Page 1

Eagle House School


“My son was not able to cope in mainstream school. He is now accepted as one of the class” A Parent



Letter from the Head teacher . . . . . . 1 Our Vision, Philosophy and Ethos . . . 2 Our Staff


Our School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Our Curriculum


A Multi-disciplinary Approach . . . . . . 6 • Speech & Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 • PODD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 • Occupational Therapy . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 • Psychology and behaviour . . . . . . . . . . 9 • Music Therapy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Working with Parents . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Links with the local Community . . . . 14 Admission arrangements . . . . . . . . . . 15 The School Year & the School Day . . 16 • School uniform . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 • Lunchtimes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 • Health & Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 • English as an Additional Language . . . . 20 • Behaviour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 • Sex and Relationships Education . . . . . 20 • Complaints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

A letter from the Head teacher Dear Parents and Carers, Choosing the right school for your child is often one of the most difficult but far reaching decisions you make in your child’s life. It is therefore important that you receive the right information to help you to decide. For your child, success will be measured not only academically and socially, but also in their ability to communicate and adjust to change. At Eagle House School we help your child to achieve this through a teaching approach that is practical, functional and meaningful.We call this the Eagle House Approach to learning, which is delivered by our onsite multidisciplinary team of teachers, teaching support assistants and therapists. Our approach very much relies on the support of our parents and carers and collaborative working with other professionals involved with our families.


This dynamic collaboration provides our pupils with a solid foundation from which they can start to achieve their full potential. This prospectus is designed to answer some of the questions you may have during this difficult process; however, don’t be too surprised if it raises more questions than answers. For this reason I would like to invite you to join us at one of our monthly Parents’ Open Days. During your visit you will have a tour of the school, meet some of our teaching staff, therapists and pupils working in class.You will also have the opportunity to meet other parents who, like you, are in the process of choosing a new school for their child. My staff and I very much look forward to welcoming you in the near future. Janis Rogers Head teacher

Our Vision, Philosophy and Ethos ‘Eagle House Group is committed to responding to the needs of and delivering exceptional services to people with an autism spectrum disorder and more complex special needs and their families.’ ‘It is our vision that by the end of their time at Eagle House School, all of our children will have a sense of achievement, raised self-esteem and will leave us with a positive attitude to future life and learning.’ At Eagle House School we value the contribution each pupil brings to our community and we aim to unlock their individual potential by striving to create a school day that is motivating, rewarding and purposeful. We recognise that successful learning is achieved through positive experiences. The school is a non-denominational community in which everyone works happily and purposefully together.

• We value every pupil as an individual • We provide a safe, secure and positive environment • We provide a motivating school environment where learning is encouraged through participation, enjoyment and success

Our Staff We have a dynamic, multicultural staff team, all of whom have a passion for working with children and young people with autism. All staff are fully committed to the school’s vision, philosophy and ethos and are fully involved in our extensive professional development programme which is at the core of the Eagle House Approach. We are a multidisciplinary team encompassing fully qualified teachers, learning support assistants, a clinical psychologist, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, a music therapist, behaviour support specialist and administrative staff who work together to support our pupils. 2

Our School Eagle House School (Mitcham) is part of the Eagle House Group of schools.We are an independent specialist day school providing primary education for children (4-12 years) with an autism spectrum disorder and associated social and communication difficulties. The school was established in 2004 and occupies the beautiful Grade I listed building of Eagle House, a building of historic interest set on land formerly owned by Sir Walter & Lady Elizabeth Raleigh. Behind Eagle House is Eagle Court, built in the twentieth century in a style to match the main house.

There is limited parking for use by staff and visitors. The school consists of airy teaching rooms in both buildings and various relaxation rooms for pupils. Facilities include a new ICT suite, two teaching kitchens, a soft play area, sensory room, therapy rooms, music room, occupational therapy swing room, library, medical room, meeting rooms and a school hall.

The grounds have been converted in to three separate playgrounds with an additional front garden for pupils to enjoy.

