Head Teacher: Cathy Welsh
The school day is from 9:10 am to 3:15pm.
We believe that each pupil has the right to learn within an environment that is caring, supportive, stimulating, enjoyable, age appropriate and challenging. We aim to provide an inclusive curriculum that has the scope to answer the needs of all children within the school, and which celebrates all achievement.
The curriculum is designed to encourage the pupils to be active participants in their learning, enabling them to achieve their potential and make progress by expressing preferences, communicating needs, making choices and choosing options that other people act on and respect.
We provide a broad and balanced curriculum framework which meets the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and the National Curriculum (NC) and includes modifications to make it accessible to all pupils. Based on clearly defined individual teaching programmes, pupils are provided with carefully planned opportunities to consolidate and extend their skills.
Teachers work in partnership with parents and with a multi-disciplinary team to design and implement highly structured teaching programmes which take account of the age of the child, the nature and degree of disability. This enables them to meet the very specific educational needs of each child in their class. Pupils’ medical, physical and care needs are incorporated into their individual educational plan.
The cross-curricular skills identified by the National Curriculum, namely communication; numeracy; problem-solving (cognitive); personal and social and I.T. are firmly established within the school’s Curriculum Framework, and form an integral part of our individual learning programme approach.
We recognise the importance of our pupils being able to transfer these skills, independent of context and the need to develop them in many different contexts across the curriculum. All learning is justifiably linked to a clear functional purpose, i.e. a skill that the pupil can use in their everyday living and is transferable in a wide range of contexts in and out of school, setting firm foundations for the skills needed for living and enjoying life.
Pupil learning is planned around individual strengths, needs and motivators and focuses on targets, reviewed regularly in each pupil's IEP and linked to objectives on their statement of special educational need. Priority areas of learning in the IEP are cross referenced to the termly topic plans.
The development of communication and interaction skills remains a priority for all our pupils and is promoted throughout the school day.
Equality of Curriculum access is achieved by the adoption of specialist approaches to teaching and learning. Approaches include those that are specific to pupils with multi-sensory impairment (MSI) or those with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC).
There is an overall framework, which clearly allows for the progression of skills from Foundation to Post 16 (including the accredited ASDAN scheme)
During the EYFS years we aim to provide a positive, safe, consistent, motivating and enabling environment, where all pupils can learn and thrive.
Our pupil centred approach places great emphasis on the EYFS Prime Areas of Learning: physical development, communication, personal social emotional development. These strands run across the whole day, every day, embedded in activities that promote independence. The Specific Areas of Learning are delivered through sessions that encourage learning through playing and exploring, the development of early learning and thinking skills and the pupils taking an active part in their learning journey. We use a variety of strategies and methods to suit all learners' learning needs. We celebrate all achievements.
Similarly to the primary and secondary departments, we set priority learning targets based on the thorough assessment of the pupils' interests, strengths and needs – in the following areas:
- Communication and literacy.
- Learning and thinking skills.
- Personal social emotional development.
Progress towards the priority learning targets is recorded and regularly monitored to ensure progress and achievement for all.
Our approach to learning is holistic; the Therapy Team (Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapists) are closely involved with the work within the class. We also work in strong partnership with parents and carers.
Our pupils follow a two year topic cycle, which offers access to a broad and balanced curriculum.
Students in the primary department work on developing their skills in key areas across a broad and balanced curriculum. Personalised priority targets are set for each student in four key areas: Communication and Language Skills; Learning and Thinking Skills; Personal, Social, Health and Emotional Skills and Physical Skills. A modified national curriculum is used to encourage students to develop these skills across the school day.
The students follow an adapted national curriculum that has been developed to ensure their continued success. Based on the EYFS, the key learning areas are: Communication, Language and Literacy, Numeracy, Understanding the World, Computing, Expressive Arts and Design and Physical Development. Teaching is delivered through a variety of methods, including whole class, small group and individual work activities. Within the primary department there is a strong emphasis on utilising a multisensory approach so that students are able to achieve to their full potential. Structured play opportunities are used to further develop the students’ learning
The students follow a two yearly topic cycle, which allows for a wide range of experiences and learning opportunities.
In the secondary department, the curriculum is presented both through broad topics and specific subject teaching within class groups. As the students move through the school, greater emphasis is placed on developing skills needed for independence and active participation in the community. Technology and the arts, sports, leisure activities and educational visits all play a part in the social curriculum.
The work on National Curriculum subjects is continued by providing pupils over 14 years with programmes of study adapted to cater to individual needs. The emphasis in individual programmes is on age appropriate work, reinforcing existing skills in functional communication, literacy and numeracy. In addition, the department has extended the ASDAN Award Scheme - an externally validated award- to include all secondary classes.
Sport is a key component of the secondary curriculum. The school works closely with the disability sports coach from QPR in delivering a wide range of sports and games. Students routinely take part in local Panathlon and inter-borough sports competitions.
The sixth form caters for students aged from 16-19 years and offers opportunities to specialise in preferred subjects such as music, art or cooking with the externally accredited personal development programme ASDAN Entry 1 Qualifications in Personal Progress. This provides a range of different learning experiences, opportunities and settings.
Careers education and work experience placements are encouraged. Enterprise Education enables the students to practise key skills in a range of work-related situations, as well as learning about financial capability. Students regularly make products to sell at the end of term Enterprise Market Days and provide a service within the school, perhaps running the café or washing cars.
The students’ voice is represented by participation in their annual review meetings which follow a person centred approach. The students are encouraged and supported to communicate about what is important to them, and to identify what they can do well.
Sport is a key component of the Sixth Form curriculum. The school works closely with the disability sports coach from QPR in delivering a wide range of sports and games. Students routinely take part in local Panathlon and inter-borough sports competitions.
The students access amenities in the local community, enabling them to consolidate and extend learning in real life contexts. This helps to increase the students’ confidence and skills in a range of everyday living skills, offering age-appropriate and motivational learning experiences. This may take the form of visits to a local café where communication skills, social interactions and money management are the key foci of learning.
The students have the opportunity to move on to a local college placement when they leave school. They are supported and prepared for this transition by attending a one day a week college placement in their final year at school. The school works closely with parents, college tutors, and connexions advisers to ensure that the post school placements meet the learning needs and aspirations of the students.