Henry Tyndale School Curriculum Policy
This policy was drafted following extensive discussion within the whole school community. The overwhelming message returning from this consultation was to ensure the school provided children with all the curricular opportunities it should but in such a way as to always provide a clear emphasis upon meeting individual need. This remains a core aim at Henry Tyndale School where the children’s personal and social development also remains a major parental priority.
The Curriculum at Henry Tyndale Aims to:
The Henry Tyndale School Curriculum is designed to achieve these aims whilst providing the flexibility required allowing teachers to individually tailor work to meet the individual needs of each and every child.
The Curriculum on offer provides meaningful access to the National Curriculum, a strong emphasis upon Personal, Social and Health Education and all important access to sensory curriculum, specialist strategies and therapy support as required by the individual.
The weightings given to each area of the curriculum follow overall national guidelines for the various age groups but are positively designed to be flexible to allow appropriate focus upon individual need and will be monitored through the Annual Review of each child’s Statement of Special Educational Needs.
The majority of our pupils have specific and identified special educational needs, beyond a general level of learning delay, which are central to their learning requirements. Wherever possible these needs are met as part of a lesson but for some pupils their therapeutic needs are best met on an individual and or exclusive basis. Therapy needs will be monitored through the Annual Review. In addition to further the learning potential and success of our children, time within a lesson may be devoted to one or more of the following:
Assessment and Target Setting
National Curriculum End of Key Stage testing is typically ‘disapplied’ for our students through their Annual Reviews P Levels. The school sets targets, collects and analyses data in relation to a number of assessment factors, most notably the P Level assessments annually rather than just at the end of Key Stages as required by statute. Henry Tyndale is at the forefront of P Level data collection, analysis and usage for school improvement and is also proud of the relatively high levels of achievement such analysis as shown to date.
Henry Tyndale School forms a significant part of the special educational provision in the area, but of course complements the provision elsewhere locally. Separate Moderate Learning Difficulty provision exists at Key Stage 2 in an especially resourced mainstream school and at Key Stages 3 and 4 in another special school. The Local Education Authority policy is that pupils with MLD at Key Stage 1 will normally have their special educational needs met within mainstream Infant schools. Separate Language Impairment provision exists in resourced units in a mainstream Infant and a mainstream junior school. These local factors have a number of effects on the pupil population at Henry Tyndale. Firstly the nature of the needs of those pupils seen as having MLD within our population is a more complex one that might otherwise be expected. Secondly we have a number of our more able pupils leaving the school at the end of Key Stage 1 and 2. Therefore target setting needs to focus upon individual pupils and overall performance rather than gains over a year group when a significant number of pupils might change.
Henry Tyndale School caters for pupils between the ages of two and a half and nineteen years. The school is divided into two departments for leadership and management reasons, dependent upon the pupils’ age and broadly representing primary and secondary education. Additionally within each of those departments a member of staff has responsibility for a separate age range (Within the primary department this is for the Foundation Stage and within the Secondary Department this is for Post 16). Within departments pupils are offered the curricular opportunities one would expect for children of that age, suitably tailored and differentiated to meet the individual needs of those within our school.
All pupils under five are offered access to the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and all those between five and sixteen years have meaningful access to the National Curriculum. Students over sixteen have access to a specialised Post 16 Curriculum with a clear emphasis on preparation for adult life. At this age accredited published schemes are used to provide structure, aid planning and recognise achievement.
Early Years Foundation Stage
When children join the Early Years Class, our primary aim is to settle the children into school life, so that they enjoy coming to school and taking part in a wide variety of exciting and enriching learning experiences. The four guiding principles for Early Years settings are that every child is unique; that children learn to be independent through positive relationships; that they learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between the class team, parents and / or carers; and that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. These guiding principles shape the practice in our early year’s class.
This is achieved in a safe, secure, stimulating and purposeful environment Relationships are established and the children’s skills and learning needs are assessed, in order that appropriate targets can be set and strategies put in place, to support the children’s developing skills and providing them with opportunities to make progress in all areas of learning. In this way appropriate strategies are introduced which will support the children’s developing communication and behaviour needs and maximise their learning opportunities and potential.
