LVS Oxford's learners were the stars of the show at a special Celebration of Achievement ceremony last month.
The school held its first ever Celebration of Achievement and Sixth Form Prom in the grand setting of a marquee which had been erected especially for it and the school’s official Royal opening with The Countess of Wessex on 19th May. The celebration was a commemoration of the fine progress school’s 48 learners have made at the school in the past year.
The celebration saw parents, staff and learners come together as Sarah Sherwood, Director of SEN at LVS Oxford and LVS Hassocks, presented trophies for a number of worthy efforts such as the Outstanding Contribution to Charity Award to Dan for raising £190 for Sports Relief. Despite communication difficulties and hypersensitivity to sound, Dan summoned up the courage to make a public announcement in the busy Ladygrove Church in Didcot, asking people to sponsor him, and collected donations himself. His dad Hugh said: “The communication and interaction were a bigger challenge for him than the run. I think the church realised that and wanted to honour him for his courage”.
The Occupational Therapy Award went to Craig Harris, who has shown great determination to overcome barriers to increase his attendance, having been out of school for three years prior to joining LVS Oxford but now embracing opportunities and engaging well. His mum Debbie said: “The therapy team at LVS Oxford has been amazing and I don’t know where we would be without them. Craig is now part of the family again whereas before he was alienated”.
The Drama Award went to Eddie Dancer, whose fine performances in LVS Oxford drama added to his excellent show at London’s international Autism’s Got Talent extravaganza in front of 600 people, whilst Peter Davies won the Home Cooking Award for his independent work in one of the four new vocational BTEC qualifications the school has recently begun.
The largest award of the night, for Outstanding Achievement, went to Ben Neesome for becoming an excellent role model for LVS Oxford in less than a year at the school, resulting in him moving up early to sixth form to continue his rapid development.
Head of Centre Louisa Allison-Bergin said: “Our Celebration of Achievement was a new but important addition to what we do at LVS Oxford. We are developing so much talent and ability in our young adults with autism, be it through academic progress, independent living skills or preparing them for careers beyond the school. Another vital aspect is social and emotional wellbeing and this event has not only given learners the confidence to keep on improving but has also helped them become role models for each other and inspire each other”.
You can view an album of images from a memorable day here.
Current research shows that only 15% of young people with an autism spectrum diagnosis are in sustained, full-time employment and we are passionate about changing that statistic.