Teaching and Learning and the Curriculum Framework


Contents
 
  1. All about our school
  2. Achieving our vision
  3. Our Curriculum aims
  4. Our Teaching Community- developing, monitoring and reflection
  5. Emotional well-being and access
  6. Class groups, inclusion and pupil voice
  7. Our Curriculum phases: EYFS/KS1 and KS2
  8. Curriculum mapping- what we teach
  9. The Core Curriculum
  10. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural learning
  11. Teaching and learning through expressive arts
  12. Global dimension
  13. Teaching and learning methods-how we teach
  14. Achievement


1. All about our school

The Brook Primary Special School is within the same learning community and in the same building as The Willow Primary School and our vision is very simply about children on a continuum of need including those with the most profound and complex of needs, who are learning, living and belonging together in an aspirational learning environment where every child’s needs are met. 
Haringey is an area rich in cultural diversity, and the Brook community faces all the benefits and challenges of inner city life from the range of different experiences, cultures, religions, customs and languages which pupils, parents/carers and staff bring to the school.  Although our children will come from across the Local Authority, we are very much a part of the Broadwaters Inclusive Learning Community (BILC).
The Brook Primary Special School caters for up to 100 pupils aged between four and eleven and covers two phases of education: foundation and primary. The Brook offers co-educational day school provision for children with profound, severe and complex learning difficulties; those who have language and communication needs; pupils with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), plus associated physical, medical, communication and emotional needs. This complex range of need and the inclusive nature of our campus create huge demands on the school’s curriculum to be able to meet the needs of every pupil. The majority of Brook pupils will progress to Riverside as their secondary special school and most of them will then move to the Sixth Form Centre. 


2. Achieving our vision

The School Vision
 
‘Our vision for the Brook is a simple one;  In a state of the art building, fostering an innovative, far sighted, inclusive approach, pupils will be learning together in an aspirational environment, where their very differing educational needs will be fully met.’
 
To achieve this, we will create a school and inclusive learning campus where:
 
  • The approach across the inclusive campus is holistic and one of collaboration, harmony and trust, creating a safe, supportive learning community.
  • Difference and diversity is valued, understood, embraced and celebrated and the whole learning community is respected and valued.
  • Every child’s entitlement to enjoy his/her childhood and to be kept safe is recognised
  • The environment and curriculum provides every pupil with the opportunity to grow personally, socially and academically to be the best they can be.
  • Pupils develop an overwhelming sense of self confidence and high self-esteem within a stimulating and caring environment.
  • The school is full of laughter, light, excitement and enthusiasm.
  • Excellent teaching and learning is central to everything we do and is challenging, rewarding and fun.
  • The needs of every child are met.
  • Creativity is placed at the centre of teaching and learning, breaking down the barriers between subjects and pupils individual differences.
  • The curriculum is continuously reinvented by a learning community which is committed to shaping the learning of our pupils.
  • Staff are skilled, reflective practitioners who are themselves continually learning – professionals committed to achieving extraordinary results for our pupils.
  • Communication is central to everything we do - every pupil will leave the school with an individualised system of communication which can be pre-verbal, signed or verbal.
  • A wide-ranging and highly skilled multidisciplinary team work collaboratively with the school to provide access to the curriculum across the range of pupils.
  • There are clear boundaries and structures set for the pupils, which are well communicated and consistently reinforced.
  • Positive images of and attitudes towards all our pupils are developed in the community in order to access their right be included in that community.
  • A caring community which is based on fair, understanding and compassionate relationships
  • Equal access is provided for all pupils, staff, parents/carers and other members of the school community to the physical environment of the school
  • The learning community including parents/carers; governors; friends and supporters are proud of the school and actively work together in partnership to achieve the inclusive vision.

3. Our Curriculum aims

At The Brook the curriculum reflects the school that we have and prioritises the individual nature of access for the pupils to the curriculum. The school, its staff and governors are committed to the on-going development of the curriculum. The curriculum of any school is central to meaningful and effective education, it is concerned not just with the ‘what’ is taught but also 'how’ it is to be delivered. Our aim is to provide quality education by seeking to positively and honestly address the individual learning needs of all the school’s pupils including the most profound of learning difficulties and complex needs.  All pupils are entitled to a broad, balanced, relevant and creative curriculum that aims to provide opportunities for all pupils to learn and achieve and promote pupils spiritual, moral, social, cultural and physical development and prepares all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.
 
