COVID 19 UPDATE: Avocet House and Turnstone House remain open throughout the Covid 19 epidemic, all necessary precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of our young people, staff and visitors.  Referrals continue to be accepted and any enquiries should be referred to the Principal, Vicki Collings.

Download our Covid 19 Action Plan for further information.

 

SES Kite commenced on 4 September 2020 providing a new provision for post 18 year olds.

Innovation and Creativity in Care Work and Learning

June 2012

For six weeks between 20th Feb and the end of March all the boys at Avocet House took part in an exciting and innovative theme that ran across every evening in the house. The idea stemmed from members of the care team looking creatively at how an aspirational target within our Development Plan could be translated into a powerful, fun, reality.
Within the development plan the aspiration was:

“Through raising expectations of manners, courtesy and dress, for all children to be the epitome of smartness, cleanliness and high personal standards in respect of appearance, personal care and behaviour.”

A six week programme involved staff dressed as tooth fairies, visitors from the armed forces to inspect personal standards, pamper evenings including pedicures, manicures and facials, elocution lesson’s, visits from the ‘language police’, spring cleaning the house to the sound of Madness “Our House” and much more. The highlight, however, was in the final week where the boys took their very best learning and decorum to join an established Ballroom dancing club for the evening. Each boy was partnered by a girl who played a key role in teaching the boys to dance. So successful was this that some of the boys are continuing to attend on a weekly basis.

The spoof heading for the programme was “Chavs to Chaps”.

Here are just some of the comments about it.

Visitor’s view: Mr Allan Gurney, ex RAF Serviceman (Week 1, Inspection Evening):

What a lovely, well-mannered group of boys. Robbie and Connor particularly impressed me with the effort they had made, in their dress, their bedrooms, and their social skills. Robbie is an impressive young man, with a good attitude. Norman listened well, demonstrated the right attention to detail, and followed instructions, which were a credit to him. Six very well groomed and polite young gents. It was a pleasure to take part in their Inspection evening, very kind of James to ask if I would like to stay for tea, and extremely difficult to choose a winner, as they were ALL WINNERS!!

Staff View: Rachel

I have to say that the Chavs to Chaps idea is probably the best, most creative idea we have tried.

The fact that the whole community has been involved was genius and really helped to pull it off. It has been a lot of fun to be part of. Overall, you can see the difference in how the boys are interacting with each other and showing more respect and consideration for others and at times they really feel and act like a community too. Excellent work!!

Student’s View:

I enjoyed everything about “Chavs to Chaps”. I found it hard at first but once I was more comfortable with it, I enjoyed it all. My highlights were the Ballroom dancing, The Officers Mess inspection Evening, and the Grand Finale meal – seeing Jon in his Tuxedo being our Waiter! I feel more positive, grown-up, and well mannered. Not just at Avocet House but in general. I would like to continue Ballroom dancing!!!