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Cumbria Academy
for Autism


Despite our size, relative to that of a mainstream setting, we are planning to have a wealth of provision available to our learners.   Extensive learning facilities combined with therapy areas and a multitude of engaging outdoor spaces will ensure we offer our students the very best learning environment.  All areas of the school will be autism friendly spaces and will be designed to link fully with our curriculum. 



Used to explicitly teach our students skills for future independence, the flat will comprise a living room with TV and sofas, a domestic kitchen with cooking and washing facilities and a toilet/shower room.

immersion studio

This space will enable students to experience the world from the safety and security of their school.  Using Virtual Reality and immersive technology our young people will learn valuable life skills such as navigating their communities, video-modelling real life situations (e.g. shopping in supermarkets, using public transport)  and experiencing different work environments. Academic learning will also come alive as our students relive history, take field trips to far off countries or explore our oceans!


A small café style dining area will be an integral feature of the school’s  design.  Here students can learn to order and collect their food, find seats and handle money.  Older students may also run community sessions here and sell homemade produce, developing entrepreneurial and commercial skills. 

upper & lower school common rooms

Upper and Lower Common Rooms: Students will have opportunities to socialise and spend time building friendships and relationships with peers.  Toys, games consoles, TVs and sofas will be used to create a welcoming environment which mimics that of home.



Teaching classrooms will be predominantly low-stimulation environments. Every classroom will connect to an individual learning area for times when children need some time apart to learn.  All classrooms will access safe and secure outdoor areas, will have dedicated cloakroom space and toileting facilities.


The IT suite will have dedicated workstations with 3D print capability and a   variety of software to engage every  student in their learning.   Programming, robotics and animation are just some of the exciting subject areas that will be delivered here.


A central feature of the school will be an open library area with the addition of an electronic loan service, comfy reading pods and story spaces. Children can relax on a bean bag and feel at home here with an iPad or book, whilst still being fully engaged in learning.


These will include a fully equipped science lab, a food technology studio and music room. 


A sports hall will be used to develop understanding of team games and sports.  Children will also have a safe indoor space to run and play.  They will be able to      experience a variety of sports, all from the safety and familiarity of school.



The Sensory Gym will work to provide essential proprioceptive and vestibular input for our students.  Our therapy team will deliver engaging sessions to students, helping develop their sensory, communication and motor skills.


The school will offer two sensory rooms, one for upper school and  another for lower school.  These will be age appropriate and provide quiet space for       escape and relaxation. 


The school will feature wide functional circulation spaces with individual break-out pods,  and areas for interaction and play, such as lego walls.


The outdoor spaces reflect our commitment to deliver learning in a  variety of environments, tailored to meet the needs of our learners.

For the younger students an adventure playground will provide an opportunity to develop essential social skills and  improve gross motor skills.

A traversing wall, outdoor gym, Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) and cycle track will also ensure that our older students have access to a variety of outside play opportunities.

With Forest Schools provision, allotments and a sensory garden, the school will cater to the needs and interests of every student.