About the School – Old

The Keystone Academy is a specialist school for children aged 4-16 with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs and difficulties.  It brings together the vision of The YES Trust with that of Shropshire Local Authority, aiming to provide an excellent specialist school for students with SEMH, including those with neurodivergent needs.

As part of The YES Trust, The Keystone Academy will form part of a wider network of educational provision for learners with SEMH difficulties across Cheshire and now Shropshire, sharing the Trust’s vision and values. For more information about The YES Trust, click here.

As a new school, we are lucky enough to have a brand-new building being purpose-built for our cohort’s needs.  The design below is an initial model that has been agreed (but please be aware that there may be minor changes as we progress through the design and building process).

This brand-new building will be located on Squinter Pip Way, Shrewsbury and will be opening during the 2023-24 academic year.

Our school opened in September 2022 in temporary accommodation, in the old Grange Academy on Mount Pleasant Road, Shrewsbury.

What do we mean by ‘neurodivergent needs’?

Image designed by a Year 7 pupil at The Axis Academy.

What is neurodiversity?

‘The neurodiversity movement advocates the idea that our brains are different and that everyone (whether neurotypical or neurodivergent) should be treated equally… The label of “neurodivergent” originally focused on those who are autistic. However, in more recent years it has been used to describe those who think, behave, and learn differently to what is typical in society. Being neurodivergent should not be considered an inherent deficit but simply a difference in processing the world around us.’

University of Glasgow

 At The Keystone Academy, we believe that everyone is unique and as a result we recognise that we all learn and experience the world in different ways, depending upon many things.  This can include things such as:

  • Our experiences (past and present)
  • Our interests
  • Our special educational needs and / or disabilities
  • The way our brain responds to different types of information
  • The way our brain processes information
  • The way we think and learn

We recognise that some neurodivergence can cause anxiety and challenges with social skills and aspects of emotional and mental health.  This is why Keystone is a specialist school for SEMH.

Different terms commonly used


Neurodiversity  – Not all brains think or feel in the same way.  We are all different, with neurological differences that influence how we experience the world around us (as above).

Neurodivergent – This refers to individuals with less typical development and intellectual / functioning, with neurological differences that influence the way they think, feel and behave in society. Examples include Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia.

Neurotypical – This refers to individuals with typical development and intellectual / cognitive functioning.

Some examples of neurodivergence include:


Image taken from: addressingdyslexia.org

Some people can experience more than one neurodivergent quality (such as ASD and ADHD) which can therefore have a greater impact on them. At The Keystone Academy, we aim to help all of our learners recognise their differences as strengths and to build their confidence to learn and enjoy school in a way that is tailored to their learning preferences and needs.