All the children take part in the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, differentiated to meet their individual needs. Once the children have been in school for a term, and they have settled into the class, they will have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) with specific priority learning need targets, based on observation and assessment within the class and in liaison with a multi professional team. These are continually monitored and reviewed every six months. There are also termly targets, which relate specifically to focused activities, each term. Parents are given a copy of their children’s IEP and targets and their comments are welcome and highly valued when looking at the individual targets set.
All children in Early Years have access to the Foundation Stage Curriculum working towards the Early Learning Goals, providing a secure foundation for learning. The children’s learning and development will be further supported by therapeutic and Multisensory input. By the end of the foundation stage (which finishes at the end of the reception year), the children will have had the opportunity to experience and to develop skills, knowledge and understanding required to underpin working towards the Early Learning Goals.
The Foundation Stage is organised into seven areas of learning. The three prime areas are communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development. The specific areas are literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design. The three prime areas are strengthened and applied through these areas.
We plan using a two year rolling programme, which is topic based and has a termly focus for assessment purposes across the seven areas of learning.
The National Curriculum Stages
Key Stage One
At Key Stage One we want our children to be excited about coming to school, learning new things and taking part in fun activities. The development of communication and social interaction skills and therapy programmes are a priority for all children and are promoted throughout the school day.
The curriculum has been developed as a two year rolling programme based on the National Curriculum It is adapted so that it can be accessed by all children – using Makaton signing, PECs, TEACCH, Intensive Interaction and play and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). It is also planned around each child’s individual needs, strengths and interests – individual education plans and additional targets are shared with parents every term and more regularly if needed.
PERSONAL, HEALTH SOCIAL EDUCATION (PHSE) Children learn the basic rules and skills for keeping themselves healthy and safe and for behaving well. They have opportunities to show that they can take some responsibility for themselves and their environment – self-help skills (drinking and eating, dressing, undressing and toileting) and help with tidying up. We help children learn social skills, such as how to share, take turns, play and help others. They begin to take an active part in the life of the school. Children take part in road safety activities and find out about people who can help them.
ENGLISH The National Curriculum is used to inform planning
SPEAKING AND LISTENING – All children are assessed regularly by a speech therapist and a programme is put into place which includes 1/1 work, language group activities and language work across the curriculum and in the community. Having a good understanding of words helps children to understand the world, behave appropriately and learn to read so play and role play where children can have ‘conversations’ with adults and children are an important part of every school day. Using PECs and switches gives all children a ‘voice’.
READING – Our children are generally ‘pre-readers’ – learning the skills they need to become readers – matching pictures, symbols and words; enjoying nursery rhymes as an introduction to phonics (letter sounds) and rhyming words; learning how to handle books and most of all enjoying story telling sessions where objects and sensory activities are used to enhance understanding.
WRITING – We aim to put in place the fine motor skills needed for good hand writing skills. We work on stability, bilateral coordination and dexterity skills so play with sensory materials; push and pull toys; insert puzzles; construction activities (e.g. Duplo); pop up toys, shape sorters, stacking toys etc. together with all the self-help routines needed for daily life (e.g. dressing) help children develop arm and hand control and coordination. Children are encouraged to play with markers and crayons and introduced to scissors. As children develop these skills they move onto dot to dot, maze and colouring activities and then practise writing letters and words.
MATHEMATICS The National Curriculum is used to plan the maths curriculum with many activities drawn from the Foundation Stage. Children enjoy number songs, rhymes and finger games. They begin to count and recognise numbers; are introduced to measures - big and small, heavy and light, full and empty, long and short and enjoy shape, colour and pattern activities. Maths is also an important part of many planned play (e.g. shopping games, sand and water play, playground activities) and cooking activities.
SCIENCE Our science curriculum encourages children to explore the world around them, learn new vocabulary and have lots of exciting first hand experiences. The children learn more about Colour, Light and Sound; Hot and Cold; Plants and Animals; Myself and my Body; Pushes and Pulls; Electricity and Materials. Children are encouraged to use all their senses to engage with simple experiments and practical activities. Science activities are designed to interest, motivate and engage!
