AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) Month.

October is AAC month. AAC is Alternative and Augmentative Communication which includes all forms of communication other than oral speech. AAC is used to express thoughts, needs, wants and ideas and allows for all individuals to functionally  communicate in the world around them. AAC includes symbols, pictures, writing, facial expressions and gestures.

Here at Quest, our resident Speech and Language Therapist, along with all other staff, work hard to ensure that we provide our pupils with the opportunity to communicate in a way that works best for them. This includes Makaton, PECS and Proloquo2go, which is an app that is used on the iPad or iPod.  We expose all pupils to a Total Communication approach to enable them to be able to communicate with each other.

World Mental Health Day.

Today is World Mental Health Day.

Here at Quest, the mental health and well-being of our staff and pupils  is paramount.

For the staff, we are proud of our supportive culture, robust Mental Health and Well-being Policy and the comprehensive range of external support provided by our Employee Assistance Provider –  Health Assured.

We teach our pupils how to recognise their feelings and how to communicate them.  The pupils are then taught how to regulate their feelings by learning the “tools” that they can use that are unique to them as individuals.

 

   

Online Safety Resources for Parents and Carers.

Here at Quest, the safety of the pupils online is of paramount importance.  The pupils have Online Safety lessons and are regularly reminded of the rules when using the internet to keep them safe online. Please see the parent tab on our website which has a new document added detailing helpful websites and information for parents and carers.  We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you that our website has the “Click CEOP” button which enables you to report online concerns directly to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP).

 

Online Resources for Parents and Carers.

Here at Quest, the safety of the pupils online is of paramount importance.  The pupils have Online Safety lessons and are regularly reminded of the rules when using the internet to keep them safe online. Please see the parent tab on our website which has a new document added detailing helpful websites and information for parents and carers.  We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you that our website has the “Click CEOP” button which enables you to report online concerns directly to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP).

 

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA).

Quest School is an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) School.  This is a positive approach to learning and behaviour, which creates a very positive and happy environment. The pupils come running through the gate in the mornings with big smiles on their faces.  They appear to enjoy school which is reflected in their statements (see below), their general demeanour whilst at school as well as parental and past pupil feedback.

ABA is a structured teaching approach built on the principles of behaviour science, which defines how we all learn and acquire new skills. An understanding of how we teach and learn new skills is relevant to all children and young people, however it is particularly pertinent for pupils with autism, as young people with autism do not typically learn and acquire new skills in the same way as their peers.

Children with autism often do not have the same motivation to learn, that other children may have; specifically social rewards like praise or peer conformity are less motivating.

The ABA approach therefore begins with providing a fundamentally positive approach to teaching, using individually designed reinforcement strategies to engage pupils in learning and enable them to experience success and enjoyment of learning, maybe for the first time in their lives.

Most students at Quest school have a learning disability in addition to their diagnosis of autism, which may be very significant. Hence a ‘small steps’ curriculum delivery approach is often essential for effective learning. In a ‘small steps’ approach, complex skills are broken down into small achievable steps, which are taught in a systematic and consistent way. Appropriate responses and behaviours are reinforced with a positive consequence to make them more likely to occur in the future. Learning is designed to be enjoyable and successful, so that pupils remain motivated and engaged.

  • Pupil A (Transfer from another school): “I feel happy at school because worry is going off my mind to make me happy”
  • Pupil B: “Like playing with friends”
  • Pupil C: “Piano! I like music lessons. Staff are kind. I am happy”
  • Pupil D: (transfer from another school) “I’m excited and I’m going to see my Quest friends. I like this school the best!”
  • Parent: “You have worked tirelessly. This is manifested in (my child’s) overall improvement in behaviour, skills and attitudes towards learning. We as parents are eternally grateful”

 

Outdoor Activities

At Quest, we try to make the most of our outdoor spaces to enhance pupil learning and engagement. We generalise pupil learning from the classroom to other contexts, including the playground and garden area.

Please click on the link to see photos of the pupils making the most of the warm weather.

 

Music Lessons at The Quest School

Here at Quest, our pupils appear to thoroughly enjoy Music and exploring different instruments. With that being said, we are very lucky to have recently appointed a new teacher who specialises in Music. This week, the pupils were exploring how to create sounds of the sea using shaker instruments and through this started learning about how to identify and create loud and soft dynamics and fast and slow tempo sounds.

Please click on the link to see all photographs.

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Congratulations!

We are excited to announce that another one of our staff has achieved her BCBA Qualification.  Congratulations Maisie Wilmin!  This entailed completing a Masters in ABA, gaining seventy five supervision hours and sitting a very tough exam.  A great achievement!!!

 

Congratulations to our Pupils at Quest

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all our pupils on their hard work and perseverance this year. Despite the additional challenges that our children have had to face this year with Covid-19 still prevalent in our communities, they have continued to work very hard and attain highly commendable results with several pupils having earned end of term certificates for all their achievements this year. We have uploaded the relevant certificates on to Tapestry. We wish you all a happy and safe summer.