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The Learning Support Base (LSB) is our specialist resource for students who benefit from the strategies used for children on the Autism Spectrum. We ensure that Dove House provides an environment which fully prepares all students on the Autism Spectrum for adulthood and enables them to fulfil their potential. We shape the curriculum to meet the individual needs of the students and help them to develop into resilient learners who are able to access the specialist curriculum.
The Learning Support Base has one vertical tutor group and three satellite tutor groups. The vertical tutor group is the most specialist provision for Dove House students, allowing them to have a highly structured start and end to the school day, making things predictable and calm. It provides each student in this tutor group with a TEACCH workstation which they begin their day with and can return to as necessary throughout their school day. The TEACCH principle aims to help students with an Autism diagnosis or traits of social communication difficulties, social interaction difficulties and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour. The staff in the LSB are highly trained and experienced in working with pupils on the Autism spectrum and those who present in a similar way. They aim to pre-empt any changes that could cause problems before they happen. It is the aim to prepare the student for changes in advance so that they are less of a problem and anxiety is lowered. If changes are deemed as presenting a problem, students may work from their bay instead of accessing the wider school. Sometimes students will remain in their bay for a whole lesson or short time, as decided by staff. It is important that the LSB remains a calm and ordered environment at all times which is open and available to all students who are in the tutor group.
Whilst the space, as well as the specialist staff are available throughout the day, we aim for all students to transition around the school to their specialist subject teachers for all of their lessons. The added support provided in the Learning Support Base enables all of our students to continue to access the whole of the Dove House specialist curriculum for all of their lessons and therefore fulfil their full educational potential by providing them with strategies, confidence and the support they need to do so.
In addition to the broad and balanced curriculum which Dove House offers its students, withdrawal groups are delivered away from the whole school curriculum. We provide extra support to those students who need it broadly under the areas of social communication, social interaction, social competence and emotional literacy.
These sessions are run as small groups sessions, by specialist staff who deliver a bespoke programme for the needs of the students. These groups will usually run for two terms, when students would attend for an average of 45 minute sessions each week. The purpose of these sessions is to explicitly teach and then give opportunity for students to practice the skills of communication and interaction as well as social competency and emotional understanding.
Students are monitored throughout their time at Dove House and the groups are across year groups meaning we are able to pick students up whenever the need arises. These are very much tailored to the needs of pupils and therefore can cover a wide variety of topics including turn taking, using manners, understanding and displaying empathy, making and maintaining friendships, anger management strategies, cognitive behaviour therapy and yoga therapy.