Enhanced Resource Centre for Autism: Ms V. Pearson
The Learning Support department works closely with Student Support and the Enhanced Resource for Autism (the Base) to help all students to achieve to the best of their ability. Our team consists of the school SENCO, 2 Higher Level Teaching Assistants and Teaching Assistants. Teaching Assistants predominantly support identified SEN students in lessons and give assistance with homework. They also lead intervention programmes working on reading, handwriting, mind-mapping and developing other learning skills.
The Learning Support team is based in the B block at the front of school. . The Learning Support classroom, B7, is equipped with six computers for students to use. The school also has a bank of laptops students can access to use in lessons, in addition to this there is software to support dyslexic students on the school computers and laptops (Clicker 6, Dolphin and Co-Writer). B7 is open at breaks and lunchtimes, staffed by Teaching Assistants who are available to help with homework and support students with organisation: any students experiencing difficulty with their learning are encouraged to attend. There is also a Games Club, held in G2 every lunchtime, where students can socialise in a quiet, supported environment.
‘Learning Support help me in lessons and keep me focused.’ – Jack
‘They provide support now so that I can have a better future’ – James
At Key Stage 3 we provide literacy and numeracy intervention for students identified as having additional needs in this area. All students complete screening assessments in their first half term of entry to Year 7.
Some students with additional needs are withdrawn from one or more of their modern foreign language lessons to work in a small group with a HLTA , focusing on developing basic skills and working towards personalised targets. .
In Year 8 a small number of students receive additional literacy lessons instead of French or Spanish. These students are identified by the English, Curriculum Support and Languages departments.
In Year 8, students receiving additional literacy support, follow a scheme designed to develop basic writing skills, which also addresses study skills and personal organisation for learning.
In Key Stage 4 we support students with SEND in their GCSE option subjects and run BTEC WorkSkills Level 1 as an option choice. Students with additional needs are assessed for exam access arrangements on entry into Year 10. This can include the use of a laptop in lessons for recording notes and writing extended pieces of work.
In Years 9 and 10 students have the opportunity to visit different colleges and sixth forms, supported by the departments to help them to decide on what path to take in their post-sixteen education.
The Enhanced Resource Centre opened in 2004 and supports ten students with a diagnosis of ASC in the mainstream school. Our centre is called The Base and the nature of our support depends upon the individual needs of each student. Inclusion is a priority and our students spend most of their time in mainstream lessons with their peers. To enable this to happen we liaise with Subject Teachers, Form Tutors, Heads of House, the Senior Leadership Team and Student Support.
We provide bespoke additional help and support with communication, social interaction and organisational skills. Personal Development lessons are planned to meet the individual needs, interests and talents of each student in the context of a busy secondary school environment.
We plan and design small step transition programmes for students moving from Year 6 to Year 7, from KS3 to KS4 and then finally from Year 11 to post-16 provision. We work closely with families and many other agencies (EPS, Lime Trees, SALT, Occupational Therapists, Social Services. Specialist Teaching Team etc.) to provide a holistic approach giving each student the opportunity to thrive and succeed.
Many other students use the Base at breaks. We offer a calm, nurturing and supportive environment within the busy school day. Students meet with friends, complete homework and relax.
For further information, please refer to the Yor-OK website.
B7 classroom is open before school, at breaks and lunchtimes and help with homework is available. In addition a Games Club is held in G2 every lunchtime, where students can play chess, board and card games in a supportive atmosphere. Students from all years are welcome.
Learning Support also runs an SEND-centred student voice group, which enables students to speak about a variety of issues which affect them. Participation in the group can help build confidence and improve skills such as working as a team and problem-solving. The group works closely with City of York Council, meaning that the group’s impact reaches beyond the school into the wider community.
The department also work alongside YILTS who help students become more confident with traveling independently. Students will be shown how to use bus timetables; how to cross roads with care and how to plan a journey.
Welcome to the ERP
Welcome to the Base. We are also known as the ERP (Enhanced Resource Provision).
We want our young people to:
- be happy and healthy
- be confident in themselves
- have (where possible) friends they can interact with
- be independent
- achieve the best grades possible for themselves
- have the chance of further education or employment.
Who uses the Base?
We have capacity for up to 10 students. Admissions are made by City of York Council, not Fulford School. To be considered for a place, students must have an EHCP and a diagnosis of Autism (many of our students also have additional needs).
Other students are welcome to use the Base before school and at breaks. We are lucky to have 6th formers volunteering at lunchtime twice a week. If you visit us during these times, you will find a busy, but calm and well supported social area.
Which lessons do our students attend?
Our students access most mainstream lessons, apart from PD and RE. We use this time for ‘Catch Up,’ where students work on social skills, enrichment activities and receive support with homework.
Most students complete a full range of GCSE subjects and all students go on to further education or employment.
Victoria Pearson: lead teacher
Jos Brown: HLTA
Janice Jevons: TA3
Ben Busby: TA
Emma Butler: TA
Beth Harris: TA
Helen Tabert: TA
We work closely with subject teachers to ensure our students receive the best possible support and teaching within lessons. When students are seen to be succeeding in lessons, they may attend these independently, with ongoing class teacher / Base liaison.
We also work with City of York Council, and our team attend cross-City meetings to keep us up to date with any new initiatives within the City.
What do we offer our students and parents/carers?
