Unsted Park School and Sixth form - Surrey

Unsted Park School provides specialist education for boys and girls aged 7 to 19 with Asperger's Syndrome, higher functioning autism and associated disorders. It is our aim to allow all our young people to thrive effectively within an ever demanding and complex society. Students have ambitions to live and work as self-reliant adults and we can help pupils to reach their goals with continued support, structure and guidance.

Unsted Park Sixth Form is specifically designed to allow young people aged 16 to 19 with Asperger's Syndrome, higher functioning autism and associated learning difficulties to build a post 16 curriculum that is tailored to their individual needs and ambitions.

The focus of the whole school approach is in three core areas: education, independence and integration. Based on these core areas we provide individual, child-centred programmes which recognise individual abilities and strengths and help students to reach their full potential.

We provide:

  • Individual education, socialisation and communication programmes
  • Broad curriculum with nationally accredited qualifications
  • Support strategies for self-management of anxieties and independence
  • Structured learning within a positive, safe environment
  • Preparation for further/higher education and employment
  • Access to a range of specialist therapies
  • Respite programme
  • A stepping stone to self-reliance and essential skills for independent living
  • For more information about the education services we provide in your local area, click here

Flexible programmes include full residential placements, weekly boarding, day and extended day placements (from 8am to 8pm). Respite care is available during the school week and at weekends depending on individual need. The school runs for three terms across 38 weeks of the year and can provide places for up to 50 pupils.

Education

Unsted Park School provides a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum, including a modified National Curriculum, relevant to the needs of students with Asperger's Syndrome and associated conditions.

The curriculum is adapted to take into account the cognitive learning styles of pupils with Asperger's Syndrome who often have considerable strengths in the area of visual cognition yet need structured support for development in other areas. These include:

  • Communication
  • Social interaction
  • Imaginative and flexible thinking
  • Organisation, planning and problem solving

Many students with Asperger's Syndrome are academically very able and the school is passionate about educational achievement. Every student has an individual programme structured through the individual education plan (IEP) which is determined upon assessment. This is monitored and reviewed regularly to ensure that attainable goals are being set and measured, strengths are played to and full potential is being met.

Classes are grouped according to chronological year group with a maximum of eight per class. One-to-one teaching is necessary for some students in certain subjects and additional support is provided where required.

The sixth form provides:

A 24 hour curriculum designed to develop independence and self-reliance, with students being actively encouraged to contribute to the way they live their lives in the sixth form.

  • Facilities specifically designed for young people aged 16 to 19 with Asperger's Syndrome and high functioning autism
  • Highly qualified and experienced staff
  • Recognition of individual choices and preferences through tailor made education and independence programmes
  • Opportunities for further education and college placements
  • Encouragement for a healthy lifestyle including diet and exercise
  • Spacious and homely living accommodation separated from the main school
  • Transition planning to move to less supported environments
  • Access to a range of therapies

 

Unsted Park School Admissions criteria

  • Boys and girls aged 7 to 19 years
  • A primary diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome or an autistic spectrum or pervasive development disorder
  • No significant medical care needs, although some students may be taking medication or undergoing therapy
  • Aspire towards becoming an independent adult and willing to work with staff on the achievement of goals

Students living locally can attend the school on a day placement basis. We take students within an area of approximately one hour's drive time. A flexible extended day is available where required, running Monday to Friday from 8am with a breakfast club to after school activities up until 8pm.

Overnight and weekend respite care is available to students on a flexible basis depending on need. This is subject to agreement with the student's funding authority.

Individual placements can be tailored accordingly, for example three days in school as a day student and two days with an overnight stay.

Unsted Park Sixth Form Admissions criteria

  • Males and females aged 16 to 19
  • A primary diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome or an autistic spectrum or pervasive development disorder
  • No significant medical care needs, although some students may be taking medication or undergoing therapy

Unsted Park Sixth Form does not discriminate and considers referrals from all cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds.

Therapy and specialist support services

Students have access to a range of therapy programmes which are functional and provide useful strategies for communication which can be used beyond school life. These include:

Speech and language therapy

  • Social education
  • Counselling
  • Social skills
  • Occupational therapy
  • Dining and discussion groups

Accommodation, facilities and activities

Teaching areas include well equipped rooms for specialist subjects such as art, science, music and food technology and a craft and design workshop. Students have access to computers for support in the main classrooms and there is a well-stocked library and quiet room where students can take 'time-out' away from their class if required.

Residential accommodation is across three separate units which include a lounge, dining room, kitchen and quiet area. The residential areas are staffed 24 hours a day by our team of care staff, support workers and waking night staff.

The extensive grounds of Unsted Park School provide the space for a variety of sport and leisure activities including:

  • Football 
  • Roller blading
  • Tennis

There is also a gymnasium, a fitness suite and a large indoor swimming pool. Students wishing to horse ride have access to the local riding stables with parental permission.

Care

Young people with Asperger's Syndrome can pose particular challenges in school and the community as they find it difficult to 'read' the minds of and interpret the language of everyday social situations. Students with a very poor social understanding are frequently vulnerable, requiring an empathetic, caring environment in which to gain vital communication and social skills. All staff are trained to work specifically with young people on the autistic spectrum and will provide valuable support in a safe, caring, fun and autism friendly environment.

Care staff provide support to students within the residential setting and expand on their learning throughout the day providing regular opportunities to rehearse independent living skills. Students are encouraged to work together to make their unit a friendly, fun place to be as their home from home. Our child support workers are crucial to our students' success. They accompany them for significant periods of each day, both in and out of teaching sessions and are constantly looking for a balance between supporting and setting realistic challenges.

Policies

A comprehensive list of all policies/documents adhered to by the school are available upon request.

Quality and regulation

Priory Education Services has a system for auditing the services provided against the regulations detailed by Ofsted Care and Education Inspection Standards and National Minimum Standards where appropriate.  These are implemented at individual school level by managers and staff as part of the day to day life and work of the school and include expectations, systems, policy and procedures. Each school is audited for the quality of its provision and outcomes for the young people in its care by Priory's Regional Managers and by the School Improvement Partners who visit every term. The Every Child Matters (ECM) agenda is at the heart of everything we do.