Specialist Education

Cambian Whinfell School

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110 Windermere Road, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 5EZ

Phone: 01539 723322

Whinfell School


Cambian Whinfell School is a 52-week education service that offers 'Outstanding' residential education and care for males aged 11-19 with a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome and high functioning Austism Spectrum Disorder with associated challenging behaviour and complex needs.


Our young people have often experienced significant disruption to their schooling in the past and may come to us from multiple placement breakdowns. They may also present a risk to themselves or others due to high levels of challenging behaviour or insufficient personal development. Typically they present with high levels of anxiety, low self-esteem and have negative associations around education. Our job is to over-turn these things.


We believe that is is not enough to just provide a safe and happy school experience. In a supportive way, we want to challenge all of our young people to grow as individuals and acquire the skills, confidence, knowledge and qualifications to be as successful and resilient as they possibly can be when they eventually move on to further education or independence.


Therapeutic outdoor learning (TOL) is one of the cornerstones of our curriculum at Cambian Whinfell School. It is a vital element in 'grounding' the boys so that they full engage in the wider programme of education and personal development.


Sessions are often specifically informed by the therapy team and may be designed to enhance areas such as communication skills, collaboration and expressive language or may focus on developing motor skills, core stability or coordination, for example.


Alongside this we recognise the immense psychological benefits for our young people of spending time in the outdoors. It is a great environment for developing risk awareness and, in a carefully supported way of pushing students out of their comfort zones without unduly raising anxiety.


Shap Road is a four-bed, male-only transition house attached to Cambian Whinfell, catering for young men with a history of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, severe learning difficulties, challenging behaviour or complex needs. Offering a 52-week provision, the CQC-registered service gives students the opportunity to extend their placement after graduating from school up until the age of 19 and gives them the chance to adjust to life outside of the school calendar before moving on to further education or employment, working through a carefully monitored transition process. 


View our vision and ethos statement here.

Student Profile

May have one or more of the following:


•  Male, ages 11-19

•  Primary diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome

•  Mild to moderate learning difficulties

•  Complex needs

•  Challenging behaviour

•  Often multiple exclusions

•  History of placement breakdowns

•  Previous admission to a CAMHS inpatient unit

•  Difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia

•  Has an Education, Health and Care Plan

Our dedicated team include:

✓ Specialist teachers

✓ Teaching assistants

✓ Residential staff

✓ Key workers

✓ Speech and language therapists

✓ Clinical psychologist

✓ Consultant psychiatrist

✓ Occupational therapist