Pinderfields Hospital

Pupil Referral Unit

College Grove, Castleford

WF10 5NS

01977 723 038

About Us

Woodlands Nurture Unit is a small specialist school for children who are 5 to 11 years old.

We have up to 16 children. All children have profound social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH). Many children have communication and interaction needs as well.

Children learn and gain skills to enable them to reach their full potential. This does include English and maths. However, our curriculum also has a strong emphasis on SEMH development.

We provide:

  • A specialist curriculum to meet children’s SEMH
  • Specialist interventions outlined in their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • A high level of adult support

We are on the site of a mainstream school (Ackton Pastures). We have good links with the school which allows us to work together on things like school dinners or cleaning. However, we are a specialist setting that is fully separate from the school.

The setting is based on the Nurture Principles. These help provide a safe, supportive environment to learn. For more info on nurture, please see


Our main focus is to develop pupil’s personal skills so that they are prepared for success in later life.

Pupils learn maths and English in a way that is tailored to their individual needs.

We cover other aspects of the curriculum through topics and creative learning.

Interventions and Therapies

We provide a range of interventions. These are often outlined in the child’s EHCP.

We also assess each child’s SEMH needs using a system called the Boxall profile.

Our responses vary from child to child and term to term. They include:

  • Five Point Scale
  • Nurture Talk
  • Therapeutic story writing
  • Talking Partners
  • Social Stories
  • Circle time
  • Lego Therapy
  • I am Special
  • All about Me work
  • Blob Trees

If we need extra SEND advice, we work with various services. For example, we can link with Educational Psychology, Occupational Therapy, CAMHS or Speech and Language. We always ask parental consent before we make any referral to these services.

Meet our Team

 Teacher in Charge

Amy Holmes-Edwards

Teacher in Charge

Ash Hunter

Senior Specialist Learning Support Officer

Ash Stenton


Specialist Learning Support Officer

Joanne Wortley

Specialist Learning Support Officer

Julie Lockwood

Specialist Learning Support Officer

Gloddy Deans

Specialist Learning Support Assistant

Wendy Oakes

Specialist Learning Support Assistant

Alissa Ramsdale


Specialist Learning Support Assistant

Emily Scrupps

Specialist Learning Support Assistant

Rachel Carrigan




All our children have an Education Health and Care Plan. Typically, parents request a place at Woodlands via an EHCP Annual Review (or early annual review).


Prior to admission:

  • There will have been concerns regarding the child’s SEND and the best setting for them.
  • Extra professionals will already be involved (e.g. Educational Psychologist, Advisory Teachers from the Wakefield’s Inclusion Team) 


The next steps are:

  1. The request for a place is considered by the Education Health and Care Panel. This is an expert panel that meets weekly at Normanton Town Hall.
  2. SENART, on behalf of the panel, usually consult us by sending the EHCP and any other useful information about your child.
  3. If we have any free places, we consider if we would be suitable for your child.
  4. If we can meet your child’s needs, we confirm this to SENART.
  5. SENART either issue an EHCP naming us as your new school, or send our response to the panel for further consideration.

If a place is approved, we contact you (or feel free to get in touch) to chat about the next steps towards joining us.

Parent Comments

  • "He is always smiling and cannot wait to tell us what he has done.."


  • "I’m overwhelmed at how much progress in mental health, understanding herself and others and general happiness my child is experiencing."


  •  "He is rewarded and praised for the basic tasks which is so important. The staff are so friendly, patient and engaging."


  • "He has learnt to read which is big progress. He has also been doing work and joining in, whereas before he refused."


  • "My child wasn’t able to write when he started the resource. He is now writing and you can read it as well."


  • "Our first EHCP review took place recently and I have never had positive feedback like at that meeting! Equally, I no longer feel judged and under pressure." 


  • "He loves school. He would come to school weekends if he could.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch via email or phone:

We are based in Castleford, on the site of Ackton Pastures Primary School.

Find out More

  • Our General Information page has even more information. Click here.
  • Our Thornes page has information about our sister school at Thornes, in Wakefield. Click here.