A case study of an Independent school catering for students with autism in the English West Midlands region.
Riverside Education is a small Independent school for young people with autism and other related SEN issues. It currently has fifty staff and one hundred students. The Riverside Education curriculum described by Ofsted (Nov 2019), as ‘broad and personalised’ is driven by Participatory Action Research(PAR), an approach to research in communities that focuses on participation and action. It is characterised by a cycle of Planning, implementing/acting, observing and reflecting. We use our own student surveys, assemblies, observations, informal interviews and curriculum reviews to collect information that is used to inform our teaching practice as well as the set-up of the environment. We research with, rather than on participants. Everyone in the school is a participant, contributing to how the curriculum should be taught and how the school should be run.