The Quay School Parkstone Campus

Parkstone Base

Specialist, personalised education for students unable to attend mainstream school, usually for health reasons.


Thank you for taking a few moments to read more about the Parkstone Base of The Quay School. Our team’s role is to improve the life chances of our students by providing a high standard of education, both academically and socially, in a safe environment. 

Our aim is to stimulate and nurture aspiration and confidence,allowing students to reintegrate back into mainstream education or go on to further education, with a sense of purpose and direction, something that they often lack when they first arrive. 

We operate a child-centred approach to education, taking personalised learning to a new level by creating unique learning plans for each student. The results we have achieved from our methods speak for themselves - in just a few years we have won huge respect from stakeholders and partners in the local area. 

One very tangible sign of our success is the progress of our students after leaving The Quay School. In 2013, 97% were in further education, employment or  training.

Who is the Parkstone Base for?

The Parkstone Base provides a safe, secure and positive environment for students, the majority of whom have been referred to us by health professionals. Some  have physical health problems or are teenage parents.

Their struggle to engage with education often reflects a fear of failure and low self-esteem, which our solution-focussed approach enables them to overcome.

Parkstone accepts students referred by NHS consultants for physical or mental health conditions that prevent them attending a mainstream school. We work closely with health colleagues and in particular the Tier 3 CAMHS team to ensure we provide appropriate support for each student.

Of all our units, our Parkstone provision most closely mirrors a mainstream curriculum, offering Key Stage 3 and 4 classes in small groups of between six and twelve pupils. 

Students attending Parkstone access a combination of GCSEs, vocational courses and education in functional literacy and numeracy skills, while  also enjoying participation in sports and active leisure. Alongside this learning, students develop their emotional literacy and communication skills.

Our approach

Nurturing aspiration is embedded in The Quay School ethos, and we make a strong connection between positive outcomes and future employment and training opportunities for our students. 

The specific needs of every student are assessed, leading to an individual education plan. This is built around both the student’s current circumstances and their  future ambitions. Our Information, Advice and Guidance Coordinator is involved in the very first meeting, asking the question: “Where do you want to go?” 

We work with the student to overcome barriers to personal success. Our ambition, for all students who attend the Parkstone Base, is to see them go on to a  mainstream school or college, equipped with the confidence, skills and qualifications that will allow them to flourish.

Organisation and structure

The Parkstone team have extensive experience in supporting the most vulnerable young people to achieve success, despite their complex medical needs. They  are deeply aspirational for their students and are constantly looking for innovative solutions to help them overcome barriers.

The Parkstone team includes dedicated leaders, teachers, learning mentors, teaching assistants and administrative staff, supported by the wider Quay School team. Students receive regular support from specialist staff who serve all the school campuses, including coordinators for literacy, numeracy and emotional  literacy, IAG (Information, Advice and Guidance), attendance and education welfare officers.


We provide an aspirational curriculum that prepares students for the next stage of life after school, typically education, employment or training.

Key Stage 3 curriculum

All students study: English, Maths, Science, Humanities, PSD and Sport. Additionally they can choose two optional subjects, such as: Food & Nutrition, Dance &  Drama, Statistics, Horticulture. 

Where appropriate, students can sit exams in Functional Skills or BTECs. The primary outcome we work towards with Key Stage 3 students is their reintegration into a mainstream school.

Key Stage 4 curriculum

The essential elements of our curriculum are:

  • Emotional literacy, teaching students to value themselves and others.
  • Where appropriate, students can access relevant work experience.
  • All student work leads to a qualification.

All students study:

  • GCSE English, Maths and Science.
  • Sport.

Additionally they can choose from the following:

  • GCSE: Art, History, English Literature, Additional Science.
  • BTEC or City & Guilds: Cooking, Textiles, IT, Health & Social, Hair & Beauty, Land-based Studies, Introduction to Law.
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award (bronze).