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Autism Base

The school took over the leadership and management of the autism base in September 2017.


Autism Base Provision

At Oaklands Primary School we are proud to host a 14 place, additionally resourced specialist provision for pupils with autism. The resource base caters for pupils in primary school who can access the National Curriculum at, or close to, age related expectations, but who find mainstream classrooms difficult to access due to their social communication needs.


Pupils are placed within this resource by the Somerset SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) team. All pupils will have a diagnosis of autism and be in receipt of an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) which identifies communication and interaction as their primary need. Children who attend mainstream classes at Oaklands Primary do not have priority for admission to the base. 


The commissioned role of the Autism base is to facilitate inclusion for our pupils and enable them to be part of a thriving school community whilst receiving specialist support. Our aim is that, by the time of the pupil’s first annual review, there is some integration within mainstream taking place.


Each base pupil is formally attached to a mainstream class and we work towards integrating pupils for selected lessons and activities according to their needs and abilities. Wherever possible and appropriate, our pupils participate in the full life of the school during the school day. This may include in trips, activities and experiences as well as pupil groups such as the School Council alongside their mainstream peers. All Base pupils are valued members of the wider school community.


Our aim in the Autism base is to create a calm, structured and positive environment in which the pupils feel safe and secure and can learn and develop both their academic skills alongside their social and emotional skills, supported by a specialist staff team.


Academic progress and attainment are important but we also focus on teaching communication and social skills in context, as well as developing our pupils’ emotional understanding.


Means of Referral to the Autism base

All pupils allocated a place in the Autism base are referred to us by the Local Authority via Section F (educational placement) of their EHCP.


Families interested in specialist provision should initially discuss this with the SENDCo at their child’s current setting.


Autism base staff and environment

Our Autism base team is led by Claire Filtness and comprises of two classes, each with a full time teacher. We have four specialist teaching assistants, two of whom are HLTAs, working within the Autism base.


The Base facilities are fully integrated into the school building and include specialist teaching spaces, a separate playground, kitchen, de-escalation spaces and a sensory room. The Base also has shared use of extensive play areas and other whole school resources.