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(UK) Gloucestershire: New autism school; 'celebration of neurodiversity'

Mar 11, 2023, Gazette: New school Brookthorpe Hall opens for autistic children

SW England

A NEW special school in Gloucestershire has opened for children with an autism diagnosis.

Brookthorpe Hall School is now open for children aged between seven to 16-years-old, with organisers hoping to alleviate the current shortage of available places for autistic children.

Interiors have been adapted to suit the needs of pupils with calming décor, sensory spaces and learning labs offering more stimulation.

At the school there is also a pastoral team and a clinical team which specialises in occupational and speech therapy.

Classes have a high staff-to-pupil ratio with one teacher and teaching assistant for five to six pupils.

The school - which is run by education and care provider Options Autism - is also working with local authorities from Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and Bristol.

New headteacher, Joy Price-Bish who has 40 years’ experience in specialist provision says she wants every child to reach their full potential. …

“Our autism strategy 'ask, accept, develop' recognises that despite underlying shared traits, every autistic child or young person is unique in their own way.

“Some are cognitively talented, others may have a significant learning disability; this strategy enables our staff to appreciate the individual abilities of every child.

“Through a shared celebration of neurodiversity we have created an academic experience that meets the needs of our individual pupils, providing robust pastoral support, great communication systems and an engaging curriculum. …

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