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Chelfham Bere Alston achieves impressive exam figures...

A specialist school for children with complex needs, including autism and other learning disorders, is celebrating the achievements of its students with an exhibition of their work.

Successful learning is key at Chelfham Bere Alston School for children aged 7 to 19 with complex difficulties.

This year students achieved GCSEs in Maths and English, and BTEC levels 1,2 and 3 in Art and Design, Sustainability, Creative Media, Countryside and Environment, and Outdoor Education.

"These were impressive figures given the challenges that our learners face", said headteacher Jon Ascot.

Many of the students who attend Chelfham Bere Alston feel particularly anxious about sitting exams and like their peers, often struggle to do their best under such conditions.

Students at sister school Chelfham Kilworthy House were similarly successful - with one 16-year-old male student achieving a Distinction in BTEC Level 2 in Photography.

Two others achieved a GCSE in Science, while 11 achieved NOCN Functional Skills qualifications – including Catering, Construction and Leisure – which are designed to give learners the practical skills they need to live independently and work effectively.

Mr Ascot said he was thrilled with the results of students who had struggled against the odds to achieve success.

He said their qualifications would help them take up jobs, launch their careers and play a fulfilling role in society.

"Our students are an inspiration to everyone," he said. "Our commitment is that no one with learning difficulties, including autism, should be held back academically. The young people’s potential for success is enormous, and we hope that our exhibition gives the opportunity for everyone to appreciate their skills and creativity."

"As well as the academic side, we also focus on building students self-confidence with an adventurous outdoor curriculum, which is vital for the students’ holistic development," Mr Ascot said.

"The ethos of developing a ‘spirit of adventure’ for all our students, coupled with the recent success of a 3 peaks expedition, means Chelfham Bere Alston School is developing its ‘adventure learning’ curriculum.

"This is vital for our pupils because it helps them grow in self-esteem, confidence and maturity. Lots of future adventure expeditions are now being planned for the coming year."

Chelfham Bere Alston in Yelverton, Devon is holding its Open Day Arts and photographic exhibition of students’ work for parents and carers in early October, and in Tavistock before Christmas. The works will form a permanent feature in the school.

Mr Ascot said: "Anyone can come, and everyone will be welcome, to the Tavistock event. Just watch this space for further announcements! We have strong links to the local community and would be delighted if people would support us as we enter the new academic year."

For more details on Priory Education and Children's Services, please call 0118 970 8068 or click here to make an enquiry.

Jon Ascot says:

“Our students are an inspiration to everyone. Our commitment is that no one with learning difficulties, including autism, should be held back academically."