Longfield Academy contains specialist provision for 40 students on the Autistic Spectrum. Within this provision each student has an Educational Statement, whose primary need is identified as ASD. Students are supported by specialist staff within the provision which composes of four classrooms, each with direct access to a quiet room that students can use. It also has its own kitchen area to support the development of life skills, changing rooms and training room. Students are able to use their own open space, separate from the main Academy playground, and this area also accommodates a garden for horticulture activities during some lessons extra curricular activities.
Students are based within the provision,for all tutor activities and social times but all access the Academy for most lessons. The aim is to enable each student to integrate main school lessons full time and to study the full range of KS3 and KS4 examination courses and enrichment activities. Each student has a carefully personalised timetable which takes account of their individual needs, but has a significant level of challenge built within it. All students join everyone else in taking part in their College activities.
The Academy building and facilities has been carefully designed for students with ASD and other students with learning difficulties to enhance accessibility. Each College has been carefully colour coded and rooms have specialist signage to enhance accessibility. The acoustic design of the Academy also supports all students to learn more effectively.
The Academy uses its expertise to provide local advisory support to other primary and secondary schools within the area. It also works closely with Milestone Academy to develop opportunities for students and staff across the Leigh Academies Trust and more widely.
Students respond well to skilful questioning. As a result, they think deeply and use skills such as inference and empathy to move their learning on. Very effective learning was observed in a science lesson in Year 7 where skilful questioning led to students challenging their own thoughts and considering the views of others.
Students receive excellent information, advice and guidance, including careers advice. All students leaving the academy go on to further or higher education, employment or training.
Students in the sixth form feel valued and supported. During their time in the sixth form, they take on many different responsibilities around the academy, including supporting and mentoring younger pupils.