Savio, the ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) base at SJBC offers a quiet and supportive environment away from the usual hustle and bustle of secondary school life. It offers withdrawal for 1:1 and small group work, independent quiet study time at TEACCH-style workstations and access to IT facilities. At break and lunchtime, there are games and activities on offer and Savio students are encouraged to invite their friends in to play games and socialise.
The purpose of Savio is to support students to access the curricular activities of the main school with the appropriate level of support, whilst providing a place, and staff expertise, for some very specific and individual needs. It will also provide a centre of expertise within the school enabling all staff to develop their ability to cater for the needs of these students.
Guiding Principles for Placement
Evidence on the student being considered for placement at the resource base may include:
- A statement of SEN which indicates a diagnosis of ASD or Social Communication Disorder.
- The student’s needs will be significantly greater than those with ASD or social communication difficulties who are able to be supported in a mainstream school.
- The student’s primary difficulties will lie in the areas of social interaction with others, use of verbal and non-verbal communication and the development of imagination and communication as integrating factors for learning. Some students may also have additional or secondary needs associated with hearing or visual difficulties; sensitivity to sound; gross and fine motor difficulties and tactile defensiveness.
- The student may also have emotional or behavioural difficulties associated with his / her ASD, but these are not the student’s primary need.
- Potential to make enhanced progress / greater educational and social gains from the specialist resource base.
- Potential to benefit from both the academic and social opportunities available beyond the resource base.
- Learning skills that demonstrate the potential to access a broadly mainstream curriculum.
- Social and behaviour skills that demonstrate the potential to progress and flourish with support in a mainstream environment and with small groups of peers.
- The student will normally be between the age of 11 and 18 years of age.
Provision and Resources Available in the Resource Base
- A secondary resource base within a mainstream school able to meet the needs described above.
- A staff-student ratio more favourable than that found in a mainstream school, enabling individual and small group teaching in a specialist environment.
- A learning environment specially adapted to facilitate the teaching of students with ASD or Social Communication Difficulties.
- Teaching and support staff who have specialist skills / knowledge and who are trained in accordance with the Local Authority’s ASD CPD framework in meeting the needs of, and in delivering specific interventions for students with ASD.
- A curriculum based on that of the mainstream school, differentiated to meet the academic, social and communication needs of students with ASD.
- Flexible programmes to include access to the base and mainstream environment based on the individual needs of each student.
- An enhanced range of specialist resources to support the curriculum for students with ASD.
- Programmes designed to develop self-help skills, independence skills and flexibility of behaviour.
- Input from a range of professionals, including a Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist and Educational Psychologist, as reflected in his / her statement of SEN.
- Transition support to students both coming into the resource base and moving on to other schools, e.g. home visits, supporting parents and working with schools to prepare for the transition and liaising with other professionals.
- A partnership approach to working with parents / carers to support them in promoting their student’s development e.g. workshops, regular home-school liaison etc.