Creating inspiring classrooms
The Holden School is a purpose-built school that has been designed specifically with the needs of the children we support in mind. Each class has no more than six or seven children looked after by a teacher and teaching assistant, so children get a high level of personalised support. The classrooms are spacious, bright and have spaces for learning, playing and relaxing so the children have the right level of stimulation. Children can also use our large hall and the playground to enhance their learning experiences as part of their weekly lessons.
Building strong relationships
We place a great deal of emphasis on teaching children how to develop and sustain positive relationships and much of this is mirrored through the role models they have in their teachers. It’s the teachers who serve children breakfast in the morning and sit alongside them during lunch. Teachers also lead the children in guided play during their breaks and have fun with them on our weekly reward trips. It’s during these more informal times together that students and teachers have an opportunity to build confidence and trust in each other.
Taking a nurturing approach
We take a nurturing approach to education here at The Holden School. Many of the children we support have significant gaps in their development which we seek to identify and address through everything we do. Broadly speaking, children will be in a class with others of a similar age. However, if we feel that a particular child would benefit from being in a class with children who are of a similar developmental level, then we will look to move them accordingly. What’s crucial is that children develop the core capabilities with enhanced social and emotional support at a pace that’s right for them. As children develop the confidence to express themselves and a sense of self-esteem, we find they make great academic progress too.
Supporting children with autism
We have an additional class that offers focused provision for students with autism spectrum disorders. Through this class, we offer a highly structured and ‘autistic-friendly’ environment that promotes communication and independence. Our skilled staff have expertise in using visual prompts and alternative communication systems to help the children progress socially and academically. We ensure that children within our autism provision are well integrated into the rest of the school and can make the most of the wide range of activities on offer to them.