Birmingham primary school wins national award
Woodhouse Primary Academy in Birmingham has won a national award in recognition of the innovative ways its ‘Rainbow Room team’ engages children on the autism spectrum in learning.
The school which is part of the University of Wolverhampton’s Multi-Academy Trust - a development that aims to raise standards within schools in the region - was presented with the Award for Inspirational Education Provision (Primary) at the fourth annual Autism Professionals Awards at Telford International Centre, which took place at the beginning of March.
The National Autistic Society (NAS) event, sponsored by Axcis Education Recruitment, was hosted by comedian Janey Godley and Janet Corcoran - a parent of an autistic adult and trustee of the charity.
13 awards were given in total, which were presented to both individuals and teams, including Woodhouse Academy, whose innovative work in the field of autism is having a positive impact on autistic people and their families in the UK.
The Rainbow Room team’s most recent project was working with artist, Hilary Baker, to create a film based on the theme of ‘transformation’.
This project aimed to develop the children’s communication skills, story writing, and computer skills and gave each student the opportunity to create their own transformation story, something which they had never done before and gave everyone a huge sense of achievement and increased confidence.
Pam Willetts, Executive Head Teacher at Woodhouse Primary Academy said: "It’s important to us that we make sure that autistic children in our school are not isolated from their peers because of any extra needs that they may have.
“For us, the Rainbow Room is about striking that balance between making learning enjoyable and fun and keeping the children integrated with their peers, as well as receiving the extra support they need in education, and thanks to a great team we were able to achieve this!
“Making the video was such a wonderful project for everyone, and we’re absolutely honoured that we won the award.”
Carol Povey, Director of The National Autistic Society's Centre for Autism said: "This year’s awards were the biggest yet, with a record 217 nominations showing the range of amazing work going on across the UK to improve the lives of people on the autism spectrum and their families.
“Woodhouse Primary Academy did remarkably well to stand out in this highly competitive field, impressing the judges with their innovative approach to teaching autistic students.
“I’m always struck by the huge impact that knowledgeable and understanding individuals and services can have on autistic people and their families. This is true of each and every one of the award finalists and winners, including Woodhouse Primary. I hope their achievements will inspire other professionals and services in the area to improve their own autism practice.”
Woodhouse Primary Academy is just one of four schools to have joined the University of Wolverhampton’s Multi-Academy Trust, with the University showing a confident track record of aiding improvements within schools in the region, initially through the Black Country Children’s Service Improvement Partnership (BCCSIP) which ran successfully for more than 10 years.
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Date Issued: 7th March 2016