Autism is characterised by heterogeneity, and at least 1 in 100 people in the UK have autism. The National Autistic Society supports schools across the UK to participate in World Autism Awareness Week this year from 29th March to the 4th April. At Monteagle, we acknowledge and understand that autism awareness is vital as schools are better placed to support the educational inclusion of autistic children.
At Monteagle our Additional Resource Provision (ARP) (Phoenix) provides an education for thirty- six autistic children, aged 4-11. The children have an array of needs and include individuals across the autism spectrum. The specialist teachers and support staff in the ARP aid every child’s progress, academically and socially, by putting developmental plans in place that are tailored to individual need. They work with external professionals such as Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists, who contribute to each child’s plan. Learning and teaching takes place not only in the ARP classrooms on our main site and those in the separate building next to the school campus, but also in classrooms and shared areas across the school alongside children in our mainstream classes.
We consider ourselves to be an inclusive school, and at Monteagle, we already have a developed awareness of autism. However, we strive to know more and in order to deepen our understanding during Autism Awareness Week, teachers and children:
· learnt about autism in lessons and activities across our school;
· the children made their own ‘Good Rules’ for an autism-friendly classroom;
· each child made a blue ribbon in honour of autism; and,
· helped to spread the word by sharing what they have learnt.
(The photos at the bottom of this post are of our pupils taking part in autism awareness learning across our school and ARP).
In learning about autism, as a school, we found the resources from the National Autistic Society particularly useful. We also made our own instructional video on how to make the velcro ribbon, starring one of our ARP students.
All at Monteagle are passionate about the work done in our ARP. We believe that a truly outstanding school is one that enables all children to achieve their best. One where academic attainment is high and the academic progress of individuals is maximised. It is where all children acquire the character virtues that lead to success in school and university, in work and life beyond. We believe this no less for the children who attend our ARP.
We invite anybody interested in learning more about teaching, learning and development in our ARP to contact us via the school office.