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At Bowlee Park, we strive to provide a high quality education where all of our pupils can achieve their full potential and become the best they can possibly be. We have many pupils who have additional needs including ASC and therefore providing an inclusive ethos across school is paramount in order to meet these needs.
Over the past 12 months, Mrs Parker and Mrs Ritchie have been working very hard to become Bowlee Park’s ‘Autism Champions’. They have worked closely with the Rochdale Additional Needs Service (RANS) and the Educational Psychology service in order to deliver a new strategic model to meet the needs of our pupils with ASC: Autism Champions. Mrs Parker and Mrs Ritchie have accessed a training programme over the course of the year to develop their own knowledge and skills in supporting our pupils and families with autism, but also to share this knowledge with all staff within our school in order to create an autism friendly ethos and learning environment.
Why do we need Autism Champions?
There are an increasing number of children and young people in our schools and colleges with a diagnosis of ASC. Many of these pupils find the expectations, demands and physical environments of schools extremely challenging. Literature highlights some of the problems experienced by pupils with ASC in our schools such as anxiety, bullying, social isolation and acute sensory sensitivities. It is suggested that many children/young people with ASC may be academically able to access the mainstream curriculum yet will probably require a range of social/emotional support systems in order for them to meet their potential in school. Evidence suggests that many can be accommodated successfully if they are provided with the appropriate support structures. Research has also found that although many teachers say they are committed to the philosophy of inclusion, they do not feel they have the necessary training or support to provide effectively for these pupils.
What is the role of the Autism Champions?