A PARENTS GUIDE TO OUR SCHOOL

 

Our School at a glance…

  • Co-educational
  • Day School
  • 4-16 Years
  • 104 Crouch Hill, London N8 9EA
  • 020 8348 8500 admin@kestrelhouseschool.co.uk

 

How does the school know when a young person needs extra help?

Kestrel House School is a special school which specially and exclusively meets the needs of pupils with Autism and associated complex needs and learning difficulties. We have classes for pupils from Reception right through to the end of Year 11. (5 – 16 years of age). Kestrel House School is part of a nationwide group of schools and the proprietors are Acorn Care and Education.

All pupils who attend Kestrel House School have an Education, Health and Care Plan, this identifies Kestrel House as the most appropriate school provision for the young person and will give details of what must be put in place to meet each individual’s needs; this may include access to our Speech and Language and Occupational Therapists and our Clinical Psychologist.

The Education, Health and Care Plan identities a pupil’s primary and additional needs. These needs and related progress are reviewed annually in collaboration with parents and carers through the Annual Review of the Education, Health and Care Plan.

The pupils’ personal, social and academic progress together with the progress made against their individual objectives written into the Education, Health and Care Plan are monitored regularly by the Head teacher, the Leadership Team and the Therapists. Where pupils are not making expected progress staff work together to design, implement and evaluate interventions to remedy the situation. The school will communicate with parents about interventions and strategies, and will work alongside parents and carers to enable generalisation of skills to home.

 

How will the school staff support my young person?

All pupils at Kestrel House have an Education, Health and Care Plan. These documents outline the needs of your child and recommend the provision, resources, approaches, therapy and multi-agency involvement required to meet those needs.

When a pupil starts at Kestrel House we will use the information we have in the Education, Health and Care Plan to inform our initial planning but the pupil will then have an initial assessment which will take six weeks. This will involve the class team and teacher along with the therapists; parents then receive a report outlining the areas of focus and strategies and interventions that we plan to use for that individual pupil and these will be recorded in each pupil’s ‘working with me’ pack which is shared with all staff working with your child. This is then updated regularly when the therapists and class teams have their joint planning meetings to discuss each child and the intervention and strategies that are being used to ensure they are working and updating and changing them if necessary. All the staff who work with your child are working together on enabling your child to meet their targets.

As well as a personalised package for each child that is based upon the multi–disciplinary assessment, pupils are supported by a high level of adult support. All staff receive ongoing training on how best to meet the needs of pupils with autism and autism specific strategies and interventions as well as training about the curriculum and teaching and learning.

Combined with the outcomes of the initial assessment, the overall objectives of the Education, Health and Care Plan are broken down into smaller targets on the young person’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Individual Education Plans are drawn up by your child’s class teacher in liaison with our therapy team. Therapy and IEP targets are set at the start of each term and will also say how we will help the pupil to meet that target. Progress towards the targets is measured and evaluated at the end of each term and parents receive a written update about this.

Each pupil at Kestrel House is supported by having access to both our specialist curriculum (addressing their needs in relation to their autism e.g. social communication, sensory processing regulation, edibility etc) and our academic curriculum which is broad and balanced and based upon the National Curriculum. The balance of access to this for each child will be personal to them and be decided in response to their individual needs. Each pupil is supported to make progress by the teachers planning an individual leaning outcome for every individual in every lesson.

Kestrel House School was graded as a good school with elements of Outstanding practice in April 2013 by Ofsted.

 

How will the curriculum be matched to my young person’s needs?

All pupils at Kestrel House School have access to a broad and balanced curriculum and are supported to access both our specialist curriculum (addressing their needs in relation to their autism e.g. social communication, sensory processing regulation, edibility etc) and our academic curriculum which is broad and balanced and includes the National Curriculum. Access to the curriculum is facilitated by using Autism specific strategies and supported by the therapists.

