Specialist staff – including Occupational Therapists, a Speech, Language and Communication Team, and an Emotional Wellbeing Team – all support pupils with the ultimate goal of helping children become independent learners.
Trinity has autism-friendly classrooms with soft furnishings and carpeted flooring (with the exception of the art, design technology, catering and science lab). Book shelves and cream walls create a calm, structured environment with boards which support the students’ recognition of the types of learning that will take place in the room. Lower windows within classrooms have obscure coating together with safety glass to ensure that our learners are safe.
Lessons are carried out free, as far as possible, from disruption, noise or interruption which can cause anxiety and stress to the learner and we do not use bells to signify the end of lessons, however learners are able to wear headphones or ear plugs to support them.
Trinity gardens are there for the use of all age groups. Some people find running around the garden an effective way of relieving stress in a safe environment. The use of some areas within the garden are timetabled in order to ensure that the garden area supports the need for routine. The school is working towards the development of a sensory garden and currently provides areas which offer a low arousal environment.
Therapy rooms are distraction free, with clear walls. They provide calm and stress free therapeutic provision to develop speech, communication and language intervention, occupational therapy, mentoring and coaching. Learners have access to sensory items which can help them to manage any stress, anxiety or sensory overload.
The main reason for incorporating structure is to help our learners predict events and avoid anxiety. Our learning environment manages any changes to a person’s daily routine with sensitivity and preparation. This also applies to the cancelling of activities without prior warning, including changes to staffing or teaching methods. All our learners have their own personalised learning timetable which shows when intervention, support and therapy sessions happen as well as choice subjects (for Year 9 and above).
“As a result of the excellent standards of care and welfare, the school is a peaceful and calm haven. Parents commented that their children are happy at school.” Ofsted Report, 2017.
Timetables are presented in visual terms as well as in the conventional written form. Classrooms have visual timetables on the whiteboard and, with younger learners, this will be discussed following registration. Some learners may have their timetables at their personal workstation. The timetables allow our learners to have ownership of their daily and weekly written or visual order of events which provides reassurance.
The timetable appears within the planner and this is able to provide home with information on the planned learning opportunities for each day. Many parents and carers find this helps to focus the discussion on expectations on what will be happening the next day, further reducing anxiety.
We encourage learners to develop their skills by giving them opportunities to try new activities in a supportive and caring environment.
This positive attitude includes clear and supportive communication about forthcoming events, how they will be supported and time to reflect on their achievements. Attempting tasks, activities or events which can realistically be accomplished increases self-esteem and self-confidence. This positive, ‘can-do approach’ to education enables young learners to make informed decisions.
Trinity gives high priority to the development of life and social skills through its Personal, Health, Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Curriculum. All learners have pupil profiles which highlight issues which make them vulnerable and have risk management recommendations which are personal to each learner. All College Learners have a student card, and currently Trinity School and College is looking into the development of a learner passport with emergency contact details which they can keep with them when on out of school events and activities. The school has a risk management document for each learner, which ensures good communication between staff to ensure the safety of learners when out of school.
Our staff are specialists in working with children and young people with unique learning profiles. Together, we have countless years of experience and qualifications that recognise knowledge and understanding and attendance at training courses through Continuous Professional Development. Teachers, instructors, tutors and teaching assistants are able to offer empathy, acceptance, consideration and care which our parents and carers have a great level of confidence in.
“(Our son) has thrived at Trinity and his education has come on in leaps and bounds… this is because the children’s well being is at the core of the school.. combined with the small class sizes and the teachers, assistants, speech and occupational therapists all working together to help our children grow and thrive.” Parent
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