“the School encourages pupils’ cultural development very effectively” Ofsted 2011


Eagle House School (Mitcham) Curriculum

Our Curriculum Our curriculum is designed specifically for children with an autism spectrum disorder. Our approach; the Eagle House Approach, is at the core of our curriculum and is based on best practice, experience and innovation within the field of autism. Our approach combines aspects from a range of strategies known to be successful in supporting pupils with autism. These include TEACCH, PODD, Intensive Interaction, the ALERT Programme and ‘the little group’ approach.

It focuses on developing each pupil’s personal skills within five key areas: 1. Communication Skills receptive, expressive & non-verbal 2. Behaviour boundaries, rules, consequences, emotional self-regulation & sensory self-regulation 3. Independence daily living skills, self-care skills, leisure skills, confidence & perseverance 4. Social Skills interactions, co-operation, relationships & social understanding 5. Thinking and Learning Skills academic skills, problem solving, creativity Each pupil has an Individual Education Plan (IEP), which identifies targets within each of these five key areas and ensures that their personal learning programme is specific to their needs rather than being a more general ‘one size fits all’.


Eagle House School (Mitcham) Teaching Philosophy How We Teach • We recognise that our pupils associate traditional classrooms with negative educational experiences so we teach our pupils outside of this traditional model on an individual or small group basis • We understand how important it is for our pupils to be happy at school and have fun in their lessons • We focus on each pupil’s strengths and interests and use these to re-engage them in their learning

By fully embedding The Eagle House Approach within the academic curriculum, we ensure that every pupil is able to access opportunities to develop their skills within each of the five key areas throughout their entire school day; each and every day. The school’s academic curriculum is based on the national curriculum and provides each pupil with planned learning opportunities within the full range of subjects, which are practical, functional and meaningful. It is based on a three year cycle of topics with a different topic being covered each half term across the whole school. It is then differentiated across four levels of ability ranging from an experiential, sensorybased level through to national curriculum levels. The curriculum is enhanced by educational visits to the local community, which enables our pupils to practice the skills they have learnt in the classroom, in to ‘real life’ situations.

• We utilise relevant opportunities as and when they arise in order to address areas in need of development • We use a multi-sensory approach to learning to deliver lessons which provides opportunities to learn through visual, auditory and kinaesthetic experiences • We make use of autism approaches such as TEACCH which are known to have a positive impact on enabling pupils to access the curriculum • We employ Individual Education Plans (IEPs) to help our pupils to develop the skills they need to better cope with having an autistic spectrum disorder • We use carefully planned, individualised curriculum activities along with positive language and high levels of focussed praise to ensure our pupils’ experience success on a daily basis

“Staff establish effective communication with the pupils”

What We Teach • Communication • Skills for living • Social competence including group & co-operation skills • Independence • Respect for self & for others • Self – management of behaviour • Self – regulation of emotions • Enjoyment of learning • Leisure skills • Academic skills • Vocational & work related learning • Range of accredited Qualifications

• To improve the quality of life for our pupils • To show that our pupils can learn when they are accepted for who and where they are in their educational journey

Ofsted 2011

• To re-engage our pupils in their educational experience

Pupils also access a number of off-site curriculum activities, which include swimming, horse riding and rock climbing. These are fully risk assessed. Class groups typically have six pupils in each with pupils being placed according to their age, ability and level of communication. Each class has a fully qualified teacher who is supported by three or four learning support assistants depending on the needs and the number of pupils in each.

Why We Teach • To develop the skills of young people with an autistic spectrum disorder

Where We Teach • Dedicated autism schools • Positive, calm environment • Safe, structured settings • Visually supportive classrooms • Sensory aware atmosphere • Local and wider community • Leisure and sporting facilities

“My son has been attending Eagle House for just under a year. His progress has been amazing” A Parent 5

