The Woodpecker class is a specialist provision for further education (FE) students with a diagnosis of autistic spectrum condition (ASC) and associated learning difficulties.

Our students learn core subjects such as English, Maths and PSHE/Citizenship. We aim to take a more practical approach within these lessons, such as within Maths our students get paid to complete a job and use that money to buy their snack. Our students also have weekly PE and swimming lessons learning both new skills and improving their fitness.

A large part of our curriculum is to cater for our student’s sensory needs. Each student has a sensory profile and daily/weekly activities designed to meet these needs. Such activities include a sensory circuit, attention autism sessions, the sensory room, sensory calming activities, and specific individual activities.

Another large part of our curriculum is to develop our student’s life skills. This includes activities such as dressing themselves, dealing with their hygiene needs, preparing basic meals, experiencing our local community, and learning road safety skills.

Our days are broken up with learning opportunities, followed by leisure time where our students get to choose favoured activities. We offer a highly structured environment which benefits our student’s needs, alongside the introduction of planned changes, in order to help them manage the changes that occur in daily life.

We are attentive to our student’s emotions and offer help to support these when required. We also teach our students to identify when and how to seek help themselves. Each student has a help strip where they can ask for help and perform individualised activities to help them self-regulate when unsettled for any reason.

In the Woodpecker class, we combine learning with fun, developing our social skills and methods in which we overcome any challenges that we may be confronted with. Students develop their personalities and are encouraged to flourish. For the staff, it is a delight to work with such wonderful characters and we love working together to be the very best we can be.