Class will have a maximum of 6 or 7 pupils with a teacher and at least two learning support assistants. As part of our practice we differentiate activities and tasks in lessons and each pupil is supported to make progress by the teacher planning for each child individually and identifying and evaluating progress against an individual leaning outcome. In most lessons there will be elements of teaching in small groups, pairs, or 1:1 as well as independent work. As part of their day pupils will also be supported to access their sensory diets and movement break as they need them.

We place an emphasis on activities that emphasise life skills, functional and independence skills throughout our curriculum and pupils work towards ASDAN qualifications and accreditation for the learning across the school. Pupils also have opportunities to practice and generalise their skills in the local community at shops, cafés and amenities such as swimming pools and libraries. When pupils are 15 and 16 years old we offer them opportunities for work experience either in school or the local community as appropriate.

Where it is identified that a pupil will bene t from access to some mainstream links we can use existing links with both local primary and secondary schools to set up some mainstream opportunities. Where this is very successful we will work with families and the local authority to consider mainstream re- integration. Over the past three years we have successfully transitioned three pupils back to mainstream full time.

Additional therapies and activities that enhance the curriculum and the pupils’ learning include Music Therapy, Yoga, Lego Therapy, Attention Autism, Intensive Interaction, Sensory Integration, conditioned relaxation, Rock Climbing, horse riding, trampolining and swimming. We also run a weekly girls club for our female pupils as they are in a minority. In addition pupils bene t from access to our well-equipped sensory room, movement room and our calm rooms and the use of IPad technology for support with communication.

 

How will both you and I know how my young person’s doing and how will you help me to support my young person’s needs?

All students at Kestrel House have an Education, Health and Care Plan. These documents outline the needs of your child and recommend the provision, resources, approaches and multi-agency involvement required to meet those needs. The overall objectives of the Education, Health and Care Plan are broken down into smaller targets on the young person’s Individual Education Plan and in therapy targets (IEP). Individual Education Plans targets are drawn up each term by your child’s class teacher in liaison with our therapists. Therapy and IEP targets are set at the start of each term and will also say how we will help the pupil to meet that target. Progress towards the targets is measured and evaluated at the end of each term and parents receive a written update about this.

Teachers evaluate every lesson and activity and record whether each pupil has met the planned learning outcome so that this can inform the planning for the next lesson and ensure all pupils make progress. In addition teachers regularly track and report to the head teacher on each pupil’s progression on the P levels and National Curriculum. The therapy team also use a range of tests and assessments alongside their observations and targets to measure progress in all areas e.g. sensory processing, the understanding of language and exibility etc and these assessment results and the measure of progress will be fed back to parents.

Our clinical psychologist is closely involved in monitoring and support behaviour and monitors each pupil’s ‘working with me’ pack which details how behaviours will be consistently be responded to by all staff and what new skills will be taught to the pupil to support positive behaviour changes.

Information about pupil progress is communicated to parents at various times throughout the year and in lots of different ways e.g. termly progress reports, good news post cards, annual reviews, IEP evaluations, certificates, termly parents’ evenings, emails, home school diaries and telephone calls.

At the start of each term we send home curriculum overviews to parents so they know the topics being covered in each subject area. Teachers are very happy to give parents more detailed information about key vocabulary and activities if they would like it.

Sometimes we run Parent Workshops and events that enable parents and carers to support their child’s learning and development at home as well offering access to our Sleep Counselling clinic and the National Autistic Society’s Early Bird Plus programme for families. In addition we are keen to respond to parents’ and carers’ requests for ideas and strategies to support with problems out of school and we can share resources and ideas with families that are working in school e.g. social stories, visual timetables and also create a programme to support with a problem that is specific to home e.g. a dog phobia or family meal time issues.

If you are at all worried about your child’s progress then please do contact their class teacher in the first instance.

 

What support will there be for my young person’s overall well-being?

