The Avenue School is a day, special school for boys and girls from the age of 2–19 with complex Special Educational Needs. It is situated close to the centre of Reading and is the only school of this type within the borough.
The original school was established in 1901 and was one of the oldest, if not the oldest, purpose built special schools in Berkshire. This year we moved to a new and exciting building in the West of Reading, which has some very special spaces to meet the needs of our very special community.
Sue Bourne has been Headteacher at The Avenue for five years. She’s transformed it into an outstanding school (Ofsted 2008) and overseen the move from the 100 year old school in Basingstoke Road to the state of the art centre in Tilehurst. She helped in the design which the architect, a specialist designer of special schools, who says ranks as a national leader.
Sue has steered the school to achieving a number of major awards including the prestigious Specialist Status for Performing Arts and The Full International School Award, which has involved developing international links. The school is twinned with The Sunshine School in St Vincent and The Grenadines in The Caribbean.
The school currently (2008) houses around 85 pupils, and approximately the same number of staff! The staff is made up of teachers, classroom assistants, nurses, physiotherapists, specialists in hearing impairment and visual impairment, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, cooks, lunchtime controllers, caretakers and administration staff.
Pupils range in age from 2 to 19 years, and follow the National Curriculum. They make regular trips to theatres, museums, and parks, and enjoy PGL holidays in Devon or South Wales. Pupils never cease to make us proud, giving their all in theatrical performances to parents, other schools and dignitaries, or taking part in and very often winning sporting events. Staff are overjoyed to see the number of pupils who are now leaving school to take up employment, or to follow a course at college, and those who return to visit and tell us how they miss the school and how they loved it.
The many specialist teams work together to provide an innovative and creative curriculum delivered through some highly specialised techniques. The staff are trained to a high standard and are very focused on the individual needs of pupils. We have received many awards for our work and this year we have been awarded the very prestigious Specialist Status for Performing Arts – Dance, Music and Drama – an award of which we are all proud. The school is also the first in Reading to gain The Inclusion Quality Mark and its work in this area has been recognised as outstanding. Pupils are given many opportunities to show their skills and celebrate together and the school has a wonderful atmosphere. Hard work and enjoyment go hand in hand as you will see if you explore the pages of our website: www.avenue.reading.sch.uk
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