We recognise that each young person on the autism spectrum has unique needs and unique approaches to learning. We therefore personalise the curriculum to meet the individual needs of each student.
We seek to engage our students in learning through the delivery of a flexible and challenging curriculum, where all lessons have a sense of discovery. We provide opportunities for young people to develop their confidence and self-esteem, to think creatively and take risks, work independently and collaboratively, and to respect others.
Our aim is to increase the opportunities available to young people. We identify and nurture each young person’s talents so they experience success, develop confidence and thrive. We provide pupils with opportunities to learn skills understand their own difficulties and strengths and develop ‘personal tool kits’ to help them through stages of life. We work collaboratively ensuring we support the outcomes that are important to parents and health and social care professionals.
The purpose of our curriculum is to provide students with a foundation of knowledge and skills that will prepare them for their future adult life, and increase their opportunities and inclusion in society. We deliver personalised learning that capitalises on individual strengths and removes barriers to learning, enabling our students to achieve their potential and beyond!
Our curriculum enables students to work towards Entry level, GCSE and A-level qualifications. The curriculum promotes the intellectual, personal, social and physical development of all students. The curriculum takes account of students' differing abilities, experiences and profile in order to provide all students with both challenge and opportunity.
The curriculum is sufficiently flexible to facilitate some students accessing learning at partner mainstream schools where appropriate. The focus of the curriculum is supporting young people to make a successful transition into adulthood as confident young people with the necessary skills to live independently, gain paid employment and participate in their local community. We believe education must adapt, and the curriculum is constantly evaluated and reviewed to meet individual needs and the changing values of society (such as the increase in the use of technology). All students have the right to an appropriate curriculum and the school supports the right of all students to equal access regardless age, culture, religion, ability or disability.
A complete education for life
Every student at Helen Allison has a truly personalised curriculum and timetable. Your child learns at their own pace and according to their own needs and interests. We always find a way to deliver the learning your child needs.
Students learn traditional academic subjects alongside the life skills they’ll need to become confident young adults. At every stage, students have their own timetable, which we plan with them according to their ability, needs and interests.
The student’s timetable includes support from our resident psychologists, speech and language therapists and occupational therapist.
We teach all the academic subjects of the National Curriculum. Our long experience of teaching children with autism lets us deliver each subject in a practical and structured way that plays to the students' strengths. Our students have a range of abilities and our high staffing levels means we can provide small group teaching as well as individual support.
Personal, Social, Health Education, (PSHE), Spiritual, Moral, Social, Communication Education, Online Safety and British Values are an important part of our curriculum at every stage. Through it we introduce our students to life skills, when they enter Key Stage 3 they will learn about careers and work experience.
Many of our older students take qualifications such as GCSEs, BTECs and A levels. They can study technical, specialist and higher level subjects in a local school or college with our support, which means that they can choose from an extremely wide range of subjects and qualifications.
We begin planning your child’s transition to post-16 education when they are 14. They may transfer to a mainstream college or school or move up into our separate Helen Allison Hub.
In our Helen Allison Hub, our young people prepare actively for adult life among students of their own age, focusing on problem solving and decision making, and on independent living skills.
A really important feature of life in our Hub is the amount of time our young people spend learning outside the centre every day. This allows them to gain valuable experience of life outside school, mixing with other young people, gaining confidence, and seeing that everything they have learned is good preparation for adult life. Our strong links to local colleges mean our young people can choose from an enormous range of subjects, follow their interests and skills, and try new subjects and activities. They can also learn while working with local employers, always with our support.
Older students take a variety of BTEC courses at local partner colleges, including Electrical Engineering, Hairdressing and Motor Vehicle Maintenance.
"Helen Allison is a much calmer school and work is at your level. At my old school it was to everyone else’s ability. Here, teachers do it to every different student’s level."
"We support the students and design the curriculum with our eyes on the rest of life: we want to prepare our students for the skills needed for skilled employment."