The George Tancred Centre
The GTC is a Specialist Resource Provision for autistic children. Every child who attends the GTC and their families are part of the St. James’s School community. Our school moto is ‘Put out into the deep’ and the children from the GTC are an example to the school community as they take on the challenge of living in a non-autistic world.
Our Setting and Staffing
Places at the centre are organised into two classes: Grandin and Anderson. Our classrooms provide low-distraction and low-arousal, focused learning environments. We also have spaces to develop social interaction and play skills. Our ‘Blue Room’ provides a quiet space for the children to regulate either by calming under weighted blankets or arousing using specified equipment such as spinning carousals. Children are supported by high staff to pupil ratios: each class is led by a qualified teacher and supported by Learning Leaders. Staff are trained in effective strategies to enable them to support and teach autistic children effectively. We work closely with the Educational Psychologist, Occupational Therapist and Speech and Language Therapist to develop a holistic therapeutic approach.
We follow the Early Years and National Curriculum, teaching all subjects, which we differentiate appropriately to meet the individual needs of children. Alongside this, we follow the SCERTS framework, to provide a Social Communication and Emotional Regulation curriculum. These two areas are prioritised in the GTC, so that children can communicate and interact with others and are able to interact and learn as a result of regulating their emotions. We also develop life-skills using outcomes outlined in the Autism Education Trust’s Progression Framework to develop Independence, Personal Care, Road Safety, Keeping Healthy, Personal Safety and Managing Changes. Children attending the GTC are also part of a mainstream class in their year group, and we support the children and families making links with these classes. They attend mainstream lessons and activities based on their individual needs and stage of development which are outlined in their individual Inclusion Summary.
Our key beliefs are that:
- Each child should be nurtured, treated as an individual and feel part of a safe, caring and positive learning environment.
- Each child should have their views listened to and considered.
- We have high, yet realistic, expectations for every child and we will do everything we can to support them in reaching their potential.
- Children learn and develop best when they develop strong and trusting relationships with adults.
- All 'behaviours' have a purpose, which need carefully analysing so that underlying needs can be properly met.
- It is vitally important to work collaboratively with parents, support their priorities and communicate regularly about what their child is learning at school and how they are progressing.
Our vision is for our children to:
- Develop key academic, self-care and independence skills.
- Be able to regulate their emotions so that they can meaningfully engage with others, with learning and with the world around them.
- Be able to communicate effectively with others, to get their needs met and to develop meaningful relationships.
- Be well prepared for the next stage of their education.
To achieve this, we use principles from but not limited to:
- Social Thinking
- Attention Autism
- NAS EarlyBird
- Zones of Regulation
- Social Stories and Comic Strip Conversations
- Sensory Regulation
- Lego Therapy