Our curriculum promotes and sustains a thirst for knowledge and understanding and a love of learning. It covers a wide range of subjects and provides opportunities for academic, technical and sporting excellence. It has a very positive impact on all pupils’ behaviour and safety, and contributes very well to pupils’ academic achievement, their physical well-being, and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

4. Our Teaching Community

Our curriculum development is seen as the responsibility of all members of our school community, it reflects not only the needs of the children but also takes account of the view of families, Governors and the local community. Staff workshops ‘share and inspire’ are held as part of our CPD program to develop curricular ideas and to share specific skills, resources and expertise resulting in best practice being spread effectively in a drive for continuous improvement.
As the curriculum framework has been devised uniquely and imaginatively by our school community working closely together, sharing ideas and supporting each other, a great feeling of ownership and commitment towards our particular approach has been generated. This in turn has led to real consistency and continuity of learning for every child throughout the entire school. Consistency is vital for children with learning disabilities if their education is to be successful. It is important to stress that we are continually evaluating our work, and therefore the curriculum will continue to change and develop over time.
Teachers all have a whole school role as a ‘Curriculum leader’ and form part of a curriculum team, as well as leading on and developing their curriculum areas they also write termly ‘bank schemes of work’ which class teachers then adapt and develop for their individual classes.  Leaders get feedback from their colleagues each year and adapt schemes based on this; this ensures a continual developing and improving curriculum. ‘Learning Walks’ give curriculum leaders an overall view of how their area is being delivered and developed throughout the school, this is a two-way process that ensures each curriculum area is continually evolving (for more information see learning walks document). Curriculum leaders also have responsibility for a budget, resources, policies and teacher’s appraisal usually includes an objective within their area (see curriculum leader expectations).

5. Emotional well-being, behaviour and access to the curriculum

Children learn best when their world feels safe, secure and predictable. At The Brook School we do not seek to control children’s behaviour but empower the individual child to manage their own behaviour and access to learning. With the support of all school staff, children use the experience of the everyday to build internal resources that will help promote resilience through the successes and challenges offered during the school day.
Through these experiences children will begin to internalise skills and strategies that will enable them to regulate their own feelings thereby managing their levels of anxiety in what can be a chaotic and confusing world.
The degree to which the individual will be able to do this will vary from child to child, representing a continuum whereby some will need a great deal of on-going structured support whereas others will become increasingly more independent.
At whichever point a child is on that continuum we as a school will continue to work to support that child’s growing development and emotional well-being working closely with all involved professionals and the child’s family to ensure continued access to the whole school curriculum and community life, both within and outside school.
We will ensure that any response to a child’s behaviour reflects a graded and gradual approach that takes account of each child’s individual learning needs and the demands of the situation.
See our behaviour policies and the document ‘I need your AID!’  for more information

The work of the Multi-Disciplinary Team MDT
The aim of the Multi-Disciplinary Team in school is to enable pupils to maximise their access to all areas of the curriculum. This is achieved by providing a level of skills and understanding within the classrooms for staff to have a range of strategies available to use dependent upon the needs of the individual pupil. Across all levels of need – physical, sensory, language and communication, etc. Support is provided in 2 stages;
 
  1. The Universal Offer to all pupils in all classes.
The support is planned from the baseline assessment data that identifies the individual needs of pupils and how to meet those needs; and the training needs of staff to deliver that support. The training can be whole school, class or key stage specific and delivered by therapists from the MDT.
 
  1. Individualised Targeted Support for classes or individuals in class.
This can be offered within a two-step approach
Step 1
This may be through in-class support, meetings with the class staff or targeted CPD sessions, etc. drawn from the class baseline meetings, feedback from the class teacher and key stage leaders along with data output from CASPA.
Step 2
When all of the above has been implemented but there is still concerns it may require in-class support from a range of members of the MDT to coordinate programmes that will support a more focussed approach to an individual pupil.
 
The structure will then support the work of the MDT and help to establish a focussed and transparent structure of support and maximise pupil’s access to the curriculum.
  
Music Therapy currently serves pupils across The Brook in addition to their music curriculum. It takes place in a class, small group and individual basis.  It is funded through Tottenham Grammar School Foundation alongside Dance and Movement Therapy.

