Opal School is an additionally resourced provision (ARP) based at Fryent Primary School specifically for pupils with autism. Our aim is to help pupils overcome the obstacles associated with autism so that they can develop their social and communication skills and make academic progress.
Before considering if Opal School is a suitable school for your child, it is important to outline our criteria. There is an expectation that children attending the Opal School have some level of functional communication and are able to understand and follow instructions. An ability to pay attention is also a requirement as the children are required to sit and attend to lessons within a group of seven for up to 15-20 minutes at a time. Children are supported in class by a teacher and two TAs. The children also need to be able to complete adult led paired activities followed by independent activities. The curriculum follows a formal and semi-formal curriculum personalised to the needs of the children (details of the curriculum can be seen on the curriculum page in this section). National Curriculum subjects such as Literacy, Maths and Topic are taught daily. Within these subjects life skills are also incorporated to promote independence and teach key skills such as managing their own personal care.
Currently the SENCO team liaise with SENAS, parents and nurseries regarding admissions to Opal School. The Team Leaders of The Opal School are also part of this admissions process too by observing and assessing a prospective pupil. During the school visit, the SENCO and Opal Team Leader will be able to gain a better understanding of your child’s needs and their suitability to Opal School. You will also be able to ask us questions about Opal School and will have a tour of the school.
The Opal School’s school day starts at 9:30am and ends at 3:30pm. Some pupils are brought to and from school by Brent Transport.
The Opal School currently has seven classes (Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6) each class has a maximum of 7 pupils.
The Opal School classes are set up to support the learning of pupils with Autism. Each class has a whole class teaching element (Circle Time) and individual work stations which follows the structured TEACCH approach. Please click on the link below to read more about it:
Strategies and interventions - TEACCH (autism.org.uk)
Please note applications for Opal School are via Brent Council's Special Educational Needs Assessment Service NOT via Brent School Admissions.
Applying for your SEN child to gain admissions at Fryent Primary school does not include an automatic place in Opal School.
For further queries about SEN admissions at Fryent Primary or Opal school please contact Ms Baig via the school office or via email@example.com.
OPAL SCHOOL IS FULL IN ALL YEAR GROUPS APART FROM YEAR 6. DUE TO OVER SUBSCRIPTION OF SEN PLACES WE DO NOT HOLD A WAITING LIST FOR OPAL SCHOOL.
Each class is adapted to the needs of the pupils. The younger classes Reception and Year 1 have a playroom while all classes have reading and sensory areas as well as individual work stations.
Playrooms in Reception and Year 1
Circle time during whole class teaching is led by the class teacher and supported by specialist teaching assistants.
As part of the teaching in Opal School, all staff have been trained to carry out Attention Autism (Bucket time) sessions to develop pupils’ attention, focus and spontaneous language development.
Sensory corners are in each class to carry out Intensive Interaction sessions to promote communication and provide sensory regulation.
The Opal School corridor is fitted with sound insulation boards to reduce auditory sensory overload.
The Opal has two playgrounds with equipment to support their motor skills and general development.
Opal School has its own lunchroom which also serves as a therapy room for Speech and Occupational Therapists. As Opal School is attached to the main school, pupils also have access to the library, ICT suite, main playground via the Opal playground (for older pupils), both school halls for PE and assembly.
A Sensory Room is also on site to support pupil’s sensory development. We also have a, ‘Calm Room’ to support pupils with sensory regulation and for Occupational Therapy.
To learn more about Opal School please contact Ms Baig (Acting Assistant Head of Inclusion and Head of Opal School) via the school office or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to welcoming you to our school.