Thomas is a big fan of 80s music, is very sociable and loves to talk to people – especially about their families and interests. He’s 20 and joined St Rose’s in year 8. He had previously been in a mainstream school. Thomas has now made the transition from St Rose’s school to St Martin’s, our post-19 college provision. He has cerebral palsy and since coming to St Rose’s has been diagnosed as having autism.
Thomas’ transition to St Martin’s was carefully planned. He was involved at every step, joining therapy sessions and doing group work with his older peers for almost a year before he left school. Thomas found it enormously helpful to form relationships with new friends and staff this way before taking the leap fully from school to college. Thomas has brought with him all of the supports that help him feel settled and secure, which include a timetable and a clear reward system.
Thomas took a little time to settle into St Rose’s and then St Martin’s but with the dedicated work of the staff team, working closely with his family and external professionals, he has thrived. Staff are skilled at helping Thomas manage his emotions when challenges arise. Thomas has gained many AQA unit awards in the core subjects of English and Maths, as well as creative subjects. In St Martin’s, Thomas has become more and more independent in his work, learning to complete aspects of his studies with less support. As his independence grows, so does his confidence and self esteem!
Thomas has developed his independence beyond that imaginable when he first arrived. He takes responsibility for aspects of his personal care, and after months of careful preparation and planning with Thomas and his family, his first overnight stay was a complete success. He now stays over in our residential centre once a week and looks forward to it – and wants more! There are aspects of his health which the staff team help Thomas to manage, supported by our qualified nurses, including extreme allergies and being PEG fed. As a young adult, Thomas is supported to understand his own needs and make decisions about his health and care.
Thomas is a very effective communicator; he uses a combination of Makaton signing and a voice output communication aid. He’s very creative too: when he doesn’t know a sign he makes them up, teaches them to others and everyone gets the message!
St Rose’s aims to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that offers stimulating opportunities appropriate to the needs of our students.
A team of experienced therapists are employed directly by the school to work alongside education and care staff. Collaborative therapy and sharing that knowledge is integral to the work of our school.
When a child or young person is happy, they have the best chance of progressing and achieving their goals. Ensuring that your child’s emotional needs are met is as important as their physical requirements.