Gateway Centre (managed by Clarendon School)

Head of Centre: Ms S Bright

Designation: Autistic spectrum conditions

Age range: 11 to 16

Aims and purpose of the Centre

The Gateway Centre is the local authority inclusion centre for students with autistic spectrum conditions. It is part of Clarendon school but situated beside Twickenham Academy. Students attending The Gateway are included in the mainstream opportunities offered by Twickenham Academy, participating in school life within a mainstream peer group. It provides an environment in which students who have an autistic spectrum condition are taught a curriculum appropriate to their needs, including the national curriculum, and are offered the level of support they need to be successful. This is achieved by access to a curriculum that creates the maximum opportunity for students to develop and practice key skills for learning, such as listening, attention, thinking and social skills.

Emphasis is placed on developing independence and social skills, enabling students to take full advantage of opportunities to be included in the main school classes at Twickenham Academy. Typically students access their academic education within mainstream school the Centre provides programmes and strategies to support the students learning, communication and interaction skills so that they can be taught within a mainstream school.

Students start the day at 8.00am to prepare for the day ahead, spending time addressing organisational issues and levels of sensory arousal. They also stay one hour after school for the supported homework club, so they can go home free from anxiety.

Provision, staffing and facilities

The centre caters for students at key stage 3 and 4 (11 to 16 years). There is provision for 20 students.

The centre consists of a purpose built, on-site facility including teaching rooms, a large circular meeting and social area, a therapy room, a sensory room theatre and an outdoor play area. All classrooms have interactive whiteboards. There is a computer suite with work stations. Students work in a variety of groupings.

The centre has access to all facilities and buildings in the Twickenham Academy, including the fitness centre and gym with trampolines.

The centre currently has a full-time Head of Centre, two full-time teachers and seven teaching assistants. In addition, the centre is supported by a visiting part-time speech and language therapist (2.5 days a week), an occupational therapist (one session a week), and regular access to an educational psychologist.

Entry criteria

All students attending the centre have a statement of special needs with ASC as the main presenting need. They may have associated behavioural difficulties. Students are admitted to the centre through the Council’s special educational needs (SEN) panel arrangements.

Identifying and reviewing needs

Each student has an individual education plan (IEP). The team allocates time each week to observe, evaluate and assess the progress of individual students. Progress is recorded by the team using student progress records which inform the teacher’s daily planning. These observations are then used in the development of the student’s IEP and annual review targets. Students are also part of the school assessment programme.

Each IEP is reviewed termly and new targets are devised. This is discussed in consultation with parents, carers and the student. Targets within the IEP will usually be specifically related to austistic spectrum condition and the specific learning difficulties of the individual student. The IEP details specific strategies, the time scale for the target to be achieved and how success will be measured in achieving the target. Students statements of SEN are reviewed annually when the statement may be amended to meet the changing needs of the student. The annual review involves the teachers of the Centre, teaching assistants, parents or carers, educational psychologist, and other professionals who work with the students, and at key points in the student’s education a representative of the local authority.

Access to a broad and balanced curriculum

Students follow the national curriculum at a level suitably differentiated to their individual learning needs.

The centre follows appropriate aspects of the religious education curriculum. Parents or carers can withdraw their child from religious education if they wish.

An individual inclusion package will be negotiated for each student, beginning with the curriculum subjects in which the student possesses particular strengths, or interests, in order to promote success for the student. Normally if a student does not follow a National Curriculum subject in mainstream for a long or short period, it will be delivered in the Gateway. Staff use a combination of different ASD specific teaching approaches as part of each student’s individual programme.

Home-school links

The Centre works in partnership with parents or carers offering advice and support. This is achieved in a variety of ways, through meetings or telephone calls. Parents or carers are welcome to make an appointment with the Head of Centre to discuss their child at any time.

There are inset opportunities for parents or carers as well as professionals.

The best form of regular communication between home and school is agreed individually. The first point of contact is the student’s keyworker.

Parent and carer coffee mornings are held approximately once a month.

Trips out may include parents and carers.

Links beyond the school

The Centre works in partnership with other professionals involved with the development of the student including occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, educational psychologists and physiotherapists.

Links with mainstream classes

Students at the Centre are included in a tutor group within Twickenham Academy, in order to establish a peer group which is the basis for understanding, acceptance and support within the school. Students receive their academic education within Twickenham Academy, enabling them to experience a sense of community and belonging. It is important for pupils to broaden their experiences and develop their confidence by making visits to other places. There is a formal agreement with the Academy which sets out its working arrangements with The Gateway Centre.

Where possible, students can join in mainstream after-school clubs and school journeys.

Social skills

A student’s needs are assessed in their first half-term at the Centre and an individual social skills programme is drawn up by the speech and language therapist.

The Gateway encourages reverse inclusion where students invite their mainstream peers into The Gateway. The Centre will also develop a ‘circle of friends’ with students from the tutor group to support the students’ social inclusion

Transition to the next stage in education

All students will have a transition review from Year 9 onwards. The Centre will work in partnership with the Connexions Service and colleagues to plan the students’ transition into further education, training or work. Students may seek advice even when they have left.

Contact details

The Gateway Centre

Twickenham Academy

Percy Road, Whitton,  TW2 6JW
Telephone: 020 8894 4503
Fax: 020 8894 0690

Updated: 1 February 2011