6. Class groups, inclusion and the curriculum, Pupil Voice
 
How class groups are made up is a fundamental part of how teachers teach and how pupils learn. We believe in mixed ability groups as part of our inclusive vision and we consider a pupil’s years of life experience being as important as their developmental stage and ability when deciding on which class group they are in. Each class group spans no more than 2 academic years in terms of pupil’s age, this ensures that they are learning together with peers of a similar age.
Through having a primary model of mixed ‘ability’ classes with differing levels of language, social, physical and cognitive ability, we create a learning environment in which pupils learn from one another as well as the teacher and support staff. Learning takes place through modelling to one another, sharing skills and developing understanding of each other’s needs. Dylan William’s research into having ability grouped classes demonstrates that ‘by separating pupils into classes based on ability we encourage teachers to see pupils as identical - in terms of ability, preferred learning style and pace of working. In mixed-ability groups, on the other hand, teachers often let pupils work at their own pace’.
Class groups and Inclusion
At the Brook we have the privilege of learning together with a mainstream school (The Willow) and the opportunities are endless. We plan inclusion very carefully (see later section on principles of inclusion at the Brook). Each pupil at The Brook has their own class group, usually made up of 7 pupils, a teacher and 3 support staff. Each pupil has their own programme of inclusion which varies from pupil to pupil dependent on individual needs. For example, some access morning phonics sessions with their paired Willow class, some take part in termly projects and some pupils enjoy having Willow pupils come to learn with them in their own classroom.
Every class on BILC has a partner class – between the Brook and the Willow, related to their age/year group. Inclusive work is carried out as part of the curriculum – particularly the Global and International work. Throughout the year, there are a number of projects, events and assemblies which are also inclusive e.g. Creative Arts Festival, Time capsule, Wildlife project, Opera project, sports day. As previously stated, all Brook music lessons are inclusive, a KS2 Brook teacher also teaches weekly inclusive art lessons. There is also individual needs led inclusion throughout the school for pupils from both Brook and Willow attending particular curriculum areas which is better supported by the other school.
Our staff and pupils have agreed the principles and practice of Inclusion to be;
  • Shared key stages assemblies and activities
  • Consistent use of non-verbal communication across both schools
  • Projects and trips out between paired classes and sharing objectives
  • Meaningful opportunities and learning together
  • Ensuring that all children and staff have equal access to opportunities and experiences and everyone feels they have a place
  • Having a sense of belonging, community and ownership
  • Celebrating differences and understanding each other’s needs
  • Removing barriers with shared values and unconditional acceptance
  • Trust, rights, responsibilities, empathy
  • Communication between staff and planning together
  • Providing an enabling environment for inclusion to take place and enabling everyone to participate in all activities at their own level
  • Value given to each person’s level of progress
  • Making the curriculum fit the child and not the child fit the curriculum
  • Ensuring each child is interacting with their peers irrespective of ability and giving them the opportunity to feel they belong
  • Working together as one towards a goal, celebrating achievement and success
  • Sense of cohesion where everyone is heard and has their views acknowledged.
  • Building understanding relationships and learning a sense of responsibility towards each other
  • Including the parents and families in the school community
  • Enjoying the present, whilst preparing for the future
 
Pupil voice and school council at the Brook School   

Respecting and developing ‘pupil voice’ is at the heart of all that we do at the Brook; especially considering that many pupils have communication difficulties or have difficulties with social interaction, which means their voice isn’t always easily heard. It is important for the supporting adults at school to help the pupils find and use their voice and at times act as an advocate on their behalf. Pupils are constantly encouraged and enabled to have a pertinent, enthusiastic, listened to, heard and influential voice. Their thoughts, opinions and attitudes are considered throughout every area of the curriculum and where possible the pupils are given choices and offered opportunities to express themselves. Through art, music, drama, dance, planned PSED sessions and much more the pupils can share as much of their personality as they want to with their peers and support staff.
The pupil’s differences are celebrated daily and each child is made to feel part of the school with the curriculum tailored around each of their individual needs. They work, play and learn in a positive environment and can feel a strong sense a belonging. For a long time now, peer advocacy has been a clear focus for us at the Brook and by enabling the pupils to support each other they can collaboratively work alongside each other as part of the student body. This helps the pupils develop their self-esteem so they can manage their behaviour and inevitably become more independent encouraging their personal, social and emotional development. The school is considered ‘everyone’s school’ and all pupils and staff have responsibility of shaping the future at The Brook. This approach goes hand in hand with the Brook’s culture of high pupil expectations and giving pupils ownership over building their future.
The School Council is made up of 13 pupil representatives, one from each class in FS/KS1 and KS2. Their classmates and class staff elect their ‘reps’ at the beginning of the academic year to represent the views of the class at the council meetings. Meetings take place every two weeks and have a different topic focus, which is discussed at each session. Topics include: school dinners, the playground, inclusion, whole school events and joint BILC events.
Each class discusses the chosen topic together and decide what they want to share with the council. They communicate their views via their class student council book. This could include written messages, symbols, pictures, photos or drawings. The rep’s take the books to the council meetings and share their class’ views in turn.
The format of the meetings change and are either joint with the Willow student council, whole Brook School or divided into (Brook) Ks1 and Ks2. These fortnightly meetings are planned so that on average there will be two of each format every term.
The pupils are supported in every way to contribute to each meeting with the appropriate use of support staff and communication aids. The opinions, ideas and viewpoints from the meetings are shared with the school community and where possible action is taken to adhere to the wishes / needs of the pupils.
We are an ever-improving school and believe that expectation, accompanied by opportunity, is a powerful force for change and that listening to the ‘pupil voice’ is essential in driving this change.

