Our Learning Environment


Our students present very differently, both from neurotypical individuals and from each other. They are fully representative of the autism spectrum.


Given the diversity within the autism spectrum and between individuals, there is no single educational intervention that is useful for all students, and no single intervention that would on its own be sufficient to meet all the needs of a particular student on the autism spectrum.

Each student’s needs are assessed and catered for on an individual basis, however, some common practices throughout lessons and around school include:

  • Clear boundaries      and structure      are in place, displayed      and given verbally
  • Instructional      vocabulary is reduced as appropriate
  • Sayings,      metaphors,      euphemisms and abstract language are kept to a      minimum to support students’ literal understanding and are taught      directly when a student is at the appropriate cognitive level
  • A focus      on Theory of Mind and how this can impact on students’ interpretation of situations,      their relationships with others, understanding of self and their ability to learn
  • The use of social      stories and comic strip conversations to support development of Theory of Mind      and social understanding
  • An understanding      of students’ levels of Executive Functioning with taught      strategies to aid personal organisation, independence and      problem solving skills
  • The use of sensory      adaptations to      help students manage a shared classroom environment
  • Visual supports,      including Communication in Print are used, where appropriate,      to aid      understanding
  • Additional auditory      processing time is given where required
  • A focus on the      physical environment creating a calm, uncluttered and safe school,      addressing students’ sensory needs and creating visual structure
  • Appropriate      consequences, rewards and graded sanctions, with clear and timely      communication to ensure understanding and to support students’ sense of fairness
  • Developing      students’ Central Coherence and understanding by      presenting them with the relevant links to help put experiences, meanings      and learning in context and support their      generalisation of what they have learned.
  • Involving      students in decision making about individual and whole school issues
  • Developing      students’ understanding of the world around them and the importance of      their place      and role in society
  • Encouraging a      sense of pride and self-esteem
  • Raising      aspirations



How do we ensure consistency of standards across the school and identify staff development requirements?

The Autism Education Trust (AET) has developed this set of competencies with funding from the Department for Education in England, to describe the knowledge, understanding and skills that staff working in schools and other educational settings require to work effectively with pupils on the autism spectrum


  • AUTISM EDUCATION      TRUST NATIONAL AUTISM STANDARDS are used to inform and evaluate whole school      provision at Corley Centre


 A set of standards from the AET, to enable educational settings to evaluate their practice in addressing the needs of pupils on the autism spectrum.

The Standards have been designed to enable staff in schools and educational settings to ascertain the extent to which the needs of pupils with autism are addressed by analysing policies, systems and whole school development work.