We are committed to multi agency working to ensure that the needs of young person are met. Our Clinical Psychologist is the coordinator for multi-agency working across the school and our work with other agencies is frequent, sustained and responsive to student and family needs.

Professionals from other agencies such as CAMHS, Social Care and Health support the work of the school on a regular basis. These agencies work with us to support students, to devise strategies and offer training and advice whenever necessary.

We can offer our pupils access to a range of strategies and interventions that focus on reducing anxiety and promoting positive self-esteem e.g. yoga, music therapy, personalised programmes developed by our Clinical Psychologist.

Our school environment is autism friendly and designed to be a low arousal environment to reduce pupil anxiety e.g. no flicker lights, sound absorbing wall panels, air conditioning, visual symbols, accessible calm rooms on every floor near classrooms, fully equipped sensory room and movement room for sensory and movement breaks.

Where pupils are able to we also provide opportunities for them to develop empathy and an awareness of the needs of others.

 

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

All of our clinical and educational staff have undertaken specialist training and development. All staff follow a tailored induction program when they join Kestrel House School followed by ongoing continuing professional development; this is sometimes in school, or though collaboration with other schools as well as accessing outside courses and conferences.

Some of our teachers have, in addition to their teaching qualifications, further qualifications in SEN including Post Graduate Certi cates / Diplomas and Master’s Degrees in autism. We also have an OT who has completed post graduate study on Sensory Integration.

As a school we employ the following staff:

  • Specialist Speech and Language Therapist
  • Senior Occupational Therapist
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Trained Sleep Counsellors
  • Trainers for the National Autistic Society Early Bird Plus programme

In addition we have access to the following professionals as necessary:

  • Child and Adolescent Consultant Psychiatrists
  • Educational Psychologists

We also work closely with other agencies to meet students’ needs:

  • Social Workers
  • Local Authorities
  • Wider CAMHS professionals
  • Respite agencies and carers
  • Family support agencies and charities
  • Autism family support groups
  • Respected Autism Consultants

 

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?

As we are an Autism Specific school all of our training is targeted at developing staff’s understanding and skills in meeting the needs of pupils with Autism. Sometimes the training will be about autism specific interventions and strategies such as PECS, TEACCH (structured teaching) and Intensive Interaction. At other times it will be about how pupils with Autism think, learn and communicate and how we need to respond to their needs and facilitate maximum progress.

Teachers, Therapists, Teaching Assistants and other support staff are trained in positive handling using ‘Team Teach’ in order to keep pupils and others safe; we use this approach as it has a very strong emphasis on de-escalation.

As part of our ongoing continued professional development program we have worked with professionals on a wide range issues including mental health and Autism; Autism, sensory needs and our environment; Autism, sex and relationships education. In addition our Learning Support Assistants are offered access to Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications in supporting leaning in schools.

We also have a weekly staff training meetings for staff and class teams where we discuss best approaches and strategies for meeting the needs of the students.

We are currently working with other Autism Schools across London in research projects with the Institute of Education in London.

The relevant staff receive regular and high quality training regarding safeguarding from the Local Children’s Safeguarding Board and all school staff receive safeguarding training every year.

How will my young person be included in the activities outside the classroom including school trips?

Our o site visits are designed to enhance curricular and recreational opportunities for all of our students. O site visits are also designed to create opportunities for developing independence, communication and self- management skills, and to promote positive self-esteem. We have a rigorous in-house health and safety screening for all of our o site education and work placements. This will involve working with each placement to make them aware of individual student needs and also aware of specific SEN, through detailed pen portraits and observation of lessons.

All visits and o site activities are risk assessed to ensure they are appropriate and can be managed to suit individual needs.

 

How accessible is the school environment?

Our school environment is autism friendly and designed to be a low arousal environment to reduce pupil anxiety e.g. no flicker lights, sound absorbing wall panels, air conditioning, visual symbols, accessible calm rooms on every floor near classrooms, fully equipped sensory room and movement room for sensory and movement breaks.

