Integrated Resource

Our vision

Nook Lane Integrated Resource supports the learning of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and communication and language needs. We foster a nurturing environment in which learning is delivered by specialist teams who promote children's independence and individual growth.

We work hand-in-hand with the mainstream school to provide inclusive, supportive and accessible learning experiences. We believe in a personalised, flexible approach, working to engage children in learning and to prepare them for the world beyond the classroom.

General information

The IR is a thirteen place Resource for children aged 7 to 11 years from different parts of the city who have a statement of Special Educational Needs, for Communication/ Interaction/ Autistic Spectrum Disorders. The small size of the class and higher level of staffing by specialist teachers and support staff enables us to provide pupils in the IR with a curriculum suited to their needs and better opportunities to achieve their potential.

Admission to the IR is administered through the Local Authority Special Needs Section at Howden House.

Ofsted say:

"Teaching is good overall. There are examples of outstanding teaching including in the IR. There are many instances of memorable activities that really motivate the pupils to do well."

- Ofsted 2014

"Pupils in the IR also make good progress from their different starting points, including developing better social skills when mixing with other groups of pupils. This is because activities, such as a particular story or growing things, appeal to their interests."

- Ofsted 2014

"There are also excellent practical activities for pupils in the IR to develop their social skills through 'real-life' situations."

- Ofsted 2014

Our Staff

IR Leaders: Mrs Slattery & Mrs Taylor

TA Team: Miss Button, Miss Duffy, Mrs Gibson, Mrs Kennedy, Mrs Mettam, Mrs Palmer.

We are able to support our children in small groups with a staffing ratio of roughly one member of staff for three pupils. Children are supported within mainstream classes by their named TA.

Our approach

We follow a framework set out by the National Autistic Society called SPELL in order to support the needs of our pupils who have ASD.

Structure: Children follow daily schedules and are encouraged to independently move through the school day using this organiser. We make lessons and break times as structured as possible in order to reduce anxiety and give a sense of order.

Positive (approaches and expectations): We reinforce self-confidence and self esteem by building on natural strengths, individual interests and abilities. We have high expectations of our children, but these are presented to them in a supportive environment.

Empathy: We listen to our children carefully in order to gain insights into how they see and experience the world. We learn what motivates them and use this to personalise their learning experience.

Low Arousal: The classroom is a calm and ordered space in order to reduce anxiety and aid concentration. Our interactions with the children are also calm and clear, giving plenty of time to process information.

Links: We make strong links with all those involved in the care and education of our children. This includes parents, speech and language therapists and the educational psychologist. Children make links with the mainstream school through their integration into classes. We also make links with the local community through visits to the facilities in Stannington village such as the shops and library.

The curriculum

Our curriculum is designed to meet the social, emotional and academic needs of all our pupils. We follow the National Curriculum for maths and English, which for many of our children is taught within the IR. However, we have a flexible approach to planning lessons, ensuring that we adapt the curriculum to meet our children's individual learning needs.

We use the TEACCH system, which is a structured learning approach using different areas of the classroom for specific activities. Lessons often include a sensory/ creative element and an outdoor learning activity as well as group and independent work.

Children also access social skills groups to aid their communication and understanding of different social situations.

Children's progress is tracked closely using P Levels or National Curriculum Levels as appropriate. This data is used to plan appropriate activities to support each pupil's development.

Integration

Each child in the Integrated Resource is also a member of a mainstream class. Children are linked with the year group appropriate for their age where possible. Children are registered in their mainstream classes and participate in mainstream lessons (including maths and English) where appropriate. Children from the IR join their mainstream classes for many other experiences such as educational visits, residential trips, performances and sports day.

Children are also offered the opportunity to take part in extra-curricular sport and instrumental lessons. Our children benefit from being in a mainstream setting, developing friendships and having opportunities to learn alongside their peers. Autism has a high profile within the school through whole school assemblies and class discussions.

Our environment

Coffee Morning

A coffee morning for parents of children in the IR is held once every half term. It is an excellent opportunity to share information and discuss how we can best support our pupils. We are also in regular contact with parents informally throughout the year through newsletters, phone calls and home-school books.