Specialist Resource Base
Open Academy is delighted to host a Specialist Resource Base for autistic pupils as part of Norfolk County Council’s Local Offer for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
The SRB is a tutor group within Open Academy for up to 10 Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils. SRB pupils have a primary identification of autism or a related condition affecting communication, socialisation and flexibility of thinking. Most pupils who attend the SRB have an Education and Health and Care Plan (EHCP) but this is not essential.
The SRB is located within the main Academy building, at the heart of the school. There are two classrooms, a sensory room and a lavatory reserved for the use of SRB pupils only.
In the classrooms there are individual workspaces for independent learning, break out areas for group teaching and social spaces.
SRB Lead Teacher: Miss Emma O’Kelly
Assistant SRB Lead: Mr Fergus Pearson
Additional Support: Mrs Helen Tomsett and Miss Monique Fisher
Staff in the SRB are trained and experienced in working with autistic children and young people.
Teaching and Learning for SRB pupils
SRB staff provide a bespoke package of support for each pupil to enable them to attend up to 100% of the mainstream curriculum. They work closely with mainstream colleagues to ensure that SRB pupils are fully integrated and included in mainstream classes and activities such as trips.
Personal Development Targets, based on pupils’ EHCP targets, are negotiated and agreed with all pupils and their parents. Meetings to discuss and review these targets are usually held termly.
Break and Lunchtimes
Most SRB pupils choose to spend break and lunch times in the SRB. They are encouraged to invite friends from their mainstream lessons to join them.
Personal, Social and Emotional Wellbeing
The Zones of Regulation programme is used to help pupils learn to identify and regulate their feelings and emotions, manage their sensory needs and improve their ability to solve problems.
Mainstream PSHE lessons are supplemented by autism-specific coverage of subjects such a puberty and travel skills.
SRB staff work closely with external professionals such as educational psychologists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists.
Home School Links
Contact between home and school is a vital part of the support for SRB pupils. Each pupil has a named key staff member who can be contacted by phone or email.
In addition to the Annual Review of each pupils’ EHCP and mainstream Parent Teacher meetings, termly meetings are held to discuss pupils’ Personal Development Targets. Where parents are unable to get in to the school, meetings can be held virtuall or by phone.
Staff from the SRB are members of the Norfolk autism SRB Network which allows them to liaise and share best practice with professionals working in similar settings. Staff can access professional development training organised by the network. The network provides a specialist partner who supports the SRB staff.
If you would like to know more about the SRB, arrange a visit or discuss whether an SRB place might be appropriate for an individual child please contact Emma O’Kelly, the SRB Lead Teacher. It is expected that parents will have visited the SRB before an application is submitted.
More information about Norfolk County Council’s SRB programme can be found here (https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/children-and-families/send-local-offer/education-and-training-0-25/schools/specialist-education/specialist-resource-bases-srbs)
SRB applications should be made by the pupil’s current school or EHCP Co-ordinator by completing the online referral form on the Norfolk County Council website. https://www.schools.norfolk.gov.uk/pupil-needs/special-educational-needs-and-disabilities/send-provision-services/specialist-resource-bases-srbs/make-a-referral Once an application has been submitted, the SRB Lead Teacher will visit the child in their home school.
Admissions panel meetings are held each half-term to discuss the suitability of placements and to assign places where they are available. Priority for a place in the SRB is NOT given to existing Open Academy pupils.
Make their time in school count!
Attending school every day = 100%
Attending 4½ days a week = 90% attendance = 4 weeks missed per year
Attending 4 days a week = 80% attendance = more than half a term missed per year or 2 full years missed over the course of their school career
Attending 3½ days each week = 70% attendance = more than a quarter of the school year missed
An average attendance of 80% or less across a child’s school career adds up to missing a whole 2 years from school