The Access Centre (ARP) at Raynes Park High School is Merton LEA’s specialist, secondary provision for students with a primary diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP). The purpose of the Access Centre, is to support students to participate in the broad range of curricular activities of the main school with the appropriate level of support, whilst providing a place and staff expertise for some very specific and individual needs. The department also provides a centre of expertise within the school enabling all staff to develop the ability to cater for the individual needs of these students.
All students attached to the Access Centre are assigned a Key Support Worker (KSW) who works closely with the student and liaise regularly with parents/carers. The KSW will support the student for approximately fifty per cent of the week, providing time for the student to work with other members of the Access Centre team to promote their flexibility and independence as they grow and develop throughout the secondary education experience. Integration into main school lessons where they learn alongside peers with the support of the KSW is a fundamental part of the holistic development of the student.
The Access Centre liaises closely with the English Department to improve reading and writing. For those students who need extra support with reading and writing there are specialised groups which run in Years 7, 8 and 9. In Years 10 and 11, students can opt for a special study support option. There is access to integrated learning systems on the computer network for all years. A paired reading scheme is planned to support slower readers; an older student is paired with a younger student to read during one or two registration periods to benefit both students involved. This also supports the development of social interaction and communication.
In addition, the Access Centre works closely with the Heads of Year (HoY) and Heads of Department (HoD). Regular meetings to raise awareness of individual needs and progress are central to the success of students with an ASC. Students may be supported in class or withdrawn for additional specialised support, for some students, both methods are used. Decisions regarding the curriculum are made in consultation with the student, parent/carer, HoY and class teacher. The department is also involved in providing support to students with behavioural or emotional problems. The Access Centre makes full use of the Local Authority Support Services and liaises closely with Primary Schools to support secondary transfer and Post 16 provisions on completion of secondary education. Students have successfully sat and passed a full and varied range of exams including GCSEs and made a smooth transition to the next step in their education.
All admissions to the Access Centre are handled by the Local Authority and the school, working in partnership with the parents/carers. From Year 5, parents will be encouraged and advised to visit the Access Centre as part of the process of stating a school preference. Parental support and confidence is a key feature of a successful placement and the on-going development of the centre.
We welcome visits throughout the year; please call or email for an appointment.
Access Centre (ARP) Manager
Telephone: 0208 946 4112 ext.1132
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