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Options Higford is a DfE registered School, offering day and residential placements and has achieved Autism Accreditation with the National Autistic Society for Quality Autism provision. We offer adapted and differentiated access to the National Curriculum for students at key stage 2-4, supplemented by ASDAN programmes ‘New Horizons’ and ‘Transition Challenge’. For students at key stage 5 we offer a vocational and life-skills curriculum, based around the ASDAN ‘Personal Progress’ award, supplemented by additional units of work or accredited programmes as appropriate, including community based learning, work experience and functional skills.

The B² assessment tool is used to measure progress throughout the school, in line with Department for Education Guidance, for students achieving within P-scale and National Curriculum Levels. The Annual Education Review process reviews the Statement of Educational Need/Education, Health and Care Plan and targets set and provides information on progress made.

We offer an exceptional range of activities and amenities designed to promote the development of life skills and apply learning across a range of contexts. These include:

  • Classrooms designed specifically for young people with autism and complex needs
  • A ‘Sensory Hub’ made up of a range of different sensory rooms in which students can explore new sensory experiences and take control of their environments, including a water play room, wellbeing room, sensory room, health hub (incorporating sauna and gym) and soft play room
  • A sports hall and ball-court for PE and sporting activities
  • A bistro area for shared dining
  • Outdoor facilities including a sunken trampoline, playground, climbing-frame, swings and extensive grounds where students can engage in adventurous physical activity

Our multi-disciplinary team approach offers a holistic service based on sound knowledge and understanding of autism and what works in supporting learning for people with Autism and additional needs. Our clinical team is based on-site and includes speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, psychology and nursing services. We use the National Autistic Society SPELL approach in order to maximise access to the whole curriculum including prioritising structure by using principles from TEACCH to organise the environment, the use of personal schedules and systematic strategies to work. We offer a high ratio of staff to pupils, generally 1:1 support provided with a class of up to 5 students. All staff have comprehensive training, focusing on the specialist knowledge necessary to support the complex needs of our students.

We aim to ensure we support the development of young people who are: happy and confident with a positive self-esteem, able to learn independently and cooperatively, independent and sociable, able to communicate their feelings, wishes and needs and are able to make choices, manage their own behaviour and enjoy life.

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