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24 August 2017

Autistic students achieve 100% A*–D grades at LVS Oxford

A school for students with autism is celebrating after achieving all A*–D grades in just its second ever set of GCSE results. LVS Oxford, in Begbroke, saw 100% A*–C grades in English language and science amongst the excellent results which follow 100% achievement across six BTECs earlier this summer.

LVS Oxford, which only opened in 2014 and provides an education for young people aged 11 to 18 on the autism spectrum, provided students with GCSE options in four subjects with science and history added for the first time and one student achieving an excellent A in English.

Headline figures were as follows:
• 100% of exam papers graded A*–D
• 71% of exam papers graded A*–C
• 100% of learners gained all A*–D grades
• 100% A*–C grades in English language and science

Caitlin Ireland was delighted to receive a C in history in her first ever GCSE, and said: “The school staff have really helped me and I am very pleased with my result”. This compliments her BTEC Level 1 award in Health and Social Care from earlier in the summer and she will now go on to study GCSE English and science, along with three more BTECs, at LVS Oxford from September. These will allow Caitlin to make her next steps beyond the school with an independent future and options of mainstream education or employment ahead of her.

One student who has benefited greatly from an LVS Oxford education and is set to make the move into mainstream college is Holly Balchin. She achieved a C in English language and a D in maths to accompany sport and leisure and business administration BTECs, and will now go to Henley College to study public services. At LVS Oxford’s end of term Celebration of Achievement Holly said: “When I came to LVS Oxford at 14 I lacked confidence and hated school. Three years on I am confident, have gained academic skills, and am ready to start my new venture at college in September.”

Head of School Louisa Allison-Bergin said: “"We are delighted with LVS Oxford's exam results which demonstrate that our students can achieve excellent results with determination, tailored teaching and additional support where required. Our whole approach is based around providing students with the skills to go on to be independent beyond the school, so we are particularly pleased to see Holly go on to Henley College after the great progress we have seen from her personally and academically during her time at LVS Oxford."

Fraser Rennard achieved an excellent B grade in maths and will remain at LVS Oxford to study three more GCSEs next year.

The school offers a wide range of academic and vocational qualifications and courses to prepare students for a variety of progression opportunities such as staying on at LVS Oxford’s sixth form, moving on to mainstream college, university, employment or assisted employment. The qualification offering is set to expand yet further still, with GCSEs available in future in computer science and geography and a wider science offering.

The preparation work and support offered by the school to help students with autism achieve their success was summed up by Deputy Head of School Tracy Lucas who said: “Sitting exams can be incredibly difficult for some of our students as they experience high anxiety, which is linked to their ASC (autism spectrum condition). To overcome these issues, the school's trained staff go to great lengths to support the students.

"Each student has personalised access arrangements in line with JCQ and they are able to sit mock exams in the exam room to help them desensitise to the environment. Exam invigilators are carefully chosen and trained and the school also provides access to a highly experienced therapy team, including a child integrated therapist.

"We work closely with our students and their parents but above all we have created a secure, calm school environment and have a whole school ethos that encourages students to ask for support when they need it and, ultimately, believe that they can achieve."

The results bring to an end an excellent academic year at LVS Oxford which also saw the school receive a Good Ofsted rating with the quality of care and support judged to be Outstanding.

For families of children with autism who want to find out more about how LVS Oxford can help achieve academic success, the school’s next open day is on Wednesday 13th September. More information can be found here

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