Our Multi-disciplinary Approach to Teaching and Learning Teaching and learning across the school is fully supported by the school’s in - house Curriculum Access Team (CA Team). This is our own team of specialist therapists who work closely with each class team to ensure there is a multidisciplinary, pupil centred approach to planning and delivering all aspects of the curriculum. CA Team therapists meet with class teams on a regular basis to identify appropriate targets within each of the five key areas on each pupils IEP, they also provide advice and guidance on aspects of the academic curriculum such as hand writing and literacy skills and, where appropriate, support class staff to deliver individual therapeutic programmes and strategies throughout each school day for individual pupils. Class teams and parents can make a request for additional support from the CA Team for an individual pupil in addition to the on-going, daily multi-

disciplinary support that they provide. This can include input from our behaviour support specialist, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, clinical psychologist and music therapist. In response to a parent or carer’s request for support, our in-house therapists can visit a pupil’s home in order to establish the level and type of support they need. Strategies can be created around the pupil for use both at school and at home. This personalised programme can help a pupil to make good progress across all aspects of their lives. Members of our CA Team are supported and supervised by senior therapists from their respective disciplines who work across Eagle House Group. Our music therapist is trained through Nordoff Robins (a unique and renowned national music charity) and is supervised by a senior member of their staff. 6

Speech and Language Therapy Our therapists work collaboratively with teachers, learning support assistants (LSA), occupational therapists, the behaviour support therapist, clinical psychologist and parents/carers to support our pupils to develop skills in expressive and receptive language and in the use of non-verbal communication for social interaction. The team works together to create goals and develop functional based programmes, which address the different needs of pupils and enables them to more actively participate in school and the wider community. Communication is an essential life skill and for our pupils a fundamental core difficulty, which needs to be supported in a holistic manner. Speech and language therapists work closely with class teams to embed a ‘total communication approach’ into the curriculum and develop a visually supported classroom, which allows all pupils to access all of their lessons throughout the school day. 7

The needs of our pupils are addressed through a variety of evidence-based approaches including: • attention and listening based sessions, • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) • a range of visual strategies to support transitions, organisation and independence such as TEACCH, Visual Timetables, Voice Output Devices, Social Stories. Therapy varies depending on the needs of the class and individual pupils taking the form of small group or individual therapy, delivered both in and out of the classroom.

PODD Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display Communication Tool Many of our pupils are severely challenged by their difficulties with language and communication. We use PODD, an‘augmentative and alternative communication’ system for developing both expressive (talking) and receptive (listening) language. PODD is a proven intervention that supports and develops pupils’ speech and language. This multilevel communication book is an exciting tool that allows pupils to be spontaneous in their use of language and can be used in conjunction with other visual communication strategies. PODD offers a broad range of vocabulary for our pupils to use on a daily basis helping them to grow in confidence and enjoy the experience of effectively communicating - perhaps for the very first time.

Occupational Therapy (OT)


Occupational therapists assess a pupil’s ability to be effective, safe and independent in their day-today activities.

They assess their ability to look after themselves, the potential impact on their school work, play, social interaction and independence. Pupils are assessed with ageappropriate daily living tasks, with the OT focusing on the areas that pupils are finding difficult. OTs also assess pupils’ physical motor and sensory skills looking at how these may impact their day to day living. In our OT sessions we aim to: • Improve the motor skills of the pupils so that they are able to participate in whole body activities such as running and jumping, in the playground (gross motor) • Improve their strength, muscle tone and endurance so that they can maintain an upright sitting posture at the desk needed for table top activities • Improve their abilities to control their sensory experiences in class so that they are aware of and respond to sensory information from their bodies and from their environment. This can be overwhelming for them.

Interventions can be carried out in a group setting or in one to one sessions. These sessions are implemented within the normal class timetable ensuring that new skills are put into practice immediately and lessons are not missed.

Psychology and Behaviour Support Team Our psychology and behaviour support team is committed to creating a positive and proactive approach. Working as part of the school’s CA Team, they have a key role to play in understanding pupils’ strengths and areas of difficulty by assessing a range of their cognitive, emotional and behavioural issues. A major part of their role is to assess any underlying causes of a pupil’s behaviour. They aim to understand ‘why’ and to design useful, positive strategies in collaboration with the CA Team and parents/carers taking the pupil’s strengths and interests in to account. This information will form the basis of their ‘Behaviour Support Plan’.