7. Curriculum phases and progression
 
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Early Learning through Play and Key Stage 1 In the Foundation phase and Key Stage 1 for learners with complex needs, the less formal approaches of the Foundation Stage complement the provision made. The curriculum provides a holistic experience that makes sense to the learners; differentiation may include the incorporation of various therapies
Addressing the individual needs of all children lies at the heart of The Brook Early Years Foundation Stage.  Our excellent EYFS team develops individual transition programmes for each child coming into the school. Baselines are an integral part of pupils first term, getting to really know them as a person and developing trusting relationships in which effective teaching and learning can take place. Teaching is highly responsive to children’s needs because;
  • Children learn through play and we ensure that children with additional support needs have the same opportunities to play as everyone else. This will include developing their communication, attention span and physical skills.
  • Some children may need help and encouragement with activities and we have access to a number of highly skilled professionals who can give advice and support.
  • We provide a highly stimulating environment and exceptional organisation of the educational programmes that reflects rich, varied and imaginative experiences that meet the needs of all children exceedingly well.
  • We aim to give a wide variety of multi-sensory experiences and activities and have access to a wide range of excellent learning resources including a sensory room, soft play and hydrotherapy pool.
  • Children make consistently high rates of progress in relation to their starting points and are extremely well prepared academically, socially and emotionally for the next stage of their education.
  • Accurate assessment, including through high quality observations is rigorous, sharply focused and includes all those involved in the child’s learning and development. Provision across all areas of learning is well planned and based on regular and precise assessments of children’s achievement so that every child undertakes highly challenging activities.
  •  By the end of reception year at the Brook most children are highly motivated, very eager to join in and consistently demonstrate the characteristics of effective learning with curiosity, imagination and concentration. The children are developing an understanding of how to keep themselves’ safe and manage risks and challenges and are beginning to manage their own behaviour and learn about cooperation and respect for others.
  • Successful strategies engage parents and carers, in their children’s learning in school and at home so that we can start how we mean to go on!
We know many pupils at The Brook School will have personal priority needs that are central to their learning and quality of life. Some pupils have therapeutic needs or require paramedical care. Provision for these needs is a legitimate and essential element of the curriculum and needs to be planned for. This provision enhances individual pupils’ readiness to learn in many ways, for example by: -
  • Promoting pupils’ autonomy and independence through the use of specialist aids and equipment in necessary.
  • Developing pupils’ self-esteem and providing individual support programmes to help pupils manage difficult behaviours and emotions
  • Providing structured communication programmes and allowing pupils’ behaviour and alternative ways of communicating to be acknowledged and understood
  • Positioning pupils so that they learn effectively and helping pupils to maintain good posture, appropriate muscle tone and ease of movement, and encouraging the development, refinement or maintenance of skills in independent mobility
  • Helping pupils to manage eating and drinking, or allowing time for pupils to be tube-fed so they are physically well and ready to learn.
  • Promoting relaxation and support to help pupils manage stress and anxiety
  • Providing soothing treatments for painful conditions to ensure pupils’ health and well-being
By the time our pupils are in KS1, staff will have an excellent understanding of the needs and priorities for each individual pupil moving through EYFS to KS1. KS1 continue to use the EYFS in terms of planning and assessment (the only difference being that they now use p-levels rather than the HEYP). Following a successful reception year our pupils in years one and two are very much settled into school life and routine and these years are very much about consolidating and extending learning and developing independence. The EYFS provides the most appropriate curriculum for our pupils at this stage.
 
 Key Stage 2 year 3-6 (the transition from pink to blue!) Progression, generalizing and embedding
 
As pupils progress through the school there is an emphasis on the development of independence, wherever possible. We work in close collaboration with our colleagues at Riverside School and other secondary schools in ensuring a planned and successful transition from KS2 to KS3 for all of our pupils.
 
When entering KS2 pupils progress on to a new stage of the curriculum mapping which sets apart national curriculum subjects into more formal, discrete taught lessons (see mapping). This is seen as the bridge to KS3, however, learning through play and multi sensory experiences continues to be very much part of the curriculum with age appropriate resources. Pupils begin to take on more responsibility within the school, providing modelling to younger pupils in FS/KS1.
Opportunities to practice, transfer and generalise skills are provided. This is an important area for all pupils and is the reason why KS2 pupils have more opportunities for whole day educational visits linked to their topics and our end of year 6 residential trip to Wales and for external projects and visitors e.g. Museum of London, Haringey Shed. Teachers plan opportunities for pupils to practice using life skills such as buying the ingredients for cooking lessons, going on public transport and taking part in local community gardening projects. Some of our Year 6 pupils now swim regularly at a local swimming pool.
 
