We are very lucky here at Bluebell Primary to have Willow Class, a Key Stage 2, Specialist Resource Base (SRB) for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The SRB has funding for 10 children. Children attend if they are in Years 3-6 and it has a high staff to child ratio.
The ASD SRB is for pupils with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (or who are on the ASD pathway) who need specialist input to enable them to overcome barriers to accessing mainstream lessons. An individual and gradual approach is taken to integrating children into mainstream classes.
Willow Class is based within a classroom within the main school building. Each child has their own pod/workstation and there is a group table for collaborative learning. Within the SRB National Curriculum lessons are carried out such as Maths, English and the foundations subjects, as well as extra sessions to help meet children’s social and emotional needs including morning toast time, sensory circuits, adult-led play activities, speech and language therapy, sensory breaks and 1-1 target time. The SRB has its own toilet, sensory room and outdoor space.
Willow Class are fortunate to have 2 class teachers (who job-share) and 4 teaching assistants, one of whom is a Higher Level Teaching Assistant and covers the class at times. All staff have a vast amount of experience in working with children who have Autistic Spectrum Disorder and have undertaken additional training to support their role. This includes ASD qualifications; Step On and Step Up training to de-escalate behaviours; training about emotional literacy, mental health and self harm, anxieties, Social Stories, Zones of Regulations and more.
The SRB is supported by The Child and Educational Psychology Practice (CEPP). Staff are able to call on advice from Specialist Teachers, Educational Psychologists and Occupational Therapists. Staff are also assigned a Specialist Teacher; this is currently Tracy Waterfield from The Wherry School. The school also has a Speech and Language Therapist from Communication Matters, who is on site weekly and supports staff in running SALT interventions. Some children are also supported through NHS Speech and Language Therapists. The SRB can also access support from Norfolk County Council and services within the Local Offer.
Learners who access provision through the SRB will typically fit the following profile:
- Are in the age range appropriate to the SRB unless individual agreement has been negotiated with the commissioner
- Have a primary diagnosis of ASD, although related diagnoses could also be considered (irrespective of the terminology of the diagnosis the learner will exhibit significant difficulties in the triad of communication, socialisation and flexibility of thinking which hinder or prevent them from engaging in mainstream education)
- Are likely to hold an Education Health & Care Plan, but this is not necessary for placement
- Live within 45 minutes travel time by car to the SRB
- Have a range of secondary needs, such as speech, language & communication, specific learning difficulty, physical, medical or sensory needs
- May have emerging or unmet social, emotional and/or mental health needs in addition to ASD
- Have the underlying cognitive ability to access a mainstream school curriculum once barriers to learning have been addressed
- Would not usually meet the criteria for a complex needs school
- Have high levels of anxiety related to confusion and/or fear of what is happening in the immediate environment such that the ability to learn is severely compromised
- Have extreme difficulties in the understanding and acceptance of age-appropriate social rules governing, for example, turn-taking, collaborative activities and the sharing of adult attention
- Have a lack of awareness, to a greater or lesser extent, or even apparent disregard of personal safety and that of others
- Have a strong and obtrusive adherence to routines and rituals which makes any change of routine very challenging and may even provoke defiance or other negative reactions
- Experience considerable, persistent and pervasive problems in establishing and sustaining relationships with peers
- Exhibit egocentric behaviour that fails to consider others in a way which would be viewed as age-appropriate behaviour in any particular situation
- The absence of other primary reasons or causes for these difficulties
The Referral Process
Referrals can only be made from either the home school and/or the EHC Plan Co-ordinator. If you consider an SRB placement is appropriate for your child, please discuss this with the class teacher or school SENCO in the first instance. If your child has an Education Health and Care Plan Co-ordinator you can also discuss this with them.
Prior to a referral being made:
- Parents must arrange a visit.
- The home school or EHCP co-ordinator must contact the SRB to discuss the child being considered.
- An observation is then carried out by the Lead Teacher or Specialist Partner.
Please note, a placement at an ASD base means the child moves on to the roll of the school; it is not a dual placement.
Referrals and admissions to ASD bases are managed by a county wide admission process including half termly admission meetings.
Need more information?
For more information about Willow Class, please contact Lead Teacher and SRB SENCO, Natalie Chaplin: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 01603 452196.
For more information about the SRBs in Norfolk, go to: www.norfolk.gov.uk
To make a complaint about the SRB, please contact the class teacher in the first instance to have an informal conversation. If the complaint cannot be resolved, please follow the school’s complaint procedure.