In 2004 Stepping Stones School was founded for children with mild to moderate disabilities. After starting with just 3 students, it quickly established itself as a successful alternative for those struggling to thrive in mainstream education and the overwhelming demand for spaces led to the need for expansion. In 2016, with
the support of the DFN Foundation, the former home of Arthur Conan Doyle, Undershaw was opened. With small class sizes and a more flexible curriculum, Undershaw has become a leading education centre renowned for their provision of education for children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND). Their Post-16 Programmes work to support students transitioning out of the familiar setting at Undershaw and prepares them for further education and the next steps in their career.
Students work closely with the Cookie Bar as part of their work experience, creating a safe environment for them to be introduced into the world of work and providing an opportunity to learn new skills in a familiar setting.
Over the years we have worked closely with Undershaw funding creative arts programmes for the students as well as running an annual event to celebrate their achievements, where students perform on stage to a crowd of 1,000 guests. Over the years the Foundation has supported a range of activities and events from more educational opportunities like visiting the office to building social skills on ski trips. The new Alumni Series filmed by former student and videographer, Joe Johnson, follows several alumni who were some of the first students at Stepping Stones when it opened. Seeing their journeys and how they've gone on to experience their dreams and beyond is an excellent demonstration of what can be achieved given the right support. You can watch the full series here.