In addition to the classes in our main school, we are also fortunate to have specialist classes for children with an EHCP and a diagnosis of autism. These classes provide children with specialist support so they can access the curriculum and wider school life in a way that is adapted to meet their specific needs. Some schools refer to this provision as ARP (Additionally Resourced Provision).
We are a new provision, with Willow Class which opened in January 2020. This was followed by Oak and Elm Classes opening in September 2020, and finally Sycamore Class which opened in September 2021.
Admission to the Specialist Provision for Children with autism
Places within these classes are allocated via Merton Special Educational Need’s Admission Team and not via our school office. Please follow the link and read our guidance on what you should do if you are interested in a place. Please note, attending Stanford Primary School does not mean you will be given a place in the ARP classes.
All our children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum, learning subjects in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage or National Curriculum. Lessons are organised into half termly themes so that children can learn skills and knowledge in an engaging and meaningful way which enables them to make connections with the wider world around them. Strong emphasis is given to help pupils develop their social understanding, communication and interaction skills through Wellbeing lessons and opportunities beyond the classroom.
Our teaching is based on the principles within the Attention Autism programme by Gina Davies which develops pupils’ attention, communication and social interaction skills.
Learning activities are adapted to support each child’s progress with differentiated support on an individualised basis. Lessons are creatively planned and delivered to ensure each child is engaged and motivated to learn as part of a group.
Our low arousal learning environments use visuals to give pupils a structured day and greater certainty in order to reduce and manage anxiety. We provide children with support and strategies which enables them to develop their independence.
We work with a wide range of specialist professionals including Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists, provided by Merton, who work with us to develop our inclusive provision as well as working directly with pupils. We also work closely with other supporting services such as the Educational Psychologist Team. Our work with these agencies supports us to monitor the progress individuals make and tailor our provision to meet individuals’ needs.
Our classes are very much an integral part of our Stanford community. They sit alongside our main school and children across the school have a shared use of all our facilities. We recognise that children join our ARP because they would benefit from the learning environment that we offer which supports their autism needs but that our children and their families very much want to be a part of wider school life and therefore this is something we actively encourage and support.
Each child will have the opportunity to integrate within the mainstream setting on a personalised basis, relevant to their needs and wellbeing. This is unique to each child and can include aspects of certain subjects or social events such as assemblies, trips or playtimes. Each timetable is carefully introduced and managed to support the child to succeed.
We understand the importance of working closely with parents and carers to ensure the best outcomes for our pupils. Our curriculum offers opportunities for parents to join us and support the children in their learning as well as celebrate their successes. We know that many children may come to school via Merton Transport therefore we use a Home-School book to support communication and we also encourage parents to call and talk things through with us if they are unable to meet us. In addition to Annual Reviews we also hold two additional Parents’ Evening meetings and share our news through class newsletters. We also have regular Express afternoons, where parents are invited into class to provide children with the opportunity to share their learning.
If you are interested in knowing more about our Specialist Provision or would like to arrange a visit please contact the office and ask for our ARP Lead Practitioners, Miss Garland and Miss Cookson, who will be happy to help.