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By Hayley Ramm, Mar 5 2020 04:01PM

The closing of a year holds the transformative power of taking us all on a journey of organic self-reflection. As nature withers and freezes around us and loose ends are tied in preparation of a new beginning, the slowing pace allows us, for a moment at least, to breathe, to step back – to just exist.


What naturally emerges at this point is an unexpectedly familiar view of a bigger picture – a crystallised moment of heightened insight into a grander plain of existence; here, we are free to wander and roam and float or just sit, in peaceful silence, as we absorb and process and ponder. Suddenly, we find ourselves stepping outside the slippery bounds of egocentric reflection and curiously, tentatively trying to make sense of everything else around us.


To be a human being in this wolfish, hyperactive modern day western society of ours is no walk in the park – between diverging socio-political tides pulling us apart and into treacherous pockets of extremism, the beast of consumerism perpetually feeding our most burning desires and dreaded fears, the constant, prolific distraction of technological gadgets and social media, and the impending disaster of climate change, we struggle more and more to hold on to what truly makes us humans great – the gift of compassionate, intentional connection.


My dear reader – if I could pour the experience of working at The Sheiling in a cup for you to taste, it would be a rejuvenating drink of cold alpine water, trickled drop by drop from the immortal heart of a glacier. You would hold this cup gratefully, after a long, slumberous night, and gulp greedily. It would feel like fresh oxygen in your body – a descending silvery stream.


Here’s what I would like: I would like you to join me for a mindful stroll through our grounds. By mindful I mean attentive, perceptive, open to new truth. You would probably notice the cleansing perfume of coniferous trees, the warm hint of wet soil and, if lucky enough, the inviting scent trail of hearty homemade food. The bending paths riddled with protruding rocks and thick roots would sharpen your focus, steady your step. Upon tuning in to the delicate chirping of birds, your eyes would possibly choose to wander upwards, following wrinkles carved in tree trunks, to meet the ever-changing sky in its branched picture frame.


Now, dear reader, I cannot let you dwell on these frivolities for too long – as you can see, there is more to be discovered: fairy-tale cabins and gingerbread houses are peppered around, an architectural symphony of straight and curved lines forming clusters of familial security. The lights are on, there is movement inside – what would your eyes meet if you were to step closer and sneak a peek inside?


A word of warning: don’t be fooled by the apparent limitations of our students – you will soon come to realise they often hold the keys to a far deeper, uncontaminated wisdom that will humbly, quietly belittle and overpower the most carefully curated collection of neurotypical opinions.


Let us have a look, then, at the beating heart of The Sheiling; the source of this slithering spell echoing from one side of our site to the other. I can share this one secret with you, and really, it is no secret: the nurturing alliance between students and personnel, forged in care, passion and connection, is what truly makes this place a special haven. This sense of belonging, of homely community that curls up in your belly like a languid cat, dear reader, this warmth in your chest, is the result of our constant quest for compassionate, mutual understanding and support. Impetuous rivers will be crossed and unsmiling mountains climbed, so that we can all stand side by side in a sunny valley of growth and confident independence.


Observe our students: you will find they are not dissimilar to the young trees sprouting from the ground around you. They are vulnerable in their open fragility, but nonetheless so very beautifully fierce in their honest hearted authenticity. You could compare us to attentive gardeners, then, burying our hands in the surrounding soil, joint by the same shared purpose, pouring ourselves out so that they can thrive in strength and independence against the many tests of the elements. In return, as we give and protect and nurture and encourage, we not only find ourselves filled to the brim with the many rewards of service – we are confronted with our own walls and sharp edges. Heavy curtains are finally parted to let the sunlight into our darkest corners, dust and cobwebs are swept away, and the stormiest of days will give way to clear, calm waters; to euphoric renaissance.


So come on in, dear reader. Come and join us. I know you will like it here. You will find comfort from the struggle, shelter from the storm. You will find rest from this global existential crisis that steals your sleep away in the middle of the night. You will find inspiration and strength.


The Sheiling is waiting for you.


By Hayley Ramm, Jun 20 2019 10:04PM


The Sheiling Ringwood was delighted to officially open their new College Hub. Cllr Barry Goringe delivered the opening speech and cut the ribbon and Mr Philip Warr, HM High Sheriff of Dorset, was also present at the event.


Sheiling College is the only residential provider of specialist college education in Dorset for 19 – 25-year-olds. The college was established in 2012 with just 6 students and now has well over 30 today. The Hub will be an important part of college education and, with its working kitchen, café, retail space and office area, will be an innovative way of providing young people with the opportunity to gain valuable life and work skills.


The use of real-life equipment and areas where the students can practise and develop skills in a safe and specialised environment will be critical in developing transferable learning for the young people at the Sheiling. The Hub will act as a bridge to enable students to safely develop the skills necessary so they can progress to be more independent in life and, where appropriate, on to supported work, internships and employment.


