Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex praised LVS Oxford’s work developing the potential of young people with autism today, after officially opening and seeing the school on Thursday 19th May.
The Countess of Wessex saw a horticulture class taking place, and commented: “It is great that the curriculum here includes working outside, and that learning has a vocational purpose to it”.
The Countess enjoyed a full tour of the school with its Head Boy Charlie Goode (18 years old), including a look inside the school’s provision for weekly residential learners who attend from eleven different local authorities. Charlie told Her Royal Highness of his plans to study ICT at university next year, with The Countess of Wessex impressed by the school’s focus on careers and further education.
Charlie’s mother, Carol, who attended the opening, acknowledged the influence LVS Oxford had played in his development: “The school has been his life saver, before joining he was out of education for two years. He has grown in confidence and self-esteem at the school and is now in the right learning environment for his needs. He is now planning to go to University next year”.
The Countess of Wessex’s tour included a visit to areas of learning and development for learners including a ‘life skills’ room, where learners practice home based tasks such as cleaning, vacuuming and bed making, and met the school’s therapists who talked about their role in building social and emotional wellbeing through blending therapy throughout the classroom curriculum and timetabled social skills sessions. The Countess also saw four classrooms where learners are currently studying for their GCSE, A-levels and BTECs.
The event was supported by autism advocate Anna Kennedy and representatives from local education authorities who place children at the school, and concluded with Her Royal Highness unveiling a plaque to mark the occasion, addressing guests and receiving gifts from learner Morgan. 14-year-old Morgan said: “I was really nervous before going up on stage, but I am now really pleased with myself as I overcame my worries which will give me confidence for the future”.
You can see the contributions of learners to the book capturing their progress since joining LVS Oxford here.
Many of the tasks the students undertake will help build competencies in citizenship, relating to others, managing situations and working as part of a team - all key to being fulfilled and employable adults.