The majority of the school can only be accessed via a fight of stairs and is not wheelchair accessible.

Disabled visitors would be able to access the building through the ground floor entrance where there is a disabled toilet.

Disabled parking is available on site by prior arrangement.

How will the school prepare and support my young person to join the school, transfer to college or the next stage of education and life?

We work closely with your Local Authority to ensure that every child is offered provision that can meet their needs. We host a monthly open morning, where prospective parents can meet the head teacher, therapists and see the school in action. Parents and carers can then express a preference for a place at Kestrel House School to their local Authority. As part of our admissions process we will usually observe prospective pupils in their current school or at home and then invite them into Kestrel House for a series of taster sessions. If Kestrel House offers a place this has to be agreed by your Local Authority before a child can start.

If a pupil’s placement is agreed we will work closely with families and other agencies throughout the transition stage to create bespoke transition packages that meet individual need.

Transition planning is an important part of the Annual Review process from Year 9 onwards. We work closely with families and other agencies to plan and consider post 16 and post 19 options and the support the young adult will need as they leave education.

We place an emphasis on activities that emphasise life skills, functional and independence skills throughout our curriculum and pupils work towards ASDAN qualifications and accreditation across the school. Pupils also have opportunities to practice and generalise their skills in the local community at shops, cafés and amenities such as swimming pools and libraries. When pupils are 15 and 16 years old we offer them opportunities for work experience either in school or the local community as appropriate.

We have regular mainstream links with a local junior school and every week some of their pupils come and have lunch with and play with our pupils in the playground. They also use our facilities for some of their pupils with SEN. Where it is identified that a pupil will bene t from access to some mainstream links we can use existing links with both local primary and secondary schools to set up some mainstream opportunities. Where this is very successful we will work with families and the local authority to consider mainstream re- integration.

We work closely with other providers to ensure that the transition post 16 is as smooth as possible

 

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to young people’s special educational needs?

The majority of the schools resources are used to provide small class sizes with appropriate levels of staffing and the therapies that we offer.

All of our classes are provided with resources to ensure the delivery of a personalised curriculum.

 

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

Your child’s Education, Health and Care Plan identifies the level of support required to meet your child’s needs. This is agreed through discussion between the school and your Local Authority.

We plan provision to achieve the objectives outlined in the Education, Health and Care Plan for each individual pupil.

 

How are parents involved in the school? How can I be involved?

At Kestrel House School we believe in working in partnership with parents and carers to achieve the very best outcomes for all of our pupils. We communicate regularly with parents, thorough the home school diaries, termly Parent Consultation Evenings / conference calls; face to face meetings and Annual Reviews. We also communicate with parents and carers via termly reports, therapy reports and curriculum overviews, and newsletters. Parents, carers and other family members are invited to join us at the school for our Christmas concert and our end of year achievement assembly and feedback their views via parent consultations.

Sometimes we run Parent Workshops and events that enable parents and carers to support child’s learning and development at home as well offering access to our Sleep Counselling clinic and the National Autistic Society’s Early Bird Plus programme for families. In addition we are keen to respond to parents and carers requests for ideas and strategies to support with problems out of school and we can share resources and ideas with families that are working in school e.g. Social stories, Visual timetables and also create a programme to support with a problem that is specific to home e.g. a dog phobia or family meal time issues.

As a school we always welcome contact from parents and carers and would encourage parents to contact us the home school diary or calling the school office if there are any questions or concerns.

 

 

Who can I contact for further information?

If you would like further information please look at our website www.kestrelhouseschool.co.uk. Alternatively please contact our administrative team on admin@kestrelhouseschool.co.uk or 020 8348 8500 they will take your details and ensure someone gets back to you to answer your questions.

Kestrel House School 104 Crouch Hill, London N8 9EA

T: 020 8348 8500
E: admin@kestrelhouseschool.co.uk