Category Archives: From the School

Blesma Workshop and Fundraiser

Mick and Owain from the Blesma Community Programme held a Making Generation R Workshop at FHS on Thursday, 21st March.

The programme aims to help young people become more resilient in the face of life’s challenges, big and small. it exposes them to the stories of people who have had to deal with and overcome great adversity, and encourages them to find coping strategies to deal with both everyday issues and bigger hurdles.

RAF Police Veteran Mick’s account of his experiences as an Arms & Explosives Search Dog Handler and of how he lost a limb following an injury in Afghanistan in 2011 quickly captured the pupils’ attention and prompted a lot of good questions from them afterwards.

One of the many meaningful messages he communicated to the boys was how important it is  to find the right strategy to cope with adversity. He described to them how finding someone he trusted to talk to helped him to deal not only with his injury but also with PTSD, and advised the boys to use this strategy themselves whenever they find themselves in difficulty.

During the workshop that followed Mick’s presentation, Owain discussed with the boys hypothetical struggles young people might face at school and at home, and encouraged them to think about good choices people in those situations could make, again getting a lot of positive feedback from the pupils.

In recognition of the amazing work the Blesma team do, our pupils did a sponsored walk on the Falkland Estate after the workshop and raised £215 for the charity, which supports injured veterans. Thank you to everyone who donated and to Mick and Owain for their truly inspiring visit.

The FHS Cabin Project

The FHS cabin project was set up to create a holistic learning experience for our pupils. The venture helps the boys develop important technical skills in areas such as maths, construction, woodwork, planning, ordering materials and PPE awareness, as well as essential life skills like problem solving, decision making, working as part of a team, and communicating effectively.

The cabin is being built in the school grounds, as far as possible using local resources.  This year we have been fortunate to have expert support from Marek and Laura from ‘Simple Shelters’ who have joined the boys and staff at Falkland House School to continue the building work.

Firstly, the boys had to think about who would be using the cabin and what it would be used for. This led to them producing ideas for a floor plan. They then took these ideas into the cabin to see how well they fitted into the actual space.

This process is known as developing a Design Brief. This is what they came up with:

To design a space for the pupils to hang out and spend time in

(approx. 6-7 boys at a time)

 It must have:

comfy seats like a sofa and bean bags

a projector to watch films and play games

a table with chairs to sit, work and eat at

a platform with a bed for staying over

a second door or hatch for a fire escape

a stove for heating and sitting around

a small fridge for food

a separate room for hammocks that also has sensory features 

The Floor Plan:

Over the past year, the boys have worked on the decking, handrail, window and door fittings, membrane fitting, circulation, batons, cladding and insulation, performing their tasks with enthusiasm and self-confidence.

Click on the link below to see the most recent photos.


FHS Munro Challenge

Five of our pupils and two staff members will be scaling a Munro on October 2nd to raise money for charity. The boys were asked to select a charity of their choice, and they unanimously agreed that Save the Children would be a very worthwhile cause.

They’ve been busy walking hills and forests over the past few months to prepare themselves for bagging their first Munro.

In this short video, three of the boys taking part in this challenge explain why your support is so very important.

The FHS Munro Challenge

We've had a fantastic response to the FHS Munro Challenge in aid of Save the Children! Many thanks to all those who have already so generously donated on our Just Giving page. In this short video, three of the pupils who will be tackling the climb on October 2nd explain why your support is so important.

Posted by Falkland House School on Monday, September 17, 2018


Towards independence and independent living

Falkland House School’s shortlisting for a TES Independent School Award is thanks to the success of its innovative independence programme, which focuses on teaching pupils the skills they’ll need for independent living.

Having autism or learning and attention issues like ADHD can make it difficult to acquire certain basic skills that we commonly believe are simple enough to be learned without direct teaching and guided practice. Mastering these skills bolsters our pupils’ confidence and their willingness to try new experiences, increasing their chances for future success in all aspects of life.

Over the last year, the school has taken a number of steps to develop its independence programme, including appointing two independence development workers whose task it is to work with class groups and individuals, planning and delivering learning experiences linked to the FHS independence programme.

Pupils, parents, keyworkers, teachers and associated professionals are all involved in determining where individual pupils require support, and in setting short- and long-term targets for them. Thus the programme is personalised and focuses on specific areas that are relevant to each boy’s needs and requirements.

