Winchelsea School provides an education for pupils aged from four to sixteen years of age. We also have in place Post 16 provision in collaboration with Bournemouth & Poole College. It is a safe, welcoming and nurturing school where pupils, families and staff are included and valued equally. We strive to make learning a pleasurable and rewarding experience, which is personalised with opportunities for all pupils to develop as high a standard of achievement as individually possible and challenged to become as independent as they can.
At Winchelsea School all students have an EHC plan in place and we have a responsibility to provide a broad and balanced, enriched and extended curriculum tailored to individual needs. Together we provide opportunities for every child within school and in the wider community to grow in confidence and develop a love of learning. Therefore, the curriculum is planned to recognise and meet the individual learning needs of each pupil and is differentiated to ensure learning opportunities are both challenging and appropriate. At Winchelsea School we see the curriculum as the sum of every activity and experience, both formal and informal, encountered during the day.
The National Curriculum sets out two aims, which underpin our approach to curriculum development.
Aim 1: The school curriculum should aim to provide opportunities for all pupils to learn and to achieve.
‘Teachers should aim to give every pupil the opportunity to experience success in learning and to achieve as high a standard as possible’.
Aim 2: The school curriculum should aim to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.
Curriculum Policy at Winchelsea School
These guiding principles are set within and support the aims of the school, which are:
- To create a safe, welcoming and successful school where pupils, staff, families and visitors participate effectively and are valued equally.
- To promote open and honest communication throughout the school and the wider community.
- To set high standards and expectations for every child according to their individual needs and abilities.
- To provide a rich and varied curriculum that supports the academic, social, emotional and personal development of every child.
- To promote responsibility, independence and self-awareness in every child through the development of speech, language and communication.
- To celebrate diversity by promoting the awareness of our rights and the rights of other people regardless of race, gender, age or ability.
- To continually develop a professional and approachable staff team who inspire confidence through a supportive and understanding relationship with children and their families.
- To foster positive, collaborative and effective relationships with other organisations and institutions.
In order to offer a curriculum that provides the above our provision must:
- Teach pupils the skills, knowledge and understanding to enable them to gain greater confidence to demonstrate as much independence as they possibly can.
- Help pupils to make choices, and provide opportunities for them to become part of the wider community and cope with the demands of Life in Modern Britain in their local community.
- Aim to ensure that any additional and different provision needs for individual learners are met through Educational Health Care Plan and Personalised Pupil Targets.
- Work with pupils to manage challenges that get in the way of their learning.
- Aim to support and encourage pupils’ present and future happiness and wellbeing.
- Strive to make learning fun and enjoyable. We support pupils’ social, moral, cultural and spiritual development, and try to ensure that they benefit from a wide range of activities, both in and outside school that can contribute to this aspect of their development.
- Safeguard pupils from radicalisation and extremism and promote British Values.
- Maximise opportunities for home/school/community liaison and to actively encourage parental and community involvement in the life and work of the school.
- Share advice, support and expertise with other schools, colleges and agencies through the Specialist Teaching and Learning Service.
The class and therapeutic timetables and curriculum are reviewed annually and changes made as necessary to ensure compliance with current legislation and guidance and taking into account best practice within special needs education.
There is an identified process of long, medium term and short term planning. There is a two year cycle for early years and key stage one and a three year cycle for key stage two.
Medium term planning is in the form of half termly units which are devised by teachers across the key stages. A base framework of learning intentions is described at this level which can then be used for short term planning by the class teacher. The units are used as a ‘vehicle’ for the delivery of core learning skills for our pupils.
Short term planning is in the form of Daily/weekly lesson plan that describes:
- The learning objectives for the pupils involved.
- How it is intended that these objectives will be achieved for different groups of learners, for example, how the learning objective will be shared and evaluated (introduction and plenary), how the learning objective will be delivered and differentiated as part of main activities.
- How the children will be involved as part of planned activities, for example, how the children will be involved in evaluation, how the independence of children will be promoted, will they work in pairs or groups, and how adults will support them.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage children follow the areas of learning and development as outlined in the Early Years Statutory Framework. The EYFS is made up of seven areas of learning, three Prime Areas of Learning and four Specific Areas of Learning.
The Prime areas of Learning are:
Communication and Language, Physical Development & Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The Specific areas of Learning are:
Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World & Expressive Arts and Design
The Foundation and Early Years team place a high value on parent partnerships and ensure that they use the information gathered from discussions with parents to ensure that the curriculum delivered is tailored to each individual pupils needs. All areas of the curriculum are delivered through a balance of adult led, adult initiated and child initiated learning (CiL) activities. Play based learning is paramount and children direct their own learning from carefully planned opportunities provided by staff. The range of approaches used are predominantly child initiated and provide first hand experiences. However, some pupils need support with self-initiated play, and so a balance between supported play and child initiated play is practised. Children direct their own learning from carefully planned opportunities provided by staff. The range of approaches used are predominantly child initiated and provide first hand experiences. However, some pupils need support with self-initiated play, and so a balance between supported play and child initiated play is practiced. Children in reception class have the opportunity to go horse-riding each week and experience community visits to a variety of local areas.
