The team at Autism Anglia’s Doucecroft School in Colchester have been celebrating as they shared the wonderful news with students that they have gained level 2 qualifications and GCSEs in English, Maths and Science.

We are delighted to report that 100% of pupils who sat GCSE exams this year passed. We were particularly delighted to see that some pupils achieved exceptional grades of Level 4 and above.

Doucecroft school is a school for children and young people with autism and additional complex needs, age 3 –19 years.

The school has always offered functional skills qualifications and only more recently GCSEs, which have seen students excel and realise their full potential.

Ewan stands with teachers from Doucecroft after receiving his GCSE results

Headteacher, Louise Parkinson, said “We are all absolutely delighted for the students that undertook these exams and are proud to share their success with them.”

“All the staff at Doucecroft believe that children with autism or any learning difficulty should have the same chances as everyone else and can achieve as high as they can and want to. It is through determination and hard work that our students have been able to achieve so highly this year and we are thrilled for them. We know just how much each pupil has put in to these exams and to see it pay off is what drives us.”

Hayley Kersey, Assistant Headteacher, says “Students at Doucecroft face a vast range of barriers to learning and work incredibly hard to overcome these. Sitting formalised exams under the strict conditions outlined by JCQ poses many difficulties and anxieties. We are incredibly proud of all our students who have approached their exams with maturity and commitment.”

Hayley goes on to say “As a school we are incredibly proud of the journey we have been on over the past 4 years and the improved outcomes for pupils we continue to see.”

These exams and results have built a level of resilience and confidence into the students which they may not have been able to achieve in a mainstream school. The teaching at Doucecroft is vastly different to most whereby students are taught not only the curriculum, but ways to manage heightened emotions.

Pupils know that they can take time out of lessons whenever they need to regulate, and the staff team do an excellent job of ensuring that the school is a safe space for all who attend through the use of sensory rooms and animal therapy to name a few.

It is this person-centred approach which makes Doucecroft stand out and warrant its ‘Good’ OFSTED rating.

Doucecroft school is run by the charity Autism Anglia that offers services and provisions for autistic children, adults, and their families across East Anglia.

James McQuiggan, CEO of Autism Anglia, said “This year’s results are proof of not only the hard work of the students, but the brilliant staff team we have at Doucecroft. Dedication to achieve the best outcomes possible is engrained into the team and the care, support, and energy they provide to the students is something we should all applaud. A huge congratulations to the pupils who got their results, you should be so proud of yourselves, and we are all incredibly proud of you.”

Massive well done to all concerned!