Year 1 Undergraduate Students spent a very worthwhile afternoon in a local school for children with Special Educational Needs.  Rowan Park School is an Outstanding School, meeting the needs of up to 126 pupils aged 3 to 19 years, with severe, complex, profound and multiple learning difficulties, ASC and sensory impairments.

Students studying to be Secondary RE teachers at Edge Hill were met by the Deputy Headteacher, Cathy Harley.  She gave an overview of the work of the school before leading students on a tour of the school.  We started at the youngest end of the school, where the butterflies, who may be as young as 3 spend their school time.  We finished up at the Oldest End – where the 6th Form students have their common room – and heard about the plans for expansion. In between we saw all manner of brilliant teaching going on, with specialist rooms for children with syndromes such as Autism, the hydrotherapy pool, and the dark and light sensory rooms.

We were struck by the patience, dedication and skill of the staff, and were challenged to think how this form of education could help us to become outstanding teachers.  A number of students expressed a desire to have a placement – or some enhancement time – in a school like Rowan Park.  This is something that we will endeavour to arrange; we have had RE students placed at the school for the last couple of years who have had a wonderful experience with fantastic outcomes and gone on to secure employment quickly at the end of their course.