St Helen's Primary School

St. Helen's Primary School


The Beacon


The Beacon at St. Helen’s is an Additionally Resourced Provision (ARP) for children with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or on the Neuro-Development Pathway. Most of our children have (or are in the process of obtaining) an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP)

Places are assessed on an individual basis and are obtained through criteria set by the SEND team at Hartlepool Local Authority. The provision is funded, supported and reviewed by Hartlepool Local Authority, but is run and managed by St Helen’s Primary School staff.

Our curriculum is created to support children with autism and adaptations to the National Curriculum may be needed to create highly individualised planning to meet their needs.  Our two main teaching spaces are designed to meet both play-based and formal styles of learning. Children have access to both areas depending on individual development and need.

The unique pattern of thinking and social behaviour displayed by children with ASD is respected at all times. We recognise children with ASD experience developmental difficulties relating to social interaction, communication and flexibility of thinking, and seek to help them address these difficulties whilst supporting their individual needs. Our sensory room or Snug area provides opportunities for emotional regulation, occupational therapy and quiet time.  Additional sessions such as developing fine motor skills and turn-taking are implemented alongside the curriculum and are adapted to suit the needs of the children.

The aim is to provide a social as well as an academic learning experience. We encourage children in The Beacon to have contact with their typically developing peers as well as being encouraged to forge friendships within the provision wherever possible.  They are encouraged to transition into their parallel mainstream classes for elements of the timetable, depending on their strengths and interests. Staff across school have additional training specific to working with children with autism.

We believe successful education is a partnership between home and school.

In The Beacon we will…

  • Provide a happy and safe environment, where your child’s well-being is paramount.
  • Encourage your child to do their very best at all times whilst demonstrating the school rules of : Ready, Respectful, Safe.
  • Endeavour to meet the specific needs of each child as an individual.
  • Deliver a broad and balanced curriculum that is underpinned by high quality teaching.
  • Ensure engaging and creative learning opportunities and life experiences.
  • Nurture your child’s social and emotional needs as well as meeting their educational requirements.
  • Communicate clearly with parents and carers regarding the development of each individual child.

Our staff in the Beacon are:

Mrs Kelly: ARP Lead

Ms Douglas: Lead Practitioner

Mrs Hann: Teaching Assistant