Heathermount is a specialist school which caters for children and young people, aged 5-19, who have a range of autistic spectrum conditions. We create the opportunity for students to become independent, confident adults who have the skills and knowledge to make a difference to their own lives.
Our person centred approach is critical to the success of every one of our students, and there is a strong commitment to a positive and progressive school experience. The key to success for students lies within our capacity to individualise the learning experience around the young person's strengths and autistic needs.
Working with the National and Vocational Curriculum is an important framework and a vehicle to shape students' future inclusion in society when they leave Heathermount.
Equally important are the strategies that we create for the students, enabling them to independently manage the impacts of their autism upon their day to day lives. Our approach includes the use of social drama, teaching graded thinking and process based instruction, and a system of personal tutoring and counselling, with emphasis on body awareness, personal and social education and vocational training.
Although individuals with a diagnosis on the autistic spectrum can differ greatly, they share a common cluster of underlying difficulties around:
Some students may also have additional sensory/motor co-ordination, organisational and developmental issues. At Heathermount we engage in a holistic, person centred approach, which recognises and encourages partnership working with parents, carers and a range of professionals to deliver a robust curriculum and supportive learning.
Person centred planning
Person centred working is an essential part in the school's ethos and philosophy. Every student is recognised as a unique individual with many strengths, skills and aspirations. Each student has an opportunity to explore these and contribute to their person centred goals which are included in their plans and reviews. Each student creates their own person centred workbook, used to inform individualised goals which shape the support that they receive from Heathermount.
As well as being fully compliant with OFSTED, our corporate Quality Assurance department oversees a regular external inspection and ad-hoc visits set against the OFSTED's own quality outcomes. This ensures that standards are maintained and built upon regularly. The inspections and audits include seeking feedback from all stakeholders, including service users, families, and local authorities. Following an Ofsted inspection in January 2015, Heathermount was judged to be a 'good' school.