Aurora Eccles School is an independent day and boarding school providing specialist education for students aged 5 to 19 who have found learning difficult in other mainstream school environments. 

About Our School

Aurora Eccles School is an independent day and boarding school providing specialist education for students aged 5 to 19 who experience difficulties learning in mainstream school environments.

This may be a result of specific learning difficulties with dyslexia, through to those with more complex communication and interaction difficulties associated with Asperger’s Syndrome and high functioning autism.

Aurora Eccles School offers the perfect learning environment for each student’s needs to be met so they can develop and achieve their full potential, ready when they leave to go on to further education, training or employment.

Specialist teaching, together with small class sizes and a nurturing approach enables students to work at a level and pace that’s right for them to achieve their goals. Focus is given to building self-esteem and confidence by implementing strategies to support students’ individual needs to engage in education, as well as developing their social and independence skills.

There are many opportunities to join in with a variety of extra curricular activities including sports, societies and the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold awards. Aurora Eccles School achieved 98% success rate at GCSEs and BTecs in the summer of 2017.

Our Vision

It’s quite simple – we believe in empowering uniqueness. We want every child and young person to achieve their full potential; educationally, socially and personally. We work with students to help them grow and develop in their own unique and inspiring ways. 

Ultimately, our aim is to ensure young people are prepared for their future, by giving them strategies to have choices in life – whether that’s further education, which includes being able to access mainstream settings, training or to explore job opportunities.

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Our Service & Facilities

Set in 28 acres of beautiful Norfolk countryside in Quidenham near Norwich, Eccles School provides:

  • Extensive outdoor recreation areas

  • Large Sports Fields

  • Indoor Swimming pool

  • Activity Centre

  • High Ropes, Low Ropes, Climbing Wall and Forest activities

  • Small class sizes and high staff ratios

  • Integrated therapy

  • Individual tuition and support

  • Specialist classrooms for Science, Music, Drama and Art

  • Break out areas for quiet time

Our Approach to Education

Aurora Eccles School offers specialist education programmes across 35 weeks of the year and a curriculum that is broad, balanced and differentiated based on the National Curriculum, where subjects and approach to learning are personalised to take account of abilities, interests and needs.

The Junior department offers a warm and friendly introduction to school where younger students can feel comfortable exploring learning techniques and develop a positive attitude to education. Work around areas of self-confidence, self-esteem and social skills establish a good grounding for developing their independence as they move through the school.

As students progress to the Senior department at Year 7 the emphasis is on their strengths and in supporting them in areas of the curriculum and learning where they are experiencing challenges.

Our Sixth Form offers a range of subjects from GCSE, BTEC and Vocational Courses. Sixth Form studies at Eccles School are not solely academic but also address the whole learning experience, exploring vocational skills and preparing for adulthood.

At Aurora we know ‘one size does not fit all’ and some students with communication and associated difficulties are likely to experience challenges with social communication and interaction with others and may have additional issues around their understanding of the social rules. These difficulties can impact on their emotional wellbeing, behaviour and ability to participate in education. They are offered more intensive individualised support from ‘the Hub’ which focuses on breaking down the barriers to learning while retaining access to the wider curriculum.

Extended Curriculum

There is an wide ranging club and activities programme at Eccles School including community projects, Duke of Edinburgh Award and Junior Leadership Challenge. Students are encouraged to join in and experience new challenges in a supported environment and develop friendships and teamwork skills.

Physical education is an important part of the curriculum and the school is well resourced with extensive grounds, an indoor swimming pool and activity centre. All students take part in a range of individual and team sports, and both inter-house and external fixtures against other schools are planned regularly throughout the academic year.

Sporting Activities available at Eccles School:

Rugby Union, Hockey, Football, Netball, Cross Country Running, Swimming, Horse Riding, Athletics, Rounders and Soft Ball, Cricket, Volleyball, Basketball, Tennis, Archery, High Ropes, Climbing Wall, Dance, Martial Arts.

Club Activities available at Eccles School:

Swimming Personal Survival, Archery, Golf, Pottery, Basketball, Art, Calligraphy, Fitness, Table Tennis, High Ropes Course, Drama, Craft, Gardening, Choir, Rugby, Board Games, e.g. Chess, Fire Service, Cooking, Camp Craft, Community Care.


Over the years we have welcomed International Students from around the world to Eccles School. We accept students for short, medium and long term stays in the school and there are various courses which will support all students no matter the length of their stay. The English as an Additional Lanuage (EAL) department at Eccles School serves to support all students for whom English is not their native language.


Eccles School provides flexible boarding options including full, weekly and flexi-boards. The Junior and Senior boy boarders are accommodated in separate houses, while the girls are accommodated in the beautifully converted stable building behind the Main Hall.

Ample space is available in all boarding areas for relaxation, including TV and games rooms and quiet areas. These are comfortable and well-maintained. There is a busy and varied weekly routine ensuring a balance between work and leisure. There are opportunities for students to get involved in out-of-school activities and clubs.

At the weekend a published programme of activities and excursions is organised for boarding students by duty staff, for example: trips to Norwich for shopping, visits to other local places of interest and organised events in school.

Referral/Admission Process

1. Parent/carer/professional - preliminary visit/open day

2. Referral received LA/private

3. Assessment visit undertaken

4. Decision to progress/decline communicated

5. Visit to current school where appropriate

6. Half day taster - offer can be made at this stage

7. Whole day taster

8. Offer submitted to LA/private funder

9. Funding for Placement agreed

10. Admission/transition meeting

11. Start date confirmed

How to Find Us

Eccles School is just one mile from the major Norwich to London A11. Norwich is twenty miles to the north east and Cambridge is only forty five minutes’ drive away, and London under two hours by road.

The school is less than twenty minutes' drive from the nearest intercity station at Diss on the main London (Liverpool Street Station) to Norwich line. East Anglia is well served by Stansted Airport linking the region to many countries in Europe. Norwich Airport links directly with the international hub of Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.


Contact Us

Address: Aurora Eccles School, Quidenham, Norwich, Norfolk, NR16 2NZ

Tel: 01953 887217

Acting Headteacher: Chris Brown

Reception Email:

Referral Enquires:

Proprietor/Governing Board: Stephen Bradshaw

The Aurora Group, Manor Farm Offices, Corsley, Wiltshire, BA12 7QE

Tel: 020 3617 0170


Additional policies and information about the school is available upon request from the school office.

Information includes:

  • Student performance

  • Student achievement data

  • Number of formal complaints received in the last academic year

  • Details of exclusions or sanctions at the school