In Year 1 students will follow a bridging curriculum that continues to cover EYFS goals not yet met as well as moving them on to the next stage of learning and preparing them to enter either the formal or semi-formal curriculum.
Our curriculum incorporates a variety of strategies and approaches personalised to small group and individual needs.
Formal Curriculum: Key Stages 1,2 and 3
Pupils who engage in subject specific learning follow an adapted National Curriculum. This helps to ensure breadth and balance but is tailored appropriately to meet the very individual needs of our children. This year we have started a thematic curriculum which is the vehicle/ stimulus to move forward the different skill areas, so that they are exciting and embraced across school.
Core curriculum subjects:
English, Maths, PE, PSHE, Life Skills, My World, ICT, Food Technology, Creative Arts and in KS2 – Forest Schools. These are delivered through schemes of work which reflect the national curriculum and national strategies but also allow for the developmental learning of core skills at an appropriate level.
In Maths, a scheme of work reflects the changes in the National Curriculum and takes into account the mastery approaches to Mathematics, for example, the importance of developing reasoning and problem solving skills.
In English the school has an English policy which establishes a framework for the delivery of English which will underpin our work. Teaching phonics: We argue that synthetic phonics is unlikely to succeed with pupils who have difficulties perceiving and articulating speech sounds, and for whom form-meaning disconnection is an ever present danger (for example – pupils with autistic spectrum disorders). We will use phonic work with pupils for whom it is appropriate, aiming to expose pupils functioning from P4-P8 to letter sounds and recognition of initial sounds and beyond where appropriate.
In PSHE a scheme of work (including sex and relationships education) is in place based on a variety of pertinent sources such as PSHE Association, Autism Awareness and Equals with school initiated topics built in to meet the needs of the pupil population. Classes create their own class charter based on the Right Respecting framework.
Social Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development of our students is embedded throughout the curriculum. An annual plan of significant dates in the cultural, moral and social calendar ensures that there is a focus, through assemblies and special events on important cultural and religious festivals and commemorative days. Pupils of any faith and those of no faith are encouraged to value everyone and their beliefs equally. Shared assembly times focus on celebration and the development of SMSC values through our learning topic. Winchelsea School is a Rights Respecting School and therefore these values are developed through lessons and assemblies with students taking part in assemblies and celebrating their learning.
Our PE curriculum ensures that our pupils build and develop their skills as they move through the school. All pupils receive swimming lessons which are statutory, participate in weekly PE sessions and each day access a wake and shake session in the morning, with opportunities throughout the day to access Outdoor Learning where there is a wide range of fitness and play opportunities for all ages; this includes our lunch time play sessions where pupils participate in activities that encourage meaningful play. We also have lunch time clubs for sport which will vary each term. Students have the opportunity to take part in competitive sport against other school and we are actively involved in the school games programme. Students are given many opportunities to develop a variety of skills and this includes taking part in a full Sports Week programme.
Forest Schools enables our primary and SLD students to access learning in a very different environment, where the focus is on child initiated learning, exploration and discovery. Students also have the opportunity to learn basic camp craft skills.
In Creative Arts all students can assess creative arts lessons and through primary and secondary lessons students have lessons with a specialist teacher and are working towards an Arts Award
Qualification. This starts at explore and goes through to Bronze, Silver and Gold. This is a Nationally recognized qualification which can support entry into further education. The Creative arts team host performances each term, work with business in the local community and run a Creative arts Week each year.
Pupils that are not able to engage in subject-specific learning use a curriculum developed by Equals. This curriculum is comprised of 5 key skill areas:
- My Communication,
- My Thinking and Problem Solving,
- Physical Me (including Forest Schools)
- Creative Me
- My World around me.
Threaded through the five strands are Independent Learning Skills and Play Skills. When using Equals every key skill area of learning is targeted and linked to the EHCP, targets are worked on through regular observations.
Students in Year 10 and 11 follow accredited subjects based upon what will be important for them moving forward in life and what they are realistically capable of achieving. Students all take Functional Skills Exams in Year 10 and 11 in English, Maths and ICT. To support students’ readiness for life there is now accreditation in Life Skills, Employability, Home Cooking Skills and PSHE. Students also complete an accreditation in Entry Level P.E.
