Welcome to The PLACE at Arden Grove –one of Norfolk’s Specialist Resource Bases; an additionally funded, short term provision for children aged 5-7 years, within the grounds of Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School. 

At The PLACE at Arden we practise Playful Learning with Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy. We understand that every child and therefore, every developing brain is different! Children learn through the many different experiences they have, alongside the warm and positive relationships they build with their parents or carers, their families and their teaching teams. All these experiences help little brains grow, so that children are able to get along with others and become curious, playful and enthusiastic learners.  

Over time, children develop something we call self-regulation. This means they are able to manage their own emotions, responses and actions. They are able to listen well and begin to feel confident to try new experiences and learning, (even if it means making mistakes or having to try very hard!) 

Every child has their own interests, strengths, characteristics, differences and needs. For many different reasons, some children may need a longer length of time to develop early self-regulation skills. Perhaps they may find the expectations and interactions of the busy classroom environment overwhelming and become quickly disengaged from their learning. Their rising stress levels bring big emotions with confusing behaviours and their self-esteem and friendships begin to suffer. Children are often then referred to as having social and emotional mental health difficulties (SEMH). At The PLACE at Arden however, we look at this differently. 

We have two classrooms each for up to eight children, with high staffing ratios and access to dedicated support. Initially, we help children know they are safe within their new environment and we help them build trust in our adults and other children. As children begin to feel calmer we work with the child, their family and their home school to provide a bespoke, engaging curriculum, alongside a continuous web of therapeutic approaches. 

We understand that some children may need more support to manage big emotions and some children may have gaps in their social and academic learning. Many of our children are also neurodivergent - they feel, think and learn in different ways and they therefore need us to be understanding and accepting of their needs. They need us to believe in them, to help them re-engage in learning and to provide strategies to help them become successful in their home school, or wherever the next steps of their educational journey will be.

At The PLACE at Arden we aim to understand and celebrate every child; to support them to feel safe, know how to understand emotions, maintain relationships and become happy, confident learners. 

Our Aims 

  • To enable children to return to mainstream education, better able to emotionally self-regulate and with improved emotional wellbeing.
  • To work in partnership with home schools, helping them to better understand how to support children with complex Social, Emotional Mental Health (SEMH) needs and to be equipped to enable successful transitions for children coming back to mainstream provision.
  • To have a clear and accessible pathway for accessing support for children within mainstream schools.
  • To provide families of children with SEMH needs with access to appropriate support and strategies and to understand how best to support their children.
  • For families, home schools and SEMH bases to work collaboratively with children to enable them to flourish and make progress within a mainstream school provision.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I know if my child is struggling in the classroom?

If your child is struggling with the expectations and interactions of the busy classroom environment they may be displaying a range of behaviours. Perhaps your child already has additional support in their home school and their class teacher (or other professionals) have identified social and emotional needs.

Your child may:

  • Need support to understand big emotions such as anger, sadness and anxiety. They may find following adult’s instructions very tricky; avoiding demands, being disruptive, hiding or running away 
  • Need support to calm and manage aggressive, impulsive, or controlling behaviours      
  • Have difficulties playing happily, making friends and getting along with others
  • Need support to build their attention and working memory skills, to re-engage them in learning and build their self-esteem  

What do I do if I think my child needs support in managing their emotions and behaviour?

Please have a discussion with your child’s class teacher and SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator who can contact the Base Lead at the nearest SEMH base for further advice about a possible placement. You do not need an Education, Health and Care Plan to access these places.

Can I make a referral?

Parents and carers cannot make a direct referral to The Place although you will be involved in any discussions. Your child’s school will need to contact The Place Lead to arrange an observation before submitting a referral via the online Norfolk County Council Referral Form. A small group of professionals, led by Norfolk County Council (called the panel) will decide if a placement is appropriate, taking into account previous reports and observations. 
Further details can be found here: Making a referral to a Specialist Resource Base (SRB) - Schools

What does the typical day look like for my child in The PLACE at Arden?

A day in The PLACE at Arden starts with a welcoming morning greeting where we connect with each other, help calm any worries and give everyone time to transition from their home life to school life. We help children communicate and play with each other, follow our adults’ lead and follow our rules, whilst supporting them all to be valued members of our teams. 

Whilst our primary aim is to support children with their social and emotional development, we still follow a predictable timetable similar to their home school. We plan playful, sneaky and irresistible group learning activities, incorporating stories, literacy and number fun, science, geography, the arts, personal, social and health education (PSHE) and history. 

We also have regular target times throughout the day when children are gently challenged to complete tasks that are matched to their individual learning styles, needs and abilities. 

  • Session times at The PLACE at Arden are from 8.30am to 2.30pm 
  • Our two classrooms are called Team Brave and Team Courage
  • A dinner will be provided for your child if you require this. 
  • Your child can wear their normal home school uniform
  • The PLACE at Arden is also supported by the Base Adviser, Educational Psychologists and a Family Learning Support Team

What kind of things will my child do in The PLACE?

The activities and support that we will be using in The PLACE at Arden will initially be aimed at helping your child to calm (regulate) big emotions and build trust in adults. 

We aim to support children:

To connect – to learn to build trust in our adults and to learn adults are there to help them. To help children develop the skills to make and maintain friendships

To be empowered – to help them understand how to help their bodies and brains stay calm and help them understand and manage their emotions

To have a voice - learn that their opinions, feelings, emotions and needs are important and valued.

Will my child still get to see their friends and teachers?

Yes, your child will return to their home school every week and their teachers will visit them in The PLACE at Arden too. 

What do I tell my child about joining The PLACE at Arden?

When we know that your child has been offered a placement we will arrange to visit your child in their home school and for you and your child to come and visit the team at The PLACE at Arden.  We also send you lots of information including photographs of their classrooms and a little story explaining why they are coming to join our teams. 

We tell all our children that we will help them with their big feelings so that they can make friends, have fun and help their brain to do their best thinking and learning. 

How long will my child be going to The PLACE at Arden?

Your child can attend The PLACE at Arden for up to four terms and will remain on their home school roll during that time. 

Children can attend for up to four days each week, returning to their home school every Friday and for increasing days in each subsequent term. 

During their time with us we will work alongside the home school to help them understand your child’s needs and provide strategies to enable a successful transition. 

You can get even more details about The PLACE here.