Skip to content ↓

Designated Special Provision

Welcome to Sycamore Class

We warmly welcome you to Sycamore Class; a Royal Borough of Greenwich Designated Special Provision for children with a diagnosis of Autism. The purpose of a DSP is to provide specialist support to children who would benefit from a smaller provision, but are able to integrate into their mainstream class for some areas of learning.

Who is the DSP for?

This class is for children who have received a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Alderwood's provision is for children who demonstrate mild to moderate ASD behaviours. All admissions are decided at the Local Authority panel for a place at any one of their Borough provisions, ensuring that children meet the following criteria:

  • There must be a clear medical diagnosis of Autism
  • Primary need must clearly be Autism
  • Pupils will have the ability to verbally communicate without full reliance on communication aids, although may still need support and programmes devised by Speech and Language (SALT) - delivered by trained Teaching Assistants
  • Pupils for whom their Autism is a significant barrier to their performance, and whose learning difficulties cannot be met entirely from resources available to and in mainstream school
  • That the child is able to manage some time in a mainstream class on a daily basis

Autism Education Trust

Our DSP have met and work in line with the competencies of the four main area of the Autism Education Trust Standards;

  • The individual pupil (how to understand and address their strengths and needs)
  • Building relationships (with staff; parents/carers, other professions and peers)
  • Curriculum and learning (adjustments to the way in which activities are presented, selection of priorities and modifications to the curriculum)
  • Enabling environments (how to create good learning environments for pupils on the autism spectrum).

High quality planning and teaching

Our specialist provision for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) enables children to be active learners, learning to effectively communicate needs, wants, and opinions, whilst moving towards growing independence. The curriculum provides the opportunities that are essential for learning and development.

Planning and teaching in our provision is a collaborative process between both the Lead Teachers, the Inclusion Leader and other professionals. We are also supported by teachers from Willow Dene when planning, evaluating and tailoring the curriculum to the children’s needs. The DSP involves pupils, where possible, in formulating their long-term goals and ambitions and all staff have high aspirations for these pupils. Our setting ensures that pupils with autism are effectively and regularly consulted on all aspects of their education and experience at school.

Learning outside the classroom

Children who access Sycamore Class have regular opportunities during the week to learn outside the classroom. The children attend weekly swimming lessons, weekly Forest School sessions and regular trips and visits.

Home-school partnerships

Our setting establishes strong relationships between staff and pupils and their families, seeing this as the starting point for mutual understanding and support for the pupils’ learning and well-being. We understand that in order to build effective relationships we need to actively listen to pupils, parents and carers and promote opportunities for the exchange of information and ideas. We hope that parents and families feel comfortable to regularly approach staff.

Take a look at some recent feedback from our families;

Our parents have recently said that 'It's a great school' and that it makes them 'want to be back at school again'.  They have also commented that they have found us to be 'really good at communicating' and that their children have 'improved greatly since moving to the school and have become really calm'. 

We are also delighted to hear that parents feel that their children are understood and that they can 'go out as a family now'. 

Pupil voice

‘I eat my lunch in the dining hall with all my friends’

‘I attend after school clubs’

‘I play with my mainstream friends in KS2’

‘Year 5 PE is going well’