Darwin Learning Centre


The Darwin Centre for Young People is a Tier 4 adolescent inpatient unit based in Cambridge, offering assessment and treatment to young people (13-18) with severe mental health difficulties.

Here at the Darwin Learning Centre we are passionate about the role of education in recovery, providing bespoke quality first teaching to prepare our learners for independent and successful lives.

We believe in the importance of nurture on the development of wellbeing and this approach is the foundation upon which we base our child centred curriculum design.


At admission each learner will have an induction with the Teacher in Charge who will collaboratively create an Individual Education Plan (IEP) taking into account their prior school experiences and liaising with their home school to ensure that young people are able to maintain their academic studies and reintegrate post discharge.

As SEND specialists we are passionate about bespoke learning and plan as a team each young persons’ learning journey removing barriers, adapting where necessary and contributing to assessments as appropriate.

We believe in the potential of our young people to succeed and strive to design a personalised, robust curriculum to stretch and challenge them academically to achieve their absolute best.

We are a registered exams centre and learners can sit their GCSE, A Level and BTEC exams. We offer the Bronze and Silver Arts Award in Art, Music, Dance and Drama, AQA Unit awards and Cambridge Technical qualifications in addition.

Students follow a varied and exciting curriculum including English, Maths, Science, Art, RE, PSHE, History, Geography, Languages and Music. Curriculum design is entirely bespoke to the learner and we have offered courses as diverse as Arabic, Herpetology and Taxidermy to name but a few!

Learners go on to Sixth Form College, Apprenticeships, University study and employment.


The learning centre is staffed by a full time Teacher in Charge who is an Art and SEND specialist, their role includes reporting, advocating and liaising on behalf of the young people. She is also our school LGBTQI ambassador.

In addition we have an outstanding teaching team comprising of a Lead Teacher for English, Maths and Science and Teaching Assistants. Our teaching team are friendly, patient, knowledgeable, experienced and totally inclusive.

We have four teaching spaces separate from the main ward and this offers a safe and stimulating environment to learn. We have ICT, Science, Music and Technology equipment, a gym and a well-stocked library.

Students learn on a one to one basis or in small groups as appropriate. We pride ourselves on the positive relationships we build with our young people and are totally determined to help them achieve their goals, promoting resilience when things do not go as planned and celebrating successes when obstacles are overcome.

The school day runs from 10am-12.15pm in the morning and from 1.30pm-3pm in the afternoons from Monday to Thursday and from 10am-12.15pm every Friday, after which there are clubs and enrichment activities, for example Art, Baking and Exercise.