A mere six months into the year, the Grace Wing at Ashton is ready for further growth. The Grace Wing opened its doors to students aged 3 – 6 in one class of eight in January 2015. The Grace Wing – Ashton College’s own inclusive autism unit – is sheltered within the Ashlings Early Learning Centre at Ashton International College, Ballito, serving children on the Autism Spectrum and related disorders. Our trans-disciplinary team makes use of an eclectic blend of international best practice in autism specific curriculum delivery and therapy to support our students’ journey into inclusive, mainstream education.
CEO Mr André Buys said “At Ashton, we believe that every child has the potential to achieve and the right to an education. We understand that each student has a distinctive learning style and the Grace Wing strives to provide a structured, nurturing environment uniquely suited to the learning strengths of our students, whilst giving our students both the skills they need to thrive in a mainstream classroom as well as the opportunity to do so at their own pace .”
Staffing falls under the expertise of Tam Bennett, who is assisted by individually trained teachers, teachers’ assistants, fully qualified Occupational Therapists and Speech Therapists who are on campus full time.
“We are extremely excited about the exceptional success of the Grace Wing in this unique facility in Kwa-Zulu Natal,” said Tam Bennett. “We know that students of the Grace Wing learn at different rates in different areas. Our carousel system supports this. As our students master skills in each learning area, they are rotated into a mainstream class of their peers and rotated back into the Grace Wing classrooms for the learning areas where more individualised support is required. As our students become more proficient in additional learning areas, more time is spent in mainstream classes with the long term goal being full time inclusion in Ashton College.”
In addition the facilities of Ashton are at the disposal of the students. These include a music programme, sport development programme, specialised FLUX programme, horse riding and a parent support and training programme. “We are extending an invitation to potential parents of students to visit the Grace Wing on 19 or 20 June, from 09h00 to 10h30. Our Admissions Office is open for queries from 08h00 to 15h00 daily and may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephonically on 032 946 2096,” added Mrs Holmes, Head of the Junior College.