To ensure children with autism maximise their potential by:
- Providing effective, bespoke advice and training to senior leadership, teachers and teaching assistants to develop knowledge, understanding and successful practice.
- Provide exceptional support via regular school outreach monitoring visits, using an observation and coaching model to ensure staff progression, development and sustainability
- Provide outreach visit report at completion of outreach monitoring visit including detailed strategies, measurable actions and a review of previous goals.
- Ensure school takes ownership of regularly monitoring measurable actions and of sharing successful practice across the school via ‘key-workers’ and whole school projects.
Benefits for the school:
- Children make good progress and achieve in line with their developmental level
- Children are happy as their emotional, communication and learning needs are being met
- Children display less challenging behaviour because staff have a good understanding of their needs and can implement effective learning, communication and emotional regulation strategies
- Parents are confident, happy and feel supported
- Staff develop professionally and increase their knowledge and understanding of autism
- Teachers are confident in teaching children with autism
- Continuous sharing of good practice and knowledge happens across the school
- Whole school projects to develop skills and increase understanding take place
The outreach service is tailored to the needs and aspirations of the school, which will be identified at an initial meeting (free of charge and without obligation).
A typical outreach programme of visits (by the day) will include:
- Class observations followed by feedback sessions with teachers and teaching assistants using an empowering ‘appreciative inquiry’ approach:
Staff will be encouraged to reflect upon ‘what is working well’ and then ‘next steps for improvement’ specifically related to the needs of particular children. From these discussions and specialist advice, measurable goals are developed and agreed with class teams. Measurable goals will range from staff development to the implementation of specific strategies and resources, as well as either being focused on a specific individual, class or concentrated on the whole school.
- Monitoring and reporting on progress:
To take place during the outreach monitoring visit and resulting in a report (which can include photographic evidence with consent). This allows progress to be measured over time, as well as ensuring staff can refer back to specialist advice.
- Meeting with Senior Leadership and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO):
The involvement in staff at all levels, especially Senior Leadership, is crucial in ensuring development, understanding and impact of effective autism practice across the whole school.
- Identifying specific members of staff to develop into ‘Autism Specialists’:
Support to develop aspiring teachers or teaching assistants into an ‘Autism Specialist’ or ‘Autism Key-worker’ (or any title selected by the school!). The aim is for these individuals to share good practice by supporting in monitoring the measurable goals set during outreach visits, passing on and sharing effective strategies and lead on ‘whole school’ projects.
- Providing support in an area relevant to the school’s requirements:
This could be a specific area of focus such as play times or behaviour support plans and will include measurable goal setting.
- Providing parent support:
This could be individual or group workshops, depending on the schools requirements.
Bespoke and tailored workshops, (1 – 2 hours) to develop staff knowledge in areas such as:
- understanding autism
- understanding behaviour
- inclusive teaching and support strategies
Training workshops can be provided separate from, or as part of, the outreach visits
- “I feel listened to and more confident with my learning” (Pupil, Woodberry Down Primary School, 2017)
- ‘I am so happy with… progress in school. I am happy that he is being more independent’ (Parent, Grazebrook Primary School, 2017)
- ‘Children are enjoying the extra visuals in the classroom and the visual timetables are working well. Children are accessing workstations well and is proving to be a place in the classroom that they enjoy and are able to calm down and concentrate within the classroom’. (Parent, Woodberry Down Primary School, 2017)
On a scale of 1 – 10, how effective do you feel the support given during outreach visits has been in developing ASD practice with the schools?
- “10 – it has enabled my schools to provide accurate support to our ASD pupils as well as started to up soil my staff on key strategies to use to be successful with ASD pupils” (Michelle Thomas, Executive Head Teacher, New Wave Federation Schools in Hackney, London 2017)
- “10 – each session provides a wealth of ideas and support for the teachers and support staff to immediately employ in their practise. As a result, the children with ASD are supported more effectively. Meetings with the SENCo and senior leaders also increase their knowledge of ASD within a wider school context” (Alexandra Webb, SENCo, Grazebrook and Shacklewell Primary Schools in Hackney, London 2015 -2017)
How do you feel the outreach feedback sessions have supported your knowledge of supporting a child with autism?
- “I feel I know much better how to support a child with ASD. While I understand each child is different, I feel I have discussed and been exposed to a very wide variety of strategies and now have a wide knowledge base to draw on” (Teaching Assistant, Woodberry Down Primary School in Hackney, London 2017)
Thanks Steph your support and guidance for all our schools is invaluable. #bestasdsupportyoucanget
— Michelle Thomas (@mthomas2010) December 20, 2017
Please complete the contact form below to ask a question, receive further information or to arrange an initial meeting, which will be undertaken without charge or obligation.