Swinderby Lower School


KISIMUL SCHOOLS offer full residential education and leisure programmes for up to 52 weeks of the year for pupils between the ages of 8 and 19. We are registered with both the Department for Education and Ofsted. We are also able to offer day placements.

Kisimul Local Offer
Read our Pupil Achievement and Attainment Report

Kisimul Lower School - The Old Vicarage, Swinderby

At Kisimul Lower School at The Old Vicarage site we have an indoor, heated swimming pool, a large playground and extensive play facilities. Both the residential accommodation and the school building contain soft play areas with ball pool, and a multi-sensory room for relaxation and stimulation. In 2014 we developed an innovative new sensory room called the 'SMILE' – Sensory Multi-Interactive Learning Environment. The overall quality of our education has been described by Ofsted as "outstanding".


Our mission is to continuously strive for excellence in the care and education of our pupils. We provide a caring and homely environment at all times, where pupils can grow and develop their skills, individuality and independence.

We constantly review our methods and their effectiveness, in order to achieve continuous improvement for each child and young adult. In addition, all staff have the opportunity to contribute to the development of the company.


Every child is entitled to develop in an environment which is conducive to learning. This environment should reflect the Every Child Matters outcomes of being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being.

Kisimul Schools offer pupils who have learning difficulties opportunities to interact, communicate and participate in everyday life as fully as possible. Pupils should feel secure, enjoy learning and be rewarded for effort. We provide the tools for pupils to manage and control their own life-style and behaviour.

This philosophy is realised by relating to each pupil in a positive way and by meeting all aspects of the pupils' needs through the integration of school, home, leisure activities and involvement in the wider community. Our aims and methods are covered more fully later.


Kisimul School is committed to the view that all people are entitled to equality of opportunity. This view is upheld regardless of Ability or Disability, Gender or Chosen Gender, Age, Status, Religion, Belief, Nationality, Ethnic Origins or Sexual Orientation.

"The promotion of equality and diversity is outstanding. A culture of inclusion and respect for young people is provided. Care arrangements prioritise young people and promote achievement, consultation and choice. Individual needs are supported including those relating to a disability, religion, ethnicity, gender and culture."

Ofsted Report Acacia January 2010

Kisimul School's commitment to this statement is embodied in both employment practices and all aspects concerned with the care and education of its pupils.

The School Year

The school is open for 52 weeks of the year with school classes based around a normal three-term year. Visits home are planned for pupils in consultation with parents and staff.

Behaviour Modification

Kisimul School is committed to non-aversive approaches to the modification of problem behaviours. Pupils generally respond well to the structured environment of the school and the clear boundaries they are set. All management programmes and care plans are discussed with parents. We are happy to discuss problems which occur at home or at school and look together at management strategies. Parents are encouraged to raise particular problems and we endeavour to work together to resolve them.

Staff are trained to redirect and manage challenging, aggressive behaviour in line with Timian Training and Development. This training system is accredited by BILD (the British Institute of Learning Disabilities) and is in line with Department of Health and Department of Education guidelines for physical intervention.

Positive reinforcement strategies are employed throughout the school, which include rewarding appropriate behaviour, providing minimum feedback for negative behaviour and following individualised placement plans.


Each pupil's language and communication is assessed by the Speech and Language Therapist, who writes an individual communication programme which is integrated into the individual learning plans.

We use Makaton, a form of sign language based on British Sign Language, as a communication aid throughout the school. Our pupils find that it helps to support their speech and language development. Frustration and anxiety can be reduced by improving communication and enhancing existing speech and language. Makaton is always used with speech and may help pupils with specific speech disorders as well as those who do not use speech at all.

A further communication aid employed throughout the school is PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) – style symbol exchanges, functional communication systems designed to enable pupils to initiate requests, make choices and develop social commenting skills.

Rebus symbols, objects of reference and photographs are widely used in a variety of contexts to promote our pupils' understanding and enhance their learning.

Residential education

We aim to:

Residential care

Individual arrangements are made for the collection from school and return of pupils, and co-ordinated by the Heads of Care. The pupils are grouped into households, according to age and compatibility, and each household has its own living room, kitchen and dining area.

Each site has its own Head of Care who monitors the procedures of their specific home, with the Operations Director overseeing the running of all of the residential establishments. Special carers, or key workers, take a particular interest in their children and ensure that they have their rights advocated.

An Individual Pupil Care Plan is devised for every pupil, which gives details of the pupil's history, likes and dislikes and the behaviour management strategies which may be used for that particular individual.

Management guidelines will be discussed at all reviews and at any other time parents need help. These guidelines are agreed between the school, parents and authorities.

Social integration

The school has a policy of integration within the community and our staff team ensure that each pupil joins some kind of community activity each week. Such activities may include using the local swimming pool, shopping visits, bus and train rides, walks, bowling and trips to the cinema. We are always looking for new contacts and links locally in order for pupils to enjoy a wider range of activities.

Parents and friends are invited to join in with activities arranged by Kisimul School and to take an active part in fundraising for the children. There is a Christmas Fayre held each year at The Old Vicarage in Swinderby and a Summer Fayre held at Acacia Hall, Friesthorpe. Similar arrangements will be made at our new school, Woodstock House in Long Ditton.


The School's General Practitioner visits whenever needed and we have close links with Lincoln County and Newark Hospitals for all specialist treatments. Pupils have regular trips to the local dentist.

The school prefers not to use medication to control behaviour, but if absolutely necessary then we would wish this to be at as low a level as possible and under medical supervision.

Senior staff have been trained to administer medication, which is audited by CSCI. Kisimul School has ten fully qualified first aiders and all staff have basic first aid training.


Evening and weekend leisure includes individual and group music, outings, walks, shopping, stories, sensory sessions, play and cookery.

Family visits

Parents are encouraged to maintain contact with their child by visits, post or telephone. We welcome parents at any time. A telephone call beforehand is advisable to ensure that their son/daughter is available. If you wish to discuss a problem or have anxieties, please come and see us when possible.

Alternatively you can contact us by telephone on 01522 868279 or email, or instigate the complaints procedure, a copy of which is supplied to prospective parents and available in the Policies section of the website. The Heads of Care arrange visits home, day visits, overnight stays and longer breaks when necessary.


Kisimul School is nondenominational. We try to encourage pupils to develop an awareness of, and interest in, themselves and others in the world around them.

Pupils are encouraged to participate in a wide range of multicultural activities, through art, music and language. We hold assemblies to celebrate different festivals throughout the year as part of our religious education curriculum. Parents may choose for their son/daughter not to attend particular religious activities. As part of our PSHE/Citizenship curriculum we pay particular attention to fundamental British values.


Kisimul School aims to give the very best care, protection and education to its pupils. We continuously strive to provide an environment in which our pupils' skills, individuality and independence grow and are nurtured, so when the pupils leave us, they are equipped with the best possible tools to deal with life's challenges. We believe that only by relating to our pupils in a positive way can we succeed and that a multidisciplinary, structured approach involving the school, the parents, the community, and all relevant professionals creates the vital synergy necessary to achieve that success.