What and where is Beechwood College?
Situated by the coast in the scenic Vale of Glamorgan, Beechwood College is a further education college dedicated to supporting young people and adults (age 18+) with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
We are proud to be a multi-award winning College, with numerous Wales Care Awards for our achievements in care, and a Careers Wales Quality Mark for demonstrating consistently high standards in education.
At Beechwood College we are passionate that young people must be supported and encouraged to achieve their full potential in pursuit of their individual goals and aspirations.
Who attends Beechwood College?
Our student body (age 18+) represents the breadth of the autistic spectrum including Asperger’s Syndrome and we specialise in supporting the unique combinations of clinical, physical, learning, sensory, social and emotional needs of all of our students. Education is meaningful and experiential, and our learning environment promotes the students’ well-being, quality of life, and their ability to live a fulfilling adult life as independently as possible.
Students range from being classically autistic with a severe learning disability and complex sensory, behavioural and clinical needs, to being high functioning and relatively independent individuals, but with social and emotional vulnerabilities, often working towards a BTEC and experiencing the world of work.
How many students do you have?
Beechwood College is relatively small and specialised, offering education for up to 53 residential students and around 20 day students.
Do you offer a full residential package?
Yes, in addition to day placements and Monday to Friday weekly boarding options we can also offer a full 52-week residential package.
How long is a placement?
A typical placement in College is three years. Some students are here for a shorter period whilst others may be here longer. This is determined by individual circumstances and the availability of funds.
Do all students have an official diagnosis of autism?
No, some of our students are undiagnosed but have autistic behaviours and traits and would benefit from our structured support and environment.
We pride ourselves in accommodating a wide range of needs and provide appropriate education and care on an individual basis.
What do students learn whilst they are at the College?
We offer a broad curriculum that combines essential and functional skills, life and independence skills, with work-related learning and a range of subjects designed to tap into the students’ interests. From pre-entry level ASDAN up to BTEC level 2 qualifications, there are courses for all of our students regardless of their academic ability.
All of our students have a tailor-made person-centred learning plan and so essentially no two students are doing exactly the same things. Indeed, each student is unique, with their own interests, skills, potential, needs and abilities, likes and dislikes, strengths and personalities, so their learning plan reflects this.
What do students do in their free time in the evenings, on weekends and during the College holidays?
The College offers a wide range of leisure opportunities.
Each student is encouraged and supported to go out and about as much as possible – cinema visits, bowling, trips to the local leisure centre, meals out or day trips to theme parks, shopping, hiking, and even camping.
Do you offer any transition options when a student leaves?
For students leaving College, we are able to offer effective transition to a placement within one of our specialist Ocean Community Services (OCS) homes across South East Wales and the South West.
Each of our OCS community homes is set within a local community, ensuring excellent opportunities to utilise a wide range of social, leisure and occupational activities, where the model of care and support is consistent with that of the College. Students can also continue to have access to the College for certain interests and, where appropriate, to the same clinicians and carers. The aim is to help make the step from College as smooth as possible for our leavers as well as their families.
Click for more details about Ocean Community Services