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New Barn SChool

Special Educational Needs

Our school’s approach to supporting pupils with SEND

At New Barn School we aim to provide an environment where Autistic children thrive. We recognise and celebrate the individuality of our pupils and use personalised approaches, allowing autistic pupils to feel supported during the school day. We strive to provide our pupils with the same opportunities and experiences that pupils would have received at a mainstream school, believing passionately that in the right environment, with the right support, our pupils will flourish in education. We do this by focusing on an autism friendly environment, differentiating our curriculum and developing personal development.

As a specialist, independent school for Autistic young people, it is embedded in our ethos to be inclusive and to ensure that academic and social opportunities are accessible and provided for our students. We have a progressive approach to supporting autism, and with various members of staff undergoing further higher education (Masters and Doctorates) personally, their research is/ will contribute to progress and supporting the students in the school.

New Barn School does not adopt a single approach to our autistic curriculum, it rather uses a combination of evidence-based strategies to promote both academic progress, independence, and social and emotional well-being with the aim of providing a safe and secure environment for pupils to learn.

Annual reviews are carried out each year; from the Annual Reviews and the EHCP documents, the pupil’s targets are compiled onto their Individual Education Map (IEM) – tutors map out their targets for the year, and from these will develop their Individual Education Plans (IEP). The IEPs are reviewed and updated termly to ensure that targets and outcomes are being worked towards, and staff can manage and monitor their progress. These plans aim to address the needs in each of the four areas of need: cognition and learning, communication and interaction, social emotional and mental health, and finally, sensory and physical.

Catering for different kinds of SEND

Cognition and learning

In order to meet the cognition and learning needs of each of our pupils, a differentiated and flexible approach to teaching and learning is adopted. We aim for each of our pupils to leave with GCSEs, Functional Skills or BTEC Level qualifications. By taking into account each individual’s needs and interests, we are able to offer a broad and engaging curriculum.

Communication and interaction

Positive and successful communication is developed and encouraged through modelling conversations and interactions. Pupils are in classes of five, meaning that communication and interaction can be well managed and supported. We also have a whole-school approach to SALT. During personal development activities students have the opportunity to work with pupils outside of their class and from across the whole school, meaning that they begin to learn and develop different ways of communicating with people of varying ages.

Social, emotional and mental health

The social, emotional and mental health needs of each of our pupils are carefully considered when working with each individual. Students can have access to our various therapies on offer should a referral be made and taken forward. Staff work closely with pupils to ensure that their SEMH needs are supported appropriately. Each pupil will have named key adults who enable them to communicate their needs more readily and freely.

Sensory and/or physical needs

Our sensory environment considers each individual pupil’s sensory needs and provides a personalised ‘sensory diet’. This may be achieved by providing specialist equipment, using agreed sensory strategies, and implementing therapist recommendations. Our physical environment provides a clear structure for pupils to learn in. Our school setting means that class sizes are small and specialised. The environment aims to be low stimulation rather than no stimulation and classrooms is specifically designed to be distraction free.

Key staff and expertise

Name of staff member

Area of expertise

Level of qualification (e.g. BA (Hons), MA)


Jess Larkin (SENCo)


Special Educational Needs & Inclusion 


MA in Education: SEND 

Contact details