The senior department comprises 5 classes, the first of which is class 1. Class 1 is our class of students with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, and can have students of any age within the school. The class is linked with the Senior Department but all students in the class have links with the classes of the relevant age phase, throughout the school. Other classes in the department are classes 8 and 9, which are Key Stage 3 classes, and class 10, a Key Stage 4 class. Finally the Senior Department has the FE unit, the Henry Tyndale Sixth Form. Where appropriate, all students in the school who are Post 14 spend some time each week at the unit and the students on the Sixth form register also spend some time integrating with peers across the department on the main school site.
All the classes in the Department have a class teacher and there are 13 members of support staff who are shared amongst the classes to support the students learning as appropriate.
English, maths, science, ICT and PHSE form the core subjects of the curriculum at our school.
In class 1 the students work to develop clear communications and choices and build upon any skills or relevant areas for each individual, they do this through all the subjects of the national curriculum and using an experiential and sensory curriculum.
In the Senior department English is taught using a variety of techniques; individual and small group work will continue on communication, reading and writing skills as appropriate, whilst Literature takes the form of a whole class session, with individual props and equipment as needed, in which complex stories are told in a simplified manner over a number of weeks, with plenty of recapping to ensure the pupils have understood. Students continue to have access to literature throughout their time in the department. In Mathematics, we continue to cover all the Maths National curriculum areas to 16, however the focus builds throughout their time in the department towards practical life skill based maths; Money, time, measuring ingredients etc. From Key Stage 4 students have opportunities to practise their skills in real community situations. PSHE work will be targeted towards students individual need but also covers a lot of work on social skills, including modules on stranger danger, road safety, independent food technology, exploring, feelings and coping with the changes that occur during adolescence. All the students in the department continue to receive the broad and balanced curriculum. For students in Key Stages 3 & 4 teaching is organised in such a way that History, Geography and RE are all taught off timetable in special two day events during the year. The whole department comes together on one afternoon a week for a creative arts afternoon when the students work with different staff and peers and have an opportunity to try different artistic activities including Art, Music, Dance and Drama. Within these sessions we have produced a performance and at the end of each module we come together to demonstrate or display our work. When the students start Key stage 3 they begin work on Careers and Work experience. At Key Stage 4 the work is on main site, within our school. Students spend an hour a week completing tasks for their work experience programme either in a younger class or in the school office. Other opportunities have included helping set up for the hall for lunch.
Students also complete work each week towards the Accredited ‘Transition Challenge Course. The students course work and participation in regular class activities are a major part of this work.
When students are at the Henry Tyndale Sixth form the work experience is usually based in the community if it is appropriate to the individual. Much of the PE work that we complete is based in the community, including swimming; all the students attend one of the local swimming pools each week, unless their physical needs require that they make use of the school hydrotherapy pool.
Science, ICT, Design Technology, Food Technology and MFL (French) Form the rest of our weekly timetable.
The department makes full use of the local community, within English and maths work, integrated swimming with another local Special school, PE, integration with a local mainstream secondary school. We also have links, which involve us in various music and sports events in the county.
Each class, including class one, is involved in a week-long educational visit, and the Sixth Form go every year. On the years when class 10 are not away they have an exciting activities week.