Preparing for adulthood curriculum

Ascent Autism Specialist College is a specialist education institution committed to providing expert support to students with autism, focusing on achieving the very best outcomes.

Ascent College multi-disciplinary team has expertise in supporting social communication, sensory integration, behaviour and emotional needs within a life and functional skills-based core curriculum.

Preparing for Adulthood

Ascent College is dedicated to providing expert specialist education to students with autism, our focus is upon achieving the very best outcomes. Ascent college supports young people with autism to fulfil their own unique potential, we provide this through safe and nurturing education environments that meet the full range of young people’s needs.

Health and Fitness:

Students are supported to manage their own health as they move into adulthood.  By managing physical activity, the students are supported to improve their social skills.  Physical skills include balance, body coordination, visual-motor control and other mobility skills. Students at Ascent College are encouraged to embrace the benefits of Health and Fitness opportunities in their lives.

Friends, Relationships and Community:

Students have opportunities to spend time with their peers in a range of experiential learning experiences both within and outside of college. They are supported to develop and maintain friendships and relationships. They can access their community and feel safe and confident.


Students are highly supported to access clear, evidence-based employment pathways with opportunities for volunteering, working with local community groups, transitioning onto supported internships, traineeships and apprenticeships. The aim is to help young adults with their vocational decision-making.

Independent Living Skills:

Students are supported in the areas highlighted below in order to function to the best of their ability independently.  Students gain practical, everyday skills needed to function and meet the demands of their environment, including the skills necessary to effectively and independently take care of themselves and to interact with other people.

  • Personal Hygiene.
  • Dressing and Clothing Care.
  • Health Care.
  • Cooking, Eating, Nutrition.
  • Home Management and Home Safety.
  • Financial Management.
  • Personal Growth, Awareness, and Problem Solving.
  • Community Access.

Delivering the Ascent Curriculum

Our Expertise

  • Supporting students with autistic spectrum disorder and associated behaviour
  • Supporting students’ emotional development
  • In meeting the needs of students with severe learning difficulties
  • In facilitating students to develop strategies to promote appropriate behaviour
  • In supporting students with autism achieve the life they want.
  • Our support is personalised to each individual.
  • Our support is based on an understanding of how each student learns and what their behaviours of concern mean to them.


  • In-house speech and language therapy
  • Opportunities to improve and develop communication skills through the use of:

Alternative and Augmentative Communication aids

  • In-house occupational therapy
  • Opportunities to develop self-regulatory and self-modulatory behaviour
  • Using sensory approaches complemented by therapeutic input from the partnership working of the therapy and education team. There is a strong emphasis on encouraging and responding to communicative intentions.
  • Joint therapy and education 1:1 tutorials to ascertain the goals and aspirations of students, to support the student voice and their ability to make own choices.
  • Music Therapy
  • Rebound Therapy

Occupational Learning

  • A work placement scheme with blue chip companies, such as, Veolia, Mercure Hotel, Marks and Spencer, Amazon, Co – Op
  • Positive involvement in community engagement activities with local groups, such as, Earlestown Cricket Club, Newton Community Centre, Holiday Inn, Enovert and Haydock Park Racecourse
  • Careers guidance and support
  • Students are supported to explore a range of vocational employment opportunities using internal and external work experience and social enterprises. Students can develop employability skills through practical tasks and real work placements


  • A programme to help students look after themselves more independently:
  • Looking after yourself, paying bills, Laundry, Food prep, Accessing leisure, Shopping, Socialising
  • Opportunities to prepare for and explore a range of living options after college
  • Opportunities to take part in a wide range of social, leisure and sporting activities
  • A transition programme into supported living
  • Lakeside staff support students to have as independent a life as possible after college. We promote a range of self-help skills that will improve the quality of life for the students by giving them practical support in developing their independence skills.


  • Opportunities to attend local (to the student) colleges with support
  • Opportunities to work towards relevant employability qualifications on a person-centred pathway
  • A programme to enable students to learn more about themselves and develop social skills and learn about relationships
  • Opportunities for students to participate in community activities and to learn about British Values
  • We develop personalised learning opportunities reflecting the outcomes set out in an Educational, Health and Care Plan
  • We recognise that the skill levels of our students are varied and therefore we facilitate a differentiated offer underpinned by person centred planning.
  • The Lakeside curriculum offer is framed within the four pathways of the Preparing for Adulthood Agenda: Employment, Health and Fitness, Independent Living Skills, Community, Friends and Relationships.
  • Functional skills such as English, maths, communication, information and communications technology (ICT) and independence skills, are fostered and embedded throughout the entire curriculum.


  • We take our responsibility for safeguarding our students at risk seriously. We have designated safeguarding leads and robust practices in place to ensure student safety.
  • Through our safeguarding policies and our PREVENT policy, we enable our students to be safe from extremism and radicalisation.

Employment skills

Employability, supported internship and access to HE accredited learning routes develop the below skills

A positive attitude is important when dealing with members of the public at events.

Working with animals helps with wellbeing and lowers stress.

Students are encouraged to look smart at their placements.

Students check the departure information at Lime Street Station.

Communication is important to develop friendships and socialise.

Developing teamwork is a lot of fun.

Teamwork is an important part of working at the foodbank.

Students take ownership of their study and recreational time.

Food preparation helps develop organisational skills.

Travel training requires students to be independent learners.

Students learn lots of new skills including riding a bike safely on the road.

Students get involved with serving customers in the café

Personal study enhances students’ thinking skills.

Students undertake a range of diverse placements depending on their aspirations.

Student Life

Student named DoE ‘Voice of Neurodiversity’ Youth Ambassador

Student named Duke of Edinburgh’s Youth Ambassador Ascent Autism Specialist College student, Courtney, has been chosen as the voice of neurodiversity for the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Youth Ambassador programme. The DofE UK Youth Ambassador programme involves a...