Headteachers Welcome

Head's Welcome

Welcome to Presfield High School & Specialist College. I hope you enjoy learning about our fantastic students, all of whom have a diagnosis of autism. We are a very happy school with extremely dedicated staff which I am sure you will recognise, as your browse through our website. Our building is light and welcoming offering a chill out room, sensory room and a secure school play ground to help students if they become distressed. We have an on-site speech and language therapist, school counsellor, several intervention programmes including self esteem, anger management and dyslexia. All our students receive a sensory assessment during year 7. We understand that each student is unique and we believe every child should have the opportunity to learn and experience new challenges in a supportive environment. All classes are supported by one teacher and two teaching assistants ensuring that all students are offered an education that meets their needs. Staff know the students extremely well and can develop bespoke learning opportunities and positive interventions.

We subscribe to Dr Stephen Shores view that “if you have met one person with autism, you’ve met ONE person with autism”. Each student is different and we tailor our teaching to reflect this. All students have a learning support plan which identifies potential triggers and de-escalation techniques to support learning. The students have specific social targets based on the Autism Education Trust matrix which is available on our website. These are regularly reviewed and amended. Our students can exhibit significant social communication and language difficulties. Appropriate communication and social skills are necessary in order to express needs, desires and feelings. Language and communication are the foundations for the development of relationships, participating in society and accessing the curriculum. It is therefore crucial to develop skills in these areas in order to improve students’ quality of life and employability.

Our broad and balanced curriculum provides highly structured routines to support and challenge our students reflecting our belief that Presfield students can and will gain employment and contribute to society. We have a dual strand approach with students studying national curriculum subjects leading to academic qualifications including GCSE’s and a Life and Living skills curriculum including social communication. We understand that social progress and developing life skills to support independence are highly valued by our parents/carers and students which is why we give equal timetable weighting to Life and Living skills as we do to English and Maths. We are equally proud of our students who are now travelling independently to school or work placements as those who are studying at college or university.

We are striving to challenge perceptions that mean only 16% of people diagnosed with ASC are in sustained employment. We understand that employees with autism can often have above average skills and attributes such as high levels of concentration, reliability, attention to detail, persistence and detailed factual knowledge. This is why our sixth form curriculum has developed to support employability and enable bespoke work placements throughout the year. By working with local employers we have sourced many placements and are challenging perceptions. We are always seeking more opportunities for our students so if you own a company or know of someone who would be willing to take on a sixth form student work placements please get in touch.

I hope that you will find our website informative and a celebration of our students’ achievements in whatever guise. You will gain a greater understanding of our school and what we have to offer. We welcome visits throughout the year. Please telephone us to make an appointment. I look forward to meeting with you

if you have met one person with autism, you’ve met ONE person with autism