Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Specialist Centre

The world needs different kinds of minds to work together

Dr Temple Grandin (prominent author and speaker on Autism) 

Specialist Centre Vision

To provide a safe and supportive learning environment that allows every student to reach their full potential academically, socially and emotionally in order to prepare them for personal success in later life 

Specialise Centre Intent 

The Specialist Centre is for students all of whom have a diagnosis of Autism and/or SLCN. All students allocated a Specialist Centre place have an Education Health and Care Plan (ECHP) and are referred via the Local Authority. The Specialist Centre has capacity for 45 students. 

We have four Pathways for Learning. Foundations for Learning, Scaffolding for Personal Independence, Supporting Academic Aspirations and Supporting Academic Independence.  

Our aim in the Specialist Centre is to create a calm, structured and purposeful environment in which the students feel safe and secure and can learn and develop both their academic skills alongside their social and emotional skills, supported by an experienced staff team. 

  Although Specialist Centre student’s academic progress and attainment is important, a key focus is on teaching communication and social skills in context, as well as developing our student’s emotional understanding. 

  Each child is an individual and we aim to equip them with specific strategies in order to deal with situations they may find difficult, stressful or challenging. We work towards enabling them to understand and function in the world we live in to the best of their abilities and as independently as possible. 

  We recognise that autism is a life- long condition and we aim to support students to cope with, and manage some of the challenges they face. It is our aim that this support further enables students to function in their chosen P16 environment and in turn become successful and happy members of society. 

Our Learning Pathway

There are four distinct curriculum pathways:  

Foundations for learning (FFL)  - Y7 and Y8 transition Y9

In Years 7, 8 and 9 Foundations for Learning, students are offered a wide curriculum, mirroring the mainstream offer, with the exception of languages; instead, they receive intensive input in the following area: Communication and Interaction and what my autism means. In addition, they follow the New Horizons ASDAN course which is a PSHE and Citizenship programme for learners aged 9-13 with special educational needs. It provides a way to record and celebrate personal and skills development. The curriculum is delivered using visuals, both images and text, and social stories.  

At the end of Year 9, there are three Learning Pathways offered within the Specialist Centre; the most appropriate pathway is decided in conjunction with parents and relevant agencies at the Year 8 and Year 9 Annual Reviews.  

Scaffolding for Personal Independence (SFPI) - Y9, Y10 and Y11

The Y9,Y10,Y11 class is made up of students who are studying Entry Level and who need a more bespoke curriculum with a focus on Functional and Life Skills.  

Supporting Academic Aspirations (SAA) - Y10 and Y11

Students in Y10 and Y11 classes are all studying for GCSEs and equivalent courses wholly within the SC. They follow mainstream schemes of work but at a suitable level with more appropriate pace and challenge for students with ASD.   

Supporting Academic Independence (Y10 and Y11) 

Students access mainstream lessons with peers in English, Maths and Science. They are placed in sets according to ability, attend all lessons in that subject, and complete homework.  The amount of TA support given varies according to need. 


Communication & Interaction Learning Journey