A member of
Insignis Academy Trust

Insignis Academy Trust currently consists of Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School and Princes Risborough School, however, its purpose is to work with other schools to create a significant enhancement to the education of students in and around Aylesbury.

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Princes Risborough School

Princes Risborough School

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Communications Base

Head of Department - Mrs M Hussey


What is meant by the term 'Autism Spectrum Disorder'? Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder which affects social interaction, language and communication. Students with ASD may have difficulties in the following areas:

  • Interacting with others appropriately, and understanding the perspective of other people.
  • Using both non-verbal (body language and gesture) and verbal communication.
  • Generalising what they have been taught to other situations.
  • Thinking imaginatively
  • Sensory processing
  • Emotional understanding

The Communications Base is part of Princes Risborough School. The purpose of the Base is to provide classroom support, differentiated teaching where appropriate and targeted provisions, such as SALT and social communication skills development, to students who have been identified as being on the Autism Spectrum. All students attached to the Base are included in the academic and social life of Princes Risborough School and there is close liaison between mainstream and Communications Base staff to ensure this works successfully.

The Base is located in a purpose-built suite on the main school campus. It offers a calm and structured environment from which students go out to join their peers in the classroom and other settings during the school day. The Base is there to ensure that students attached to the Base have full access to the National Curriculum, receiving their education wherever possible together with their peers in the mainstream classroom.

On the rare occasion where integration into the regular classroom is not deemed appropriate for an individual or small group, the lesson takes place within the Base. Our aim, however is to integrate the students wherever possible, providing the level of support appropriate to their needs.   

Staffing and Provision

Support in the classroom, and occasionally subject teaching within the Base if appropriate, is provided by a committed team of a specialist teacher and learning support assistants. A Speech and Language Therapist is part of the team working with students for whom this provision is specified in the Education, Health and Care Plan. She also devises, monitors and evaluates the Social Communication Skills development. The therapist works closely with Communications Base staff, setting appropriate targets which are then worked on with the students by Base staff as well as the Therapist.

Students' academic and social progress,  and the provisions in place to meet their needs, are monitored by Communications Base staff and provision is adjusted accordingly where necessary. This is overseen by the Head of the Base. 

Working With Parents

Partnership with parents is a vital aspect of our work in the Communications Base. Sharing information and perceptions will enhance our understanding of the students and subsequently our ability to support and further their development. Frequent contact is maintained through email or telephone. 

Visits to the School

The Communications Base welcomes visits from prospective parents. Please contact the Teacher-in-charge, Mrs Morag Hussey, to make an appointment.   

Learning Support

Head of Department - Mrs L Williams


The school is fully committed to supporting students who have special educational needs. We aim for them to learn and achieve to their full potential. We work following the Code of Practice and the graduated approach.

The Learning Support Department is run by The Head of Department, a Literacy Tutor and a strong team of dedicated Learning Assistants. The assistants are motivated in supporting students academically, socially and emotionally. There is a continued professional development programme in place to maintain high standards of work. 

Our Literacy Tutor runs specialised literacy programmes to improve students reading and spelling ages. Learning Assistants tend to specialise either within a subject, supporting many students across most year groups or focusing upon supporting students in a specific year group, moving up with them through the school. 

Teaching and Learning

Once students have been identified as having a special need, their individual needs are addressed through one or more of the interventions offered in school.  Students are added to the Inclusion List and strategies are available to all members of staff in the school.

Support may include:

  • In-class support – To enable students with identified needs to have access to the curriculum and to increase their progress.
  • Specific interventions – these target differing areas of need such as literacy, numeracy and social skills to name but a few.
  • Keyworker and Co Tutor support – Point of contact for individual students.
  • Targeted support – specific issues like anger management, self-esteem and anxiety.


 The Classroom


The department has two classrooms which offer a calm and organised learning environment where students can receive additional support and teaching. There are computers for students to use as well as a small suite of Alpha Smart & Netbook computers for students to sign out and take to lessons to use.

In the classroom, there are also drawers where some students can store their books and PE kit and receive help for organisation skills.

The diagram below summarises the variety of support and activities that take place in the department. 

The Outreach Room

This room is used for mentoring and social skills work with students. It is also the area where outside agencies come to work with students.

Department staff liaise closely with outside agencies, in order to maximise support for students with specific learning difficulties. The Outreach Room is an area where students can meet with therapists, usually only if specified on statements of SEN or EHCPs such as:

  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Communication and Interaction team
  • Cognition and Learning team
  • Specialist Teaching Service
  • Bucks County SEND Team

 Other Links/Information

Partnership with parents is a vital aspect of our work in the Learning Support Department. 
The Learning Support Department welcomes visits from prospective parents.

Please contact Mrs Linda Williams, Head of Department/SENCO Lead or Mrs Glenys Bowyer, Admin support for Inclusion, to make an appointment.

Telephone: (01844) 345496
FAX: (01844) 346147
Email: lwilliams@prsbucks.com




Head of Department - Mrs S Hine


The school is fully committed to offering pastoral support to all pupils. In most instances, this is undertaken by form tutors, teachers and Heads of Year. In some cases pupils may need additional support to deal with specific emotionally challenging situations or help with displaying positive behaviour; the Pastoral Team are available to offer this support. The teamwork alongside Heads of Year and the SEND team to ensure that the correct interventions are put into place to allow for academic success whilst also supporting the emotional needs of pupils.

The team consists of the Pastoral Manager, 2 Raising Achievement Officers who are assigned to year groups and an Attendance Officer. The team run tailored interventions for identified small groups or individuals which are reviewed regularly. They will also mentor as appropriate and offer wise words and guidance as necessary. 

Despite the strong team, complex and extreme situations require additional professional support. Therefore, a key role of the Pastoral Team is also to work with External Agencies, ensuring that the appropriate teams are working with the individuals or families.