Hill House School

Research & Collaboration at Hill House School

Hill House was invited to become a partner of ACoRNS - The Autism Community Research Network in Southampton. 


ACoRNS is an initiative which seeks to improve the lives of young people with autism and is a unique collaboration between Education and Psychology at Southampton University and local nurseries, schools and colleges who are interested in developing, researching, understanding and sharing good practice in educational provision for autistic children and their families. They believe that the best way for autism research and practice to genuinely meet the needs of children and young people in the local community, is to involve the local community from the start.


ACoRNS are striving to meet their aims through:


involving autistic children and young people at the centre of research and practice;

  • establishing a co-constructed research agenda for identifying, investigating and implementing evidence-based practices in autism education
  • building a collaborative partnership between the University of Southampton, professionals, schools, families, early years providers, and children and young people


One of ACoRNS main focuses is in understanding more about the trajectories and transitions of autistic children and young people. They want to know more about how to most effectively support children’s progress through school and enable them to have positive experiences. They also want to establish best practice for supporting children and families in making transitions, whether that be from home to school, from the classroom to the playground, or between and beyond stages of schooling.


Regulation and Reflection

Hill House is also working on a project with a student who is completing their Education Psychology Doctorate at Southampton University. The project is called; 'Developing Autistic young peoples' emotional regulation skills: A case study of a residential special school'.


Staff at Hill House are working with the University to look at gaining an understanding of how the young people communicate and manage their emotions using the 'Zones of Regulation'.


Research summary for the Regulation and Reflection 


The Value of Research

Being a partner of ACoRNS and the collaboration with Southampton University enables Hill House to be outward facing. It encourages innovation and enables the school to work alongside a range of professionals in different settings.


The work also provides valuable opportunities for key development areas to be evaluated so that we have clear outcomes of these interventions, enabling us to continue to grow and develop and provide the best possible opportunities for all our young people.

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