Alderbrook ARC


The ARC is an Additionally Resourced Centre for students with specific and complex learning needs, who have a diagnosis of Autism.

Places are allocated by the local authority via a selection panel. The purpose is to cater for small groups of students in a safe, nurturing and differentiated setting, so that individual needs are met and individual progress is made.

ARC staff are experienced teachers and Specialist Support Assistants (SSAs) who are well trained in Autism needs in particular.


The Alder ARC building was opened in October 2018 and houses the Year 7 and 8 students who attend the ARC.

This setting was created to enhance the learning and developmental needs of students with autism and features:

  • A sensory room for calming
  • A safe space in every classroom
  • A study hub
  • A bespoke Science Laboratory
  • Three classrooms with state of the art interactive touch screen monitors
  • A suite of computers
  • Access to a decked area for outdoor pursuits
  • Male and Female toilets
  • Disabled toilets/changing facilities
  • Meeting room
  • Neutral environment to soothe learners


The students in the ARC are taught separately from mainstream in Years 7 and 8 (unless there are special requests for core subjects). The teaching of core curriculum topics is matched with mainstream, yet at a differentiated level with a focus on visual stimuli and specific learning aids:

  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Science

The content of other curriculum subjects reflects mainstream content but some topics may not be covered since the pace is slower:

  • Geography
  • History
  • RE
  • ICT
  • Food Technology
  • Textiles
  • Arts and Crafts

Extra subjects are timetabled in order to meet the requirements of Educational, Health and Care (EHCP) Plans which reflect autism and the needs of the student:

  • Social Skills lessons
  • Independent Study lessons
  • Library/Park social trips (Weekly)

Assessment, Reporting and Review

ARC students will be assessed to keep in line with mainstream, although Access Arrangements will allow for students who struggle to perform or become anxious in examination conditions (separate room, rest breaks, scribe, laptop, extra time etc.).

Reporting occurs at three points during the school year and all parents will receive data regarding their child’s behaviour, attitude to learning and attainment.

At least once a year each student will have their EHCP Annual Review where the ARC Lead, SENCO, parents, child and any other relevant party will meet to review outcomes and to set targets to ensure that needs are being met.


At the end of Year 8 students are made ready to transition into the mainstream environment and will no longer be taught in the Alder ARC. In Year 9 students will take at least 3 out of 4 mainstream options in addition to the Core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. Lessons will be taught in mainstream buildings although there will be familiar SSA’s supporting in lessons.

Arc Timelapse Video