At Unsted Park School, we take great pride in the services that we provide to children and young people with autism, Asperger Syndrome and associated disorders. Our aim is to always make a difference to their lives and enable them to achieve the best possible outcomes.
We are delighted to introduce you to our latest case study showcasing one of the many success stories at Unsted Park School. Please also find below a selection of stories we have received from parents about their experiences of our school and how we supported their child.
Louise - a student's story
Louise’s story Unsted Park School and Sixth Form case study Louise* was 16 years old when she arrived at Unsted Park School and Sixth Form from a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Tier 4 unit, within a secure hospital provision. Louise has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and struggled with severe anxiety. Despite being highly intelligent and motivated to learn, Louise’s anxiety had been impacting her ability to study, as well as making life in general very difficult. Louise had still been able to attain a number of GCSEs at the hospital’s school and her future ambition was to study Medicine at university.
How we have supported Louise
From the beginning of her time at Unsted Park School, there was a focus on improving Louise’s wellbeing by helping her to manage her anxiety. A consistent approach and team of staff across the education, care and therapy services worked with Louise. They gained her trust and provided the intensive care and support Louise needed to fully re-engage with learning.
Louise had a tailored package of therapy, which gave her the tools to address her anxiety and to overcome some of the difficulties it presented. The staff team provided regular opportunities to talk about how she was feeling and discuss worries and concerns, as well as her hopes for the future.
To achieve her goal of studying Medicine, Louise first needed to take A-Levels, with the aim of securing the grades she needed to be offered a university place. Staff concentrated on developing Louise’s confidence and independence skills, so that she felt ready to learn in the community and work towards this objective. With Louise being a residential student and living at Unsted Park School five days per week, her daily living skills were further developed and continued in the care environment, as well as during the school hours.
Louise was very self-motivated and with the right support, she began to spend more time off-site. Louise took one of her three A-Levels in a local mainstream college, and with our specialist support was able to thrive academically in a busy college environment.
Achieving positive outcomes
Louise’s successful learning experience increased her confidence and she went on to take A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Psychology. Having also studied in the community, university began to seem like an attainable goal.
Learning in a supportive, specialist environment with the continued care of the dedicated staff team saw Louise work hard and successfully achieve an A-grade in all three A-Levels. This was a remarkable academic achievement, which meant that Louise had a range of options when it came to higher education. We are delighted that Louise has now realised her ambition and has gone on to study Medicine at university.
Louise has an exciting future ahead. As well as her academic success, she has been supported to develop the skills to live more independently, increasing her self-reliance and paving the way for a smooth transition to university. This has included learning to drive, managing her finances and cooking her own meals.
Louise credits the team at Unsted Park School and Sixth Form with playing a key role in achieving her ambition to study Medicine: “The support at Unsted Park has been fantastic and if it weren’t for the hard work of the staff, I certainly would not have developed the skills necessary to secure my place at Medical School. They really went above and beyond expectations to support me throughout. I have made many friends along the way and I am very grateful to everyone at Unsted Park – staff and students.”