Communication Resource Centre (CRC)
The Communication Resource Centre in The High School Ballynahinch was set up in 2003 by the SEELB, as a post primary provision for students with a statement of social communication disorder such as autism, who, with a significant level of support, would be academically able to integrate into a mainstream school.
The homeroom serves as a base for the students’ entire day and is open from about 8.30am. Students may go to the Homeroom when they arrive in school and may keep all their belongings there, so avoiding the bustle of locker areas.
Home School Contact
One of the useful strategies in the CRC is home/school books or email, which enables regular contact between home and school. This can be invaluable in helping manage anxiety and organisation.
Teachers usually arrange contact with parents for Annual Reviews of provision. We encourage parents to contact us with any concerns.
The Quiet Corner
This acts as a socialising area for students during break or lunch and is also used as a chill-out area for those occasions when sensory input, anger, anxiety or frustration become overwhelming. We encourage pupils to bring their own sensory boxes.
A flexible model is adopted, combining a homeroom setting for small group teaching with integration into mainstream classes. Each homeroom has its own teacher and teaching assistants. Currently we have three homerooms with three specialist teachers, six classroom assistants, and one general assistant.
Our vision for the education of pupils with ASD would be to have other centres like this in many secondary schools throughout Northern Ireland, where pupils with ASD feel safe and understood, and where they can fulfil their potential.