Working with Others
We aim to create the most effective transitions for our young people both within the school setting, and into and out of the school. To this end, we create strong collaborative working partnerships with other agencies and providers so that our parents and young people can be as fully informed as possible about the range of opportunities out there. We have developed the role of the family support officer to provide greater advice and guidance. We have strong links with a range of careers guidance professionals and social care agencies. We encourage the young people themselves to be aspirational about their future, but also support this with help for them to develop effective self management and vocational skills. Our team of therapists also support young people to make effective transitions and to cope successfully with change, including through specialist communication support, such as communication passports. Within the school, there is a wealth of shared knowledge about our young people and regular opportunities to share and pass on information.
Teaching young people with SEN
The school aims to provide highly personalised learning approaches for each pupil. At the heart of the process is the importance of developing communication and interaction skills, as well as self confidence and self esteem. Staff to pupil ratios are high and class sizes are relatively small. A variety of different teaching approaches is adopted in line with pupils’ learning styles, but there is emphasis on learning by doing, and lots of opportunities for repetition. Learning activities are highly structured, and pupils’ individual learning targets and objectives are addressed through differentiated activities. Groups are organised by a range of criteria including ability but also by perhaps behavioural and communication needs.
We aim to create a broad, balanced and highly relevant curriculum, which we constantly seek to refine. In the primary phase, pupils spend most time with their class teacher and support staff, but also with opportunities to have specialist teaching in key areas including music and PE. There is a strong emphasis on learning through play, through developing communication and interaction skills, and in developing the earliest foundations for learning.
The secondary phase has more of a mainstream feel, with pupils accessing a wider range of specialist subject areas, including Design and Technology, and Food technology. Students may move around the school to different teachers and subjects. Students may achieve a range of challenging awards and accreditations including Entry Level Certificates in English and Maths, Science, and IT, as well as ASDAN awards.
The aim of the 6th Form curriculum is to prepare students for their transition to the next phase of their lives as adults and valued members of their communities. Students may choose from a range of Btech qualifications, including in vocational areas such as hair and beauty. There is still a continued emphasis on developing functional literacy and numeracy skills, as well as communication skills. Students access local colleges for educational links programmes.
As we are a Roman Catholic School, the teachings of the Catholic faith permeate our school’s life. Pupils who are Catholic have enhanced opportunities to study RE. There is a strong emphasis through the day on prayer and on the Catholic liturgy with assemblies and masses. Christ is at the centre of all that we do, and the Gospel values are our guiding principles. As a Catholic school we are subject to regular additional Ofsted inspections and have been judged Outstanding.
We are lucky to have a very spacious, richly resourced environment with a multi-sensory and soft play rooms, specialist teaching areas, a large purpose built gym and ample areas for outdoor play. We also utilise the wide range of local resources including the local farm, adventure playground and leisure facilities. We also are fortunate to be able to use the beautiful convent chapel for our masses and celebrations, and many of our young people are given the opportunity to serve mass or to sing in the choir.