Snowfields Academy, which opened in September 2020 is a brand new purpose-built special secondary school designed to accommodate 140 students between the ages of 11 and 18 whose primary need is ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Snowfields Academy is one of the newest schools to be built within Leigh Academies Trust (LAT); a selection of primary, secondary and special schools across Kent, Medway and South East London.
All students at Snowfields Academy have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). At Snowfields, class sizes are small so as to enable learners to focus and to receive good levels of personalised support in the classroom.
A highly-supportive pastoral structure is central to the academy, placing the needs of each student first, and a commitment to instilling British values and delivering a strong Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) education is evident within the curriculum. Staff at Snowfields Academy are trained to support those with both mental health difficulties and other behavioural needs, and all students and their families have access to the support they need, including contact with trained Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA). An emphasis is placed on preparing learners for their lives after school and supporting them in identifying and achieving their aspirations, and as a result students have the option of making choices from a blended curriculum which combines both vocational and academic subjects. Regardless of their pathway choice, every student experience is tailored to suit the needs and ambitions of each individual learner.
Academy Vision and Values
Every student at Snowfields Academy is an individual with a wide range of qualities, strengths and areas of need. We provide an environment which nurtures every student but also has the highest expectations for their academic and personal outcomes. Through our personalised approach to delivering the curriculum we ensure every student knows they are valued and cared for and that we are ambitious for their success. A highly skilled and empathetic multi-disciplinary team work closely with students and families to reduce barriers to learning and develop exceptional, confident and happy young people who are fully prepared for their next steps.
Our core values:
- A safe, welcoming and supportive environment purpose where young people with ASD thrive
- A highly personalised approach to all that we do allowing individual talents to flourish;
- Highest expectations for academic and personal outcomes;
- Ensure that the holistic needs of every student are met through working closely with families and professionals;
- Provide every young person with the necessary academic and vocational pathways to be successful in their next steps in life;
- Highly skilled, valued and supported staff who make a difference to each young person’s life, every day.
Snowfields Academy has a range of support staff on hand to help learners with varying needs, and so a team of specialists will be available within the academy; this will include
- A team of Therapists to reduce any barriers to learning by helping to meet the holistic needs of our learners. This team will work closely with LAT’s Educational Psychologists and Education Welfare Officers, and will liaise with any other specialist provision that may be provided via Kent County Council (KCC) or the local Primary Care Trust (PCT).
- An experienced sensory-trained Occupational Therapist, is available to help develop individual programmes, working with class teams and learners to assess and write new programmes that will help to lower any barriers to learning for students with sensory needs
- Our Speech and Language Therapist works directly with class teams to support programme delivery, working with individuals and small groups to assess and write programmes and deliver targeted speech and language therapy. Communication has been identified as a key area of need across the academy, and as such, they lead on the delivery of a total-communication approach which includes alternative and augmentative communication, with low- and high-tech approaches such as signing, symbols, PECS (picture-exchange communication) where required
- LAT’s Educational Psychologists work across all academies within LAT. Snowfields Academy will be part of a fortnightly EP forum, at which point any significant concerns relating to mental health and wellbeing, lack of progress or significant behavioural issues will be addressed. EPs work closely with the behaviour lead at Snowfields to further reduce barriers to learning. They also work directly with staff and students as required, and form part of the multi-disciplinary team which will include the families of Snowfields Academy students