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Drumbeat School & ASD Service

Drumbeat School & ASD Service’s Local Offer provides information, in one place on our website, about how we support young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) throughout their time with us. Our Local Offer describes how we support children in their day-to-day education.

Drumbeat School & ASD Service works in partnership with Lewisham Local Authority (LA). Lewisham’s Local Offer can be found here.

Lewisham’s Local Offer sets out information about the specialist services, schools, colleges and organisations that can provide support for families of children and young people with SEND. For example, it explains procedures for requesting an assessment for an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), which is replacing the Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN). You will also find information about:

  • Where to go for advice and guidance on SEN and Disability matters
  • Arrangements for resolving disagreements and mediation

Drumbeat’s Local Offer

Drumbeat School is a community special school for children and young people (CYP) with autism and learning difficulties.  Drumbeat provides a specialist autism-specific environment for CYP aged between 4 and 19 years.

All prospective pupils must have a Statement of SEN or an EHCP and a diagnosis of autism.  The children and young people (CYP) in Drumbeat have the highest level of autistic needs.  Their attainment is significantly below age-related expectations and some CYP may present challenging behaviour.  Generally speaking, the CYP’s needs cannot be met full-time in a mainstream school. Drumbeat has good integration links with mainstream schools.  Some pupils may join mainstream schools for occasional lessons and young people from mainstream schools visit Drumbeat. Drumbeat feels very much part of the local community.

‘Tried and Tested’ ASD teaching approaches.  

The following teaching approaches are used at Drumbeat to support pupils’ access to the curriculum.  Drumbeat does not subscribe to a single approach, but uses the best from a mixture of approaches according to CYP’s needs.  

  • Social Stories
  • PECS
  • Attention Autism
  • Intensive Interaction
  • Makaton signing
  • Superflex and the social thinking curriculum

Human Resources

Drumbeat has well trained staff with experience of working with CYP with autism. Drumbeat strives to work in a transdisciplinary way, i.e., teachers, teaching assistants, psychologists, therapists and counsellors all working together to do the best for the pupils and putting the child and the family at the centre.  In terms of professionals, Drumbeat’s staff includes: 

  • Teachers, Higher Level Teaching Assistants and Teaching Assistants,
  • A school employed therapy team including: Clinical Psychologist, Music Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist and Counsellor,
  • Therapy Services provided by Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, including Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy,
  • Support Services provided by Lewisham Education Authority including Education Psychology, CAMHS and Sensory Support.

Drumbeat’s in-house therapy team comprises the following:

  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Music Therapy
  • Clinical and Educational Psychology, Counselling and Behaviour Advice 

The therapy team works in the school on a universal level, providing training, group work, and advising on class based strategies to support children’s emotional and psychological well being, language and communication, social development and independence.  More specialist and targeted work is provided to the pupils on a needs led basis. This work occurs in conjunction with class teaching teams, Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust therapists, social care professionals and, of course, families.

Strategies to support/develop communication and literacy (including speech and language programmes) 

  • Read Write Inc. programme
  • Writing without Tears programme
  • Specialist English Teacher
  • Talking mats
  • Aided language boards
  • Colourful semantics
  • Jolly phonics
  • Derbyshire language scheme
  • Blank’s level of questioning 
  • Objects of reference 
  • Communication Key Rings
  • Comic Strip Conversations

Strategies to support/develop numeracy 

  • Specialist Maths Teacher
  • Mathletics 

Strategies to support behaviour management 

  • School employed Clinical Psychologist in the Drumbeat Therapy Team
  • All staff trained in Team Teach de-escalation and positive handling
  • Five Team Teach employers tutors in school
  • Behaviour Management Plans (BMP)
  • Stressbusters 
  • Legotherapy
  • Sensory circuits
  • Social stories 
  • Parallel curriculum 

Social skills programmes 

  • Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
  • Legotherapy
  • Superflex and social thinking curriculum
  • Girls group and boys group

Strategies to enhance self-esteem/promote emotional wellbeing 

  • Challenger Troop
  • Young Lewisham Project
  • Drama workshops
  • School sports teams, football, netball, rowing, etc
  • Residential school journeys
  • Clinical Psychologist 
  • Dudley the school dog
  • Yoga sessions
  • Horse riding, swimming, etc 

Access to a supportive environment – IT facilities/equipment/resources (inc. preparation) 

  • Interactive whiteboards in every classroom
  • Pupil access to laptops and iPads
  • Music and media suite (including iMacs)
  • Recording studio
  • Soft play room
  • Sensory rooms
  • Interactive sensory room
  • Gym, including running machine, rowing machine, cross-trainer 
  • Dance area
  • Library (including computers and iPads)
  • Training room and parents room

Support/supervision at unstructured times of the day including personal care 

  • A range of lunchtime activities / clubs offered
  • Extended Services offering clubs before and after school, weekends and during holiday periods
  • Toilet training in partnership with families
  • Disabled access toilets and showers
  • Lift access

Strategies/programmes to support Occupational Therapy 

  • Full time Occupational Therapist working in Drumbeat Therapy Team
  • Access to specialist equipment to support OT needs e.g. weighted jackets, specialist cutlery, sensory toys etc.
  • Sensory Circuits
  • Sensory Diets
  • Sensory Profiling

Access to medical interventions 

  • Visiting school nurse
  • Visiting consultant paediatrician 
  • Personal Care Plans
  • Staff trained in relevant conditions and emergency medication e.g. asthma, epilepsy, allergic reactions, sickle cell etc
  • Trained First Aiders
  • Qualified Paediatric First Aiders

Planning and assessment 

  • Drumbeat Assessment & Data Framework
  • Drumbeat Purple Pathways marking & feedback policy and framework
  • BSquared assessment
  • EYFS Early Excellence Baseline Assessment (EExBA)
  • Drumbeat Primary Curriculum
  • Drumbeat Secondary Curriculum
  • Drumbeat 6th Form Curriculum
  • Annual Reviews
  • Individual Education Plans
  • Personal Education Plans (LAC)
  • Behaviour Management Plans (BMPs)

Engagement with parents/carers 

  • Family forums
  • Parent workshops
  • Home school book
  • Newsletters
  • The Newsbeat (regular class news on school website)
  • Termly Parents Evenings
  • 3 Parent Governors
  • Coffee Mornings
  • Class assemblies and school productions
  • Annual Review process
  • Text messaging service
  • The Beat (radio station)

Liaison/Communication with External Professionals 

  • Paediatricians at Kaleidoscope 
  • School nursing team
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Lewisham Social Care Complex Needs Team
  • Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust Speech and Language Therapy
  • Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust NHS Occupational Therapy
  • MAPP

Arrangements for specialist expertise in school 

  • Several staff with specialist postgraduate qualifications in Autism to Masters level
  • In house Makaton Regional Tutor
  • In house Team Teach Employers Tutors
  • In house Autism Education Trust (AET) Regional Hub Tutors
  • Highly Qualified Therapy Team employed by the school including; Clinical Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist and Music Therapist 

Arrangements for specialist expertise from outside school 

  • Arts facilitator in music and drama (Thrift Music Theatre)
  • Yoga instructor
  • Street Dance Teacher
  • Gospel singing Teacher
  • Drumming Tutor
  • Drama Workshops (Mousetrap)
  • Sports Coaches (Change Foundation)

Monitoring and evaluating the impact of the ‘additional and different’ arrangements – on progress and outcomes for pupils with SEN 

  • Achievement data analysis
  • CASPA analysis
  • IEP achievement review
  • Provision mapping and intervention audit
  • Pupil Premium analysis and report
  • Behaviour monitoring and analysis