COMPUTING Many of our children are interested, excited and motivated by ICT and the multi-sensory approach - pictures, words and sound – means all children benefit. As well as a timetabled ICT ‘lesson’ children are encouraged to use technology to support their learning throughout the school day – it may be learning to use the switch on a cause and effect toy or listening to a CD player. Children learn to take turns as they use the interactive whiteboard; develop listening and attention skills as they listen and watch on-screen Big Books; can develop social skills are they sit around and share the class computer. Word games, number games; on-screen counters; drawing programs etc. are used – each classroom has a computer with a touch screen as well as an interactive whiteboard. Simple programming and problem solving now form a major part of this curriculum area
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION (RE). We want our children to enjoy being with other children, to be tolerant, positive and caring and to be happy being themselves. We celebrate each child’s birthday, take part in a wide variety of festivals, celebrate each child’s successes in our weekly ‘Infant Assembly’ and finish each day with a special ‘candle time’. We hope that our RE curriculum means that each child feels special – valued, cherished and respected and part of a loving community.
HISTORY and GEOGRAPHY History and Geography are taught in an integrated way through topics based on first-hand experience, the child's own environment and community visits. We aim to increase each child’s understanding of the world in which they live. Our topics include ‘My Family and Me’; ‘Life in the Past (with an emphasis on dinosaurs!)’; ‘Global Weather’; ‘Toys’; ‘Where We Live’;’ ‘Houses and Homes’; ‘Town and Country or Farm and Seaside’ and ‘Transport and Travel’.
ART Our art topics include drawing and painting; printing; sculpture; textiles; collage and textiles. Children learn more about materials; share resources; have the opportunity to make choices and show their preferences; gain satisfaction from being creative and having an end product - or just have a very rewarding sensory experience!
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY. This includes box play, play dough, car and train sets (building tracks and bridges) tearing, folding and cutting paper and card; textiles; playing with construction toys and kits; junk modelling and working with food. Food technology gives us the opportunity to address sensory issues around food such as limited diets and children are introduced to the taste, texture, smell and feel of a wide variety of food.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION This includes athletics/games, dance and gymnastics. The lessons are concerned with the developing mobility, body awareness and control. The children will also develop skills in teamwork and group participation. Soft play, swimming and horse riding are included as part of the P.E. curriculum
MUSIC All our children love singing and music and movement are an important part of the daily curriculum. This includes ‘hello’ songs; nursery rhymes; songs to accompany our topics and a weekly music lesson with a specialist teacher from the Hampshire Music Service.
Key Stage 2
The majority of children within our school make a smooth transition from Key Stage 1 moving to Key Stage 2, however some additional pupils may also transfer into our school from mainstream or alternative provision.
During their time in this key stage all children will follow a four year curriculum rolling plan based on the National Curriculum. This is differentiated to meet the needs of all pupils with our main focus on developing communication to enable each child to express their views and individual needs. The subjects described above in Key Stage One are continued with and developed in line with national guidance but always differentiated to the levels appropriate for our children.
We feel Literacy and numeracy are essential for our pupils to develop their knowledge and acquire individual skills to access the range of opportunities that our timetable offers. Children regularly use a variety of community facilities to support other areas of the curriculum, with a significant focus on developing individual social and personal skills. This will often involve shopping and using public facilities [sports centres, libraries, museums and theatres]. We also enjoy visiting educational facilities further afield to support our wider curriculum, for example ‘The planetarium’ at INTEC to support our science topic ‘Space and Beyond’. For some pupils a sensory based curriculum makes subject matter stimulating and accessible. This will often involve exploring a range of activities such as: sampling food and drink, dressing in costume, experiencing visual, auditory and scented items.
Staff and other practitioners work closely with parents to ensure the best possible outcomes for all the children within the department. Parents are encouraged to attend pupil performances, church services, parents’ evenings and celebrations of individual achievements.
Within this department our aim is to provide a positive, stimulating environment where pupils are supported in their journey of education through Individual Educational Plans.
Key Stage Three
In KS3 students continue to work with the national curriculum subjects English, maths, RE, DT, science, music, ICT, French, art, PE, history, geography, food technology, PSHE and citizenship but there is more of a focus on ‘growing up’ and developing skills they can use in the outside world. For many students, developing communication skills remains essential, but we aim to build on skills learned in literacy and numeracy to develop ‘life skills’ for example by making shopping lists and handling money when the students go shopping. We visit a local leisure centre once per week to participate in sporting activities and students are encouraged to use the public changing rooms and have a shower. Students learn sex education in KS3, where the focus is on how their bodies are changing and appropriate and safe touching.
