Students with autism confidently performed poetry and music recitals on their last day of term at LVS Hassocks school last Friday.
The students were celebrating a highly successful academic year at the school, which is for young people aged between 11 and 19 on the autism spectrum, by performing for parents and members of the local community to show how much they had developed.
It was a day to say goodbye to the school for many students, including 19-year-old Henry Spiller, who is moving on to Camphill college in Yorkshire for further education.
Henry’s father Alex Thomson said: “Today is a very moving experience because LVS Hassocks has been Henry’s rock: his place of safety and growth and also an adventure – a place of love, care and learning.
“The school has developed his confidence and ability to share, and taught social cues like when to talk and when to stop, so he will be able to live a fulfilling life and be part of a wider community with the maximum amount of independence.”
Others moved on to local mainstream colleges to continue their studies.
A number of students took to the stage to perform solo vocal sets, and some came together in student bands, playing keyboards, drums and ukuleles.
There was also a special art exhibition for students to show off their work from the past year, including some pieces which have contributed toward qualifications.
Representatives from Brighton and Hove Albion’s Albion in the Community scheme and members of the Burgess Hill Lions Club came together with families at the school’s summer sharing event to celebrate.
Albion In The Community’s Kieran Green presented some students with medals for their sporting achievements, while the Burgess Hill Lions generously donated vouchers and certificates as sponsors of the peace art competition.
The competition was set up to encourage students to get involved with art and to be recognised for what they create.
The school opened in April, 2009 and is located in Sayers Common.