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(UK) Edinburgh: New autism school opens; "severe/complex additional support needs"

Feb 23, 2022, Edinburgh Reporter: New St Crispin’s School opening to pupils on Wednesday

The newly completed St Crispin’s School [special school] will open to pupils on Wednesday just after the half term holiday. The brand new building in Burdiehouse will offer pupils and staff a completely fresh beginning in a specially designed environment. Headteacher Rhoda MacDougall told The Edinburgh Reporter everyone is looking forward to the adventure, now that most of the boxes have been unpacked. The new £12 million [$16M] school has been designed by The City of Edinburgh Council completely in house from the overall architectural design by the council’s in house architect to the interior design under the watchful and creative eye of Lesley McMillan. Soft, gentle colours are used throughout – a far cry from the primary colours used in schools in years gone by – and are designed to be calming for the pupils, many of whom are on the autistic spectrum. … Signage is important at St Crispin’s as children with autism learn to exchange single pictures for the item or activity they want. This Picture Exchange Communication System ensures that everyone has their own sign – which can be put up outside classrooms or even the new swimming pool to show where they are in the building…. Rhoda MacDougall has been headteacher at St Crispin’s for only two years, joining the 54 pupil school just six weeks before the pandemic hit. She says that she claims no responsibility for the lovely new surroundings that everyone is looking forward to moving into…. “Our children have severe and complex additional support needs and the majority of our young people are on the autistic spectrum as well. We want our children to feel that they belong there. They deserve the absolute best and that’s certainly what they have delivered in this building.”


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