In KS3 students work on developing an awareness of ‘self’, developing their self-confidence and self-esteem by being encouraged carry out routine tasks independently and take on responsibilities in class. Students eat alongside their peers and cook a class meal once per week and they get the opportunity to go on a residential trip; for some students this will be their first experience away from home.
KS3 is where preparations begin for the provision for their adult life once their school career has finished; for example, for students, regular integration with KS4 and the 6th form during assemblies and student council. For parents, there are regular opportunities to speak with Connexions (14-25 provision) and other professionals.
Key Stage Four
As in previous key stages the majority of students transition smoothly from KS3 with hardly any students that are unfamiliar to the school. The students at KS4 continue to have a broad and balanced curriculum with emphasis given to an age appropriate approach delivered at a level of understanding appropriate to each individual student’s needs.
ASDAN is the accredited scheme within Henry Tyndale 6th form and while in KS4 students will work towards 5 credits within this scheme to launch them into a modular system of work. This is internally and externally moderated.
Choice becomes a bigger part of KS4 and students are encouraged to make choices of more consequence – PE activities, meal time food, choices of outings –
KS4 develops the student’s experiences with greater practical use of community facilities and transport.
Students are encouraged to develop a work ethic by having weekly work experiences within school. Students are encouraged to ‘self report’, recording their own triumphs and efforts in a medium appropriate to their abilities.
KS4 student become seen as leaders by the younger children within the school and are encouraged to be positive role models - going into the classes to read stories, collect recycling, take messages or inform them of school events.
It is hoped and expected that every student will stay on at 6th form and KS4 is a stepping stone between the structure of teacher led classroom teaching and more independent, experiential learning in the community
Post 16 Curriculum
The Post 16 curriculum involves work towards ASDAN accreditation
ASDAN – Foundation Learning – Pupil Progress
What are the Personal Progress Qualifications?
The Entry 1 Qualifications in Personal Progress are made up of units which can be broadly divided into the following areas:
Who are they for?
The qualifications have been developed for those working between P/Milestone Levels 1-8 and Entry 1 to have their achievements recognised within a qualification framework. They can be undertaken in schools, colleges, residential centres, training providers and independent provision.
How to achieve Personal Progress:
Each unit has a credit value ranging from 2 to 5 (each credit is equal to approximately 10 hours of learning). To achieve a qualification learners must gain credits by completing their chosen units and providing clear evidence that they have met the full requirements of the unit. Different unit combinations can be used to build up different qualifications: Those who accrue fewer than 8 credits will be awarded a Unit certificate for each Unit completed, provided they have met the full requirements of the Unit(s). Tutors are required to complete a Unit Transcript for each unit completed by the learner: this will detail the specific skills and/or knowledge that the learner has demonstrated. The tutor will also use an Achievement Continuum to assess learner attainment and show progress, and this will be recorded on the Unit Transcript.
How are they assessed?
Why this programme?
There is nationally recognised accreditation for attainment in both subject areas and key skills.
Assessment and recognition of student achievement allows for different degrees of adult support.
There are level descriptors, related to the QCA 2001 “P” Scales that clearly indicate progression in learning to show student progression in attainment and form part of our assessment for students in Tyndale Sixth Form.
Whilst the majority of the school organisation is based around age group classes described above, some children are grouped to best meet their individual needs. Many children across the school benefit from elements of a sensory Curriculum but Classes 1 and 2 are specifically organised to make full use of this.
The Sensory Curriculum
For some students we need to support the delivery of the curriculum through a multi-sensory approach. This involves the use of a variety of resources and varied activities which hone in particularly on the following six senses – vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch and whole body experience. This approach will heighten the students’ awareness and maximise their learning. If we use a combination of these senses as opposed to using just one or two in isolation this is the start to a multi-sensory approach to teaching and learning. Without all the additional cues put together it is very hard for some of the students to make sense of the world they live in and this approach goes a little way towards assisting this understanding.