Teaching staff continue to liaise closely with the multidisciplinary team of staff (see section on MDT) to allow access for all pupils to the curriculum.
 
Transition to Key stage 3 is very carefully planned for and begins at the end of Year 5 and the start of Year 6, pupils have a transition program to their new school. Projects such as ‘Leave my trace’ take place to prepare pupils for change. Pupils are given the opportunities to share and explore how they are feeling and for staff to listen and respond in a way which supports pupils for their next step.   
 
The rich and varied educational experiences which our pupils have at school ensure that they are very well equipped for the next stage of their education.

8. Curriculum Mapping  (What we teach)



At the Brook we have a rich, relevant, broad and balanced curriculum which, with excellent teaching, contributes to outstanding learning and achievement, significant growth in pupils’ knowledge, and excellent attitudes to learning.
Our long term curriculum mapping can be seen on the Curriculum Mapping page, it is based on a 4 yearly cycle, this is continually monitored and adjusted dependent on the evaluated success of a topic/programme of study (evaluated by staff and pupils).
As well as planning around individual pupils interests, we also have a termly whole school topic which were decided on by staff and pupils and based around national curriculum programmes of study (2014).  The whole school topic enables joint working between classes and a similar theme for pupils to follow. As well as a termly topic we also have a termly global learning thread which permeates all areas of teaching and learning (see global learning section for more information).
 As well as a topic and global learning thread permeating all areas of learning, we also have ‘Core areas of learning’ based on the EYFS prime areas- Communication, PSED and Sensory & physical development- these areas are taught across the curriculum as in the EYFS and are very much aided by joint working with therapists. These three areas are crucial to every child’s development, relationships and their links with the community and they permeate all other areas of the curriculum also. IEP targets are set using the core areas and a pupils statement. (see: core learning policy).
Specific areas of learning’ of the curriculum are PE, Music (although this tends to be a core), Expressive Arts and Design, Literacy, Maths and Understanding of the World (in KS2 this gets separated out into Science, Humanities and Technology). Most lessons tend to be cross curriculular and always address the core areas of learning. The topic very much informs what curriculum leaders in each specific area focus on for that term. e.g. For the whole school topic of Colour, light and dark and the space around us is Colour in Art, Night and Day in Science (KS2) and Continents and Oceans (KS2 Geography). All of these programmes of study are taken from the national curriculum 2014. Our specialists in Music and Global Learning use the topics to guide what they are teaching. Having this thread throughout the lessons being taught in class and throughout the school e.g. assemblies and displays means that there is continuity for children and a greater depth of learning. A 4 yearly cycle means that pupils can build on prior early learning in FS/KS1, a topic that has been taught in a more general way will then become more specific and focussed in KS2 (see light and dark example above)
Embedded within all areas and included on schemes of work are ICT, Inclusive opportunities, Community and Educational Visits and teaching and learning Outdoors.
We aim to provide a stimulating, secure and structured environment, building on the students’ innate abilities. There are many visiting artists, musicians and sports specialists, who contribute hugely to the expertise of The Brook School.
 
To view our curriculum area policies please click the links below (coming soon)
 
 
Communication, Language and literacy policy
Physical development/ Physical Education policy
Personal, social and emotional development policy
Mathematics policy
ICT policy
Music policy
Art policy
Humanities- R.E, History, Geography (KS2) policies
Knowledge and Understanding of the World policy (FS/KS1)
Science policy
Technology policy
Educational Visits policy
Collective worship policy

9. The Core Curriculum

Core areas of learning’ - Communication, PSED and Sensory & Physical Development- these areas are taught across the curriculum as in the EYFS and are very much aided by joint working with therapists. Individual pupil profiles and targets are produced jointly between therapists and class teachers. These three areas are crucial to every child’s development, relationships and their links with the community and they permeate all other areas of the curriculum also.
Communication is central to everything we do; we put high value on all of our pupils being able to use language within a total communication framework that includes non-verbal and verbal communication, intensive interaction, objects of reference, gestures, signing, symbols, additional communication aids, ICT and speech.  One of the aims is for each pupil to leave the school with a system of communication. 
Many of our pupils with Autism ASD will have a great deal of difficulty communicating. Often even if a person with ASD has a high level of speech they will use it to talk ‘at you’ on their own terms, about their own interests. They may be unable to talk about their own thoughts and emotions. They often will not be able to understand gestures, facial expressions or tone of voice; they may use gestures themselves, which can seem odd or inappropriate.  Each child at The Brook is an individual and therefore their speech and language therapy input will reflect their particular needs be they ASD, SLD/GLD or PMLD.
 