The Hub will also provide an ideal place to invite local businesses within the community to learn about the young people the Sheiling supports and the challenges they encounter. This aims to have a positive effect for local community members who have learning disabilities but can also have tangible benefits for local businesses.


By Hayley Ramm, Jan 17 2019 11:07AM

We are excited to announce that Boston Tea Party Ringwood are now our Charity Partners.


Boston Tea Party have stopped using single use cups and they ask their customers to bring with them reusable cups for their takeaway drinks. Every time a customer buys a takeaway hot drink Boston Tea Party donates 10p to community projects, which, in Ringwood, for the next six months, is the Sheiling.


So, pop into their Ringwood café in The Furlong, treat yourself to a takeaway drink and know that you will be also supporting us!

By Hayley Ramm, Feb 1 2018 03:24PM

The staff, trustees and students of Sheiling School are delighted to have been rated

‘Good’ across all inspection areas following their recent full Ofsted inspections.


Sheiling School provides placements for children and young people between the ages

of 6 and 19 with severe, complex and moderate learning disabilities including autistic

spectrum disorders. Set in a stunning sustainable and eco-friendly 40-acre site close to

the New Forest and Dorset coastline, the natural surroundings of the school provide a

rich, enabling and therapeutic learning environment for its students.


Some of the highlights of the report include:


Education

• Staff share the high aspirations of leaders and are unrelenting in their quest to

provide pupils with the very best learning and therapeutic experiences.

• Relationships between staff and pupils are impressive. Staff forge a warm and

supportive environment which enables pupils to feel safe and secure.

• Behaviour of pupils is good. Staff understand pupils’ needs extremely well and

manage their complex and anxious behaviours with skill.

• The curriculum is rich and varied, which motivates pupils to learn.

• Parents are positive about the school. They welcome the high-quality care and

education their children receive.


Care

• Children are happy and are making good progress socially, emotionally and

educationally.

• Relationships between staff and children are strong, sensitive and caring.

• The quality of the outdoor facilities and children’s access to their local environment is

excellent. The quality of this provision benefits children.

• Leaders and managers successfully implement a strong ethos and positive

philosophy throughout the home that is understood and delivered by staff.


Head of School, Andy Walters comments,

“I am absolutely delighted with the outcomes from our recent Ofsted. The inspector

made a significant effort to really understand our provision and to analyse all the areas

that are making a difference to our students. Highlights for me are the positive

reflections on how the seamless integration of education, therapies and life in our

residential houses all help the students to learn and to make progress.


Our teaching staff consistently deliver imaginative, purposeful and effective learning

experiences for the students. I believe the report is an accurate reflection of our school

and recognises all staff involvement and their dedicated and passionate approach.


I am pleased from both the report and my discussions with the inspector that our

approach, ethos and contribution to the sector has been recognised. I would also like to

share my thanks to all parents/carers and families who contributed to the inspection and

a huge ‘well done’ to our students who bravely and gamely shared their thoughts and

communicated with the inspector - they engaged warmly and positively.”


Reflecting upon their child’s time at the school, one parent warmly comments,

‘It is the first time my daughter has been valued as an individual and not the child with

all the problems’.


Sheiling School is now looking ahead to the coming year and continuing to deliver high

quality education and care whilst driving forward initiatives to further develop new

experiences for their children and young people.


For further information please contact: Hayley Ramm

01425 477488

[email protected]

Website: www.thesheilingringwood.co.uk

By Hayley Ramm, Jan 24 2018 02:15PM

The Sheiling Ringwood is delighted to announce that Colten Care’s Brook View nominated

The Sheiling Ringwood as its charity of the year for 2017 and raised over £700 through a series of

events including a summer fete and Christmas fayre.


The Sheiling Ringwood is a school and college for children and young people between the ages of 6

and 25 with severe, complex and moderate learning disabilities including autistic spectrum disorders.


Bursar, Nick Sabin, was presented with a cheque for £708.94 by Brook View’s Operations Manager,

Jacky Sylvester.


Jacky said: “We became aware of the Sheiling after one of their students came here for work experience and I know we all feel very privileged to have been able to help the school and college continue with its amazing work.”


Nick Sabin said: “We are absolutely thrilled with this generous donation which will go towards equipment for our new College Vocational Hub. This facility will incorporate a kitchen and a café and will enable our students to develop some valuable life skills, such as preparing simple meals. It will be a fantastic resource for our students and we very much appreciate Brook View’s help in making it a reality.”


Brook View resident Esme Bannister agreed: “It’s lovely to know that everyone at the home has been

able to help youngsters in this way.”


Image caption: Left to right: Colten Companion Sarah Clark, Amanda Cresswell, Fundraiser at

The Sheiling Ringwood, Nick Sabin, Bursar at The Sheiling Ringwood, Brook View resident

Esme Bannister and Brook View’s Operations Manager, Jacky Sylvester.


For further information please contact: Amanda Cresswell

01425 477488/077 663 51287

[email protected]



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