Our learners demonstrated their ever-growing independence skills on Friday 30th September when raising a record total for Macmillan Cancer Support by staging their own coffee morning.
With the school giving students the skills to live independently and delivering the confidence to deal with social situations, the morning was the perfect opportunity to put learners in charge, serving refreshments to visitors, practicing handling money, and counting the profits – which learner Tom declared as £515.13, a significant increase on the school’s previous best of £367 last year.
Byron was one of the learners in charge of selling goods on Friday, and showed his progress at the school by confidently serving numerous customers. His mother Jackie said: “Byron has really enjoyed today and practicing new skills he is being taught. He has been at LVS Oxford since December and is thriving. He comes home happy, wants to go to school and is so enthusiastic, just like throwing himself into today’s event – all things that did not happen before”.
With a number of learners currently studying the Jamie Oliver Cooking Skills BTEC, one of a range of qualifications LVS Oxford students can study alongside GCSEs, the morning also provided some practical learning opportunities in creating goods to sell at the event with many home-made cakes on sale contributing to the school’s record breaking sales total.
12-year-old Dan Boorman bravely overcame his own difficulties with communication and interaction to personally raise over £100 of the total by selling cakes he made himself with mother Lindsey at Ladygrove Church in Didcot. His father High said: “Dan stood in front of the whole congregation to announce the cake sale and to collect the money and talk to people buying goods. He has been at LVS Oxford since September 2015 and we have noticed an amazing difference in what he can do – the confidence he has developed since joining, and his ability and willingness to stand up and be centre stage in front of people”.
The LVS Oxford therapy team played a key supporting role in the day, with speech and language therapy sessions preparing learners in advance to know the right things to say to prospective customers and giving them practice in the type of dialogue they would face in that social situation, just as they do in the build up to work experience placements to ensure students are comfortable and confident about the situation they will face.
LVS Oxford Head of Centre Louisa Allison-Bergin said: “We are delighted that not only has LVS Oxford contributed to such a worthy cause, but that in allowing our learners to take a key role in the successful event they have been able to gain practical experience in several key areas that we look to develop them in, such as social skills and learning to become more independent".
We offer a specialist curriculum that recognises young people diagnosed on the autistic spectrum as individuals.