Caleb* came to Brookways with a background of repeated exclusions from previous schools. He was extremely withdrawn and anxious when he first came to the school and was often found hiding behind a beanbag. One team member described him as “a little shadow”, reluctant to engage with staff or with his schoolmates.
Before Brookways, Caleb had three previous placements in both mainstream and specialist schools, none of which could meet his needs, particularly in regard to his sensory needs. Caleb was unable to express himself and he was lashing out.
However, at Brookways, a combination of factors have helped Caleb to settle and make progress both academically and socially.
As a specialist environment designed specifically to meet the needs of young people with an autism spectrum condition, the school’s low arousal learning, and social spaces better met Caleb’s needs and have allowed him to feel safe and settled.
The team have helped him with his social skills and through challenging him academically, he has worked successfully through a GCSE curriculum.
His social and emotional needs have been met through positive behaviour support and positive relationship building with the staff team and his peers. Through this, he has learnt he is able to express himself in positive and safe ways, which is a hugely positive difference.
Having been extremely reserved when he first arrived at Brookways, through careful integration, patience and positive support, Caleb began bonding with and socialising with his peers. He has also showed us he can be a good role model to the younger children at Brookways.
The team at Brookways say Caleb is much happier, not involved in negative behaviour and has very much enjoyed his time at the school. His self-esteem and confidence continue to grow, and he has made excellent progress.
We are very proud to report that Caleb has completed Year 11 at Brookways School and sat 6 GCSE’s. He has progressed socially, emotionally and academically during his time at Brookways. As such he has been accepted at Wimbledon College, a mainstream sixth form, to study A levels in History, Biology and English literature.