Alton School

The Woodland Centre - Resource Base and Inclusion

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The Alton School Resource Base 

The Alton is proud to have a SEND Resource Base provision. We are passionate about inclusive education. 

The Woodland Centre is our resource base for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with associated learning difficulties. 

The Woodland Centre is situated within our mainstream school but it has its own dedicated learning spaces.  It has three classrooms, a flexible therapy room (The Den) and its own toilets. We also have a sensory room (opening soon) that is shared with our mainstream children.

The team in our Resource Base is led by an experienced Teacher in Charge, supported by our SENCO and the rest of our leadership team.  Further support comes from a dedicated, highly specialist Speech and Language Therapist and an Educational Psychologist. We are also in the process of securing an Occupational Therapist.

In September 2023, we changed our Resource Base designation from MLD (moderate learning difficulties) to ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). This means we are no longer accepting applications for places for children with moderate learning difficulties (MLD). The children who are currently in our MLD provision will stay with us to complete their primary school journey. 

All new admissions to the Woodland Centre will be for our ASD provision.  We are currently full in this class for this academic year.

Our current three classes are as follows.


Article ImageSquirrel Class (RB1): ASD Provision 

Squirrel Class focuses on delivering a specific educational programme for children identified with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) with associate learning difficulties.  Squirrel Class currently has 7 places for children with ASD in Y1 or Yr2. 

Squirrel Class is led by Ms O’Dowd (the teacher in charge of the Resource Base) and supported by Ms Bates and Ms Miller, our two SEN LSAs and Autism Champions. They work alongside other professionals such as the Speech and Language Therapist; Educational Psychologist; School Nursing; Wandsworth Autism Advisory Service and Occupational Therapists, as well as the mainstream class teachers, to provide a tailored curriculum to meet the individual needs of our children. We believe all children with ASD are unique and require an adapted curriculum to suit their needs and to develop the ‘whole child’ against the academic and wider curricula. Children work in a small group with adult support and are encouraged to work with different adults to help them gain independence.

Children work in a structured and ASD-friendly environment and our staff receive training regularly to support the delivery of a variety of ASD strategies and techniques.

Article ImageFox Class (RB2) and Deer Class (RB3): Moderate Learning Difficulties

Fox Class and Deer Class are led by Mrs Lamb, Ms Stewart-Paterson and Ms Gibbons, our RB leads, supported by Ms Garmson, Ms Mohamed and Ms Davies – SEN LSAs.

These classes are focused on supporting our learners whose primary barrier to progressing in education is learning and cognition. They may have a diagnosis of global developmental delay or learning difficulties/disabilities (general or moderate). The children we support in these classes are typically 2 to 3 years behind their peers in education attainment levels in all areas of their learning and development. We teach the national curriculum and life skills.

Article ImageOur learning is multi-sensory and incorporate performance arts, food, props and movement to support engagement, understanding and expression.

We have specialist teaching & therapy approaches for literacy, numeracy and communication.  The adult's and children’s communications are supported with Makaton and visual support.  We have holistic approaches embedded into teaching interventions and pastoral care including yoga, nature, and music.

Children work in a structured, low arousal environment with high adult to child ratios.

Pedagogical approach

All our staff receive regular training to support the delivery of a variety of pedagogical strategies and techniques. These include:

  • Visuals and Communicate in Print: Visuals, made using the Communicate in Print programme, are a vital tool that enable children with additional needs to navigate through life. Visuals are key to supporting the structured environment we create around the school and support the developing of confidence and independence as well as alleviating anxiety about what is coming next.  These include visual timetables, now and next boards and visual instructions.
  • TEACCH (Teaching, Expanding, Appreciating, Collaborating, Cooperating, Holistic): The TEACCH approach is used by staff to enable children to develop independence in learning and to consolidate skills in core areas of the curriculum and in other individual target areas for each child. All classes use a visual timetable to enable all children to navigate their school day. There are many visual signs around the school too.
  • Zones of Regulation: The Zones of Regulation is an internationally-renowned intervention which helps children to manage difficult emotions, known as ‘self-regulation’. Self-regulation can go by many names such as ‘self-control’, ‘impulse management’ and ‘self-management’.  Self-regulation is best described as the best state of alertness for a situation. Zones of Regulation help teach our children in the Resource Base good coping and regulation strategies, so they can help themselves when they experience anxiety and stress. By teaching children how to cope with these feelings, we aim help them improve at tackling learning challenges and build resilience so they don’t give up so easily when faced with difficulty.
  • SALT (Speech and Language Therapy): All children in the Resource Base receive SALT. Targets are part of their daily routine and the children receive sessions with our Speech and Language Therapists, Mrs Wood.
  • Sensory Provision: We have a beautiful new sensory room with a variety of apparatus that will help children to navigate and manage their sensory needs. Sensory provision is also available in all classrooms.


Children across our Resource Base are assessed using a ‘small steps’ approach which demonstrates their progress in clear and precise stages; this allows progress to be tracked in small increments and targets to be set according to individual needs. We use a programme called B-Squared to support us track progress and carefully plan children’s next steps.

Find out more

If you have any questions, please send an enquiry to and a member of our team will be in touch. 

All applications must be made via Wandsworth Special Needs Assessment Service (SNAS). 

You can also read our full SEND Information report here.