The teacher and speech and language therapist (SALT) will assess, offer advice and give direct input where appropriate in the following areas:
 
  1. Early interaction communication skills including intensive interaction; objectives of reference; non verbal communication, copying etc.
  2. A total communication approach recognising what the pupil does both pre-intentionally and intentionally.
  3. Understanding of language structures and vocabulary.
  4. Length of sentences and types of words used e.g. verbs, adjectives.
  5. Social use of language.
  6. Social skills with peers and adults.

SALT’s will work with the staff in the pupil’s classroom to create situations in which the pupils are motivated to communicate. They work closely with school staff to plan programmes, contribute to individual education programmes and advise parents about developing communication at home. This way the teacher, class team and the SALT can make sure that the pupil’s skills are becoming generalised into every setting in which they need to communicate. SALT’s may work with pupils both individually and in groups, depending on the individual needs of each pupil.
 
Visual strategies may be used to help pupils to learn, including Makaton to support their understanding of language, and symbols and pictures to help them communicate.
 
 Examples of these strategies may include:
  • Use of photographs/pictures/objects of reference
  • Visual timetables – these help some pupils’ understanding of daily routines.
  • PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) - this involves pupils exchanging a picture or sentence made up of pictures or pictorial symbols to help them communicate their wants and needs.
(See Communication Policy for more information)
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED). PSED principles underpin teaching in all curriculum areas and throughout the school day.  EYFS Guidance provides the following rationale for the importance of PSED in education:
“For children, being special to someone and well cared for is vital for their physical, social and emotional health and well-being.  Being acknowledged and affirmed by important people in their lives leads to children gaining confidence and inner strength through secure attachments with these people.  Exploration within close relationships leads to the growth of self-assurance, promoting a sense of belonging which allows children to explore the world from a secure base.  Children need adults to set a good example and to give them opportunities for interaction with others so that they can develop positive ideas about themselves and others. Children who are encouraged to feel free to express their ideas and their feelings, such as joy, sadness, frustration and fear, can develop strategies to cope with new, challenging or stressful situations.”
 
At The Brook we encourage our pupils to play a positive role in contributing to the life of the school and the wider community. In so doing we help develop their sense of self-worth.  Where possible we ensure that they experience the process of democracy in school through participating in decision-making processes that are relevant and meaningful to them and that impact on their immediate and wider environments (see pupil voice).  We help them develop an awareness of rights and responsibilities.  Our aim is that they experience what it means to be a positive member of a diverse multicultural society.
 
PSED is considered to be a core area as pupils learn to understand themselves physically, emotionally, socially and sexually and to understand their relationships with others.  In particular, it offers our pupils opportunities to make choices and decisions, and to take some degree of responsibility and control over their own lives. It is often commented that pupils with ASD appear aloof or indifferent to other people. We work on supporting the development of another’s  feelings/thoughts as well as the development of joint attention, sharing and play skills (such as our ‘twiddle club’ see Interventions document).
We acknowledge that all our pupils, whatever their ability; have a sexual identity and therefore a right to receive an appropriate sex education programme.  We continue an innovative approach to sex education, based on programmes developed over many years involving drama and puppets to allow access for our wide range of needs.  (Parents/carers have the right to withdraw their child from Relationships and Sex Education lessons).
For more information see our PSED policy and Sex and Relationships Policy
Physical/Sensory Development and Physical Education.
The PE curriculum is intended to provide for pupils’ increasing self-confidence in their ability to manage themselves and their bodies with a variety of movement activities. PE, through physiotherapy and hydrotherapy also allows physical access to all areas of the curriculum.  A balance of individual, group and team, co-operative and competitive activities caters for the preferences, strengths and needs of each pupil.  Activities across the school include athletics, boccia, cycling, dance, football, gymnastics, hydrotherapy, new age kurling, trampettes, and swimming at the very least!  Trampoline/rebound therapy is also offered to pupils on an individual/small group basis.

