completed her education prior to Henshaws at specialist VI school based in Liverpool St. Vincents. She loves the leisure facilities that Henshaws provides and gets involved with gym, disco, swimming and karaoke! She works on local hospital radio show in Harrogate, and would love to continue to grow that interest upon leaving the college in July. “Good experience, staff are fantastic, greatest move she made and has helped with her confidence”.
“We understand that all of our students learn in different ways, so we will work with you to find the most relevant learning pathway for you. In addition to our specialism in visual impairment, we have developed expertise working with students who have more complex needs.
For many of our students, our multisensory sessions allow them to build on their strengths to learn new skills in a safe and stimulating environment.
Specialist staff use a range of techniques to involve students.
We have our own sensory room, complete with state of the art resources to provide a sensory approach to learning.
- Sight – including fibre optics and bubble tube
- Sound – including relaxation music and sounds
- Smell – including aromatherapy oils
- Touch – including vibrating cushions and fabrics with different textures”
Henshaws are happy for you to visit the college for a look around, alternatively they off family days throughout the year which you can go along too. I think when deciding about your child’s future its good to have a real look and explore all the available options. Independence and giving your child the skills necessary to be as independent as possible is very important to me, and I feel it would be very important to Scarlett as she gets older. These schools offer visually impaired people the chance to learn these skills and realise the full potential they can achieve.
The students I met with were confident, bright, inspiring individuals and I had to fight to get a word in sometimes! But that’s brilliant, they have a voice and most importantly they are very happy and they were all a credit to the Henshaws College.
If you would like some further information about the college please use the details below:
Call: 01423 886451