Partnerships & Community Links
Establishing partnerships and community is a significant development point for The Avenue School. We are very conscious that it easy to become isolated within a special school and that we need to develop relationships with a wide range of professionals and providers to maximise opportunities for our pupils, whilst at school and then outside of, and beyond school. Parents also play an integral part in the life of the school and developing consistency of approach and maximising outcomes for individuals.
It is a particular focus for our curriculum offer to access the local community and provide opportunities for our young people to extend, generalise and transfer their skills and learning. Almost daily different class groups will be in the Tilehurst village and local area: shopping, socialising and developing community awareness/safety. Schools trips, beyond the immediate community, also provide a similar challenge for our pupils. The majority of classes arrange termly trips and have been to the such places as The Royal Albert Hall, Marwell Zoo, Legoland, Dinton Pastures and Thames Valley Adventure Playground.
We have well established relationships with many community groups in Reading, including Reading Football Club, Reading Rockets Basketball Club, Path Hill Outdoors and Ufton Court, who offer an array of extended outdoor learning/ physical development and social/community interaction opportunities. Ufton Court offers pupils work related learning programs, outdoor learning opportunities, residential stays, and social inclusion packages with mainstream pupils.
Increasingly, a number of our pupils are accessing work related learning and are enjoying work experience at various provider’s within the community. Individuals have undertaken work experience at an array of locations, including the local Co-op, amateur dramatics groups, independent dry cleaners and riding stables. We continue to work hard to expand our work experience providers.
We are continuously developing relationships and opportunities with a range of other schools. We have recently joined the Whitley Excellence Cluster (WEC) of primary and secondary schools. Being part of this Cluster will be mutually beneficial – creating a breadth of opportunities, support networks and challenge for our pupils and staff. The Berkshire Alliance of Special Schools (BASS) is a recent development that will allow each school to share expertise, facilities, knowledge and social opportunities beyond the individual school’s offer. In order to establish a coherent outreach program with mainstream schools in Reading the school has developed a number of informal relationships to assist in improving outcomes for individuals in mainstream schools with a range of additional needs.
Out of school hours the school facilities are well used by a variety of community groups. It is essential that our wider community has the opportunity to use of wonderful facilities, whilst gaining an improved understanding of or school, our young people and our role within society. The hydrotherapy pool is in operation seven days a week, enjoyed by a number of babies/young children and their families. The performing space in the centre of the school also is well used during the evenings and weekends by choirs, exercise groups and for celebrations. The soft play facility is an attractive space that increasingly being used for children’s parties during the weekends.
We are constantly striving to increase the variety of opportunities for parents to play a role in school life and the development of the individual young person. It is important, as a school that we work closely with parents to develop a full understanding of the individual pupil to maximise outcomes. There are a variety of formal and informal opportunities for parents to engage, from parent’s evenings and Destinations Fairs to informal Christmas and Summer Fairs and assemblies.
Further information can be found through the links to the right.