LVS Oxford has been steadily growing its KS3 student numbers since September and is delighted by the progress being made by both new and existing learners in Years 7, 8 and 9.
Another important aspect is developing skills and confidence that paves the way for learners to participate in work placements when they are further up the school. The KS3 class spent a memorable afternoon at Pizza Express in central Oxford, where they learnt how this popular chain run their restaurants. They were also able to make their own pizzas under instruction in a workplace setting. This Oxford trip also included a visit to the Oxford Castle where they learnt about the building’s 1,000 year history and climbed the mound of the 11th century motte-and-bailey castle.
The KS3 curriculum includes a range of opportunities for students to learn through practical experience and subjects like horticulture, forest school, music, cooking, live life well, health and fitness, and enterprise. This year, the lower school has been taking advantage of the extensive grounds that LVS Oxford, a former Priory, lies within. Students have been taking on responsibility for looking after the school’s chickens and working in teams to build dens as part of their forest school lessons.
Head of School Louisa Allison-Bergin said: “We firmly believe that, given the right environment and coping strategies, young students who have found it difficult to access school prior to coming to LVS Oxford can progress and flourish, reaching their full potential. I am extremely proud of the progress that all our students have made this term. As the school grows, we are particularly keen to expand the lower school and support as many students as we can. Our aim is to help them achieve both in terms of academic attainment and in being prepared for working life and independent living when they move on to college or into the workplace.”
Starting a new school is hard for all students, but for those with autism it can be particularly daunting as school has often represented an overwhelming place that has led to feelings of anxiety and confusion. LVS Oxford prides itself on bespoke transition plans for each new student with support from therapy staff as well as tutors, teachers and learning support assistants. The link between school and home is critical so that each student’s transition can be closely monitored and adapted as needs arise.
By equipping students with coping strategies that help them feel empowered in school, their ability to learn and try new things increases rapidly.
“Although only open since September 2014 and currently with just over 20 pupils, the school has already established its expertise in the field of specialist independent provision for children and youngsters with a diagnosis of ASD. I therefore consider that a placement for X at LVS Oxford would be suitable to meet his needs and have complete confidence that the provision he requires would be delivered as set out in his amended statement. A placement for X at LVS Oxford would ensure that he achieves the best possible educational outcomes to meet his needs arising from his ASD”.