Southlands School

Co-educational Day & Residential Preparatory, Senior & Sixth Form

Vicars Hill, Boldre, Lymington, Hampshire, SO41 5QB

01590 675350

Head of School

Alison Priddle

Age Range

7 – 19 years

Total Pupils


Special Needs


Southlands School is an Ofsted-registered independent specialist school, offering 38-week through to 52-week residential and day placements for boys and girls aged 7-19 years old with a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome and other associated difficulties on the Autistic Spectrum.

Set in its own extensive grounds, which contain an outdoor swimming pool, an angling lake and hard-court surfaces for recreation. The school site also has nine separate family style homes, one within the main building and the remainder spread across the site. Decisions are made regarding which home accommodates young people depending on their age, social interactions, presenting difficulties and potentially their changing needs. The young people are also consulted on the matter. Both the residential accommodation and educational facilities are contained on one campus - within four acres of New Forest countryside.

Our accommodation provides a high quality caring and nurturing environment as close to a family situation as possible, which also aims to recognise the developmental needs of each individual within the group. All the residential accommodation has single occupancy bedrooms and some have en-suite facilities. Each living group benefits from communal lounges, bathrooms and kitchen areas. Most residential houses also have an alternative activity room to cater for more than one activity at a time. The Lodge is currently a house which is set apart from the rest of the accommodation, providing a more nurturing environment for those younger children who require such an approach, including its own garden and outdoor play equipment. Young people have input into the décor of their homes and bedrooms through weekly house meetings. Each residential home on site is allocated to just the residential young people, even though there are also day students on site during the school day.

At Southlands School, we aim to provide consistent, diverse, fun and structured learning opportunities through a waking day curriculum, seven days a week. We understand that not all young people with complex needs will learn new skills at the same pace. Our curriculum caters for students with a wide range of needs, regardless of the speed of their progress.

The curriculum model emphasises the importance of key core subjects, whilst offering the full national curriculum. We provide a range of options in years 9 to 11 that can lead to external accreditation and qualifications. There is also an opportunity for students to have short periods of work experience where appropriate; these may be on or off site. Where possible, the school places students with local employers and works with partner organisations to ensure the suitability of placements.

Class groups are small, allowing for individual programmes of study. Alongside the formal curriculum, behaviour management strategies and the development of social skills are also an integral part of every lesson on the timetable.

The purpose of the school is to prepare students for the demands of adult life through staff expertise and specialist approaches. This includes providing a nurturing environment that encourages students to flourish academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.