New special autism school opens in Cambridgeshire
A new special autism school that aims to break down the educational barriers that autistic students face welcomed its first pupils this week.
Students in Year 7 started their academic journey at the world’s first International Baccalaureate special autism school, The Cavendish School, which is Cambridgeshire’s first state maintained special free school provision for young people with autism.
The school, which is currently based in a temporary classroom at Girton Glebe Primary, will offer speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and will adapt teaching to the needs of each child alongside teaching the International Baccalaureate curriculum.
The school hopes to move to its permanent home on the site of Impington Village College in January when building work is set to be completed.
Deputy headteacher Stephanie Smith said: “We are incredibly excited to welcome our Year 7 students to the school as they embark on their IB journey with us.
“Today marks our first step towards achieving our mission of ‘enabling the self’ and supporting our students to become healthy, happy individuals who are able to self-advocate, actively contribute to their communities and flourish into adulthood.
“Our holistic approach to education, with an emphasis on students’ social and emotional wellbeing and communication development will be achieved through the unique frameworks of the IB, which is why we are so proud to be the world’s first IB special autism school.”
Together with IB programmes, students can access forest school, Lego-based therapy and life skills learning, to support the school’s mission of helping students develop into independent adults.
Ryan Kelsall, deputy CEO of Eastern Learning Alliance, said: “I am delighted that our concept of a school that breaks down the educational barriers that autistic students face has finally become a reality after years of planning, research and preparation. I would like to thank all of the team at the school who have been working tirelessly, especially over the last 18 months, to ensure that local children and families have access to an excellent special state provision to meet the rising SEND needs that will enable students to flourish academically and individually for years to come.”