Using your child’s strengths
We work with your child using approaches that have been tried and tested. We know they’re effective and will help your child because they’re based on sound autism research and evidence.
Our curriculum includes the key stages of the National Curriculum. This will be adapted for your child according to their abilities and preferred way of working, because we always structure our teaching around your child’s personal strengths. This means that children are placed in key stage groups rather than in individual year groups. Key stage 1 and 2 work within the primary department, while key stages 3 and 4, and post-16, are divided into cognitively compatible groups.
All of our teaching staff are well trained in special educational needs and autism. Class groups are small with no more than eight students and with the constant support of teaching assistants, often on a one-to-one basis. Your child’s progress is constantly tracked, and reviewed at least termly, to make sure that the correct specialist help is made available.
We encourage every child to join in with school life, as far as possible. We understand how autism affects your child, and always make sure that they are happy to try new things, and support them when they are ready to do so. This means that if they don’t like swimming, for example, they don’t have to take part.
An important part of our curriculum is Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE). We will help your child to gain confidence in all the life skills they need as they grow and learn. And as your child enters key stage 4 they will learn about careers, work experience and (with your consent) sex and relationships.
Education from 5 to 11 years
In our primary department, children are taught in a class group by their own class teacher. Our communication methods include speech, symbols, photographs, objects and signing. We choose the method depending on your child’s level of understanding.
Many of our children choose to use the PECS system to communicate, and carry a folder of symbols with them at school. There are PECS folders available in the café as well. For example, a child can use the café folder to pick out the symbols for “I want”, “toast” and “with butter”.
Education from 12 to 16 years
In our secondary department, children have a class tutor for English, Mathematics and PSHCE, and specialists for other subjects.
We offer Numeracy, Literacy, Science, History, Geography and Modern Languages. All children at key stage 4 can take externally accredited courses including ASDAN (which includes a range of life skills and academic courses), AQA units and NCFE qualifications and GCSEs. With the latter, students often attend another school or college to help them with their future transition beyond school.
Our young people follow a pathway which ensures learning is planned alongside the skills your child will find of most benefit in their future life. It will help prepare them for the next transitional stage in their lives and the opportunities and responsibilities of adult life.
The focus is on developing a range of functional skills from communication and IT, to leisure and vocational activities. We make use of our local community’s facilities as much as possible to ensure your child’s learning is practical as well. They may learn how to set up a bank account, or how to use a bus daily.
We also offer your child vocational and enterprise experience, either in school or with local employers. We have a number of realistic work environments (RWEs) which are designed to offer our young people a taste of ‘real’ business life.
Where possible, we encourage our students to proceed to mainstream school and further education colleges.
At Robert Ogden School we believe that children and young people on the autism spectrum learn best when activities are functional and meaningful.
We have introduced a strand of the curriculum designed to involve our pupils in gaining skills which they will be able to take forward into adult life. Pupils are offered the opportunity to work in our café, the shop and pop up shop or in the garden. Cookery lessons and pottery sessions also feed into this area of school life with pupils making a wide range of items to sell in the shop.
We provide work experience placements internally, for example working with our maintenance team, as well as externally, such as in local shops, supermarkets, resturants and care homes.
MyProgress® at Robert Ogden
At Robert Ogden we use MyProgress®, The National Autistic Society’s programme for working with children on the autism spectrum. 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.
Clubs and activities
At the end of each day pupils can choose from a range of activities such as karaoke club, girls’ club, football club, the green club or walking club. During this time children work on targets from the PSHCE curriculum.