The independence skills are split into 12 areas:

  • Domestic
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Job Skills
  • Life Management
  • Managing Money
  • Nutrition
  • Safety
  • Self-care
  • Social Media & Internet Skills
  • Time
  • Travel
  • Miscellaneous

Skills are learned in real life situations where more than one skill may be needed to achieve a positive outcome. Problems and difficulties are introduced in a supported setting to eliminate meltdowns and develop self-regulation.

Over recent months, the pupils have looked at the following topics in class:

  • Internet safety
  • Learning about the facts and harmful effects of alcohol and smoking.
  • Raising awareness of anti-bullying week.
  • Treating others equally regardless of their gender, race, culture, religion or sexuality, whilst learning about how discrimination can affect people.
  • Encouraging pupils to have the confidence to voice their thoughts and opinions on topics whilst listening to their peers and being respectful of others’ views.
  • Learning about the background of the Poppy Appeal.
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Learning how to take turns and be good team players.

Meanwhile, beyond the classroom and on a more practical level, the boys have been busy with the following projects:

  • Independent travel.
  • Budgeting skills and shopping trips, developing their ability to manage money and increasing confidence in their interpersonal skills.
  • Planning a trip to the pantomime, which has involved researching suitable dates and times, restaurants and menus, travel and purchasing tickets, then making telephone calls to make bookings and reservations.
  • One of the pupils has applied for his provisional driving licence; he has been studying for the theory test and achieving good percentages.
  • Planning the next school ski trip to Glenshee in March 2018. This has required them to research and price transport, accommodation, ski equipment hire etc.
  • Learning about food hygiene and nutrition whilst working on developing their cookery skills. This has involved researching recipes for healthy balanced meals whilst sourcing the ingredients within a set budget, then cooking the meal and cleaning up afterwards.
  • Learning how to do their own laundry, including using a washing machine, reading labels, stain treatment, hanging clothes to dry, using a tumble dryer, ironing, folding and putting clothes away.

The independence development workers commented on their role:

“The Independence Programme focuses on building confidence and resilience in the pupils and it is rewarding to see them progress in a variety of settings both in and outwith the school. Our role is to encourage and support the pupils to complete tasks and deal with situations they will encounter when living independently. It is very satisfying to see them managing situations outside their comfort zone, whilst also developing practical skills they will use throughout their life.“

Here are some of the comments they have received from the pupils:

“We are learning life skills in fun and practical ways”

“I have become more socially confident”

“I’m looking forward to learning to travel independently”

“I can’t wait to go on the ski trip that we have been planning in class”

TES Independent School Awards 2018

The shortlist for the TES Independent School Awards was announced last Friday, and we’re delighted that Falkland House School is on that list!

The awards recognise outstanding examples of best practice in the independent sector, and a total of 97 schools from all over the UK have been shortlisted across 14 categories, with Falkland House one of only two Scottish schools to reach the final stages.

This is the third time in four years that the school has been a contender for a prestigious TES Schools award.

This year, the school has been commended for its innovative Independence Programme, and is one of four finalists for the Special Needs Initiative of the Year Award.

The school’s director, Stuart Jacob, said: “Research has shown that one of the most important predictors of positive outcomes in adulthood is the mastery of a variety of self-care skills. With this in mind, Falkland House School has developed an independence programme which runs alongside the school’s Personal & Social Development curriculum and offers an innovative approach to daily living skills and preparing the pupils for their future. The skills taught bolster the boys’ confidence and their willingness to try new experiences and, as a result, increase their chances for future success in all aspects of life.”

Winners will be revealed during a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 8th February, 2018.

Fundraising Fun

Every year, the Events Committee at Falkland House School organises two fundraising events. One of these is our Wear It Pink Day, when the whole school is involved in a pink bonanza to help raise money for the Breast Cancer Now charity and the life-saving research projects they fund.

Once again, the day was a great success. The event is always a lot of fun and the pupils look forward to it every year. Their expectations were high and they weren’t disappointed!