The differing needs of particular pupils dictate the variable balance in the provision of the curriculum for instance, pupils with complex needs benefit from more individual intensive interaction processes while children with PMLD benefit from more sensory activities, hydrotherapy and periods devoted to physiotherapy programmes such as stretching exercises to get the children more flexible and ready to access the curriculum. The school works closely with the therapists to incorporate therapy programmes into the curriculum e.g. arm and leg stretches in PE, swimming and rebound therapy. For some pupils acquiring, developing, applying and extending physical orientation and mobility skills will be a high priority and take up a large part of their learning time. These skills include; fine motor skills, whole body skills, positioning skills, managing the environment and tolerating and/or managing mobility aids. At The Brook the development of these skills are embedded into the teaching process. Therefore we deliver PE not only as a discrete subject within the statutory framework of the National Curriculum but it also encompasses a range of therapy programmes  to allow all pupils to physically access areas of the curriculum.
Pupils also have many opportunities to be physically active during morning and lunchtime playtimes and throughout the school day and during the week, using the specialist soft play room, the hydrotherapy pool and in the school playgrounds and sports activity spaces where they are encouraged to use a variety of games equipment, bikes and fitness/adventure type climbing equipment which is provided, supervised and supported by trained staff.
Through providing children with a range of opportunities to be physically active which they can access throughout the school day, complemented by a healthy eating programme they begin to learn how physical activity can help them to be more healthy and how physical activity can improve and be part of their everyday life. 
Many of our pupils have sensory needs that need to be addressed to enable access to the curriculum. We work hard to ensure that all staff understand the sensory needs of our pupils and our curriculum reflects this specialist knowledge. Our focus is to help children self-regulate their sensory and physiological state, resulting in them recognising and regulating their impulses. Each child will be different and their capacity to integrate these sensations will lie on a continuum. Rarely will two children react the same way to the world around them, therefore the strategies to support them will need to be very individual.  Many pupils have ‘sensory profiles’ which detail how to help a pupils learn through addressing their sensory needs. Particular pupils engage in sensory circuits in the mornings.
See PE policy and Sensory Circuit information
 
10. Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural

The Brook strives for a wide-ranging promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development which enables them to thrive in a supportive, highly cohesive learning community.

The spiritual development of pupils at the Brook is demonstrated through staff teaching pupils how to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them. Teachers encourage the use of imagination and creativity in pupils learning and engage pupils in reflecting on their experiences.
The moral development of pupils is shown by their ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and readily apply this understanding in their own lives and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions. Pupils are taught to listen to others and to be able to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others.
The social development of pupils is shown where possible, through pupils range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds and a willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively. The Brook teaches pupils how to accept  the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs,  the pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain
The cultural development of pupils is shown by their understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain. This is done through projects and assemblies such as black history month and refugee week.
 Pupils show an interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity, and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socioeconomic groups in the local, national and global communities.

11. Expressive Arts comprising Art and Design, Dance, Drama and Movement and Music

The Brook uses expressive arts at every opportunity to deliver the curriculum; it is how most of our pupils are best reached. Many teachers and SNA’s have a specialism in some form of creative arts which ensures that teaching and learning is always creative and fun.
Music is taught both as a discrete subject, and in a cross curricular way. In order for pupils to learn through their most effective means, and to work to their strengths and abilities, a multi-sensory approach to teaching and learning is often used in music activities. All Brook music sessions are inclusive with small groups of children from the Willow. As well as teaching and learning musical knowledge, skills and understanding, cross curricular topics are referred to which enhance and extend the musical repertoire, as well as ensuring a meaningful link to the work done in class. All pupils are given access to the full range of musical experiences, equipment, facilities, based on a framework of musical development that spans all abilities – experiences which are differentiated to include all needs. The learning context provided offers a broad and stimulating environment which reflects the diversity of the whole school population and society at large.
Key skills are taught through music: choice making; gross and fine motor skills; communication; anticipation; social interactions; turn taking; developing receptive and expressive communication; responding to instructions
In addition, all classes throughout the school use music activities to support other areas of the curriculum – live and recorded. Music is also used as a ‘sound of reference’ or auditory cue throughout the school day – to encourage recognition, awareness, participation, anticipation.
Sherborne Developmental Movement (SDM) is used throughout the music lessons.
This is a form of therapeutic intervention, which seeks to engage pupils in interactive learning, through shared movement experiences. It supports pupils in:
  • Confidence in the way the body moves
    • Awareness of spatial dimensions and where the body/body parts are in space
    • Awareness of relationships and group dynamics
    • Creativity
  • Underpinning all relationship work in the music lessons is the development of   trust and confidence in self and others
All children have access to the Inclusive drumming club which includes pupils from all classes in the Brook and the Willow year 2 classes. This is jointly run by a Ghanaian master drummer and dancer with skilled musicians and dancers from the Brook staff team.
 See Music policy for more information
 