Whilst every pupil has a Behaviour Support Plan (BSP) developed, some plans will be more detailed than others depending on each pupil’s needs. Once the BSP has been developed, the psychology and behaviour team monitor and review progress regularly. Pupils will be supported through group sessions or in a one to one session where they will look at a pupil’s issues with anxiety, low self-esteem and anger management. Additionally the team provides training and support to other staff members and families/carers.

“The MDT approach is fantastic and has really helped our daughter” A Parent


Music Therapy Our music therapist is a trained by the nationally renowned Nordoff Robbins who endorse the belief that everyone can respond to music. Through improvisation and creating music together, a relationship is built as the music therapist helps the pupil to engage in active participation personalised to meet their individual needs and capabilities. Our therapist provides opportunities for our pupils to enjoy creating music in an interactive and fun way. From time to time, pupils may also receive support through the following agencies: • Local authority educational psychologists, speech and language therapists, behaviour support teams, ADHD nurse. • CAMHS • Social care

Working with Parents We recognise and value the important role played by parents/ carers. To ensure our parents are fully supported, we have a parent liaison officer who you can contact at any time during school hours. We encourage parents and carers to play an active role in their child's education and ensure mutually supportive links between home and school. Parents and carers are always welcome to visit us at school. You can expect us to: • value your child as an individual • provide a stimulating and motivating curriculum which encourages full potential • provide a safe, happy and caring environment for teaching and learning • ensure close communication through open and honest discussion

• GP

“I am very happy with Eagle House School. It is a blessing my child is in the school” A Parent

• respect confidentiality and be non-judgemental • recognise the important role you play in your child's education • provide regular information about your child's progress


We encourage parents/carers to: • work in partnership with us • share your concerns with us • be honest and open • ensure your child's regular attendance at school • attend progress meetings and annual reviews about your child • support the teaching team and agree to undertake any home/ school learning • actively support the school's policies and guidelines for behaviour We strive to keep our parents and carers informed and involved by providing our daily communication book, which allows a two-way flow of information between home and school. We like parents to tell us about events that may have happened at home, for example, an outing or more difficult issues such as a sleepless night that could affect your child’s school day. Access to our CA team for support and advice on challenging home issues is very popular with parents and ensures pupils are consistently supported both in and out of school. 13

Our school newsletter is sent home to all parents and carers providing information about recent and upcoming events. We have regular parent and carer workshops, which cover a range of autismrelated issues and provide you with an opportunity to meet staff and to share a coffee with other parents and carers. Every year, parents are invited to attend their child’s Annual Review, three Parent-Teacher evenings and will receive an end of year report for their child. Staff are always available to talk to or meet with parents and carers on request.

Links with the Local Community It is essential that our pupils are given regular opportunities to practice and generalise the social interaction and communication skills they learn in school, outside in the local community. For this reason, our pupils attend a range of carefully planned and fully risk assessed activities outside of school. These include weekly visits to: • a local specialist adventure playground • horse riding • swimming and sports at a leisure centre with specialist staff • climbing centre • BMX biking We invite visitors in to school to support our curriculum. These have included professionals from a local football club, officers from the local fire brigade, Metropolitan Police Service and people who represent various religions within the local community. 14

The school has established a close link with a local primary school and has created a Mainstream Opportunities programme for some pupils, providing them with appropriate time when they can integrate with their mainstream peers both socially and academically. At Eagle House School we involve local shops, proprietors and businesses who are familiar with our pupils and their difficulties. This has included a local barber who understands the sensory issues that some of our pupils face. We have been able to take pupils along for haircuts when the need has arisen and he has helped us to desensitise pupils who often find having their hair cut distressing. Other local places include the library, Morrison’s, the duck pond, the local park, the corner shops and a local children’s centre. On reaching Key Stage 2, pupils can attend one of our residential school trips. Currently, pupils have the opportunity staying for five days with Pro Corda - a music charity based at Leiston Abbey, in the Suffolk countryside.

