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Reading Girls' School

Reading Girls' School

The Haven Programme

Who is the Programme For?                                                                                               

The Haven programme is an early intervention programme designed to meet the needs of vulnerable girls in years 6, 7 and 8 who have difficulties associated with their social, emotional and/or behavioural development, which is impacting on their academic progress.

How it Works

The programme is a short term placement of 12 to 18 weeks duration. The setting is small, with a maximum of 12 students on the programme.  Students remain on roll in their host school. On arrival, students are assessed to determine their emotional and academic levels in order to identify key issues or barriers to their learning/development.  The programme has a therapeutic bias, based on nurture, encouraging relationships, problem solving and self awareness.  As the programme comes to an end, The Haven, host school, student and parent/carer, will agree a phased reintegration back to their host school or alternative placement if this is considered necessary.

Transition Programme

Term 6 of each academic year is reserved for transition.  Shy, vulnerable and anxious students from schools in or outside of the Reading Borough attend a 2 day a week programme.  This comprises of on-site activities at The Haven as well as off-site activities designed to build confidence, encourage friendships, positive relationships and team work to reduce the anxiety associated with transition to secondary school.

There are a maximum of 12 students per cohort.

Who We Work With

The Haven team, work in collaboration with host schools, parents/carers and multi agency professionals to take a holistic approach to students needs.  The Haven staff team work alongside a range of external professional including, Primary Mental Health Workers, School Nurse, Social Workers, Family Workers, PASS workers and Education Welfare Officers. External professionals may deliver staff training, work with students in small groups or where we feel that a child would benefit from more intensive support, work one to one.

Personalised Support

Each student has a personalised programme designed to help them develop resilience, competence in core skills and confidence to succeed in their host school and in the wider community. The programme includes host school support, family support, signposting and outreach.


  • ELSA Emotional Literacy
  • Art/Art Therapy sessions
  • Daily literacy and numeracy
  • Cooking
  • Hair & Beauty
  • Skills for Every Day Life
  • Project work –  Working with others and Individual
  • Citizenship – Safer Schools Officer
  • Outdoor Academy – Ufton Nervet
  • Visualisation/Relaxation Therapy
  • ‘Girls Talk’ – facilitated by School Nurse – includes puberty, personal hygiene, healthy eating

Entry Criteria

Students can be considered for the programme if they are in year 6, 7 or 8 with needs or difficulties associated with their social, emotional and/or behavioural development.

Students do not need to have a statement in order to access the provision.


Students progress is reviewed termly.  If other professionals are involved with the young person, The Haven will attend review meetings with a view to feeding back progress or concerns and ensuring that we work with other agencies in assisting the child and family to meet multi agency targets.


The programme has proved highly successful, seeing improvements in student attendance, literacy and numeracy levels and emotional development with successful re-integration into their host school, secondary school or alternative provision.

What Students Say

‘I enjoyed meeting new people, who were going through the same thing as me…I learned to off load my troubles and trust people again (year 7 student)

What Parents Say

‘My child has come on leaps and bounds in terms of her attitude to learning, confidence and academic progress’ – (year 7 parent)

‘Thank you for everything you and your team have done with my daughter. She has loved it, and learned more about herself since she has been with you’. (year 6 parent)

‘Not only was my daughter supported, but so was I’ (year 7 parent)

What schools say

‘Mary struggled in school, often disturbing the flow of lessons and affecting the learning of other students in the class. Attending The Haven meant that she could get the attention and intensive help that she needed and the year group could get the teaching they needed without disruption’  (Year 6 Teacher)


Referrals can be made by the host school, or by any professional who has concerns about a young person and feels they could benefit from a period of intensive support.


There is no charge for Reading Borough maintained Schools.  Charges are applicable to Out of Borough schools, Free Schools and Academies. 

For further information or to arrange a visit, contact Jo Polle – Head of The Haven on 0118 921 3400 or email:

The Haven. Changing lives.  One day at a time……