Over a hundred years ago a child with special needs, who could not be accommodated in a parish school, was left with the Dominican Sisters of St Rose Convent in Stroud. Through the inspiring courage of the Sisters, this event led them to found St Rose’s in 1912 – one of the very first special schools in the country. With money they borrowed, they bought and extensively renovated a house adjoining the convent. Through dedicated work they created a place ready to nurture and provide specialist and individual education and residential care for children and young people.
St Rose’s was officially recognised by the Board of Education in April 1912. Shortly after this came its first inspection and the comments of the inspectors then would ring true today: “the happy look of the children”.
From early on students were encouraged to think about others. In 1915 they entertained wounded and recovering soldiers from the First World War who were in hospital in Stroud. They all had tea together afterwards.
The school continued to grow and flourish, taking children from all parts of the country.
Encouraging independence of students has always been important. In 1923 a Board of Education report said ‘plenty of scope has been given to develop the children’s self-reliance.’
The social life of students and involvement in the local community runs through St Rose’s history, illustrated by a talk given in 1969: ‘Out of school activities include swimming, riding and Guides. There is plenty of space outdoors. Weekends are relaxed and children choose their own activities. We often take children out, on holiday or shopping.’
In 1973 children took part in a sponsored silence to raise money for Mother Teresa. News of this reached her, and she visited St Rose’s later that year. Today, students take part in many charitable activities to raise money for others, such dressing up as superheroes for Children in Need.
Growth and development has been a continuous part of St Rose’s history. Many buildings have been bought and adapted, and purpose built. The specialist and individual care for students and their families has developed to meet twenty-first century needs, retaining the ethos and happy, family atmosphere created from its inspiring beginnings.
St Rose’s aims to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that offers stimulating opportunities appropriate to the needs of our students.
A team of experienced therapists are employed directly by the school to work alongside education and care staff. Collaborative therapy and sharing that knowledge is integral to the work of our school.
When a child or young person is happy, they have the best chance of progressing and achieving their goals. Ensuring that your child’s emotional needs are met is as important as their physical requirements.