We are really excited that The Social Festival will be raising money for The Quest School this weekend! To donate to our school please click on our go fund me account: https://www.gofundme.com/questschool
People with autism, face a range of challenges, varying from social difficulties to having very little or no communication skills. People with autism often find it hard to access the wider community and this maybe a result of sensory processing issues for example, loud noises, bright lights and large groups of people. Those affected by autism can have a lack of flexibility which can lead to repetitive or routine-bound behaviours. Imagination may be impaired and this can make activities involving play or creativity hard for them.
How do we deal with the challenges Autism imposes on our pupils?
At the Quest School, most of our pupils have severely impaired communication skills, which can often lead to them displaying challenging behaviour, as a result of frustration and anxiety. To address this, we teach communication strategies as a priority for all of our pupils. This aspect of development is core to each pupil’s individualised learning programme. We also address the behaviour itself. We apply an analytical approach to understanding the functions of any challenging behaviour, with a view to determining an appropriate and effective intervention by which to reduce the behaviour. An Occupational Therapist and Speech & Language Therapist work closely with the teaching team to address additional sensory and communication needs.
Aims at Quest
Our main aim at Quest is to provide individualised learning programmes for each pupil. In addition to their academic targets we also work on social and life skills; which gives them access to a broad and balanced curriculum. Pupils’ 1:1 programmes are taught in combination with group work, where the pupils can benefit from interaction with other pupils and develop skills required to operate effectively within a group context. Skills that are taught in school are then generalised and are made functional when they are used outside of the school’s environment. This is vital for successful integration into, and enjoyment of the wider community.
Excellence at Quest
At Quest we invest in our staff and encourage them to pursue further career development and training. This provides them with the skills required to support and develop our pupils’ individual teaching. We provide all new staff with in-house ABA training; this teaches them the basic principles of ABA and gives them experience with a range of pupils. Staff training and the delivery of programmes is over seen by BCBAs (Board Certified Behaviour Analysts). Staff also work closely with external agencies for example Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and ABA Consultants. This is vital to ensure that our pupils are provided with the best possible education.
Pupil A joined us from a mainstream setting, at the age of seven. In mainstream school he had found it difficult to learn and work alongside his peers. He would display challenging behaviour at home and at school and found it hard to communicate his difficulties. Since starting at Quest one year ago he has shown huge progress, levels of challenging behaviour have reduced dramatically and we no longer see this at school. He is now fully integrated into small group lessons and enjoys spending time with his peers. The 1:1 input from his team has resulted in progress being seen within his academic levels, with his individualised curriculum social and communication targets are worked on throughout every school day
Pupil B, came to Quest School at the age of nine, and had never previously spent a full day in school. He had displayed high levels of aggressive and destructive behaviour and was sent home early every day at his previous school. After a slow integration and a strong emphasis on behavioural skills, he was soon integrated fully into the Quest School and attended full time. This pupil left Quest after seven years with five external accreditations (at GCSE level) and was able to sit exams to gain these. He forged friendships whilst at Quest and was no longer socially isolated. He is now successfully attending a mainstream college course.
Pupil C came to Quest at Secondary transfer from another special school. He was showing no progress in his learning; he was unable to attend to structured activities and would just leave the desk and wander around the room. He also had no communication system or skills. With an intensive 1:1 ABA programme he is now a fully integrated member of the school and accesses all activities; he follows a full a varied curriculum which focuses on communication and life skills in addition to academic targets. He now has a communication system in place in the format of a Picture Exchange Communication System which he uses to get his desires met. In September 2016 he will be one of our 6th form pupils following a course which leads to an external accreditation whilst continuing to work on the skills that he has developed during his time at Quest.
Many thanks to all who have donated to the school so far!