Autism Resource Centre

Autism Resource Centre

The Autism Resource Centre (ARC) is a twelve place LEA funded resource provision for students with Autism.  

Within the ARC we aim to create a supportive teaching and learning environment which is respectful and celebrates the differences in how our students learn.  We have a holistic approach to embedding inclusive practice to improve outcomes for our students.  A person centred support package, devised in collaboration with students, families, teachers and external professionals 

Our well established provision consists of a large teaching area where students have their own space and resources to aid their individual learning styles. A quiet area has been developed, with comfortable chairs and bean bags to help relax and calm the students. We have a small sensory area for students to use and a private room for students mentoring sessions. ICT facilities include computers, laptops, colour printer and interactive whiteboard. A life skills area with cooking facilities to enable students to develop independent living skills.  We have an area for sensory circuits including a rowing machine and exercise bike.  

ARC students attend Social Skills lessons in the ARC, topics covered include: emotional awareness, communication, empathy, positive thinking and assertiveness. Through these lessons students are emotionally equipped to develop their independence skills. 

St Nicholas Catholic High school prides itself on the inclusivity of the whole school approach and the ARC students are fully immersed within our school community. All students will attend mainstream lessons alongside their peers with, where appropriate, the support of a specialist Teaching Assistant.  ARC students are able to retreat to the ARC if the demands of mainstream environment becomes overwhelming. Students then continue their work provided by their subject teachers with a TA. The time in the ARC will be monitored to ensure that all student are receiving a broad and balanced mainstream curriculum.  

The ARC is staffed by a specialist ASC teacher Mrs J Milborne and six specialist ASC teaching assistants. 

For further information regarding provision placements contact your LEA. 

Admission Criteria  

Admission criteria for the Autism Resource Centre  at St Nicholas Catholic High School a funded LEA provision:  

  • Referrals are made by the Local Authority’s SEN Panel.
  • All pupils will have an Education, Health and Care Plan.
  • There must be a clear medical diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and this must be the primary need. 
  • Pupils’ cognitive ability may range from below average to above average, and they may be underachieving due to their ASD and associated needs. They should be able to access the National Curriculum at a stage within approximately 2 years of their chronological age. 
  • Pupils will have the potential to cope in an environment that is fully integrated with the mainstream, with appropriate support. 
  • Pupils will be able to verbally communicate without the need of communication aids, although they may still need support and programmes devised by a Speech and Language Therapist (SALT).