Paul* has a diagnosis of autism and suffers with sensory difficulties, which means he struggles to cope in very quiet or loud environments. Paul also has difficulties with social interactions, communication and rigidity of thinking.
Before joining Sketchley School, Paul previously attended a local primary school, where he experienced some challenging situations and the school was struggling to meet his learning needs. Due to his social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs, Paul was getting into trouble and found it difficult engaging with his peers without it leading to physical fighting. This frequent behaviour led to Paul becoming increasingly isolated within the school environment and an overall lack of trust with any professionals working with him.
Transitioning to Sketchley School
Paul transitioned to Sketchley School aged 8, and was very anxious. He joined a Key Stage 2 class where he followed the national curriculum. He had a fixed timetable which provided him with a clear structure and routine to his day. He also benefited from visual ‘Now’ and ‘Next’ cards that provided a clear focus.
The class consisted of 5 pupils and 3 staff. Paul accessed a range of therapy including speech and language therapy (SALT) and occupational therapy (OT), which supported him with his day-to-day learning. The school developed a behaviour plan to support him with learning and behaviour, and over time, the number of behaviour incidents significantly reduced. There was a lot of input from SALT with communication groups, and plenty of opportunities for Paul to work on and develop these skills. This came in the way of group games, sporting activities and general lessons which promoted interaction. Paul enjoyed spending close time with trusted adults who were able to interact in a fun way and adapt their behaviour to meet his current needs.
Throughout his educational journey at Sketchley School, the level of home-school communication was key in ensuring that Paul was also aware of the joined-up approach to supporting him.
Achieving positive outcomes
The number of behavioural incidents had significantly reduced to around 2 per academic year. Paul had really matured and he was in a better place with his learning. Paul successfully accessed and achieved a range of qualifications, including Level 2 Functional Skills in both Maths and English. This was a huge achievement and enabled him to recognise the progress he had made.
Paul became driven to achieve and had his sights on a vocational career. With the support of his parents, Paul identified a range of local colleges that he would be able to access post-16, with the support of the school. He also engaged with the on-site personal development curriculum, enabling him to develop his employability skills through creating an up-to-date CV and working on developing interview techniques. Paul also worked on his driving theory test, which he passed and then converted to a full licence, by passing his practical driving test.
Paul completed his Level 2 in Construction and Level 2 in Tiling at a local college provider. This led to him gaining a part-time job within the construction industry.
During Paul’s final days at Sketchley School, he thanked members of staff that had worked so hard with him over the years. He was very appreciative for the work that the staff had put in and even reminisced over some of the more challenging times he had at the school. Paul stated that he intended to complete his HGV licence and to seek employment within the haulage industry.
Since leaving Sketchley School
Paul and his parents contacted Sketchley School to let us know that Paul is now a lorry driver for Walkers Crisps.
We are all very proud of his achievements and look forward to seeing how he progresses further in the future.
*Name and images have been changed to maintain confidentiality.