- AQA PHSCE: from Y8 onwards, students study the Entry 1/2/3 – Levels 1/2 PHSCE syllabus. Students study a range of subjects, which best suit their needs and interests.
- Daily communication: all students have a daily sheet, with bespoke targets. Staff complete a brief precis of each lesson, with daily contact home if needed.
- Enrichment: we aim to provide activities which cater to our students’ interests and abilities. Examples of these include Scooter Club and Gardening Club.
- In-class support.
- Independence: our ultimate goal is that our young people are happy and successful in whatever they choose to do. We regularly review students’ progress to see if they can access lessons independently. If this is deemed appropriate, it is done slowly, with lots of preparation.
- Life and work skills support.
- Literacy and Numeracy extra support: where needed, these are provided by Jos Brown and Janice Jevons, who lead 1:1 lessons for our students.
- Monitoring progress: through regular report analysis.
- Out and about: we like to take our young people out on visits, both as a reward and to help them develop their life skills.
- Personalised support: all our young people are very different. A ‘’one size fits all’’ approach is not what we represent, with bespoke support provided for all.
- Post-16 transition support: we liaise closely with providers and receive Connexions support to ensure that our young people make the best possible choices. Staff support students on taster visits to their new providers to ensure they are well prepared for changes well in advance.
- Respite: our specially-designed classroom and very small staff: student ratios (usually 2:1) within the Base helps provide our students with a chance to recharge and have sensory down time. Time is given to physical activities such as yoga which help our young people to self-regulate.
- Social skills help: through games, in class support or social stories.
- Support for the whole person: we look beyond the academic, taking a holistic approach and supporting our young people and their parents/carers in all aspects of their lives.
Above all, we offer young people a chance to be themselves.
Resources within the Base
We have a small set of computers and laptops, which some of our students use in lessons and at lunchtimes.
We have some sensory equipment which we use to help students self-regulate.
Our garden. This is very popular at breaks, especially when the weather is better.
Transition from primary school to the Base.
A great deal of time is invested in supporting our new students.
Transition begins at the start of Summer term, with staff visiting students in their schools. This also allows us to spend time with staff to get to know our young people’s needs as much as possible. We use this time to contact parents/carers: you know your child best, and we welcome your input.
- A schedule is then agreed with parents/carers and primary schools, whereby the student comes to us (usually once a week) with their primary school TA or parent/carer(s).
- All our students receive a welcome pack once the schedule is agreed, which sets out the dates and times of visits.
- The visits start off brief (usually around 15-30 minutes), and build up, so that by the time of the full Year 6 transition day (June/July), our students are able to access a full day with our team supporting them. Visits continue until the end of term.
- Y7 timetables, with details of classrooms and teachers are sent out towards the end of the Summer term to allow students to have time to process the new timetable.
If you would like to come and see what we do, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to meeting you.
Summer term update
We are, as always, exceptionally proud of the amount of positives our young people have achieved as part of the school’s rewards system. At the start of this week, 3 of our students were in the top 10 for most positives, which is an exceptional achievement.
We continue to issue our ‘ERP Excellence’ Award weekly, and are really proud that Ethan Shaw has been nominated as our Half Term Hero. This is awarded to the student who the ERP team feel has shown commitment (in any area) throughout the half term. Well done Ethan.
Coffee afternoon and annual tea party
We held our second parent / carer coffee afternoon, with Laura (Local Offer officer) from CYC coming in to share information about Summer holiday activities in York for SEND children and young people. We shall be holding another one in the Autumn term.
The annual tea party was held on July 18th, and we were very pleased to see former students and their parents/carers as well as our current cohort. Thanks very much to Mrs. Jevons for her superb skills in organising this for us!
We are sad to say goodbye to both Mr. Busby and Miss. Harris as they move on, Mr. Busby to History teacher training and Miss. Harris to another school. Good luck! We are delighted to welcome Ms. Gamble and Ms. Hardy-Mayo to the team from September.
Visits and goodbyes
It has been a busy Summer term for us. We have said goodbye to Y11 and had Y6 students in visiting us weekly to get to know the school and all the students. We wish our Y11 students the best of luck and are excited as our new students begin their journey here with us.
All our students participated in the Annual Alternative Curriculum Day, with visits taking place to Fountains Abbey, Flamborough Head and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. We celebrated the end of term with a visit to Scarborough on July 10th. We visited the Sealife Centre and explored the prom. The weather was great and we all had a very relaxing day. The students did themselves proud.
We hope you all have a great Summer and look forward to keeping you updated on our achievements in the Autumn term.
ERP excellence and Half Term Heroes
- Once a week students are chosen for the ‘ERP Excellence’ Award. This can be for progress in a given area during the week, going above and beyond…the choices are endless.
- We award half termly ‘Half Term Hero’ awards to the student staff feel has really made progress during the previous half term. Winners so far this year are: Ethan Shaw, Brandon Morris and Finlay Watson (twice!).
ERP in the news
As part of World Autism Awareness Week (WAAW), ERP staff led on supporting teaching staff to make a pledge to make their classrooms more Autism-friendly. Thanks to support from staff, students and parents/carers, we were able to raise money for NAS. We were very proud to make it into the York Evening Press!
A new development this year has been our Coffee Afternoon, aimed at parents/carers of young people with Autism. We held the first one in the Spring term, and shall be holding one this half term. Watch this space!