QE is delighted to announce their success in being one of the very few schools to achieve the highest level of the Devon Inclusion Award for Communication and Interaction.
This prestigious award was granted to the school on the 12th October 2016, following more than two years of developing a new approach to support students, with a particular focus on autism.
Alarmingly, 63% of children who are on the autism spectrum are not in the kind of school that their parents believe would best support them. This is because students with autism face many challenges throughout the school day that typically, teachers and peers alike have a lack of understanding and knowledge on. This is something that QE has passionately addressed, in order to give all of their students the best possible education, progression and chance for success.
One of the most notable approaches that QE has put in place for students with autism, are safe and secure havens which they name ‘My PLaCE’ (Positive Learning and Communication Environments). These small, ‘open door’ hubs are located on both campuses to provide support throughout the day. This simple idea works extremely well to reduce student’s anxieties significantly by offering security, reassurance and calming distractions during unstructured times of the day; times when students may struggle with social interaction and severe sensory overload.
Sensory overloads can become physically painful to a child who suffers with autism and while autism is incurable, QE strongly believes that giving these vulnerable students the right support, at the right time, makes an enormous difference; not only to their education, but to their future success and lives. It is this mind-set, which is echoed throughout the school, that has allowed QE to achieve the ‘Specialist’ Level 3 award; the highest level of the prestigious Devon Inclusion Award.
QE’s Communication and Interaction Team Leader said “This is a wonderful acknowledgement and recognition of our good practice which encompasses the whole school working together to create the best outcomes for each individual student.”
Paul Lamanna, who rigorously assessed the school and granted the award on behalf of Babcock LDP, said “QE fully deserve the highest level of the Devon Inclusion Award for their very high and developed good practice, we look forward to continuing to work alongside them in further developing the provision”.
After the award was accepted during the Barnfield Campus morning assembly, the students who regularly use the My PLaCE hub, saw a perfect excuse to bake their favourite cakes and host a tea party in order to celebrate and express their thanks to the school for the support that they receive.
There is no doubt that the success of these students at QE is due to immense support from their specialist.