The Willows at Dickens Heath CPS opened in 2018. It operates as part of Solihull’s continuum of provision for pupils’ who have a diagnosis of autism. We are a 14 place Additional Resource Provision (ARP), which is a provision within a mainstream school, designed to provide specialist and targeted support for children with complex needs, in our case supporting those children with complex autism. Within the ARP we are funded to staff a team of teachers, and full time specialist teaching and learning support assistants who have great knowledge skills and expertise in supporting pupils with autism.
Pupils will spend both time within their ARP learning environment and in their linked mainstream class. The purpose of the ARP classrooms is to provide safe, nurturing and engaging environments, so that individual needs are met and individual progress is made, in particular in the areas of pupils’ emotional regulation, social communication and sensory processing skills. The aim is for pupils to spend at least 50% of their time within mainstream, which may at times be unsupported, encouraging pupils to use strategies independently.