Children need different teaching strategies and at Henry Tyndale we adjust these to meet each individual child’s needs. Intensive Interaction (Nind and Hewett 2005) is used continuously throughout the day no matter what the activity. This gives control to the learner whenever possible. Any vocalisations, body movements, eye contact, raspberries, coughs are treated as communication and immediately responded to with comments on what has just happened or an imitation of their sound or an action.
A multi – sensory approach allows the student access to a differentiated and appropriate level of the curriculum. The curriculum provides topics and themes that can provide a variety of exciting activities which the students can access at an appropriate level. It is our job to ensure that the students have a curriculum that covers all the following: communication, cognitive development, social and emotional development and physical development. Activities include:
Communication: Communication is at the very centre of our lives. It is about expressing our identity as individuals and allowing us to have relationships with others. Communicating with one another happens in many different ways, with our hands, eye contact, gestures and whole body language as well as by crying and laughing.
We aim to ensure that everyone’s way of communicating is valued. Communication is essential for social and emotional development, so if a child is unable to speak, other methods of communication must be encouraged for all children. A great deal of importance is placed upon non-verbal communication. We learn a great deal about a situation even before we start to speak.
Objects of Reference: These are objects that can be made to represent activities, people and/or places and can be a link to other forms of communication. They can be multi-sensory – e.g. bells – music – and these are especially useful if a student has a physical disability and may find manipulation difficult or a person with a visual impairment as it will give an additional clue.
They are used to develop communication, for example, from a very early age a sighted child will see his mum going into cupboard to get a cup and will know he’s going to have a drink. A child with sensory impairments depends on others to give him clues. We need to take the environment to them. They can also be used to assist memory, develop understanding and to assist with transfers between activities. Objects of reference are used with anyone with communication difficulties who is not using speech, signing or symbols, particularly
if they have a visual/multi-sensory impairment.
‘On body’ signing / Touch cues: Alongside Obj. of Reference we also use some ‘on body’ signing.
Communication Aids: A communication aid can be “low-tech” – a chart or book with pictures, symbols, words or “high-tech” – an electronic aid which produces speech output. Communication aids are operated by pointing to or pressing a key containing a picture, symbol and/or word. Children who have very little movement can use a high-tech aid by operating a switch with any part of their body. A communication aid helps a person to communicate more effectively with those around them. These aids range from a simple Big Mack switch to a more sophisticated Tobii Eye Gaze. Communication aids can speak and can play back messages that have been pre-recorded by another person into the in-built microphone. They are excellent at teaching ‘Cause and Effect’ and giving control to the students.
Communication Passports: A communication passport contains personal information about the child's needs, such as their likes and dislikes; their preferences; reflects their personality; their most effective communication strategies and how others can best communicate with them; their medical condition, equipment they need; favourite people in their lives etc. It may contain photographs of the student’s utensils and how they use them and photographs of family members which will give a starting point for interactions. It is compiled by everyone who is close to the child and places equal value on everyone’s knowledge of them. The passport is owned by the child and helps new people understand a child's personal needs. It travels with them wherever they go so that any transitions are less stressful. They present the student in a positive way, stating what the child can do.
Sensory Stories: Providing actual objects, smells and sound effects can greatly enhance a student’s understanding and enjoyment of an activity, book or story and can be used to support all areas of the curriculum. They give opportunities to repeat activities – repetition is essential in order for the students to gain understanding. They should develop language, signing, facial expressions and voice and should offer lots of opportunities for the students to participate. They can be repeated often to so that the students can become familiar with it and can anticipate the next sequence, action.
Maths: Maths permeates the school day. Use of objects of reference teach the students about the sequence of the day. Songs, rhymes and games give opportunities to understand pattern and changes in sequences, numbers. By repeating these familiar actions students learn to anticipate what comes next. They are able to explore quantity; patterns; space and position; number and measure through exciting, fun, motivating ‘hands-on’ activities.
Creative Arts: This includes activities such as drama, movement, dance, music, and art. These provide wonderful opportunities for communicating without language necessarily being the main focus. They provide fantastic opportunities for inclusion at all levels.
Music: Our students can have fun and develop an alternative system of communicating emotions. They can enjoy sharing an activity with another person who can respond and develop their interactions. It is an opportunity to develop communication, anticipatory skills and also an understanding of cause and effect.
