Specialist ASD Provision
At Billing Brook we specialise in educating children and young people with autism. We have an autism specific provision, known as Woodland department, which caters for pupils from 11-18 years of age. We also meet the needs of students who require the support provided in our Woodland department. Class sizes are between 6-8 pupils. All classes have a teacher and a number of teaching assistants depending of the needs of the pupils. Pupils will remain with their class and teacher throughout the school day.
All staff are extremely skilled in meeting the needs of our pupils; all have attended either internal or external autism specific training at various levels.
We understand the difficulties that pupils with autism may experience and create an environment in which they can overcome these difficulties. Pupil’s may have an individual workstation, which allows for maximum concentration. They also offer support for pupils who may find the world a distracting or stressful place. Other facilities include, soft play and sensory rooms, life skills area, secure recreational areas and a bistro area in addition to a fully equipped food technology suite.
Our curriculum is designed to engage and motivate pupils so that they want to learn. We take into account individual needs, interests and the challenges that pupils may face in certain situations. We do this by providing meaningful, relevant and engaging learning experiences, developed through a key skills, creative and thematic curriculum (see curriculum maps). Each term focuses on a different theme, introduced by an ‘Inspiration Day’. This is very much a multi-sensory, ‘hands on’ day intended to ignite enthusiasm, motivate and inspire pupils through exciting and engaging activities. This is also an opportunity for teachers to assess what the pupils may already know about the theme and plan accordingly. At the end of each termly theme we hold a ‘Wow Day’ which provides an opportunity to consolidate what the pupils have learnt over the course of the term and celebrate their achievements.
Alongside academic learning our key focus is teaching communication and social skills that can be transferred across a wide variety of contexts, developing pupils emotional understanding, helping pupils deal with stressful situations and enabling pupils to understand and function in the world we live in to the best of their abilities and as independently as possible.
Targets and Progress
In Woodland department we monitor pupil progress through Individual Learning and Progression Maps (ILPM’s). These allow us to set appropriate targets related to pupils Education Health Care Plans (EHCP) in addition to non academic areas . Our annual EHCP reviews provide us with the opportunity to reflect on pupils’ annual targets with parents and discuss next steps in their learning. As a department we currently use the Autism Education Trust Progression Framework to set targets , track and record progress across 7 areas:
•Social Communication •Social Interaction •Social Imagination / Flexibility •Sensory processing •Emotional understanding and self-awareness •Learning •Independence and community participation
The framework addresses the skills and understanding that our pupils may find difficult as a result of their autism.
We celebrate our learning by collecting Dojo and House Points which pupils can then spend in our token shop. Monthly achievement assemblies give pupils the opportunity to share their achievements and successes with their peers.
We see the education of our pupils as a joint, shared activity where the consistency of approaches between school and home are vitally important for the progress of the children. We view our relationships with parents and carers as extremely important and we value their knowledge and expertise and promote an active involvement in their child’s learning. We do this through a variety of ways:
Parent Drop In Days •Monthly ‘Time To Talk’ sessions •Open Days and Special Events •Annual Reviews •Parent Consultations •Home School Communication Books •Yearly Reports •Telephone conversations