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Learning

Boy writing

Curriculum

We believe in your child’s ability

At Thames Valley School we offer a full and rounded education to children with autism from ages 5 to 16. We have high expectations, which is why we ask our children to work hard, and encourage them always to do their best.

One thing our students comment on is that, unlike in the other schools they have attended, here they are never ‘forced’ to work. Instead, we like our children to enjoy their studies, and learn how they learn best. Our students make exceptional progress because we give them more control over the way they do their work, and always making it clear that we believe that they can do it, and that we expect them to complete their tasks.

We deliver the National Curriculum at all key stages, and expect most of our pupils to attain at least the same levels as children in mainstream schools. By age 16, our pupils will take national qualifications, and our target is for most to gain five GCSEs at A to C, or equivalent BTEC qualifications or ASDAN life and work skill qualifications.

Our curriculum

At Thames Valley School, we place a strong emphasis on English and maths as they are at the core of success in every other subject. As pupils move into our secondary provision, we increasingly focus on Science and ICT too and many of our pupils show an interest and a talent in these subjects.

Through a topic-based approach we deliver history, geography, RE,  food technology, and art and design. PE is a very important part of our curriculum as is Personal, Health and Social Education (PHSE). In everything we do, we emphasise social, moral, citizenship and life skills, encouraging your child to do well and to make a positive contribution to their community.

Our curriculum encourages your child to overcome barriers to their learning, to develop coping strategies, and to learn to manage their own behaviour.

Every child has their own individual education plan. Through this plan we build on your child’s strengths and capitalise on their interests, so they have a reason to learn, and believe in the importance of what they achieve.

Our classes

The class sizes at Thames Valley School are small: on average a class of six children will learn with one teacher and two learning mentors, and some children are supported individually.

We’ve found that our children learn best when they take most lessons in their own classroom. For science, art and design, and food technology, your child will learn in our specialist classrooms where they have excellent facilities and can extend their knowledge through experimentation and creativity. PE may happen in the hall, the playground, the sports centre next door or in other community facilities.

Learning beyond Thames Valley School

Your child is gaining knowledge and skills that will take them on to further study and adult life. We therefore give all our pupils plenty of opportunities to extend their learning beyond our classrooms.

We make regular visits to places of educational interest such as galleries, museums, and farms and we use the sports centre next to the school every week.

MyProgress® at Thames Valley School

At Thames Valley School we use MyProgress®, The National Autistic Society’s programme for working with children with autism. For your child, MyProgress® means that from the day we meet them to the day they leave our school, their learning will be completely tailored to their needs. With MyProgress®, we will assess your child regularly, plan the approaches and strategies that will work best for them, deliver them and monitor your child’s progress. We are systematic and thorough, and above all, we work with you and your child to create the best education for them as an individual.

 

"It’s good here because they don’t ‘force’ you to do things you find hard. They help you."

Pupil


"Everything is personalised. In one lesson, four children will be doing four activities."

Amy, Primary teacher