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The Haven

The Haven is a specialist class for a small group of children which provides a calm, safe and predictable environment with a higher ratio of staff. The Haven provides a variety of classroom spaces including quiet rooms and safe spaces. This gives all the children the opportunity to have a greater level of personal space which supports their engagement and cooperation.

The Haven provides greater level 1:1 support for individual children with an emphasis on building effective relationships between children and staff to support the childrens’ learning and engagement.

The Haven offers an individualised curriculum focused on communication, independence, and wellbeing. The curriculum provides a supportive structure that enables the children to manage their needs as independently and effectively as possible with a significant focus on removing barriers to their learning to support their learning potential.

The Haven provides a Total Communication Environment. This promotes all methods of communication using the right combination of communication methods for individual children to secure the most successful forms of interaction, information exchange and conversation. Methods include:

  • Body language
  • Facial expression
  • Objects of Reference
  • Photographs
  • Symbols
  • Written words
  • Vocalisations
  • Intonation
  • Verbalisations
  • Technology.

The Haven provides aspects of Structured Teaching which is a system for organizing the environment, developing appropriate activities, and helping the children understand what is expected of them. Elements of structured teaching include:

  • Providing predictable and familiar routines to support the childrens’ confidence and participation.
  • Providing an organised environment which supports the childrens’ understanding, expectations for behaviour and engagement.
  • Providing work systems where children can work on structured and personalised tasks in a distraction free environment.
  • Providing Visual Structure (objects of reference, photographs, symbols and words) which helps to lessen the children’s anxiety and enables them to predict daily and weekly events.
  • Providing a low arousal environment which considers the childrens’ sensory processing difficulties. Many of the children in the group work best in a calm and quiet environment.
  • Providing curriculum programmes which incorporate the childrens’ special interests and strengths to support motivation, engagement, and cooperation.
  • Providing curriculum which addresses the children’s social, emotional well-being, communication, and life skills.

The Haven offers the children the opportunity to integrate with the wider school community with a higher ratio of adult support. Opportunities include participating in whole school events such as assemblies, coffee mornings and whole school celebrations. Individual children can join other classes for specific sessions as appropriate for individual children and all the children have access to weekly swimming sessions in the school pool and playtimes with children from Venture and Enterprise Hubs.

The Haven provides recognised accreditation courses for children 14 to 16 years old and works closely with Post 16 providers to ensure a smooth transition.