Sybil Elgar School - Part of the NAS Education Group
Special needs catered for
As autism specialists we aim to offer your children with autism the education they need to develop their self-confidence, their academic skills and their life skills.
As the first autism-specific school in the world, and with 50 years of experience teaching and caring for children and young people with autism we ensure that our knowledge, expertise and understanding of working with children with autism guides everything that we do.
Our primary and secondary pupils share a building with newly refurbished, autism-friendly classrooms, a multi-sensory room and occupational therapy centre. Our English, Maths, Humanities and PSHCE rooms are well-equipped, and we have facilities for art, science and Design Technology, high-technology ICT equipment in our media room, a training kitchen for food technology and music/music therapy rooms with a great variety of musical instruments and a low-arousal environment.
Our gymnasium is equipped with an audio system and two full length movement mirrors, and our older children help to run a café. Individual rooms are provided for speech and language therapy and occupational therapy and our outdoor playgrounds are safe, secure and spacious so students can explore and meet other students.
We also have a lottery funded sports facility with a great variety of equipment including a large football pitch and outdoor space for activities such as cycling.
In our post-16 building we are lucky to have a drama and dance studio and a performance theatre space, to complement the popular performing arts curriculum. There is also a library, and specialist classrooms including art, music, food technology and a calming courtyard and sensory area for relaxation.
Support services provided
Day placements, flexible boarding and term-time or 52 week residential placements in Sybil Elgar House - where all care staff are fully trained to support young people with autism. Residential students maintain close links with school and family and benefit from a high staff to student ratio.
Family support offered by thorough communication between teaching and care staff, families, social workers, and through regular workshops, appointments, home visits and meetings/coffee mornings.
We also offer transition support to all pupils moving through different phases in their school life.
Home school links
We support our students to attend courses at Acton College, with whom we have strong links, and we have a dedicated teacher in our post-16 unit who supports students with the skills required to go on to do enterprise or work experience placements. Some of our students run a weekly market stall at Acton market, and others partake in work experience locally in horticulture, food technology and catering and may go on to take accredited certificates.
The environment at Sybil Elgar School is positive, caring and promotes a community ethos to all students. The school is highly structured, yet our curriculum is flexible; we offer differentiated access to the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum as well as our popular creative arts curriculum.
We have robust safeguarding procedures in place, so your child can learn and live in a place where their wellbeing is of primary importance.
Aims and philosophy
We want every child with autism to receive the education that they deserve, and for them to feel happy and valued at school. Our aim is to support them to achieve and to make a positive contribution to the world.
Our school council is a great way for all of our students to have a say, in whatever way they choose to communicate, in what goes on at the school and what they would like to improve or see more of, including a new student-run radio station or choosing new playground equipment.
We celebrate every achievement, with our students and with their families and our dynamic teaching environment encourages students to try new things and build their confidence, and to look forward to coming to school.
Staff qualification and selection
All our staff are professional, caring and dedicated and are trained to work with young people with autism. They meet regularly to share expertise and discuss the progress and happiness of each of our students.
A comprehensive induction programme including SPELL training (an approach to supporting students with autism), low arousal behaviour management training and annual training updates is given to all staff, who are also encouraged to gain a QCF Diploma level 3 in Health and Social Care.