Learners with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum have been celebrating after contributing to LVS Hassocks’ best ever set of GCSE results.
Academic progress is one of the key focus areas at the specialist school for children aged 8 to 19 with learning difficulties, and this year a record 13 learners tackled GCSEs in English lit and lang, Maths and ICT, with at least one A*-C grade in each subject.
40% of all papers sat at LVS Hassocks resulted in an A*-C grade, 95% of all papers achieved a grade of A–E, and a third of learners achieved only A*-C grades in the exams they took - remarkable figures given the difficulties that learners with an autism spectrum disorder face.
Many pupils with an ASD feel particularly anxious about sitting exams, struggle to understand exam questions and why they need to sit an exam, have sensory issues and difficulties with the order and time-keeping of exam processes.
Sarah Sherwood, director of SEN at LVS Hassocks, explained how the school’s unique approach helped to successfully prepare learners for the daunting challenge.
She said: “They have worked extremely hard to achieve these results, despite the elevated anxiety levels that the examination process triggered for them. Using their individual calming strategies and with sensitive staff support they have achieved targets that are an inspiration to their peers.
“One learner sat his GCSE English a year early and has passed – an outstanding achievement for him. We are delighted with the GCSE results for our learners and would like to congratulate all of them on their results. LVS Hassocks’ sister school LVS Oxford, also for children with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum, only opened last September and already offers six GCSEs and one A-level so our commitment to ensuring youngsters with autism are not held back academically could not be stronger”.