Supporting young people with autism
Somerset Progressive achieved an internal kite mark for autism two years ago. The school is now working to meet the Autism Education Trust nationally recognised standards for good autism practice and this work is being led by the Autism Champions within the school. Our Autism Champions have had more extensive training and achieved a Continuing Professional Development Diploma in Good Autism Practice awarded by Coventry University. The evidence of this high level of focus on understanding autism can be seen right across the school. The uncluttered environment, visual supports to aid learning and the calm way staff move and interact with all the young people are clear indications of the quality of the autism knowledge held by staff and their ability to put that knowledge into every day practice. This staff team is a pleasure to work with.
Autism Lead: Rosie Watts
As autism lead my role is to support staff and students in developing positive ways to help students enjoy and get the most out of their learning experiences. It is our belief at SPS that ‘one size does not fit all’, and in my role I aim to help ensure that our approach is consistently inclusive for each autistic student, and that learning is fun and engaging.
I focus on the strengths as well as difficulties of our students, and look at how these can fit in with the more academic side of education, so that students have opportunity to work on difficulties around communication, social interaction and sensory input (among many other areas of difficulty that children and young people on the spectrum face), whilst ensuring that strengths can be built on to create an engaging curriculum. As well as my own knowledge and experience, I draw on the experiences and knowledge of the school SENCO, other Autism specialists, staff, students, and just as importantly, parents and carers.