Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and how they experience the world around them. Autism is described as a spectrum condition; this means that whilst some people with autism, including Asperger's Syndrome, share certain characteristics they will be highly individual in their needs. This spectrum means that teaching of children affected by autism requires a high degree of flexibility and responsiveness to ensure individual needs are met in an appropriate manner.
Beaconside Primary and Nursery School hosts a Mainstream Autism Base (MAB) which is currently funded for 8 places. The MAB was established to provide support to children with disorders on the autism spectrum.
We call our Mainstream Autism Base 'The Nest'.
The Nest is designed to provide a structured environment that is small, welcoming and inclusive. The staff team strives to give the pupils the maximum level of independence that they can achieve and we aim to ensure that -
'pupils will thrive because of our commitment to tackling the barriers of autism and meeting the needs of individual pupils.'
Teaching and Curriculum
All pupils within the Nest have access to a curriculum which is tailored to their needs. Pupils will access lessons in the Nest in a small teaching environment where appropriate and will also access lessons in the mainstream school. This access to mainstream classes can help to promote independence and social awareness. This can take several forms: shared playtimes, lunchtimes, assemblies, school trips as well participation in selected mainstream lessons. All Nest learners have the opportunity to be included in this way across the school. Our Mainstream Autism Base is part of the main school building: not set apart from it and we seek to ensure that our practice reflects that geography.
Regular teacher assessments take place, which allow for close monitoring of the pupils’ progress.
For each child, an individual provision plan is also drawn up. This plan draws on the outcomes outlined in each pupil’s EHCP. The targets are reviewed in consultation with parents, on a termly basis.
We assess Nest learners using an 'All About Me Tool' from the Birmingham Communication and Autism Team, which then feeds into targets from the Autism Education Trust Framework. Progress is then tracked by all staff within the Autism Base.
Communication with Parents
We believe collaboration with parents and carers is key to ensuring the best possible outcomes for pupils. As many of the pupils who attend the Nest arrive by taxi, Home/School communication books provide an opportunity for parents and staff to communicate on a regular basis. We also welcome parents and carers to telephone or email the school. In addition to the statutory Education, Health and Care Plan Annual Review meeting conducted by the SENCo, parent meetings are held with the class teacher to discuss each child's progress.
Admission to the Mainstream Autism Base at Beaconside is controlled by the Local Authority and all queries regarding provision need to be directed to Worcestershire SEN Services.
For further information refer to the following link:
Worcestershire County Council can also be contacted via their Online Enquiry Form.
Contact Telephone: 01905 763763
Worcestershire County Council
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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