Moving forward, we are hoping to offer students the opportunity to complete the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
- At Winchelsea school the children are at the heart of the planning and all educators are involved in the planning of an engaging and stimulating curriculum.
- Our curriculum map reflects our belief in the importance of cross curricular learning which makes clear links between different subject areas within a meaningful overall context. Children become immersed in the context and learning becomes purposeful and meaningful.
- Long term planning ensures coverage of the National Curriculum.
- Medium term Planning is highly differentiated ensuring that all levels of learning, activities and experiences are addressed offering a relevant programme for all subjects.
- Short term plans show how lessons will be carried out and specify the pupils’ individual targets which are being addressed through differentiation.
- Progress against individual targets is noted in each pupil’s PLP.
- All staff have an important role to play in the assessment process.
- Learning activities are sequenced to ensure progression.
- Educational visits and computing resources are used to extend and generalise learning.
ASSESSMENT, RECORDING AND REPORTING
Assessment, recording and reporting are essential elements of good teaching and allow for reflection upon the pupils learning experience as well as the dissemination of information about progress. The short term planning as described offers inbuilt opportunities for continuous assessment.
This ongoing assessment feeds in to a termly record of progress (Outcomes Reports). The school currently uses DCPro to track progress through the Winchelsea Levels in the formal curriculum and in the semi-formal curriculum it follows the Engagement Levels, tracking the progress of the EHCP targets.
Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs)
PLPs are written at the start of Year 10 and reviewed at the end of each term, though targets may be completed and renewed at any time.
The PLP format supports the pathways planning for our students to demonstrate what they have done and qualifications they have achieved. Some of the personalised targets are written in conjunction with the therapy team and are closely linked to pupils’ Educational Healthcare Plans.
A programme is set up to deliver careers education to students from Yr 7 to Yr 11 following the Gatsby Benchmark. See Careers policy.
A comprehensive play programme runs at lunchtime to give students the opportunity to engage in a variety of activities that develop their play skills, attention and social skills.
The Role of Speaking and Listening in Pupil Learning
Students can access Speaking and Listening Therapy following an assessment of need in either a 1:1 or small group session, some classes will also work with the Speech and Language Therapist to develop whole class strategies. Speaking and Listening strategies are also implemented by class teachers into the classroom learning on a daily basis. Speaking and Listening strategies are targeted at and based upon Individual needs developed from their Speaking and Listening report.
Students can be referred for Occupational Therapy support and following an assessment, students will receive a block of therapy and guidance on how school and home can support the child’s needs.
Students can be referred for music therapy from an outside provider, they can receive group and 1:1 support.
Learning Outside the Classroom
At Winchelsea school we recognise the importance of learning outside the classroom and in the community. This reinforces the work we do in school and helps our pupils to contextualise their learning. Pupils all have opportunities to swim at the local sports centre, visit local areas and go shopping. We also invite musicians, storytellers and theatre groups into school. A three day overnight residential is offered to Year 10 and 11 pupils in the summer term.
The community provides a great place in which to generalise and transfer new and emerging skills. We are always interested in increasing the type of experiences that we can expose the children to as well as working with many partners in support of the development of community cohesion.
We have set-up and are part of an Inclusion League which works with mainstream and special needs schools to offer opportunities to play competitive sport on a regular basis.
In addition to this, pupils have access to a number of targeted supportive strategies that support them in overcoming potential barriers to their learning.
Some of these strategies are:
- Forest School
- Horse Riding
- Sensory Integration
- Intensive Interaction
- Music Therapy
PUPILS WITH ENGLISH AS AN ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE
There are some pupils whose progress may be affected because they have EAL in addition to their special educational needs. Whilst it is important that these pupils can be assessed within wider statutory assessment arrangements, additional advice or guidance may be required to help teachers make their assessments accurately and effectively.
In order to deliver the curriculum effectively pupils are grouped as much as possible according to their learning needs as well as chronologically within the appropriate key stage. The delivery of the curriculum is defined by nature of the learners e.g. delivery for those pupils with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder will differ from others in terms of the learning environment as well as pace and mode of input.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The Head teacher and Deputy Head teachers will co-ordinate the monitoring cycle.
This will include:
- auditing planning
- moderating assessment data
- analysing progress data
- observing lessons
- learning walks
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
The senior leadership team will co-ordinate the monitoring cycle in partnerships with the heads of key stages.
This will include:
- auditing planning
- moderating assessment data
- analysing progress data
- observing lessons
- learning walks
- work scrutinies
- curriculum development and planning
- initiating training/workshop opportunities with specific focus.
The school supports the rights of all pupils to equal access and opportunities regardless of age, culture, religion, gender, ability, disability or sexuality. The school promotes an ethos of respect for everyone.
In reading this policy reference should also be made to the policies for Teaching and Learning and Assessment.