Acorn Park is an educational and residential site for children and adults who have a primary diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. All the children at Acorn Park have difficulties with social communication, social imagination, and have restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, or activities. The way that these impairments affect the children or adult varies from individual to individual. On our site we have 3 distinct educational units and a variety of residential settings designed to meet the varied needs of our students based on how their autism affects their functionality and typicality.
Our children can often have other impairments that can play a role in how we deliver the curriculum, such as epilepsy, Tourette’s, ADHD, to name a few. As such our Education and Residential Care staff would seek advice from our Multi-Disciplinary Team. The MDT would collect input from its members which includes our consultant Psychiatrist, assistant Physiologist, Nurse, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language therapist, and other therapist and professionals as required. We do this through a “team around the child approach”, called a TAC, which endeavours to collect the expectations of parents and other stake holders to work collaboratively with education and residential care to create a bespoke package for the child and deliver on those outcomes in the best interest of the child. Adults who live on with us continue to have support from our MDT as appropriate and follow this process.
At Acorn Park, our three Schools ensure that wherever a child sits on the autistic spectrum, their individuality is celebrated with an appropriate curriculum for progress & success.
Acorn Park provides a broad, balanced, relevant and enhanced curriculum that is based on the requirements of the National Curriculum, but modified where necessary and appropriate to meet the needs of individual students. To enable creativity and individuality to be promoted and celebrated classes are small and staffing levels are high.
Within the school setting students whose attainment is average and above average follow the National Curriculum from Key Stage 1 through to Key Stage 4 and are entered for GCSE examinations where this is appropriate. We also offer ASDAN, functional skills, employability, work experience and community projects to support all the young people into adult life and progression into further education.
Our school is a community in which all stakeholders work purposefully together to maximise the potential and achievement of our students. We value the contribution that everyone makes to the life of our school and we have high expectations of all of our students. We develop their existing individual talents and interests to the full, whilst developing new skills, enabling them to become more independent in Acorn Park and the wider community.
After school pupils can join one of the many extra-curricular activities on offer. These vary during the course of the year but typically focus on the development of physical, social and artistic skills. There is opportunity for pupils from The Oak Tree Centre to join with pupils of a similar age who attend the main school.
Adults will have a package that would include time spent in an education setting either on site or at a local college, time spent in a closed workshop or other kinds of employment, time spent in the local community working to develop life skills and access to social clubs and peer groups. Adults often come to us through our children’s home and school and are well known to us. These adults can continue to have therapeutic needs and would continue to have access as appropriate. The adults who reside with us often have complex needs and as such require high levels of support. We continue to use a client centred approach and consult with stakeholders such as parents and social workers to continue to develop a service that provides a high quality of life that promotes independence and meaningful engagement with the community.