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    Specialist school for children and young people (CYP) diagnosed with autism and significant learning difficulties (SLD)

    Kensington Queensmill is specialist school for children and young people (CYP) diagnosed with autism and significant learning difficulties (SLD) from 3-19. The majority of CYP’s autism and learning difficulties are at the complex end of the spectrum but the school places at its heart, learning that is child/young person centred with an emphasis on accepting the child for who they are and helping them understand and cope with the world around them. From this starting point, we are able to help CYP make progress in acquiring academic, communication, social, regulation and life skills.

    Staff at Kensington Queensmill are highly trained in autism and associated impairments and learning difficulties and the school commits a significant proportion of its annual budget to training and maintaining staff knowledge and resources so that CYP learn in an environment that understands and is suited to them. The school is effective in personalising learning so that CYP have unique programmes that are motivating and CYP are thoroughly supported to make progress. When this progress occurs, we are committed to creating and adapting provision to ensure it can continue.

    The school is the creation of a partnership between The Queensmill Trust (TQT) and Kensington and Chelsea local authority (LA). We are fortunate to have been provided a purpose-built, state-of-the art building for children and young people (CYP) with autism and SLD by the LA. The school meets the needs of CYP across the bi-borough (Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster) and has a strong financial and philosophical commitment to providing the very best for vulnerable CYP.

    Our partner school, Queensmill School (H&F), has well-established, highly effective practice embedded throughout. At Kensington Queensmill it is our mission to provide an outstanding provision, adapted to the specific needs of the community that it serves. As a Trust we are committed to providing the highest level of support for all of our students.

    The school maintains a strong commitment to staff training and empowerment and the use of research to ensure exceptional outcomes. We strive to create an environment that mirrors the overarching philosophy of being CYP led i.e. with practitioners tailoring learning and activities to best meet the accessibility needs of the CYP. Where there are difficulties we observe carefully, using our expertise to determine the purpose of behaviour.

    To promote a rich communication environment, we use a Total Communication Approach.

    Our firm belief in and positive experience of the efficacy of sensory integration approaches means that CYP have frequent and structured access to sensory interventions to support their emotional regulation.

    The school is committed to embedding the SCERTS framework which enables CYP to develop and consolidate core skills in social communication and emotional regulation, in settings and situations within and outside the classroom. Our aim, using the SCERTS approach, is to extend the communication, independence, problem-solving and social abilities of our CYP.

    We are committed to supporting parents and carers understand and support their child with the most applicable and up to date knowledge of the condition of autism and evidence-based interventions. We offer an extensive range of training courses to enable this. Equally, we support colleagues and professionals in other settings to deepen their understanding of autism and effective methods of support.

    In keeping with our ethos of putting the CYP at the very centre of what we do, we provide an environment where CYP are able to express and manage their autism in the company of highly trained staff who value them. The school’s policies on child protection and safeguarding, equal opportunities, health and safety and assessment support the CYP to feel safe, express themselves, develop skills and become independent.