Doors open at much-needed specialist SEND unit at Northampton primary school

The unit will offer 30 places for SEND children and has a bespoke curriculum based on the needs of students
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A much-needed specialist SEND unit at a Northampton primary school has opened its doors to students, after delays with the project.

Chiltern Primary School opened its doors to its new 30 place SEND unit called The Nest on October 2, with new classrooms offering a view of the outdoor area, breakout spaces, new signage to offer privacy to the playground as well as the new play area that is available for use by all pupils at Chiltern Primary School. The Nest at Chiltern, is operated by Hunsbury Park Primary School and their specialist SEND staff.

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The unit was due to open in September, however due to construction constraints, the project was delayed, leaving some families in difficult situations.

Ribbon cutting at the new SEND unit at Chiltern Primary School in Northampton.Ribbon cutting at the new SEND unit at Chiltern Primary School in Northampton.
Ribbon cutting at the new SEND unit at Chiltern Primary School in Northampton.

After children started at the unit earlier this month, an official opening – with a ribbon cutting ceremony – was held this week.

Hayley Rootes, assistant headteacher and unit lead at Chiltern Primary School said: “We are thrilled to open our new Nest provision at Chiltern Primary School and offer provision for 30 more children.

"It has been fantastic to see students in class, accessing autism specific approaches and making friends with their peers.

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"Staff have worked hard to ensure that the new provision follows a consistent approach across both sites.”

The Nest caters for children in Key Stage 2, Years 3 to 6 and is a designated specialist provision for children with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) diagnosis. Within the Nest, staff use autism specific approaches such as Teacch, Attention Autism and Intensive interaction to deliver a bespoke curriculum based on students needs.

Councillor Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member at West Northamptonshire Council for Children, Families, Education and Skills added: “It was so wonderful to see the students enjoying the new, much-needed facilities at Chiltern Primary School and to see the teaching techniques that clearly had the students so engaged and wanting to learn.

"A really important part for me, was for the children to be settled as part of their transition into The Nest and to enjoy the space – to see them using the play equipment and engaging with the classroom activities was incredibly moving and I extend my thanks for the staff at Chiltern who have been so brilliant in supporting the students transition as well as to the parents for their patience and support.”

The new provision at Chiltern will see a further 15 Key Stage 2 places created from September 2024, taking the total number of places at this site to 45.

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