What does the service do
The Orange House School provides intensive specialist support to autistic children who have been excluded from school (mostly special school) because of their behaviour perceived as “too challenging”. A group of highly experienced staff and a specialist teacher, offers a personalised curriculum and a safe space to work on behaviour management strategies and communication, working with up to six children at a time, for up to a year.
As in all our work, the team provides a welcoming and accepting environment, helping children to rebuild trusting relationships with adults and other children as they recover from the breakdown of their school placement. The service does not aim to change the individual in any way but more to understand their behaviour in order to change the narrative around them.
“Often a child will come in not being able to sit still or concentrate for any time, and we help them to build up until they are completely ready to go back into a school setting.”
Alongside our work directly with the children, the Orange House team works closely with schools and other professionals to increase their understanding of autism, and help them develop techniques and strategies to create a suitable placement for the child to return to.
“It’s about changing the narrative – away from ‘this is an unmanageable child who can’t go to school’ to talking about how we can support this child in school.”
The service runs during school hours and over term-time. Our Autism Specialist Tutors enable pupils to make their best progress through a range of timetables, structured and motivating activities. Targets around independence, social skills, behaviour and communication for each pupil are set by the team and reviewed each term by the teacher. Our focus is on life skills linked to academic achievement
The Behaviour Manager completes Positive Behaviour Support Plans for all pupils. These are reviewed regularly in conjunction with the key tutors.
All the children have three education targets, changed as they are achieved. Examples include:
Attention & Listening. To be able to follow instructions and complete a simple timetable of activities.
Expressive Language. To be able to express wants and at least one feeling through the use of the IPad.
Social Communication. To be able to ask a key worker for space or a break appropriately and independently before becoming upset.
A Holistic Approach
We recognise that children are not isolated individuals and we work closely with parents and carers as we believe in understanding the what and why of everything we do and so that we understand what works or does not work at home. We build relationships with their main carers and all work starts with home visits; we then maintain these strong links with carers throughout.
Where there is an existing school place we will work with previous staff to ensure we understand the child as best we can and can identify their strengths. We work within an EHCP framework where this is available and suggest changes if appropriate.
- Bring children back to school: Orange House works with excluded children, young people and their environment in order to bring them back into a mainstream/specialist school setting.
- Smooth transitions: Our staff supports pupil’s transitions into their new school placements once these have been identified by the Local Authority.
- Prevent exclusion: Beyond Orange House our staff performs outreach work in schools before a pupil is excluded.
- Increase parental confidence: Throughout, the work we do with families looks at their needs, providing support and increasing knowledge about autism for a better understanding of the child for those around them.
Orange House is funded for by the London Borough of Newham and located in North Street, E13 9HN. For more information about Orange House please contact our Head of Behaviour at email@example.com