New unit launched at Sidestrand Hall School, near Cromer, for children with Asperger Syndrome

Sidestrand Hall special school opens it newly built Aspergers unit pictured is Picture: MARK BULLIMO

Sidestrand Hall special school opens it newly built Aspergers unit pictured is Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A cooking area, vegetable patch, and break-out room are part of a north Norfolk school's new custom-built unit for children with Asperger Syndrome.

Sidestrand Hall special school opens it newly built Aspergers unit pictured is Picture: MARK BULLIMO

Sidestrand Hall special school opens it newly built Aspergers unit pictured is Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Complex-needs school Sidestrand Hall, near Cromer, has launched its new six-pupil classroom, which was built thanks to £255,000 from Norfolk County Council.

Now the primary age children, who have struggled in main-stream school, can keep up with the national curriculum under the watchful eye of a dedicated team led by classroom teacher Dani Winteringham.

Nine-year-old Thomas Hobart, from Bradwell, had been to three other schools before he joined Sidestrand in October, has become more settled, according to parents Catherine and Matt.

'It is nice knowing where he is going and that he is happy,' said Mrs Hobart, 39. 'He says he has found a school which is right for him.'


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School headteacher Sarah Macro said the six boys at the new unit had high abilities, but had anxieties which were increased by being around more people.

'Here they have the time and the space,' she added.

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'It is showing these children can achieve and make progress in the right setting.'

Teacher Ms Winteringham, who is helped by three support staff, said: 'The boys are so much more independent in this classroom.

She added: 'Although behaviour is still an issue they are more settled in here. They are accessing the curriculum and have made progress academically and socially.'

While the six boys currently at the unit make use of the new facilities, which includes a new computer area, older students with Asperger Syndrome at the school have also benefitted from a refurbished classroom.

Sidestrand Hall School looks after children from age seven to 19.

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