With their older counterparts from Eagle House School (Sutton), pupils create a musical dance production of a well-known story e.g. The Wizard of Oz and The Lion King. Some of our other pupils take part in a three-day camping trip to High Ashurst in Surrey. Here, they learn new skills such as abseiling, climbing, archery and team building. Many of our children have never been away from home before so they are carefully supported with personalised programmes designed to meet their particular social, learning and dietary needs.

“It is a very good environment for my son with teachers who care for him” A Parent

Admission Arrangements Admission to Eagle House School (Mitcham) is typically made through the Special Educational Needs department of the pupil’s local authority (LA). Where the pupil’s parents and carers express a preference for our school, the LA will contact the admissions co-ordinator with appropriate documentation if they agree that we can meet the pupil’s needs. For admission, a pupil requires a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care plan stating that an autism spectrum disorder or Asperger syndrome is their primary need. Once the admissions co-ordinator receives the paperwork, the school admissions panel will determine whether we could potentially meet their needs and if there is an appropriate classroom space. The admissions co-ordinator will inform the LA and make a request to carry out an assessment. This will involve a member of the admissions panel observing the 15

pupil at their current placement or at home and to gather information from their teacher or parent/carer. If suitable, your child will be invited to attend a ‘sit in’ at Eagle House School for a period of 1-3 days, depending upon the complexity of their needs. Once this is completed we will inform the LA and parent or carer as to whether we can offer your child a place.

The School Year and the School Day

We also undertake assessments on request from parents and carers who may be interested in placing their child with us but where their LA is not in agreement and fail to send the child’s paperwork to us. In this instance, please contact the parent liaison officer for advice on 0845 074 2972.

• Afternoon:- 13.00 to 14.50 (half of lunchtime is taught PSHE time)

The school day generally works on the following timetable Mondays to Thursdays: • Morning:- 08.30 to 12noon with a 20 minute midmorning break

• Fridays Morning:- 08.30 to 12noon with a 20 minute midmorning break • Friday Afternoon:- 12.30 to 13.30 (to allow for staff training) Friday morning includes our celebration assemblies where each class has the opportunity across the academic year to lead assemblies and share their work or celebrate current religious festivals. Pupils take great pride in receiving progress certificates and Star of the Week awards in recognition of their achievements and progress for that week.


During the school week, the following teaching time takes place: • Key Stage 1 24.5 hours • Key Stage 2 24.5 hours Assemblies, break times and lunch breaks are not included in this figure although they are considered to provide essential learning opportunities. During the school year, pupils attend for 190 days; teaching staff work for 195 days, which includes five training days (Inset Days). In addition, our psychologist and behaviour support team work throughout the year to develop support programmes and strategies for pupils and their families. We ask parents/carers to avoid taking their children out of school for family holidays unless there are exceptional circumstances. We also ask parents/carers to report their child's absence due to illness before 8.30am on the morning of the absence by contacting the school administrator.


Planned absences such as medical or dental appointments should be reported prior to the appointment by a letter to the class teacher or a message in the child's home/

school book. The regulations in force regarding attendance require schools to record all 'unauthorised' absences. These are any absences, which have not been explained by parents or carers.

School Uniform We encourage pupils to wear our school uniform of a polo shirt, sweatshirt and fleece jacket. We ask parents of pupils in our early years classes to provide a pair of indoor shoes also which can be easily slipped on and off, such as plimsolls. Both our pupils and parents/carers find that uniform helps to reduce problems with dressing and choosing clothes each morning as well as promoting the feel of a whole school community. All items can be purchased from the school office.We also provide rucksacks for pupils and book bags.

The following items are not allowed in school: • Jewellery – this is too precious to risk losing in school • Earrings – if your child has pierced ears, then only small studs should be worn because anything else is dangerous • Boots or other shoes with hardened toecaps – these can injure others if a child kicks The PE kit is worn by all pupils and consists of a plain white t-shirt, shorts and plimsolls or gym shoes. As PE is one of the compulsory subjects of the national curriculum pupils can only be excused from these lessons in cases of illness or injury. Parents and carers should contact school to let us know if this has happened.

