LVS Oxford has linked up with Oxford Brookes University to provide students doing teacher training degrees with the opportunity to gain valuable experience of how a school for children with autism functions.
A regular partnership is being planned which would allow students on the BA (Hons) Primary Teacher Education course to gain important training from observing lessons and gaining different perspectives on teaching styles, after the two education centres linked up successfully at the end of 2015. Oxford Brookes contacted LVS Oxford as the ideal school to host their one week Special Educational Needs placements.
Jon Reid, Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes, said: “LVS Oxford has supported and continues to support placements which offer our BA Primary Teacher Education students unique experiences which contribute to their knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to supporting pupils with additional learning needs. Such experiences are very much appreciated and recognised as being an important part of students continuing professional development. Developing positive relationships with LVS Oxford pupils, in a brief one-week placement, is key to developing our student’s confidence and awareness of additional leaning needs. By working with these pupils, their teachers and the wider school community, students are introduced to successful approaches to teaching and learning which they can take with them to support pupils in their own teaching.
Three Oxford Brookes students in October, and another two in December, were able to spend a week at LVS Oxford and learn about our ethos of developing learners’ prospects through encouraging their movement towards independent living and destinations beyond the school, social and emotional wellbeing, and academic progress. It allowed them to see first-hand the giant strides LVS Oxford is making in terms of the range of qualifications offered to learners, with four new BTEC courses – in Sport, Health & Social Care, Business and Cooking – beginning last term and plans to provide even more academic options soon.
The first three Primary Teacher Education degree students to benefit from the placements – Sasha, Sarah and Rebecca – wrote to LVS Oxford after their week to say: “The school is really nice with a positive ethos which made our experience in a new setting a lot more relaxing. Compared to previous schools we have been in, this was the most organised and it has been the most welcoming”.
Louisa Allison-Bergin, Head of Centre at LVS Oxford, said: “As well as developing our learners so they gain confidence and can live independently, we are also in a position to educate people about how to interact with, and respond to, learners with autism. The Oxford Brookes students enjoyed a valuable week doing some really good work with our learners. Our excellent staff have hopefully played a key part in their practical training which will help enable them to take on future roles to continue to further the progress being made in SEN education”.
Parents and carers speak positively about the ways in which staff promote positive behaviour. One said "staff are very caring, they talk to students positively and handle things fairly"