Durants Satellite at Winchmore School
The satellite at Winchmore has been running since September 2013. The Local Authority commissions Durants through an SLA to run and manage this service. The satellite has 8 places for young people with autism all of whom are on the Durants role. Durants works in collaboration with Winchmore to provide this unique provision at the heart of Winchmore School. From September 2017 the provision will be expanding to16 places enabling to run a Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 provision.
What is the Purpose of the Satellite?
The satellite is intended to fill the educational gap between mainstream and special schools. It is intended to make suitable provision for pupils who have autism but also have the academic ability to access mainstream lessons. We aim to support young people to successfully manage their autism in a mainstream school so that they can maximise their academic potential. Although pupils will always remain the responsibility of Durants they are encouraged and made to feel part of Winchmore School. This includes wearing the Winchmore uniform and attending assemblies and tutor groups as well as appropriate lessons.
Who is the satellite for?
The unit is for young people of secondary school age who have a diagnosis of autism. The expectation is that any pupil attending the satellite will have some capacity to access mainstream lessons. Pupils will also be expected to have enough emotional regulation to be able to cope, to some extent, with the mainstream environment. The satellite is not suitable for pupils whose challenging behaviour presents a risk to themselves or others.
The satellite also supports some Winchmore pupils who benefit from the calm and nurturing environment in the unit. Winchmore pupils can also transfer on to the Durants role if necessary. Durants and Winchmore staff work collaboratively to meet the needs of all pupils.
Pupils follow the National curriculum as appropriate studying both core and foundation subjects. The aim, however, is when we feel that a student can access the mainstream content they will be supported to do so. In addition students also access a life skills programme, including cooking, travel training and community education to support the development of important social skills.
Referral to the Satellite
All pupils in the satellite are the responsibility of Durants School. New pupils are referred to us by Enfield council’s Special Educational Needs department. Pupils can be placed directly into the satellite if they are suitable. Alternatively pupils may initially be placed at Durants and can then make the transition at a later date when they are ready. In the event that a pupil struggles in the satellite they may be transferred back to Durants if the Headteacher of Durants feels it is in their best interests.
The satellite is run by an experienced teacher from Durants who is supported by two experienced teaching assistants who have also worked extensively with pupils with autism. A teaching assistant from Winchmore also regularly supports some Winchmore pupils in the satellite. This staffing will increase from September.
Access to Mainstream
All pupils are based in the satellite. The aim is for all pupils to access the mainstream facilities at Winchmore as much as possible. All decisions on what sessions are accessed are based on the individual needs of each pupil. Some pupils may go to one or two sessions with support whilst others may access English and Maths with no support.
All pupils have lunch in the main school dining room. Some pupils also choose to go into the main playground and mix with other pupils. All pupils are encouraged to access what they feel they can manage. However, we ensure that pupils are stretched and challenge themselves as much as possible.
In the satellite pupils will be working towards Entry Level and AQA awards. Where appropriate, pupils who are able to access mainstream lessons and content will be able to work towards their GCSEs.
Visits to the Satellite
Visits to the satellite are always encouraged by both parents and students. These can be arranged by contacting the Headteacher at Durants, Peter De Rosa, who will arrange to show you round.
Placements in the Satellite
Pupils are allocated a place in the satellite by the SEN department of Enfield Council. They will make referrals to the unit following applications by parents and Durants will assess whether they can meet the needs of the young person.