|Associations with other schools|
|Park House School and Sports College|
Our association with Park House School is long standing. A number of our older pupils have attended exam courses there with great success. (One of our pupils recently gained a distinction for his Construction course).
Some classes have regularly travelled over to Park House for PE lessons, enjoying the specialist facilities.
In the past, we have been associated with Park House in a Leading Edge partnership and are currently a partner in their bid for Trust status.
We have, at times, contributed to Park House’s continuing professional development as well as offering support for individual pupils with SEN.
Park House students visit us to gain experience for their A level course work.
The very warm welcome that we receive from staff and students have resulted in a very strong and mutually beneficial partnership.
|Trinity School and Performing Arts College|
Trinity School is our nearest neighbouring secondary school and makes it an ideal partner. As a performing arts college it offers our pupils an opportunity to attend performances as well as benefit from the technical expertise of the staff for our own productions. We also work with them to support their pupils with SEN – for example our Advanced Skills Teacher has been helping the maths department with some of their students. In the past, groups of our pupils have joined in music, science and geography lessons.
|Thatcham Park C o E Primary School|
The Castle School has had a long association with Thatcham Park – originally offering an inclusion placement for a group of Castle School pupils who attended for literacy and numeracy sessions 4 times per week. More recently we have had an inclusion placement for a pupil with a special interest in history.
Our Advanced Skills Teacher takes groups of pupils who need a bit of extra support with their maths and our Special School Consultancy is available to any Thatcham Park pupils with SEN – in order to support their inclusion in mainstream school.
Joint projects such as a pottery experience, helps our pupils to make friends with pupils from a mainstream setting whilst giving Thatcham Park pupils a chance to have an in depth craft day.
|Victoria Park Nursery School and Children's Centre|
Our co-located classroom attached to the Victoria Park Nursery School has provided our youngest pupils with a natural opportunity to be included in a mainstream setting and has already resulted in considerable joint planning and collaboration between the staff.
|Whitelands Park Primary School|
The Castle School Special School Consultancy Service has supported a number of Whiteland’s pupils with SEN and our Advanced Skills Teacher works with a several pupils specifically for their maths on a regular basis.
Our Family Support worker holds groups promoting self esteem or anger management for a few selected pupils.
As with our other partners, there is always an opportunity for continuing professional development for staff from Whitelands – this may involve Online inset training (in communication and ASD), visits to the school to see how we work with specific groups of pupils or help with P levels.
|Other specialist school partners|
|Oxford Brookes University|
The Castle School has been very pleased to be involved in the university’s Initial Teacher Training programme by offering placements for students and also in providing guest tutors to help students with basic Makaton skills.
Mencap is an organisation which provides enormous support to our pupils and their families. Many of our pupils attend after school activities and are collected straight from school at the end of the day. In addition to the after school care, we have been working with Mencap on personal passports for young people – to ensure continuity of care across the two settings – this also involved Castle Gate.
|Education and Business Partnership of West Berkshire|
The EBP organises work experience placements for a number of our pupils as they progress towards the end of their schooling. This year they are also providing a World of Work course for our year 10 pupils – helping them to prepare for their work experience placements.
Connexions is a Government support service for all 13 to 19 year olds in England which provides information, advice and guidance to ensure a smooth transition into adulthood by helping young people to plan their educational and training needs. For young people with SEN their support and guidance is available until they are 25.
The school is fortunate in having three Connexions advisors at the current time.
Our two part time “standard advisors” Emma and Alex are involved in talking to groups of pupils as well as conducting one to one interviews with pupils prior to them leaving school. They are available to give impartial advice about the options available after they leave school either at 16 or 19 or at any point in between. The advisors attend annual reviews - especially the 14+ transition reviews.
Our other advisor is an “intensive personal” advisor who supports pupils who may be finding the move into the next stage of their lives particularly challenging. We are able to nominate five pupils each year for this specialist service.
Many of our young people move on to Newbury College which offers a range of courses suitable for pupils with SEN.
Recently pupils have been involved in Links courses with the College where they attend college for a half a day a week. This gives them a chance to get to know the college staff and the surroundings within the security of their class group.
The Community Team for People with Learning Disabilities offers a wide range of services for young people, with complex needs who are 18 and who have stayed on to attend the post 16 departments at The Castle School.
For the students meeting the CPTLD criteria, there may be opportunities to spend part of a week accessing activities at the Phoenix Centre as well as at College.
Castle Gate shares our school site and is the base for respite care for some of our pupils aged 7+ (arranged through the Disabled Children’s Team (social services). It is also the base for the Outreach team which supports families and young people with SEN.