Group 1 is one of the six KS4/KS5 classes and is part of the Formal pathway within the Academy. At present there are seven young men and one young lady within the group, aged between fourteen and seventeen years.
The students in Group 1 are working within the following ranges:
English: Entry Level 3 - Level 2
Maths: Entry Level 2 - Level 2
Science: Entry Level 3 - Level 1
All students in the group are mobile and all but one use verbal communication well. Most have a diagnosis of ASD and need time and space to express their thoughts. They are good communicators and can interest peers and adults with conversations. Most have a good and developed sense of humour and most can be talked round if they become distressed for any reason.
There are two members of staff in Group 1: Mr Luis Camilo (Tutor), Mrs Karen Hicklin (Teaching Assistant).
The students use all classrooms well and appropriately. They make use of college facilities and know how to behave appropriately in different situations. They are aware of safety issues and can look after themselves and each other. All the students follow accredited courses in English, Maths, Science, Humanities, Computing and PSD. In September 2015 we introduced a Preparing for Adulthood curriculum, which continues to develop skills, knowledge and understanding within Employment, Community, Independence and Health.
In Group 1 we try to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere in tutor time. Students are encouraged to read age appropriate material and have meaningful and light-hearted interactions with the staff and peers, or play a range of social card games. Everyone is encouraged to join in class discussions and often students will work in small groups and feedback any issues arising. There is always time for more in depth one-to-one conversations if there are any obvious issues for any of the students. We try and value the whole student and encourage them to express whatever is either making them feel upbeat or downcast. Given the age and stage of the students in Group 1 we spend a lot of time trying to prepare them for life in the outside world. We look at independence skills, good communication skills, appropriate ICT skills and developing lasting interests.
We work closely with any professional associated with students in Group 1, and this currently includes working with physiotherapy and CAMHS. Communication between home and the Academy is especially important. Students’ planners are checked each morning and a note written from the Academy if appropriate. A phone call or email is always welcome – it is good to get to know how the students are getting on away from the Academy to see if any support can be offered or advice given back.
Students in Group 1 are currently working hard towards accreditations in the core subjects, and many are considering their future – whether with project SEARCH or at a local college.
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