12:29 pm, Friday, 22nd March 2024

Local children thrive at special provision ‘Launchpad’

“I love how Launchpad has provided a safe and happy environment

for all the children, with many different activities catering to their individuality.”

In 2023 the Local Authority opened a new specialist provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at Littlecoates Primary Academy, a mainstream setting in Grimsby.

Launchpad offers specialised support to students with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Families have praised Launchpad saying how much the resources and support have helped their children to progress.

Parents and carers commented on the transition to primary school, tailored support within the class setting and the positive experience children are having in the school.

Staff also shared their experience saying how much they value working with the children and seeing them flourish.

Read what they had to say.


Colby’s parents shared the positive experience their son has had at Launchpad.

They said, “You and your team are wonderful. I feel like we have won the lottery having a place for my son at Launchpad. 

“From the start, the transition from nursery to primary went smoothly with minimal distress to him.

“He loves coming to school.

“I also like the consideration to awareness days. For example, in October Launchpad raised awareness for Phelan-McDermid syndrome (PMS) that made me cry happy tears.

Commenting on some of the strategies used to help students the parent said:

“I’m also impressed with how you set realistic goals based on his EHCP.

“He is able to participate in learning by having his tasks broken down into simple steps.

“As a parent I felt that you listened to our concerns. Communication has been exceptional. We get updates daily through class Dojo or email.

“The support that you made us aware of such as toileting, and Makaton for communication, has been invaluable.

“Thank you for all that you do.”


Makaton has helped Fliss to communicate better and is just one of the ways the school and family work together to ensure a consistent approach in both settings.

Fliss’s parents said, “Since Fliss started at the launchpad, we as a family can see how much she has come on, especially in her speech.

“Thanks to Launchpad she is now accessing speech therapy and they have managed to provide a Makaton course for parents at a reduced rate.

“I have found that Fliss reacts very well to Makaton and I found the course very informative.

“Having access to Makaton means that there is consistency between school where they use it to communicate with her, and home. By working together Fliss will only flourish.

“I love how Launchpad has provided a safe and happy environment for all the

children, with many different activities catering to their individuality.”

“As Fliss is a very happy and bubbly child, the worry as a parent of a SEN child isthat being placed in a setting, she would become unhappy but not have the 

ability to verbalise why.

“Fliss was one of the first 6 students in June 2023 and she is still just as happy and bubbly. This is how I know as a parent that she is coping well and enjoying going to school.

“We feel so very lucky that Fliss got a placement here because she is thriving, healthy and happy.

“We hope to see more like this in our area for local SEN children because Launchpad has proven that it works and is definitely needed.”

“We are not here to change children, we are here to help them find the best ways to show the world who they are.”

Launchpad staff said:

“I feel very honoured to have been a part of this project from its inception. It was very evident that something had to be done to help the children from across our borough.

“It was a long process, but this ensured that what we created was right for those children that needed it.

“Have we made mistakes, yes, have we learnt from those mistakes and improved, yes. This process is something that takes time to accept.

“I occasionally have to remind the staff, after those really tough days, of our journey so far, where we are now compared to where we were and in fact where we are heading.”

“I am so proud of the team at Launchpad and thank them for all they do daily for our children. There is no question that the children are at the heart of all we do.

“I was fortunate to join the Launchpad team in September 2023. We can only describe ourselves as a team because we work together, day in and day out, to make sure we provide the best for all our pupils. If we couldn’t work together this would not be possible.

“The Launchpad comes with challenges and obstacles to overcome but I have never been in a more rewarding role in all of my teaching career.

“Our pupils are wonderfully imaginative, unique, creative, energetic and enigmatic. We all find joy in the time we spend helping them learn and grow.

“Building relationships with pupils can be difficult and it takes time to gain trust and respect but this what it takes to support every child’s individual and unique set of needs that make them who they are.

“We are not here to change children, we are here to help them find the best ways to show the world who they are.”

“We always say that to be part of the team in Launchpad you have to want to be here! I am grateful to have the opportunity to be part of the journey for all our pupils and to give them the opportunities they deserve. 


“The Launchpad is a truly unique place to work.

“We get to see those crucial early steps in a child’s journey to communicate with others daily.

“Our children are coming on in leaps and bounds and it’s so lovely to see them using the strategies we have been implementing.”

“Our team have all bonded over a desire to offer the children in our care a firm foundation in their education journey.

“We have all learnt and progressed together and recognise that although the children we support represent a range of ages, experiences, and abilities they all want to learn and communicate with us.

“It’s been so lovely this term meeting and engaging with our children and their families.”

“Dojo has enabled us to communicate through messages and photos from setting to home and vice versa.

“The families of our children are so supportive of their children and each other.

It has been lovely to see this flourish via dojo, Christmas parties, and training we have put into place.”

“I have also thoroughly enjoyed learning new skills and techniques to aid the children in our care to communicate verbally and non-verbally with us and the rest of the setting and indeed school.

“This is now translating into home too.”

“Engaging with other professionals and our training has really given us the confidence to push forward with our plans for these children as we incorporate SCERTS and Makaton into our daily planning.”

  • The SCERTS Model is a research-based educational approach and multidisciplinary framework that directly addresses the core challenges faced by children and persons with ASD and related disabilities, and their families.

“Moving forwards, lead EHCP Co-ordinator’s will be working closely with Littlecoates to identify children for September spaces.”