Aycliffe School

Aycliffe School is an independent, purpose-built specialist school based at the North East Centre for Autism, Newton Aycliffe in County Durham for pupils aged 3-19

Working together to inspire, support, celebrate and equip autistic and neurodiverse people to fulfil their potential in life.

The school is proud to have a long-standing, well-integrated student council where our pupils are supported by specialist staff to aid effective communication and decision making. Our Learner Voice surveys and tutorials help influence organisation, development and quality improvement. They also effectively demonstrate that the views of all learners are collected and acted upon. 

A wide range of strategies are employed to gather learners’ views including satisfaction surveys, student council, talking mats, PCLPs, input from speech and language therapists, student representatives. Input from communication champions ensure that learners are supported with appropriate high and / or low tech AAC aids and strategies. This approach helps pupils with varying levels of communication to express themselves in relation to operational and strategic issues by increasing their ability to use a range of communication strategies.

Insight to our School Council

What we do   

  1. Provide a structure that teaches skills and involves the widest range of students in learning them.
  2. Involve all students, not just in voting, but in discussion, compromise and problem-solving.
  3. Give all students the chance and support to take action, not just those who already know how.
  4. We understand that for all students to benefit, they all need to give it their support.
  5. Highlight a number of key issues which school need to consider to ensure that student engagement is meaningful and effective.
  6. Signposting to other sources of help and support.

We have pulled together the best elements of school councils we’ve worked with over the last year in a way which requires experience from professional here and further afield to show that our school council is supported and nurtured to help improve many aspects of school life. This also outlines the range of benefits that student participation can bring not only for students, but for our school and the wider community to allow students to have a real say in issues which impact on them and the wider community.

Monthly You Said We Did Activity

You Said

  •  We would like a new Play Park
  •  We would like a weekly Tuck Shop
  •  We would like new interactive Boards.
  •  We would like to contribute towards the development of a project that focuses on Autism Awareness.
  •  We would like a celebration of learning assembly.
  •  We would like to plant more trees within the school grounds.
  •  We would like to learn more about Health and Fitness. 

We Did