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Case Study: Autism students excel in IT course at Harrow College

IT Stella story Jan17 web

A group of students with varying levels of Autism have recently proven that with determination, passion and teacher support, achieving your educational goal is always possible.

The OCR Level 2 Extended Certificate in IT group consists of 10 students, focussing primarily on Game Design & Development and Animation units. They are based at the Harrow Weald campus however spend a day at the Harrow on the Hill campus once a week (where most will be based next year) to support their campus / course transition.

The group deliberately has only one main lecturer - Stella Polydorou (although they have different maths and English lecturers) - having only one lecturer helps alleviate their anxiety and stress. There are also 2 Learning and Support Assistants in every lesson so student support is always high.

Stella uses her specialised dyslexic training techniques in each lesson and adapts them according to each student’s different learning style. A great benefit of smaller group sizes is the one-to-one focus each student receives each day meaning Stella is able to understand how each student prefers to work and how to maximise their output.

Social skills training is also incorporated within the curriculum as well as active listening and speaking exercises. A significant improvement in communication and social skills has been recorded in all of Stella’s students. There is a great work ethic within the group and attendance is excellent. More so, all students to date have achieved a Distinction level in the Gaming unit.

Scott O'Brien, one of the students from the groups said:

“I was really apprehensive about joining Harrow College and a new class as I have social and communication difficulties and do not like change. It took 2 months to feel comfortable with my lecturer, support staff and my class friends. I now feel I belong to my group, I can now talk to other students, and even go lunch with 3 of them, which is a great social progress for me and this is because of how the group is formed and how the teachers help us communicate with each other”

Click here for more information on IT courses at Harrow College.

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