“ARP” stands for additionally resourced provision. This means we provide specialist support for selected students. Each ARP has a particular specialism, ours is autism. Places are allocated by the Local Authority.
As autism is a spectrum condition, each autistic person is different and has their own strengths and difficulties. This means that there will be some who can access mainstream but will also require the additional support that an ARP can provide. The ARP is not a separate unit but an integral part of the school which provides support to the students that need it.
The aim of the ARP is to help raise self-esteem and confidence in order that every child has access to the learning environment and social aspects of school life and is able to participate within the wider school community. Each child should be given opportunities to reach their optimum personal growth and academic development. The ARP implements a person-centred approach that supports individuality, fosters a sense of belonging and celebrates diversity.
There are key workers who provide the range of support required to meet individual student need. Keyworkers build close working relationships with parents and carers to regularly discuss individual progress and celebrate achievements. The ARP team is comprised of specialist staff, all qualified and experienced in supporting students on the autism spectrum. They are trained to be flexible practitioners and adapt the learning environment to cater for a variety of learning styles and needs.
The pastoral care which is at the heart of the centre enables young people to form friendship groups that help to promote both personal and emotional well-being. In-class support is tailored and differentiated to meet the needs of each student and offered in a way that does not single any child out. In addition, the ARP provides positive social support during unstructured times such as break and lunch for those who prefer to be in a quieter low-arousal environment. Students can opt to join in activities that are organised by staff, or have time to relax in preparation for their next lesson.
The ARP also provides opportunities to learn new skills and offers guidance on how to transfer those skills from one setting to another.
The Alder ARC building was opened in October 2018.
This setting was created to enhance the learning and developmental needs of students with autism and features:
Students in Years 7 and 8 have the opportunity to be taught in a small group setting in the ARC building, following most of the mainstream curriculum but with a focus on also developing their social interaction and communication skills. Throughout these two years students can also attend mainstream classes where appropriate to their skill set. Students are encouraged to gradually transition into mainstream classes over the two years with ongoing support. Every student has a personalised timetable. Social skills lessons, making sense of autism and various interventions are timetabled so that students can make progress towards their individual outcomes.
For subjects taught in the ARC, we regularly liaise with curriculum leaders to ensure we’re always up-to-date with schemes of work and available resources.
Students in Years 9 to 11 are, in the main, taught in the mainstream buildings but still have access to smaller English, Maths and Science groups and to option subjects, including some BTECs and GCSEs. Support is provided in lessons and students can access the Study Hub and the ARC for unstructured times and well-being. Interventions take place with a focus on understanding autism, relationships and next steps.
Students are assessed in a similar way to mainstream and access arrangements allow for students who struggle to perform or become anxious in examination conditions (separate room, rest breaks, scribe, laptop, extra time).
Reporting occurs at three points during the school year and all parents will receive data regarding their child’s Behaviour, Attitude to learning, Independence and Progress.
In Year 7, at around eight weeks, each child has a meeting with parents and the Lead Teacher to review their outcomes as detailed in their plan and their social, emotional and health needs. This is often also attended by a member of the SISS autism team and our ILSP (Inclusion and learning support practitioner).
At least once a year, each student has their EHCP Annual Review where the ARC lead teacher, SENCO, parents, child and any other relevant party meet to review outcomes and to set targets to ensure that needs are being met.
Support with transitioning into post-16 also takes place.
The school has high expectations for all pupils attending the ARP, setting challenging targets to enable them to make expected or better progress in relation to their starting points. We aim to ensure that all students make good progress in relation to their social communication, interaction and behaviour, and also to make at least expected academic progress overall from their starting points.