This is a great achievement after a lot of hard work put in by all the Sandon staff over the last two years.
The final part of the assessment process took place between the 21st and 24th of September 2020, and consisted of meetings with staff using Microsoft Teams, and visits by our assessor, Stephanie, and a moderator, Sally, to Sandon School where they observed good practice in our classes.
A scrutiny of our policies and important documents had already taken place in March 2020, just before we went in to lockdown. We were very fortunate to have our assessment at this time, following a previous postponement back in May.
The assessment took place across four days and the assessment team observed 14 sessions with pupils including circle time, sensory circuits, Bucket Therapy, life skills, Rebound Therapy and English. Video evidence of our Coffee Shop and Forest School was also reviewed.
The assessment team stated in the final report: “There is a high standard in the consistency of communication strategies throughout the school. The calm, well-structured environment of the school creates an enabling learning environment for autistic students.”
They were also impressed by the strong ethos of Sandon School in understanding that ‘behaviour is a communication’.
They continued: “Relationships between staff and pupils were noted to be purposeful and positive, with staff genuinely caring about the pupil’s wellbeing. Sandon’s use of Communication Passports for the pupils, supports in delivering consistent approaches across the school with each pupil.”
In terms of areas for development, the assessment team felt that Sandon School should continue to develop our whole school approach in supporting pupils to recognise their emotions and understand how they are feeling. With this in mind, we will now begin to develop this further by encouraging pupils to independently self-regulate or offer co-regulation strategies, depending on their individual understanding.
Sandon School are really pleased with achieving this status as it underpins our dedication to our pupils and shows off the excellent support we offer to the autistic children and young people in our care.
This also means that we can continue to develop and improve with the support of the National Autistic Society.
Sandon School is now the second school in Lincolnshire to have achieved ‘Autism Accreditation’ status.