Ashton is a co-educational, multi-denominational school which supports pupils with a wide range of Additional Support Needs from all over Glasgow City and some neighbouring authorities. The school is housed in purpose built accommodation with spacious grounds and adapted facilities. The school was extensively refurbished and opened in 2015 following the closure of Ashcraig Secondary and Milton Secondary. In addition to well-equipped classrooms and comprehensive teaching facilities for young people with a range of learning needs, there are practical subject areas including art, technical and home economics. The school also has a large games hall, swimming pool, outdoor learning spaces, library, multi-sensory room and open relaxation areas. All of the above is organised into 6 zones, with each reflecting a different learning purpose. In Ashton secondary we have developed a culture of continuous improvement driven by the understanding that for our pupils with severe and complex additional support needs, communication, social skills and independence are at the heart of inclusion in their immediate, local and wider community.
Through strategic planning, professional dialogue involving pupils, parents and partners, we have created a culture where the whole school community is involved in improving our environment, developing our knowledge and understanding and raising our expectations to ensure that all our children and young people are included, respected, involved in their learning, their health and experiences for wider achievement.
At our heart lies the aspiration that our learners will be facilitated to be a successful learner, a confident individual, a responsible citizen and an effective contributor and these are the firm foundations of our national curriculum to which we adhere. Our young people are a wide group of learners who often require adaptation to the curriculum and a more nuanced understanding of how they learn to track their progression in a meaningful way ensuring they are prepared for life in 21st century Scotland.
Since 2016 we have embarked on creating a Nurturing environment which has made connections between different aspects of learning for ustainability.
Glasgow City council is immersed in Nurture and has encouraged all their establishments to develop practice which ensures that the 6 principles are embedded in daily practice.
Professional Dialogue between staff raised the profile of Nurture and staff identified with colleagues across Glasgow who were also attempting to develop their culture. Leaders of Learning within the school created energy and enthusiasm towards delivering a whole school approach which has embedded our priority of developing our pupils as global citizens.
Staff who had responsibility for individual aspects of the priority engaged in strategic planning examined ways which would ensure learning experiences across the curriculum highlighted the 6 principles of Nurture. They sought evidence of current practice, created a GAP analysis and an
Action Plan and identified a time-line for engaging with parents, partners and the school’s wider community.
The school started to realise the need to develop the capacity of the staff in relation to the developmental aspects of teaching and learning, the theories and practice associated with relationship based learning. Our nurturing approach recognises that positive relationships are central to both learning and wellbeing. A key aspect of a nurturing approach is an understanding of
attachment theory and how early experiences can have a significant impact on development.