Bedelsford School has been recognised as an example of best practice in a book authored by renowned practitioners with decades of experience in special needs education. The book called ‘A guide to best practice in special education, health and social care’ explains the changes in governmental policies across the education, health and social care services and what they mean for young individuals, parents and professionals. The book provides innovative examples of how change is happening on the ground through conversations and case studies about how professionals and families are making change happen.
Principal, Julia James, was delighted that Bedelsford School was included in the book, as an expert in conversation and in the form of two case studies of pupils in the school. She explains the ethos that underpins the educational provision at the school:
“We look at the main barriers to learning and establish the key skills needed to unlock potential. We have developed three curriculum pathways. There is a pre-formal curriculum to suite those who have very limited cognitive ability; a semi-formal one for those who fall in the middle; and a more formal curriculum for the most able pupils we have. Flexibility is key, as pupils’ needs change over time and all pathways have fully integrated therapies and medical support.”
The case studies featured in the book provide examples of how the school has identified the barriers to learning in two pupils. In one example, assistant head teacher Jessica Webb, explains how a pupil was taught to use “yes/no” cards to give a consistent response and was taught to use auditory scanning in a PODD (pragmatic, organised, dynamic display) book to access increasingly complex vocabulary. As the pupil developed their communication skills, they were assessed to have made a huge leap in their cognitive age bracket.
The other case study reported on work done to prepare a pupil for future medical appointments. As this pupil had become very distressed by previous hospital visits, the school helped to prepare a hospital passport which explained how they communicated as well as important medical information that could be shared with the medical staff. The SaLT team also produced a social story based on what would happen in hospital which the school and family read to the pupil every day. The teacher provided the parent with Makaton training for key signs and also engaged the pupil in role play to get them used to what would happen when they were admitted to hospital. Despite the pupil’s initial apprehension, the parent reported that this hospital visit had been much less traumatic than on previous occasions.
It is fantastic that the work of, not only Bedelsford School, but of Orchard Hill College and the Trust, have been recognised in this book by Dr Rona Tutt OBE and Paul Williams. It has been described as an essential read to those working in schools and professionals across health and social care.
If you would like to find out more please click the link below to the book publisher