Ash Field Academy is a specialist school catering for pupils from age 4 to 19. The school serves Leicester City, Leicestershire and Rutland and also admits pupils from other counties.
Our key specialism is in ensuring an excellent education for pupils with complex medical conditions or serious physical disabilities in a safe and nurturing environment. Our pupil population has a wide range of cognitive ability, from those with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulies (PMLD) to those with more Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD), and everything in between. A few of our pupils' cognition is more in line with national expectations; however, the shift towards greater inclusion means that most of these pupils are now catered for in mainstream schools and, as a result, our main curriculum provision is now more focused at supporting pupils with learning difficulties. In addition to physical and learning needs and disabilities, many pupils also have communication and sensory needs. Whilst we are able to cater for pupils who have some level of social and emotional needs and have seen significant success in this area, due to the medical vulnerabilities of many of our pupils, we are unable to meet the needs of pupils with significantly challenging behaviours.
We are very proud of what we provide for our pupils and are pleased that this has been recognised by Ofsted, who have graded the school as Outstanding. Our curriculum receives national interest and our staff team are exceptional in both the education and the care they provide for pupils.
There are six Key Stages (KS) to cover years Reception - year 14 and four phases:
|Early Years||Reception||4 - 5||Early Primary|
|1||1 - 2||5 - 7||Early Primary|
|2||3 - 6||7 - 11||Primary|
|3||7 - 9||11 - 14||Secondary|
|4||10 - 11||14 - 16||Secondary|
|5||12 - 14||16 - 19||Further Education (FE)|
Our Phase Leaders oversee the provision for pupils and are a key contact for parents:
Head of Early Primary and Primary: Helen Jarvis
Head of Secondary and Further Education: Caroline Lindsay
Our Early Years Pathway is a mixed pathway for all pupils aged 4-7. This has proven to be successful in ensuring the best progress for pupils at this early stage. However, from Key Stage 2, pupils are grouped according to their needs into Pathways (Blue, Green and Yellow) mainly in relation to their cognitive ability but other factors, such as social needs, form part of this decision too. For more information, see the section on Curriculum.
Ash Field has a multi-disciplinary team of teachers, teaching assistants and other support staff, including National Health Service professionals who are integral to the school. We have a fantastic nurse and six healthcare assistants on site during the school day as well as an excellent well-being team and movement team to further support our pupils' needs. Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists work closely with school staff to make the most efficient use of time for the maximum benefit of the pupils and students.
We are also an Assistive Technology Assessment Centre which assesses and recommends equipment for pupils across the City of Leicester.
We are proud that we are a designated Teaching School and have special, mainstream and independent schools in the Ash Field Teaching Alliance (AFTA). We feel it is important to work with other schools and organisations to champion best practice and secure excellent achievement for all pupils. From September 2016, we have also been a Challenge Partners hub and benefit greatly from the collaborative work this national organisation offers.
Integral to the school, we also have an excellent residential provision ('Resi') which pupils can access, with parental agreement, from the age of 8. This is hugely beneficial to our pupils, whose education, particularly around independence, social skills and emotional self-regulation, is greatly improved as a result of their time there.
The residential wing is attached to the main school building so parts of the school are also used in the evening by pupils. There are eight bedrooms and a 'flat' for older pupils' use, allowing 18 pupils to stay at any one time. Most pupils stay for one or two nights per week, with those in the independence flat staying the whole week.
To ensure safety through the night, in addition to three night-waking members of staff, there are two members of staff who sleep on the premises and an ‘on call’ rota which always includes a member of the Senior Leadership Team or the Head of Residential Education and Care, Bev Snow.
When it has been agreed with parents and school that residential experience will be of value to the pupil, the Head of Residential Education & Care contacts parents and school staff to establish the necessary details before the first stay. Parents are encouraged to visit the residential wing if at all possible as we know how important small details of routine can be to some children. There is an individual programme for younger pupils who usually start their residential experience by staying to tea on one day a week. When the child is familiar with the residential wing a one night stay is arranged. This can then build up to a maximum of two nights when the pupil is ready and there is capacity within the residential wing.
Our residential provision has an unannounced Ofsted inspection every year for three days. Our most recent Ofsted grade was Outstanding and this has been the case for many years.
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Page Updated 17/09/21 by ceames