Dan Y Coed School

With its bright, friendly classrooms infused with the fresh sea air, Dan y Coed is a friendly school for children age 5 to 19, where specialist education and therapies combine to support children in small classes.

For more information, see our latest newsletter here.

School Information


The creative education and therapies teams at Dan y Coed are experienced in supporting children to be active, happy and valued members of their community.

With a strong emphasis on play, identity, social communication and wellbeing, as well as independence and life skills, our team supports children to develop into confident young people with the tools to make their way in the world when they move on.

We believe the voice of the child should be heard, and we provide lots of opportunities for our pupils to contribute in all aspects of school life, through a Student Council, Eco Committee and Children’s United Nations Forum as well as a Young People’s Forum.

Children also enjoy a pioneering community-based work experience programme where they work at The Orb: a shop, café, laundry, office and kitchen located on the high street just a few miles away in Morriston. Children gain essential life and work skills, working in the shop, stocking the shelves, pricing stock, preparing snacks and drinks for friendly customers, and can gain accreditations for their work. We are proud to have been awarded the Careers Wales Quality Mark for our work-experience provision.

Many of our children appreciate routine and structure and so our Summer-break is just two weeks rather than six or seven.

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Needs Supported

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Mixed Genders


Dan y Coed provides bright and stimulating learning environments that embrace individuality, inspire confidence and encourage children to learn through having fun. By focussing on the child and their strengths, personality, abilities and aspirations, as well as their specific needs, our pupils grow into happy and independent young people with confidence and a life that is both socially-valued and fulfilled.

We support children to be active and valued members of their community, through a model of education and care that is underpinned by Positive Behaviour Support which ensures that positive behaviour and learning are celebrated, repeated and reinforced. As a result children associate coming to school with positivity and having fun.

We support pupils to develop skills that help them to progress both in education and in life, encouraging them to make positive choices and maintain their overall wellbeing.

Every child has an individual learning plan based on their level, ability and interests which is therefore stimulating, motivating and engaging. An experienced team of teaching specialists and therapists combine to nurture the child as a whole in a way that is consistent.

We also work closely with families, carers and professionals so that education is delivered with the pupil’s best interests at heart.


Before it was a school and home for children with autism, Dan y Coed had been an outdoor pursuits and activity centre for many years. Purchased from Swansea Council in February 2017, Orbis completely re-designed and re-modelled the site, and the state-of-the-art school opened its doors in November 2017.

Located less than a minute's walk from the golden sands of Swansea Bay, the school has large classrooms for small class sizes, a fully-fitted life skills room, an immersive technology suite and a play area for outdoor activities.

Being located so close to the Gower, this means that we are able to take full advantage of the area’s beautiful natural surroundings to enhance the childrens' learning experience. Many of our children love to be out in the open and what better playground than the miles of sandy beaches that curve around Swansea Bay.

The education team combines with our creative in-house therapy specialists, including Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Positive Behaviour Support practitioners.

Most of our pupils both learn and live at Dan y Coed, residing in our stunning home which is on the same site. Children benefitting greatly from our blended 24 hour waking curriculum of education and care.

Dan Y Coed — School & Home

School Inspection Reports

Dan y Coed School is inspected by Estyn. In our latest annual monitoring inspection, Estyn stated:

The safeguarding culture across the school is strong. Staff knowledge of the safeguarding procedures is supported effectively through a well-planned programme of professional development opportunities.

Pupil behaviour across the school is well managed as staff are highly skilled in using preventative approaches to minimise pupil behaviour incidents.

The school provides a nurturing environment.

The close collaboration between teaching staff and the on-site clinical team at the school provides an effective approach to meeting the needs of all pupils.

The highly effective use of IT systems by staff across the school provides consistency in the recording, reporting and review of progress for all pupil.

The school’s holistic approach towards pupils’ individual personal development is a strength and enables pupils to acquire important life skills.

The headteacher provides strong leadership across the school.

Effective communication systems for staff strongly promote a culture of sharing of good practice and collaborative working, which effectively strengthens school systems. This strong team approach is successfully supporting the progress of pupils.


Provision of Information

All pupils have individual education plans which reflect their needs and their statement / EHCP objectives. The plan ensures that learning is consistent for each child, building on their existing skills and with clearly stated learning objectives as they prepare for future pathways. These plans are shared with all stakeholders.

If pupils have additional language needs extra provision is provided as required.

For information regarding the particulars to the right, please contact:

Chairperson of the Board of Governors:

Lucy Pottinger, Director of Education


Orbis Education & Care

Vision Court

Caxton Place



CF23 8HA

Health and safety information can also be requested from the school.

The following information is available on request:

  • The school's academic performance
  • Number of staff employed at the school
    (including temporary staff and a summary of their qualifications)
  • Any formal complaints received
  • Education and welfare provision for pupils with statements, and for pupils for whom English or Welsh is an additional language.

Safeguarding Information

Head of Education and Designated Safeguarding Officer

Emma Thomas

email: emma.thomas@orbis-group.co.uk

tel: 01792343139

Deputy Safeguarding Officer

Kimberley Matthews

email: kimberley.matthews@orbis-group.co.uk

tel: 01792343139

Dan Y Coed Newsletter

The Dan Y Coed Newsletter takes a look at everything that the team have been up to in the school. From topics they've studied to fun activities they've enjoyed, the Dan Y Coed Newsletter will cover it all!

To read the Dan Y Coed Christmas 2023 Christmas Newsletter, click here.

To read the Dan Y Coed 2023 Term 1 newsletter, click here.

To read the Dan Y Coed BANK Newsletter, click here.

To read the summer term edition of the 2022-2023 year, click here.