Lunchtimes Pupils should bring their own lunch to school in a secure plastic container marked with their name and class. We would ask parents and carers not to include sweets or fizzy drinks in their child's lunchbox. A plastic flask or plastic bottle containing a still drink, which has minimal additives or artificial colourings inside the lunchbox, is ideal. All pupils are provided with a drinks flask which staff keep filled with filtered water. Pupils have access to these at any time throughout the day.

Health and Safety All external doors are locked during lesson times and fire exits are easily opened from the inside. The playgrounds are kept secure when the school is in session and there are always at least three members of staff on duty during playtimes whenever pupils are outside. The main door is monitored by the school office staff, which is also the first point of contact for all visitors.


Visitors are required to wear a visitor's badge and sign themselves in to and out of the school. When the building is empty, the school is protected by fire and burglar alarms as well as CCTV. Some members of our class teams are trained first aiders and can deal with minor cuts, bumps and grazes. If a pupil becomes ill or is injured, we need to be able to contact parents or carers quickly. We keep the children's contact files as up to date as possible and rely on parents and carers to tell us of changes to phone numbers or addresses. We do not generally administer medicines to pupils during the school day. Parents and carers are asked to regulate dosage to avoid school hours. The exception to this rule is a child who has a long-term clinical condition.

Each classroom has a copy of a medical list of pupils in that class who may give cause for concern so that any adult in the room has an immediate reference guide if a pupil becomes ill. We support the Children's Acts and the responsibility of adults to protect the rights of children in their care. All of our staff are committed to this and are supported through school policies on behaviour, child protection and safeguarding and dealing with bullying. The school follows thorough Safer Recruitment procedures and has a fully comprehensive Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of Pupils policy which can be viewed on our website or obtained from the school office. All staff have been cleared by the DBS in accordance with the Department for Education.

Inhalers are kept in school and administered as and when required. In all cases written authority is needed from the parent or carer. 19

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

Sex & Relationships Education

Some pupils may come from homes where English is not their first language. Several staff at school are able to speak languages other than English and use this to support communication with parents and carers.

We are sensitive to the importance of our pupils developing appropriate awareness of human development and social behaviours, particularly as they approach puberty.

Where this is not the case we will use local authority interpreters from their service to support our families.

Complaints Procedure All staff recognise the importance of working in partnership with parents and carers and we value positive relationships with you. However, we recognise that on rare occasions you may feel unhappy with an aspect of your child's education.

Children and young people with an autism spectrum disorder can be vulnerable because they may have a limited understanding of what are socially inappropriate behaviours, for example, they may be over familiar with strangers.

Though most problems and difficulties are usually resolved informally, a School Complaints policy & procedure is in place for more formal circumstances.

Behaviour and Discipline At Eagle House School we focus strongly on the positive aspects of a pupil's school life but recognise that our pupils can present with challenging behaviour at times in relation to their autism spectrum disorder. The school's Positive Behaviour Support policy and Anti-Bullying policy outlines in more detail how we promote positive behaviour and reduce challenging behaviour.

We aim to help our pupils to learn about themselves and about appropriate behaviour in public. The school has a Sex & Relationships Education policy, which provides more detail.

This is available on the school website and from the school office.

This includes the Rewards and Consequences policy, which outlines how we motivate our children to learn using autism specific methods. 20

Produced by: The School Brochure Specialist, FM Litho Design and Print. Tel: 01787 479479

Eagle House School


Eagle House School (Mitcham) 224 London Road, Mitcham, Surrey CR4 3HD. T: 020 8687 7050 F: 020 8687 7055 E: W:

The proprietor is Eagle House Group Ltd., whose Directors can be contacted at Eagle House Group School Business Office 95 Brighton Road, Sutton SM2 4SJ

Eagle House Group

Eagle House School Mitcham  

Eagle House School (Mitcham) is a primary specialist day school for children aged 4 to 11yrs who have an autism spectrum disorder, Asperger...

Eagle House School Mitcham  

Eagle House School (Mitcham) is a primary specialist day school for children aged 4 to 11yrs who have an autism spectrum disorder, Asperger...