Our daughter has autism and severe learning difficulties. Her needs are very complicated. She cannot speak for herself and is dependent on us and the people who know and work with her to speak for her. We are so happy and relieved that she has moved to the Cottages and we are confident that she will be happy, productive and continue to flourish with the Prior Approach. We are already impressed by the enthusiasm and motivation of the staff which we know is absolutely key. The environment is great for her and has made the transition so much easier - causing less stress. We love the fact that she will be productive and occupied in a practical way with the work experience.

Parent of a young adult at Prior's Court

A person-centred approach

Each young adult follows a person-centred learning programme tailored to meet their individual needs across their waking day. Building on their skills, strengths and interests they engage in a rich and varied range of activities in order to maximise their potential and ensure they are able to lead full and varied lives within their community.

The key areas of focus within the young adult provision are:

Independent living skills

Young adult doing laundryThere is a focus on developing self care and life skills for all young people. This includes developing personal care routines and good hygiene, learning to plan, shop for and cook their own meals, learning to do their own laundry and take responsibility for their personal belongings, to complete day to day domestic jobs including cleaning personal and communal areas, learning to manage money and developing skills and confidence to travel on public transport. By offering real life experiences and guiding them through each part of their day, young people are often then able to take their new skills out into the community.                                                                                                                                                                                          

Choice-making and advocacy

We aim to provide experiences for our young adults which enable them to achieve a sense of personal identity, self-esteem and self-respect. Through a focus on personal development and citizenship we strive to create a happy and stimulating environment supporting our young adults physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and social needs.

Leisure and relaxation 

Leisure and relaxation are important areas of life for all young adults. Individuals with autism often struggle to engage independently in leisure and relaxation activities, particularly when the focus is on self-occupation. Each young adult is supported to develop leisure activities and hobbies which build upon their interests and aspirations and contribute to their emotional well being.

Towards inclusion

The development of skills for our young people to successfully participate within the local community is a key focus. The community is accessed regularly including facilities such as shops, banks and cafes, leisure facilities and vocational opportunities such as courses at local colleges, work experience and work placements.

Vocational skills and work experience

young person in vocational skills workshopThere is a focus on developing vocational skills which reflect individual strengths and interests. On site the Learning Centre offers a range of vocational activities including ICT, art and design, woodwork, office skills, work skills and mini enterprise activities (including the making and selling of produce and mail fulfilment type jobs). Horticulture and animal husbandry are offered within the grounds. The development of vocational skills is further enhanced through opportunities to participate in courses, work experience and work placements out in the wider community.

Monitoring and celebrating progress

We have high expectations of our young adults in all areas of their lives. Each young adult has a learning plan that is monitored and evaluated six times a year and covers all areas of the curriculum: academic learning and communication, lifelong learning and self development, PSHE (personal, social and health education), vocational and work experience. We celebrate their achievements and progress in a multitude of ways to help build each individual’s self-esteem and sense of achievement.