Who Is The Melrose For?

The Melrose Centre is an additionally resourced provision, which is part of Longbenton Community College. The Centre is for secondary aged students who have a statement of special needs which identifies their core difficulty as Autism Spectrum Disorder. The students also have additional problems with their learning. These additional difficulties are predominantly Moderate Learning Difficulties. However, we also cater for students whose ASD makes their inclusion in the mainstream difficult despite their academic ability.

What are our aims and values?

We aim to create a safe, secure and happy environment to enable our students to learn to the best of their ability. Every student is considered an individual with their own specific needs. We aim to enable our students to understand themselves in order to help them cope with their ASD. We aim to teach them skills to enable them to cope with the challenges of the world around them.


The Staff are made up of, a head of Centre, three teachers and seven support staff.


The students are organised into classes by Key Stage; that is three classes, KS3, KS4 and Post 16 or Sixth Form. Where staffing allows we also have individual tuition to deal with specific areas of difficulty.

Students follow a modified national curriculum in the lower years. This is presented as themes in Key Stage 3. Where the opportunity presents we do include students into classes with mainstream peers as outlined below.

In Key stage 4 the students mainly follow ASDAN bronze award. We also enter students for other qualifications dependent upon their individual ability. This can mean that an individual or small group might join a mainstream class for one or more subjects.

Post 16 students follow the ASDAN CoPE Award and will again have access to other qualifications according to their individual needs and abilities. A key feature of this phase of the students’ education will be preparation for the next stage of their life.

Throughout their time in the Melrose Centre students will be helped to face the social and emotional difficulties that their condition presents. There is a sensory curriculum which will vary according to individual need. There will also be autism specific elements to the curriculum to enable the students to understand themselves and so develop their coping strategies and emotional resilience. Again, this will be delivered according to need and individual ability to understand the issues being addressed.


We recognise that the ASD experienced by our students and their other difficulties, makes inclusion into the mainstream difficult. We will include as much as possible, but on an individual basis and only if the individual is able to cope.

All students can have some lessons with mainstream staff as part of a Melrose Centre student group. All students have the opportunity to eat in the College Canteen alongside their mainstream peers.

If a student shows ability within a subject area and they can cope socially, we will place them in a mainstream class. This would always be supported initially and may have to be supported continuously.

Students from the mainstream access the Centre for a number of reasons. Some are part of clubs that take place on Tuesday afternoon when the mainstream of College closes for staff training, (Melrose remains open for all years). Other mainstream students also may come into the Centre on work placement or voluntarily for example to hear student read.

The mainstream students are taught about ASD as part of their curriculum and so have some appreciation of the challenges our students face. We have found the mainstream students to be very understanding and supportive of our students.

Dealing with challenging behaviour

High expectations are set regarding individual student behaviour. Students and staff are entitled to a safe and positive environment to work in. Challenging behaviour will be dealt with according to agreed plans. Every instance of unacceptable behaviour will result in a consequence. These consequences may vary according to the needs of each individual and their ability to understand and be aware of their own actions. In some cases individuals may be kept back after school then returned home by staff.

School day

0815 –   Students arrive  08.45 Into class.  Students will join mainstream assemblies on a rota basis.

0845 – 0920    Tutor time, IEP individual work

09.20 – 10.15 P1   10.15 –10.30   Break

10.30 – 11.50 P2a/b     11.50 -12 Choice and prep for lunch

12 – 1230 lunch in canteen (Teaching staff)

12.30 – 1.10 students break on yard

1.10 – 1.50 P3

1.50 – 2.30 P4

2.30 – 3.10 Circle time and Finish.

Key dates

IEPs are written linked with OT and SLT services three times per year.

SEN reviews will take place in the Autumn and early Spring Terms

Pivats  level updates termly.

October – residential visit to Bendrigg Lodge (Outdoor Education Centre)

December – Music Festival

July – Pyramids Schools Music Festival

Wider links

We work closely with the Speech and Language, Occupational Health and Connexions Services.  We have the support of a school Nurse.

Close liaison takes place between the Melrose and Respite care placements, (Addison Street and Heatherfield Mews).

We recognise the difficulties faced by the parents of our students and so support them as far as possible. We offer a ‘Time for parents’ meeting once each half term. This takes place in the Centre from 4.30 to 5.30. The aim of this is for parent to be able to help each other and share experiences.

A residential experience takes place for one week each October at Bendrigg Lodge. Details of this centre can be found by looking at Bendrigg Trust.

For further information contact Brett Maclennan at the school
(0191) 218 9500 extension 298