We are always happy to show prospective families around our Provision and to answer any questions you may have. We aim to meet the individual needs of each of our pupils so general answers are not necessarily ideal and it is always best to speak to us directly if you have any particular queries. However, in the meantime, we have tried to answer these ‘frequently asked questions’ as best as we can. Please also be aware that while we always try our best for our pupils there are sometimes restrictions outwith our control.
How will the transition to St Modan’s be managed?
Transition is very much tailored to suit the needs of the young person. If your child is joining us we would be very happy to discuss the most appropriate approach for your family.
What are the educational aims of the provision?
One of the underpinning principles in the Provision is to ensure that each young person is encouraged to develop to their fullest potential. In terms of academic work this may mean National 1 or 2 or it may mean Higher SQA qualifications or learning work skills by participating in appropriate work experience. We aim to meet the academic needs of the individual. More information is available on the Faculty pages here on the website.
What is the range of abilities within the class my child would be placed in?
As pupils progress through their schooling they are encouraged to achieve SQA Qualifications at a level appropriate to their ability. Sometimes this means our pupils are supported within mainstream classes and sometimes the pupils are grouped, within the Provision, according to their abilities and social and emotional needs.
Can my child use technology within the class?
Many of our pupils have poor motor skills and therefore find writing challenging. In classes they are encouraged to use I-Pads, laptops and PCs. In classes where the work is not easily transferable to IT devices an adult scribe could assist. Senior pupils completing SQA examinations often have the use of technology though any Alternative Assessment Arrangements need to be approved by the SQA. This would be discussed with the young person and/or parent in advance of any formal examinations.
In a mainstream class will my child always be supported?
Inclusion in mainstream classes is encouraged where and when appropriate. Generally pupils attending mainstream classes are provided with 1-1 support from the provision, though if 2 of our pupils are in the same class this may become 2-1 support. Adult supporters escort and assist pupils with the class work and general organisational skills. Sometimes our staff will support the whole class if this approach is deemed appropriate for our pupil. A few of our seniors attend mainstream classes without support but that is a decision made in consultation with the parents, pupil, mainstream and Provision staff.
Who will be teaching my child?
Teaching is varied to suit the needs of the individual. Within the Provision small groups are usually taught by a teacher supported by a Support for Learning Assistant (SLA). Occasionally SLAs will tutor pupils though this will be under the guidance of teaching staff. We also have mainstream staff who join us in the base to teach their specialist areas.
Will my child have any input into decisions made about their education?
The principles of the Curriculum for Excellence and GIRFEC in Scotland mean that young people are able to make a series of choices related to their education. Practice in the Provision and in St. Modan’s reflects this.
How is progress measured?
Each young person within the Provision has a Child’s Plan. This plan addresses health and wellbeing as well as numeracy and literacy and is fully discussed with the pupil, parents and other professionals. Targets are set which are monitored throughout the year. Our pupils are also encouraged to achieve their fullest educational potential and this is monitored at regular intervals throughout the school session, with reports issued as detailed on the Parental Key Dates Calendar on the home page.
How are parents kept informed?
The partnership with parents is another underpinning principle of work within the Provision. Parents are encouraged to keep in touch through a home-school diary and are welcome to contact us with any concerns that may have arisen at home or at school. Parents are also fully involved in the GIRFEC process which includes 3 Team around the Child meetings a year.
The Parent/Staff Association are always looking for willing volunteers and parental involvement in school activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme is always welcome. Any parent is welcome to join the Parent Council or PTA.
What is the staffing situation?
The Provision is staffed by 5 teachers, 11 Support for Learning Assistants (some part-time) as well as input from some subject specialists in the mainstream school. The Provision is fortunate to have a very stable group of experienced committed staff most of whom have worked in the Provision for at least 5 years and many of whom have worked in the field of Autism for over 10 years. The recent changes in staff have been directly linked to staff retirement or promotion. As well as all this experience our staff have received a wide range of training in mainstream and ASD education.
Staffing is allocated, as far as possible, to match the skills and experiences of the teacher and SLA to the needs of the young person. There is always the opportunity for a pupil to have time out from a group if circumstances dictate that this is the best course of action.
What are the arrangements for break and lunchtimes?
Generally young people from the Provision choose to spend their intervals and lunchtimes in the Provision. This includes our open areas and garden area. We are often joined by a small number of mainstream pupils who have needs and interests similar to our own pupils and we encourage friendships and social groups to develop. The older pupils occasionally arrange ‘base socials’, usually to ten pin bowling, the cinema or a laser zone and a fast food restaurant. Members of staff accompany the group on socials and are always present at breaks and lunchtimes.