Although Summerwood Campus cannot boast it is purpose built, the interior of the building has been sympathetically remodelled and refurbished to be autism friendly with all the facilities necessary to meet the needs of its students.
As with any college, our purpose is to educate and help each individual to mature. Our philosophy is based on facilitating each student to work towards their aspirations and in return we expect that individual to show willingness to work towards the areas they have chosen. Our students are expected to have a balanced timetable with approximately two thirds of their time occupied with education / work experiences and the remaining third fulfilling homework requirements with available TA support, additional course / work experience and of course, some down time.
We have two classrooms where students are taught either in small groups (4-6 students) or 1:1 as necessary. Each classroom has individual workstations. These are not personal to each individual but to help to prepare them for working or university life where such facilities will be shared. Each work station has its own work desk with a built in “pop up” laptop for multi-purpose use.
Next to each class is a safe space, which we call our ‘chillout rooms’ where our students can work on their own, have some time out and generally unwind. Our chillout rooms are multipurpose and used for Speech & Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, relaxation, aromatherapy and much more.
Summerwood has a student flat where our students have the opportunity to learn and practice everyday living tasks. This helps to prepare those who may in future, live away from home, maybe go to university or live nearer to their place of work. Our flat has its own kitchen, dining and lounge area. Our students are expected to plan what they are going to make for their lunch, go out to the local supermarket, buy, bring back, prepare and cook. They are responsible for tidying up, cleaning the whole flat and developing their domestic and independent living skills. Students have the opportunity to work towards their Jamie Oliver Levels 1 and 2 BTEC Home Cooking qualifications, which will enhance their CVs.
Our bistro style dining room is designed to encourage social skills where students can develop friendships. Our modern style has again been designed and created with our students to be age appropriate as we move them on from their previous school settings.
Summerwood has a social area providing opportunities to practice social skills in a safe environment. We call this area our Games Room, which has pool, air hockey and table tennis. Our pod is very popular with the students, and used as an area where they can either socialise or have some quiet reflection.
We have our own sensory room with an array of sensory equipment, selected by our students, that will benefit any student who wishes to use it. Our specifically designed sensory room provides a calming environment for those who may be finding a situation overwhelming or who want a space to relax and minimise sensory input. Our large marine aquarium provides a therapeutic backdrop for students.