Skip to main content

Woodhouse Primary Academy wins national award

Woodhouse Primary Academy in Birmingham has won a national award in recognition of the innovative ways its Rainbow Room team engages children on the autism spectrum in learning.

The team were presented the Award for Inspirational Education Provision (Primary) at the fourth annual Autism Professionals Awards at Telford International Centre (1 March 2016).

The National Autistic Society (NAS) event, sponsored by Axcis Education Recruitment, was hosted by comedian Janey Godley and Janet Corcoran, a parent of an autistic adult and trustee of the charity. They handed out 13 awards to individuals and teams, including Woodhouse Primary Academy, who are doing innovative work in the field of autism and having a positive impact on autistic people and their families in the UK.

There were 217 nominations for this year’s awards, which were whittled down to 37 finalists and 13 winners by an independent panel of 11 autism experts who judged each on their innovation, creativity, impact and sustainability.

The Rainbow Room team’s most recent project was working with artist, Hilary Baker, to create a film based on the theme of ‘transformation’. This project aimed to develop the children’s communication skills, story writing, and computer skills and gave each student the opportunity to create their own transformation story, something which they had never done before and gave everyone a huge sense of achievement and increased confidence.

Pam Willetts, Executive Head Teacher, at Woodhouse Primary Academy said: "It’s important to us at Woodhouse Primary to make sure that autistic children in our school are not isolated from their peers because of any extra needs they may have.

For us, the Rainbow Room is about striking that balance between making learning enjoyable and fun, and keeping the children integrated with their peers as well as receiving the extra support they need in education and thanks to a great team we were able to achieve this!

Making the video was such a wonderful project for everyone, and we’re absolutely honoured that we won the award.”

Carol Povey, Director of The National Autistic Society's Centre for Autism, said: "This year’s awards were the biggest yet, with a record 217 nominations showing the range of amazing work going on across the UK to improve the lives of people on the autism spectrum and their families. Woodhouse Primary Academy did remarkably well to stand out in this highly competitive field, impressing the judges with their innovative approach to teaching autistic students.

“I’m always struck by the huge impact that knowledgeable and understanding individuals and services can have on autistic people and their families. This is true of each and every one of the award finalists and winners, including Woodhouse Primary Academy. I hope their achievements will inspire other professionals and services in the area to improve their own autism practice.”