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Darwin | Pilgrim PRU

Welcome to the Darwin Learning Centre

We are a school, based in an acute psychiatric adolescent unit for students from 12-18 years of age. We are a 13-bedded residential unit but also take day patients from the local area. Students come from a wide geographical area including Cambridgeshire and the five surrounding counties.
The learning centre is run by three teachers and two assistants. School runs from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm every day and from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm on Monday to Thursday.
All of our teaching team are DBS checked and are up to date on their child protection, safe guarding, AMBIT, E-safety and life support training.

About the Darwin Centre

We are a registered exam centre, fully certified to run all public examinations e.g. GCSEs and A levels with all boards.
We are a Cambridgeshire county council funded pupil referral unit which is part of the Pilgrim PRU for medical needs.
We are experienced in running statutory examinations including access arrangements and reasonable adjustments.
All our teachers are qualified and registered and experienced in teaching key stages 2-5 and are subject specialists in the core subjects of English, maths and science.


  • We offer a very broad and balanced curriculum with the aim of ensuring continuity of learning and progression for our young people.
  • We support young people in returning to education, work or training and we endeavour to build confidence and develop our young people’s idea of themselves as a successful learner by engaging them in choosing courses that interest them and enrich their educational experience.
  • We have embedded opportunities for personal development and life skills. We explore British values and our SMSC learning is based upon article 29 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child: Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.
  • As a nurture group school we always treat our young people with dignity and we have a culture of mutual respect.
  • We offer the entire range of subjects up to GCSE and then we are able to provide specialist subject support to most post-16 students. Where we can’t we will liaise with the FE provider to make arrangements.
  • We also offer therapeutic activities in order to include young people in the learning centre who are not yet ready or well enough to engage in their learning.


  • On admission a bespoke Individual Education Plan (IEP) is created in agreement with the young person, their care team and the young person’s home school and where possible parents/carers.
  • Educational progress is shared weekly with the young person and their care team and this report is shared with parents/carers in the weekly multidisciplinary team report.
  • Approximately every six weeks there is a Care Plan Agreement meeting (CPA) and a full educational report including an IEP review is shared with the young person, their care team, parents/carers and the home school. At this point new targets will be set where appropriate in agreement with all parties.

I’ve completed your survey. I’m not sure if the results were anonymous or not but I wanted to let you know that when I was able to attend the learning centre, I had most of the good times that I experienced in hospital there. Thank you for your help. While I couldn’t complete my exams it kept my mind active which was exactly what I needed at the time.

Thank you for everything you have done to support me over the last 15 months. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have got as far as I have. You’ve been there through ups and downs and I appreciate all you have done for me.

The teachers are the most inspirational people I’ve ever met.

Art at the Darwin Centre

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