Chief Executive Officer

Vision Court, Pentwyn Road, Cardiff, CF23 8HA

Tel: 029 2002 9922

Emma Thomas

Head of Education

Dan Y Coed School
Huntington Close, West Cross

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Parent Information



Pupils at Dan y Coed follow a fun and engaging curriculum based on their skills, needs and interests.

This includes appropriate access to the National Curriculum, as well as a wider curriculum of activities designed to develop learning, social confidence and life skills, and maintain good health and wellbeing.

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School Uniform

School Uniform

The school provides all pupils with a school uniform free of charge. This includes 2 x polo shirts and 2 x sweatshirts.

We understand that some children have sensory needs relating to the fabrics they can wear, and we are always happy to adapt our uniform in a way to ensure every pupil’s comfort. This may include wearing t-shirts instead of polo shirts and zip up hoodies instead of jumpers for example. We want all of our pupils to love being part of our school and we are happy to work together so that all children wear the uniform with a smile!

Orbis Education & Care - School uniform

School Menu

School Menu

We offer a varied and healthy range of mid-morning snacks and lunches. Each day our pupils have a choice of three delicious options for lunch, which change on a four-weekly basis.

We cater for vegetarians as well as dietary requirements relating to faith and other dietary needs.

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Term Dates

Term Dates

Download the 2023-2024 term dates here.

Dan y Coed Term Dates

Pupil Voice Groups

Pupil Forum

The Pupil Forum is a regular group-wide meeting that invites pupils from all of our schools to come together to make important decisions about their schools. Not only is this a great way for children to meet other children from other schools and make new friends, but it also ensures that our young people are given a voice and are heard.

Our aim is to promote confidence in children and for them to understand the value of their own voice and their opinions. We feel that our children’s voices are as important as anyone else’s and the Pupil Forum helps our pupils to gain confidence in communicating with their peers and understand the value in speaking up.

Action points that arise from Pupil Forum discussions are assigned to members of the management team to action, with their progress re-visited at subsequent meetings. This makes the management team accountable for changes requested directly by the pupils.

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Student Council

The Student Council (affectionately known as the ‘Cool Group’!) is made up of pupil representatives from each class. Each representative is chosen by their peers to represent the views of their class to ensure that the good things continue and that required improvements are voiced, heard and acted upon.

The Student Council meets once every half term to discuss everything from school dinners to suggesting events and activities. Children give theirs and their peers’ opinions and decisions are made around such things as garden design, resources and facilities. Children on the Student Council are able to continue to develop their communication skills whilst representing and taking responsibility for the views of their class.

A suggestion box is also available at all times in school so that all pupils have the opportunity to communicate their ideas. The Student Council always ensures decisions are made, recorded and shared with the whole school.

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Learning Council

The Learning Council is a pupil voice group that offers children opportunities to provide input into their curriculum, including what they learn and how they do it. Pupils are encouraged to invest in, and take ownership of their learning experience and so it makes sense that we listen to their learning preferences. After all, we want our learners to associated school with fun and positivity, and equally we want our pupils to engage and gain as much from their education as possible.

What better way to motivate a child to learn than to ask them what learning means to them and what it should look like.

Eco Club

Many of our pupils have a keen interest in the environment and the world around them and our Eco Clubs provide a haven for children who are keen to help the school run as efficiently and environmentally-friendly as possible.

In order to help our schools stay green there is a wide range of activities at Eco Club including recycling projects, monitoring the use of light switches and power points, working around the garden, learning about nature and the environment and more. Eco Club activities are suitable for any age group within the school, and are designed to make our learning environments safer, greener and more environmentally-friendly.

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Healthy School Squad

Pupils work closely with our team to ensure that school dinners are healthy, tasty and nutritious.

A healthy snack-bar operates in school thanks to an initiative by the Healthy School Squad. This means there are more healthy snacks on offer, including fresh fruit and vegetables. Healthy School Squad was established at Dan y Coed thanks to a pupil-led survey, the result of which were fed back to the team by a pupil. It has proven to be a very popular additional to the school.

Healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle form an important part of learning.

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Our schools work to be recognised as Rights Respecting places of learning.

Rights Respecting is a Unicef programme which campaigns to put children’s rights at the heart of their schools. The aim is to embed children’s rights into the school’s central ethos and culture, with the purpose of improving confidence, self-esteem, relationships and wellbeing, and developing every child’s abilities to their full potential. Children learn to know and understand their own rights in the world.

The UN Rights Respecting Award recognises the school’s achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into practice within the school community and beyond. We are currently working through this to achieve the full award.

Learning Outside The Classroom

At Dan y Coed our ASPIRE strand of the curriculum has been designed to develop students’ skills to be positive, contributing citizens within their community in school and beyond. In September 2022 we embarked on our journey with the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) to further develop and embed meaningful and purposeful opportunities throughout our curriculum and work towards a recognised accreditation with the CLOtC.

“Providing students with more opportunities to access high quality learning beyond the classroom experiences can:

  • Open their eyes to the world around them and allows them to develop into well-rounded citizens
  • Enhance academic attainment and personal development
  • Support their health and well-being, and spiritual, moral, social and cultural needs”

(CLOtC website)

“Through the Learning Outside the Classroom sessions, pupils have gained new social friendships with other YPs in other classes. It has given the opportunity to socialise and gain more skills such as money management, ordering food and using public transport.Class 2

“General literacy skill has transferred very well into offsite activities in terms of reading signage. Time on task and general ability to focus on tasks not of their choosing have been great for working at MAD. LP has been able to access the board game café and develop his turn taking and ability to enjoy mutual games that he started in class.” Class 4

“Pupils are building positive relationships with one another because of their interactions outside the classroom. Parents have reported better sleep for their children after physically demanding activities. Parents have reported better relationships between themselves and their children as a result of improved mood of pupils which can, at least in part, be attributed to their LOtC activities.” Class 5