Student at the new IB special School for autistic children

9th September 2021 • My Family Our Needs

Year 7 students have started their academic journey at the world’s first International Baccalaureate (IB) special autism school, The Cavendish School; Cambridgeshire’s first state maintained special free school provision for young people with autism.

Stephanie Smith, Deputy Headteacher, said: “We are incredibly excited to welcome our Year 7 students to the school as they embark on their IB journey with us. Today marks our first step towards achieving our mission of ‘enabling the self’ and supporting our students to become healthy, happy individuals who are able to self-advocate, actively contribute to their communities and flourish into adulthood. Our holistic approach to education, with an emphasis on students’ social and emotional wellbeing and communication development will be achieved through the unique frameworks of the IB, which is why we are so proud to be the world’s first IB special autism school.”

Together with IB programmes, students will study accredited qualifications alongside specific therapies or interventions as appropriate for individuals. Each of the IB programme frameworks allows teachers to personalise learning to the unique abilities of their students. The curriculum model also allows for a wide range of activities including; Forest School, Lego-based therapy and life skills learning, to support the school’s mission of helping students develop into independent adults. 

Beyond high-quality teaching, the school retains onsite specialists in Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy.

Ryan Kelsall, Deputy CEO of Eastern Learning Alliance – a multi-academy trust of which The Cavendish School is a member – said: “I am delighted that our concept of a school that breaks down the educational barriers that autistic students face has finally become a reality after years of planning, research and preparation. I would like to thank all of the team at the school who have been working tirelessly, especially over the last 18 months, to ensure that local children and families have access to an excellent special state provision to meet the rising SEND needs that will enable students to flourish academically and individually for years to come.”

Find out more about the Cavendish School here