Case Studies

Anonymised case studies



Harry has a diagnosis of ADHD and has experienced significant trauma and loss in his early life, including separation from his mother and the chronic illness of his father. He has witnessed severe domestic abuse and suffered physical and emotional abuse. He arrived at an Octavia House School following a permanent exclusion for violence.

As a result of intensive support and a personalised learning programme involving a high level of 1:1 teaching, Harry made exceptional social and academic progress. By the end of his first academic year with us, his reading age had increased by two years, and he had made two whole levels of progress in writing.

Our high staff ratios and therapeutic approach, allowing pupils ample opportunity to talk, reflect and begin to work through troubling emotions, enabled Harry to start to feel secure in an educational environment for the first time in his life.

Harry is now fully integrated into his class and able to interact more appropriately with his peers. He has formed deep and secure attachments with key staff, who say that he is more relaxed, confident and far less withdrawn. His weekly sessions of art therapy have enabled him to develop better emotional resilience, and, with the help of his therapist, he is starting to process some of the traumatic events from his past.



Emily was removed from her birth parents at the age of two because of a history of chronic neglect. As a result of her early experiences, Emily's emotional well-being, physical development and attachments were severely affected. Emily did not learn how to walk until the age of three, struggled with her gross and fine motor skills, was severely underachieving and was malnourished.

Emily's previous school reported that she “craves attention to a level that is uncontrollable”. At her third school, Emily is a happy and settled pupil at Octavia House Schools and has made over two milestones of progress in all subjects since starting with us.

Emily now works independently and has more confidence when it comes to learning. She has formed strong and positive relationships with her key adults, which enables her to feel safe and reduces the need to seek out negative attention.

Emily's therapy sessions helped her to develop her ability to identify emotional states and to control her behaviour. Emily worked hard to manage her feelings and behaviour in the context of early difficulties such as being abandoned by her birth parents and experiencing neglect. Now, she is far more able to self-regulate, focus on learning and is making strong progress in all areas.



Ben joined Octavia House Schools at secondary transfer. He travels a significant journey to get to school each day because no provision in his surrounding area felt they could meet his complex needs. Ben has foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), learning difficulties and has a long and complex history of social care services involvement including time in the care system in his earliest years. Ben arrived at an Octavia House School with rock-bottom levels of self-esteem and high levels of violence, physical destruction and a confused understanding of his own identity.

At an Octavia House School, as well as accessing our therapeutic values-centred curriculum, Ben has weekly dramatherapy, daily bicycle mechanic workshops and access to non-contact boxing whenever he needs it.

When circumstances at home became especially challenging, Octavia House staff worked closely with social care services and put Ben on a one-to-one behaviour for learning programme which provided him with further support and opportunities for reflection, reward and re-channelling of negative energies into more positive ones.

As well as Ben learning over time to trust his key staff, feel safe and understand that he is capable of very many things, he was frequently commented on as being 'a different child' and not only dramatically reduced the times he engaged in dangerous and disruptive behaviours but also made outstanding progress across the academic curriculum.