Cooking: This provides the students with endless opportunities for sensory exploration and experience. It also incorporates a number of chances to learn about other areas of the curriculum, for example, mathematical concepts such as measure, number, shape, size, quantity, division etc. and scientific concepts for example, temperature, texture, materials, using their senses to explore and investigate.
Art: It is the process of carrying out the activity that is of paramount importance and NOT the end result. Students should be active learners who are free to explore the sensory aspects of the materials they use and to create art as much from unplanned as planned activities. It is, as always, presented with enthusiasm and fun. Creating an environment where the students are keen to participate and become involved in. Repetition is again a very important aspect of art so that skills can be practised and developed further. The students are given the opportunity to lead this activity and adults working with them can celebrate their achievements and success. Students are encouraged to look at and respond to materials and then communicate preferences or dislikes before actively exploring using fine and/or gross motor control to create.
ICT/Switch Skills: Using ICT enables the students to learn and access the world in a different way, have a little control over their immediate environment and have opportunity to make choices. The use of a power link means that the students can activate any piece of electrical equipment via the use of a single switch action, for example they can turn on a tape recorder to listen to music if they want to, or turn on the bubble machine; disco lights; electric fan or taped story. They can become part of a group making a cake and turn on the electric mixer or make smoothies and turn on the blender. Use of ICT and especially switches can raise the esteem and empower the students. They can go a little way in making their own decisions rather than having to ‘put up with’ our choices and decisions. Obviously we are still presenting them with their choices but it means they can have the final say as to whether they access the choices presented.
P.E. – Movement, Swimming and Hydrotherapy and Physiotherapy: The students all carry out their physiotherapy stretches and any exercises in the class and these are incorporated, whenever possible, into their everyday routine. This is so the exercises are enjoyable and can be accessed as part of a shared activity – which is always more fun than carrying them out in isolation. An example of this would be when working on positional words in Maths, such as up / down; in / out. The students would be carrying out these stretches during the songs ‘Up, up, up! Up with 1 hand’ (then 2 hands; 1 foot; 2 feet etc.); or ‘Put 2 hands on your head’ (then 2 hands on your tummy / feet / nose / out to the side/ up in the air etc.)
The hydro-therapy pool gives the students an understanding of their body in space. Their body will feel different in this medium; they will be able to move with greater freedom and attempt things not possible in other environments. Learning about how their body moves is of extreme importance for future learning in other curricula areas. It improves their all-round understanding and awareness. The value of swimming is both for fitness (maintaining movement) and fun. The attitude to water is generally one of pleasure and enjoyment. The properties of water mean that the students are able to move with greater freedom and carry out movements that they cannot necessarily carry out on land. This session is seen as both a time for stretching and working on maintaining each student’s movements.
P.S.H.E.: There are many things that our students can do to make life more predictable for them. Taking as large a role as possible in their own care routines is one of these. One of the main things that our children have to tolerate and accept as commonplace is that of being helped with everyday tasks such as feeding, washing, toileting etc but if they can have some control over this then it can be much more pleasurable and enjoyable.
Massage & Aromatherapy: Can assist with body awareness and help them to understand their bodies in relation to the space around them. Massage sessions can offer a multi-sensory experience and offer valuable insight in to how the child learns to process information from the environment. Touching, feeling, creams and oils, hot and cold, sounds, and smells all help to offer the child sensory experiences and the opportunity to explore the environment in a controlled and non-threatening way. 1:1 sessions with a child create opportunities to develop relationships, trust and communication, and also give the opportunity to relax and enjoy time together. This is an ideal opportunity to develop non-verbal and gestural communication, as the students are encouraged to reach out to request more and make choices.
Most of all, throughout the whole curriculum and activities the learning needs to be FUN. We need to provide activities that are stimulating and motivating, ones that are going to inspire the students to engage and participate.
Various specialist rooms are used to deliver a multi-sensory approach to learning. A white and dark room can be utilised to support the delivery of the curriculum as certain areas can be emphasised in this environment and the focus highlighted. These rooms encourage the child to develop visual and communication skills.
Students seem to learn better when they can see, hear, taste, touch and generally manipulate real things. This is just one of the many different approaches to learning that is used within the school to maximise the students learning potential.