The Topaz Provision provides a communication-centred environment that supports the children in all areas of their learning. All children in Topaz also have a mainstream class; children split their time between the SRP and their mainstream class, accessing lessons where they can succeed. Topaz is designed to support children to reintegrate back into their mainstream classes, while providing a safe base to return to if the children need a quieter environment with more support. Children are assisted to achieve goals set out in their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP); goals are reviewed on a yearly basis. Topaz offers a supportive and nurturing environment with high expectations in terms of behaviour and learning; this enables individuals to successfully access the mainstream curriculum and the wider school activities.
In total, there are 14 places for this Specialist Resource Provision and they are allocated by the Local Authority.
Alongside our whole school mission statement of Learning, Local Community, Laughter, Loyalty, Love and Leadership we aim to:
- Support children with ASD to remain in a mainstream school environment.
- Ensure children feel confident, safe and secure within the nurturing enriching environment of the SRP and to feel a sense of belonging.
- Help students to regulate their emotions effectively and find ways of coping with challenging emotions that may arise throughout the day.
- Engage children by using a wide array of resources to support their independence.
- Celebrate individuals’ successes and motivate them to ‘dream big’.
- Encourage students to engage in a mainstream curriculum and know they are making progress, feeling proud of their achievements.
- Develop children’s social skills to enable good relationships with their peers where they value friendship, trust and kindness.
- Work holistically with parents, carers and external agencies to develop effective approaches to support the progress of the child.
- Celebrate the brilliance of each child and help build their confidence and self-esteem.
- Understand that people are all different, have different needs at certain times in their lives and that a community which recognises, supports and celebrate these differences is one which is caring and tolerant.
The referral pathway for a placement in an SRP is through Achieving for Children’s (AfC) Special Educational Needs Panel who manage admission to the SRP.
Staff work with all of the students in their Key Stage provision at different points throughout the week, as well as staff working flexibly across the Topaz and Little Topaz classrooms; this prevents individuals from becoming dependent on one particular member of staff. Staff are consistent in their approach to behaviour management and general expectations.
SRP and mainstream staff work closely to deliver quality first teaching as well as intervention where necessary. The children in the Provision are supported to decide which lessons they can access with their mainstream class. Students have access to mainstream lessons where they feel secure and able to succeed; this aids pupil autonomy and encourages independence. Children from the Provision either access their mainstream class with a supporting adult from the Provision or independently; this depends on individual strengths and needs.
Routines have been established within the Provision, with individual visual timetables used for each child to provide structure and help each child to stay regulated. Provision staff ensure there is consistency, where possible, in terms of the subjects that each child accesses in their mainstream class to prevent gaps in learning from developing. In addition, staff in the provision work closely with mainstream class teachers to plan and support learning. Pre-teaching in the SRP helps children to be successful in their mainstream class and boosts confidence.
The children in the provision have their own individual work stations. Work stations help children to feel secure and safe; this also supports regulation and creates a calm environment. There are also shared work spaces where children are encouraged to work together and discuss their learning. All lessons in the Provision and across the mainstream classes are differentiated appropriately. Small group teaching sessions in the Provision include gross and fine motor activities; Lego therapy sessions; attention and listening groups; nurture groups; sessions to support working memory; and structured personalised sensory sessions.
Students in the Provision have the option to access playtimes and lunchtimes with their classes on the KS1 or KS2 playground or in the SRP. Children enjoy a range of indoor and outdoor activities. The trampoline, trampette and other OT equipment is used throughout the day during movement breaks, assisting regulation and helping children to return to their work feeling positive and more resilient.
The pupils in the SRP are supported to build and maintain positive relationships with their peers through specific social skills and PSHE lessons, discussion around conflict management and adult-led activities/games throughout the week. The pupils across Topaz influence planning through their individual interests and suggestions for books to study during English lessons.
The views of pupils are captured throughout the school year and regularly reflected on:
“I like bouncing on the trampoline in Big Topaz. I am better at reading now than I used to be. Going to school is important to me.”
“I love school as I get to see all of my friends. I enjoy English, maths, handwriting, spelling and OT at school.”
“I like moving my peg up for doing good work and making good choices.”
“I like seeing my friends every day in class and in Little Topaz. I enjoy school.
“I can’t think of a better place for our son, they provide everything our child needs. The staff are warm, understanding and protective.”
“The Topaz teacher is exceptional. She has high aspirations for the children, commensurate with their potential. Often this is lacking in special needs settings. Topaz provides a safe space and the environment needed by children like my son (ASD and ADHD, struggles with sensory processing).”
“My son has largely caught up academically, whilst building his social and coping skills. I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to access Topaz, my son would have been lost in the system without it.”
“School supports my child always and in many different ways. I can discuss my child’s progress or targets any time. Parents and teachers work as a team to reach targets. During difficult times of COVID, my child’s home learning was easy and calm because my child and myself were supported by the Topaz teacher fully. All learning materials were individually tailored by teacher for my child.”