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Preston Primary School - Nest - Enhanced Provision for Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC)

The Nest provides 16 places for children of primary school age, who have a medical diagnosis of autism.  We currently provide for children in all of the year groups that Preston Primary caters for.

All 16 children are capable of receiving a mainstream education, but will require some adult support and intervention at different times through the day.

All children are different from one another, including those in The Nest, which is why we plan different levels of inclusion and integration for each individual child. 

All of the staff at Preston Primary have had Level 1 Autism Training from the Autism Education Trust.

We nurture, enable, support and use teamwork.

Nurture: we care for the children, protect them, and help them develop into successful individuals.

Our main priority is for the children in The Nest to feel that they are in a safe and secure environment. All children need to feel safe and secure in order to be able to learn effectively.

We have firm and consistent boundaries, along with clear rewards and consequences.

Enable: “give someone the means to do something; make it possible for”

It is important that children become as independent as possible around school.  We work with the children on developing their social and learning skills, to promote independent learning, as appropriate.

Support: every child in The Nest has an individually planned timetable that we have developed to suit their own needs. The majority of the children spend part of each day in the mainstream areas of the school. During different activities, in different areas, the children are regularly supported by staff from The Nest, for reasons of consistency, familiarity and experience.

Teamwork: the staff in The Nest are just one small part of a team that works collaboratively for the benefit of the children. The team includes the child, the parents, the SEN team, the pastoral team, mainstream staff, leadership, outside agencies, including healthcare professionals…the list goes on and on.

Once a month, we have a drop in session, in the school library. This is an informal meeting, with refreshments, and is an opportunity for parents to talk to each other, to the staff and to a member of the pastoral team, about any concerns, or celebrations. Any member of the school community is welcome to attend these sessions.

These are some thoughts we have collected, about The Nest:

“An opportunity to access mainstream education with a happy, safe haven to return to when necessary.” Preston staff member, The Nest

“A safe, nurturing, learning environment” Parent of a mainstream pupil

“Happy, warm and friendly.” Preston staff member

“The adults in The Nest keep us safe and help us go to mainstream.” KS2 pupil, The Nest

“The Nest is for children who want to come to Preston, but their brains work a bit differently.” KS2 pupil, Mainstream.

“I love the way the staff explore different avenues to suit the needs of the individual children.” Parent of a KS1 Nest pupil

“The Nest enhances the children's learning & emotional experience within a safe and nurturing environment, with excellent support from caring staff, allowing the children to blossom both academically and socially.” Parent of a KS2 Nest pupil

Other Details


Referral required
Referral Details

Places at the enhanced provision for Autistic Spectrum Condition are allocated by the Local Authority and will be named on the students EHC plan either following an Education. Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment or following an Annual Review of the students EHC plan. 

Admissions criteria for The Nest

  • If the child is already within the local area they will be known to the Nest Team via outreach which should be asked for first. Where this child is joining us from a Nursery.
  • The child will have an EHCP, which clearly states autism, not just autistic traits, as the primary area of need.
  • The child will have a medical diagnosis of autism.
  • We are a mainstream enhanced provision so the child should be capable of being in a mainstream classroom for at least part of the time. Each child is unique, so the parts of curriculum accessed, will be built up slowly starting with their strengths to help with confidence and resilience. However, if the child is not making any progress after the first year and isn’t accessing mainstream at all we will have an interim review to discuss future options and make a plan for the child to ensure that their needs are being met by us or more specialist provision.
  • When a child transitions into the provision, they will initially be part time. During this period, the child will remain on the role of their previous mainstream school until the transition is complete.
  • If a child has been fully integrated into mainstream at Preston for a long period of time we would look to re-integrate them back into their local mainstream school.

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