Amelia joined Arc School Old Arley in Year 6 having been supported in an alternative provision for a short time following time in a mainstream school. She had, however, not spent much time in class and had a history of leaving school without prior arrangement or supervision.
Amelia’s parents were extremely anxious about their daughter’s future. They were finding her behaviour at school more difficult to manage and she was also leaving home without permission.
When she came to the school two years’ ago, Amelia’s needs and behaviour were closely monitored by the team and, after careful assessment, they made observations and recommendations around the medical management of ADHD and worked with the local authority to put 1:1 support in place for six months. This reduced Amelia’s risks around leaving school without permission.
This was carefully managed by the school to ensure Amelia did not become attached to one person and to allow her to develop positive relationships with a range of staff. That additional support has now stopped but Amelia remains in class for longer than she had been able to before and is more engaged in her learning.
As part of her transition into the school, and to support her around attachment issues, Amelia was supported to bring a “transitional object” into school which helped her bridge the gap from home to school. At first her attachment needs were such that she would bring a whole bag of items in but through consistency of trust, persistence and the building of strong relationships Amelia does not feel the need to do this any more and when an item is brought in, she feels safe to leave it with staff.
Amelia is supported in a bespoke timetable which sees her spend half a lesson in class and where necessary, she can leave class, while being properly supported in doing this in a positive way with the assistance of a teaching assistant. They make full use of the extensive grounds around the school to allow Amelia to have the space and time she needs to reduce her anxiety levels and return to class.
Other environmental aspects which have supported Amelia in her learning include physical aspects such as the use of wobble seats, fiddle toys, other sensory materials and flex bands – all of these help her maintain her concentration and ability to stay in class longer through providing a sense of movement. Following extensive work around friendship building and relationships, Amelia has formed good relationships with her peers.
Amelia accesses independent occupational therapy and the occupational therapist at Arc School Old Arley works alongside this professional to ensure interventions and strategies are consistent and replicated at school.
The school’s team has worked closely with the whole family and surrounding professionals including those involved in Child in Need meetings to help create an environment and educational solution which meets her needs and which is enabling her to be more prepared for adulthood.