The Quay School Pebble Lodge

Pebble Lodge

Ensuring continuing education for students receiving support for significant mental health issues, requiring assessment, treatment and care in a specialist psychiatric unit, both as residential and day patients.


Thank you for taking a few moments to read more about the education we provide at Pebble Lodge, a psychiatric unit supporting young people from across Dorset. 

Our role is to ensure, as far as possible, continuity in education and a positive contribution to a successful recovery. We often work in partnership with the student’s mainstream school, enabling the student to remain up to date with work set by their teachers, helping smooth the path to reintegration. 

Since we began working at Pebble Lodge in 2012, our aim has always been to reflect, as far as possible, a mainstream school experience. This extends to providing extra-curricular activities of the sort students would expect to access in their school environment. 

In a recent CUNIQ review of Pebble Lodge, the inspectors noted that the education provided was deemed to be a strength of the unit. 

Who is the Pebble Lodge unit for?

Pebble Lodge caters for students suffering from a wide variety of mental health conditions.
In partnership with health colleagues, our education team works with all young people admitted to Pebble Lodge and is experienced in helping students continue with their learning despite their challenging circumstances.

Our approach

Every week our education professionals join with the Pebble Lodge health team in their ward rounds, to determine the needs of every student. From this, and from discussions with the students themselves, our teaching staff develop short or longer-term education plans, as appropriate. These are based on the curriculum for Key Stage 3 or 4, with a focus on maintaining progress, developing emotional literacy, and where appropriate, developing functional literacy and numeracy. 

We also provide vocational courses at Pebble Lodge in areas such as Hairdressing, Catering and Horticulture, alongside a range of enrichment activities. 

Some students leave Pebble Lodge to join the Parkstone Base of The Quay School, which works closely with Dorset and Poole CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service).


Education is an essential part of the recovery programme for students in Pebble Lodge. It helps them develop routines and makes it easier to return to a mainstream school or other learning centre.

Our curriculum covers Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. We operate two pathways; Home School and Project Groups. Home School students retain connection with their own school. We support them as they complete work provided by their school, helping the student to at least keep pace and often exceed their peers in mainstream education and facilitating a return. 

Project Group students are post 16 at the point of referral to us and are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET). For these we run a six week cycle with the aim of developing functional skills in English and Maths alongside courses with progression routes to further education, employment and training.

Enrichment is provided through activities such as AQA Food Technology, Hair & Beauty or Art.

The essential elements of our curriculum are:

  • Emotional literacy, teaching students to value themselves and others. 
  • As far as possible, core learning is blended into the vocational courses.
  • Where appropriate, students can access relevant work experience.
  • All student work leads to a qualification.