Our Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 setting is located at Upton Grange for children aged 3 to 11 years old. We also have a Primary setting located at Yiewsley Grange, where we have classes from the early years foundation stage up to year 6.
Access to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and National Curriculum for all pupils aged from three and a half to twelve years. The National Curriculum is tailored to the individual needs of the pupil through the use of the Rising Stars Progression Framework and The Access to Education Framework. The Pupil and School Support SEN Toolkits are designed to be used in primary settings with pupils in Year One or above who are working significantly below the expected level for their age and are not making progress towards closing the gap.
Curriculum delivery is supported through the Total Communication approach for pupils who require Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).
Our topic curriculum is implemented through ‘The creative Learning Journey’ which is a skills-based curriculum focusing on personalised learning through topic. Our focused teaching procedures ensure that each child progresses at their own individual pace and works towards achieving their potential.
The Learning environment
Our strong emphasis on visual support and displays creates a purposeful learning environment and computer programmes such as Widget and Boardmaker support this. Every class has a visual timetable, and the interactive learning board outlines the structure of each lesson, the key language and the behaviour that is expected. Pupils have access to iPads to support learning. Structured approaches are also used which include Picture Exchange Communication System, Proloquo2go and Makaton.
The Early Years Foundation Stage
There are seven areas of learning and development that shape the EYFS programme. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas are communication and language, physical development, personal, social and emotional development. Children are also supported in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.
The Semi Formal Curriculum at Key Stage 1 & 2
The semi-formal curriculum at Hillingdon Manor School is for children and young people with severe learning difficulties. Our rationale is based on the extensive research of respected educationalists in the world of SEN including Peter Imray, Penny Lacey and Barry Carpenter, the SEND code of practice, the national curriculum and the recommendations of the Rochford review (October 2016). The term ‘Semi-Formal Curriculum’ was first coined by Whitefield Academy Trust (2011), our lead teaching school for Initial Teacher Training. The semi-formal curriculum recognises that many of the young people have a range of complex learning difficulties; the curriculum is designed to meet learning needs by a personalised learning approach based on:
- becoming literate communicators
- becoming mathematical thinkers
- the acquisition of early learning skills which encompasses
- the development of thinking skills
- play (emotional, cognition and social dimensions)
- creative learning
Our Semi-Formal curriculum has its own curriculum areas, which are different to, but encompass the subjects on the UK National Curriculum: My Communication, My Thinking, Myself and My Body, The World About Me, Me and My Community, My Creativity, My Play & Leisure Skills, My Personal Development, My Forest Schools and My ICT. There are overlaps between our semi-formal curriculum areas and subjects on the UK National Curriculum. However, our semi-formal curriculum areas are designed to offer something totally distinct, to directly address SLD learning need, rather than an adaptation of the national curriculum in any form.
The Formal Curriculum at Key Stage 2
Our topic curriculum at key Stage 2 is implemented over a two-year cycle to avoid repetition and ensure appropriate coverage. Our topics are needs centred and individual skills are developed through the Creative Learning Journey. Each half termly topic has a specific subject focus which are PSHE, Geography, History, Science, Literacy and Maths. Every topic commences with a ‘What do we know?’ week to ascertain the children’s prior understanding or misunderstanding of a particular topic which culminates in a ‘Wow Starter’ day to launch the Cycle.