The main site Askham Road accommodates students with moderate to complex autism from 3-19. Purpose-built for children and young people on the autism spectrum, the site is designed to deliver a spacious, low-arousal learning environment that: ‘minimises unwanted distractions of noise and colour and this contributes very well to the relaxed environment in which the pupils learn,’ (Ofsted 2014).
The early years setting is situated on the first floor and comprises four classrooms and dedicated early years play area. Children are taught in class sizes of up to nine children and typically supported by a teacher and four or five teaching assistants. Children are admitted to the school after a diagnosis of autism as early as three years old and most make excellent progress as a result of highly committed, experienced staff, well-versed in core interventions such as TEACCH, PECS and Sensory Integration approaches.
The primary and secondary departments are based on the ground floor. The primary phase comprises six classrooms, organised according to TEACCH principles and accommodating sensory integration areas within each room. Each classroom has immediate access to outside play areas. Primary classes are typically organised into groups of up to nine children and a team of five teaching staff. In addition to opportunities for a sensory circuit within the classroom, children have access to a multi-sensory suite: wet play, soft play, audio-visual and sensory integration rooms on the first floor. High staff ratios enable individual children or small groups to access these therapeutic and stimulating resources to undertake specifically designed sensory or communication programmes overseen by qualified occupational and speech and language therapists.
The secondary phase consists of seven classrooms and is also based on the ground floor. The majority of rooms have immediate access to outside spaces and a short distance to the multi-sensory suite. With a strong focus on functional independence and life-skills, students are frequently in their immediate Shepherds Bush community as an integral part of their learning.
On the top floor of the building is dining room, training area and staff offices. Meals are freshly-prepared each day by our award-winning chef and students have access to two low-arousal dining areas in which to have their meals. Queensmill School is fortunate to have four directly employed-occupational therapists based on site and accommodates a further eight LA employed therapy colleagues on the second floor. With this level of expertise, we are committed to and take pleasure in hosting, a number of training workshops and events for staff, professionals and parent/carers.
Please watch the video below to see more of what happens at the main site at Askham Road.