The school’s assembly hall was awash with pink, and the pupils threw themselves into the spirit of things, donning everything from pink hats and wigs to sunglasses and tutus! The staff didn’t let the side down either, sporting various hues of pink too. With a small donation the boys could roll the penny, try their hand at Hoopla, take a hit at the piñata, guess the name of the cuddly toy or the number of sweets in a jar, browse the book stall or buy some delicious homemade goodies on the cake stall. And as always, the Tombola stall with its fantastic selection of prizes donated by staff and parents drew the biggest crowd.

Our thanks to everyone who helped us raise a total of £340 for this very important cause.

Click below to see our photo album.


Top marks from Care Inspectorate

FHS is celebrating its recent care inspectorate report success!

The Care Inspectorate continues to be impressed by the level of care and support pupils receive at FHS. Following an unannounced visit in June, we were again awarded top marks, giving us a grand total of eleven ‘excellent’ grades. This makes Falkland House School the highest-rated educational establishment of its type in Scotland.

The report praised the staff for their commitment and dedication and noted how the pupils “presented as happy, ambitious, confident individuals who had an extensive range of activities available to further their development”.

The school was also commended for its “very informative” care plans and for the strong collaboration that exists between the school, the pupils and their families, social workers and health professionals.

The report concluded that “Falkland House School were outstanding in the way they provided a caring service in which pupils of all abilities thrived and were supported to reach their full potential. They provided a wide range of opportunities for pupils to develop skills for life. Staff were knowledgeable about the young people’s individual needs and planned their care accordingly.”

Falkland House School Director, Stuart Jacob, said, “We are delighted that Falkland House School has again received top marks in this Care Inspectorate inspection.

“We strive continuously to provide an exemplary service and were pleased with the comments and grading, which again reflect the hard work of our staff.

“These are clearly great accolades for the school and we hope to continue to seek ways in which to make the service even better, building on the robust practices we already have in place.”

Read the report here:

TES Schools Awards

Here’s a preview of our new video, which will be shown at the TES Schools Awards Ceremony in London on 24th June when winners are announced. FHS has been selected as one of the finalists contending for the prestigious TES Alternative Provision School of the Year Award.





A BOOtiful night at the Falkland Halloween party

The boys recently had a ‘ spooktacular’ time at the annual Halloween party.

Atholl House was decorated throughout and the boys were all in costume to mark the occasion. They spent the first part of the evening listening to ghost stories and eating treats, before playing some fun filled games, such as dooking for apples and treacle scones on a string.

Some of the boys also took part in a pumpkin carving competition throughout evening activities which were then put forward to our judging panel.  The winning pumpkins were carved by Lucas W and Dylan M who received their prizes at morning assembly.

MSP John Mason pays a visit to Falkland House School

Staff and pupils at Falkland House School, one of Scotland’s top providers of education for boys with additional support needs, today (Wednesday 21st October) hosted a visit from Glasgow Shettleston MSP John Mason.

Mr Mason was welcomed to the school by staff and pupils and then given a guided tour.

The school was the first independent school in Scotland outwith the National Autistic Society to gain Autism accreditation. They now have 75% of pupils with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder diagnosis and also support Young People with SEBN, ADHD and Tourette’s syndrome.

Director of Falkland House School, Stuart Jacob said ‘We were delighted to welcome Mr Mason to our school to meet with the pupils and talk about some of our current work. Falkland House School prides itself on achieving excellence across the board and we are undertaking a number of ongoing innovative projects which are getting the boys ready for future study and employment.

I would like to thanks Mr Mason for taking the time to come and visit and allowing the boys to show him what they have been learning about. “

Senior pupil, Kieran Rae, said:  “I discussed the work we’ve been doing with Mr Mason. He was really interested in our log cabin build and the Falkland Contract Services Company which we have started. I think he enjoyed his tour of the school and seeing all the different classes.”

John Mason, MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, commented on his visit, saying:   ‘I have to say I was very impressed by my visit.  From all I could see, the 22 boys attending are getting a great education as well as wider support in developing life skills.

“The question for myself now is how we can get a more specialised education experience for the many other youngsters on the autistic spectrum.  Not every school pupil with autism needs to be at a school like this.  But every child on the spectrum needs to have an education that is appropriate for their individual situation.’

As well as being one of the first independent schools in Scotland to gain recognition by the National Autistic Society, Falkland House School also holds the UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award. This award recognises Falkland House’s continued commitment to putting the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child at the heart of the schools planning, policies, practice and ethics.