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Ashgrove School is a specialist provision for children aged 3-19 years with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The school aims to provide a caring atmosphere in which each child is encouraged to develop effective communication, social and independence skills and achieve his/her full academic potential.

These aims are pursued within a structured and stimulating environment with a well balanced and flexible curriculum meeting each child’s needs. The curriculum has been developed and enhanced to enable students to leave with appropriate skills, knowledge and experience, which will help them to lead full and independent lives.

The Award submission video

Notes on the video from the learning guides

One of the strongest aspects that came across in the Promotional video was about curriculum relevance for the learners and how this was to be addressed through developing ICT capability, life skills and standards. The technologies have enabled the staff to create a learning environment to:

  • provide an appropriate and personalised curriculum
  • provide a more effective pedagogy
  • facilitate social collaboration
  • improve behaviour
  • raise standards.

Technologies are used effectively to stimulate and enable learning for many pupils, and to extend and enhance learning for others, through a range of devices using visual and aural approaches which are particularly relevant and engaging for many of these learners. The opportunities provided for pupils to create films has had a major impact on engaging both staff and learners. The technologies, and the creative approaches to teaching and learning, enable pupils to:

  • be creative in both process and outcomes
  • work independently and collaborate
  • publish their work within and beyond the school
  • reflect on their work and respond to feedback from others
  • engage with parents
  • choose the resources they need to achieve a specific outcome.

This has had significant impact on pupils’:

  • confidence, resourcefulness and resilience
  • their desire to learn and share their learning
  • ability/desire to lead their own learning.

The Ash Cafe, illustrates this perfectly! This provides a real context to develop life skills and experience working using ‘proper’ technologies and to understand their relevance in managing a business.

Strengths of the submission

  • A powerful film which gives an overarching message about life skills and moving on young people on from where they are
  • Technology meeting the young learners’ need to understand cause and effect
  • ICT making possible a variety of immersive environments
  • Digital/animation projects giving young learners access to possibilities of collaboration and finished work of high quality
  • Personalised ICT route map
  • Engaging parents through sharing films and animations online
  • Plethora of independent, citizenship skills in the astoundingly well-equipped Ash cafe
  • Clearly articulated impact on well-being as citizens