We have been awarded the Artsmark Gold award because;
(taken for the Brook Artsmark gold report 2015)
  • Inclusion is at the heart of everything offered, starting with the needs of the individual children and finding ways for them to access the curriculum and to develop a sense of the self and of others.
  • All class timetables show that the four art forms are featured across the week’s lessons. This reveals that the arts are an integral part of most of the curriculum provision, often combining so that, for example, music and art would be used in teaching maths. These timetables make a powerful statement about the importance of the arts in all areas of learning.
  • Pupils are offered interactive story-telling, Sherborne developmental movement, film and animation.
  • Throughout the school, there is evidence of collaborative art work: banners, sculptures and installations, photographs and classroom activities in progress. The school environment and the resources available have been designed and selected to enhance arts provision. Examples include dedicated spaces for dance, music and art, a large range of instruments, costumes and materials and outdoor areas for story-telling, music-making and role-play.
  • The SLT and a dedicated arts team have a strong vision and create a community of artists among pupils, staff members and outside practitioners.
  • The arts provision has a positive impact on pupil’s behaviour, engagement, aspirations, their self-confidence and self-esteem and attitude to learning.
  • The importance of the word inclusion is a key driver of provision and a major factor in children’s sense of well-being. Photographs throughout the school show children fully engaged in sensory art activities, music and movement, often with children from The Willow School. It is possible to see focus and enjoyment as well as relationships with other children across both settings.
  • The use of Sherborne movement was highlighted particularly for its impact on well-being and confidence.
  • A school governor, with particular responsibility for behaviour, confirmed that the arts are essential in helping children to develop a sense of themselves and to acquire skills that would enrich their lives in the world outside and sustain them in adulthood.
  • At the Brook, everything starts from the needs of a child, staff are then creative in finding ways to facilitate the children’s own self-expression and in offering an environment that can support this.
  • Respect is accorded to all the sounds and vocalisations a child makes, whether this is the sound of breath or vocalisation. Specialist staff can support the child to amplify and alter this sound and to have control over the sounds produced.
  • Staff members have a range of skills and talents that they contribute regularly in creative arts weeks and other events. There is an open invitation to ‘run with an idea’, and people feel valued when they can take responsibility for an activity or project. This is another aspect of the school commitment to inclusion and the recognition that a lot can be offered ‘in-house’ in terms of the arts.
 
12. Global Learning

The Global Dimension is embedded throughout the curriculum as a thread that runs through with the whole school topics (see mapping).
A global citizenship/Literacy/PSED/ Rights and Responsibilities of the Child scheme of work, based on the Human rights book ‘We are All Born Free’ has been written, developed and shared between The Brook and The Willow, and elements of this work are being used as part of  Global Citizenship and cross curricular sessions which promote and develop knowledge, skills and values of : identity & belonging, sustainable living, fairness & equality, conflict & peace, rights & responsibilities, Self-awareness, empathy, conflict resolution, creative thinking, critical thinking, communicating, collaborating , taking action, positive sense of identity, openness to new ideas, sense of interdependence, desire to make a difference, commitment to rights and responsibilities, peace, justice & sustainability.  The intention is for these activities and sessions to be inclusive – working with partner classes on a regular basis as well as projects e.g. as part of the Creative Arts Festival. The Global Citizenship pack includes resources from International Primary Curriculum(at The Willow) international links, differentiated learning objectives which encompass the needs of our whole school community – from P1(i); EYFS to National Curriculum Year 6 PSHE and Literacy (comprehension and composition).  We are developing strategies to share and embedded in the global themes throughout the curriculum, to which the Global Citizenship scheme of work lends itself, having many cross curricular links, and extending these values to circle times and other inclusive sessions.
As separate schools, we had received the International Schools Award, we are now in the process of applying for the International Schools Award (ISA) at the Brook.
 
International work – cluster partnership with 3 UK & 3 Ghanaian schools                                     We have been awarded the Connecting classrooms (British Council) grant for our cluster of schools. We have a long standing relationship (9 years) with schools in Ghana. Classes in all 6 schools are working inclusively and creatively to develop symbols of Freedom as well as differentiating and developing new ideas, then sharing them with each other via emails, Skype conversations, and future visits. The whole partnership, is encouraging pupils to think about their identity and belonging, self-awareness, empathy, similarities & differences and different ways of communicating – e.g. different languages, non – verbal, sign language, etc. Each of the 6 schools has started differentiating the Rights and Responsibilities schemes of work so they are meaningful for their individual school community, and ideas have been shared between the 6 schools for different activities. The work on freedom has started thinking on rights and responsibilities, fairness and equality, creative thinking as well as the themes and skills already mentioned.
 
The Brook has also worked on a 2 Comenius Projects: on Pupil Voice and on inclusion across Europe including UK, Turkey, Norway, Cyprus, Spain, Denmark, Estonia, Belgium.  As part of this work we encourage friendship, interdependence, and respect for all, and support pupils towards a greater understanding of what it means to be a global citizen, including a growing understanding of their rights as citizens as they prepare for adult life. We are applying for the British Council ‘Erasmus’ (European) International grant this year, with a particular focus on Creativity.
 
13. Teaching and learning methods/curriculum delivery (How we teach)
 
At The Brook we do not follow one approach to teaching and learning. We expect and develop teachers to have a ‘tool kit’ approach, this means knowing and understanding different methodologies. Some of the methods our teachers use are TEACCH, Intensive interaction, techniques associated with ABA, Attention Autism, TACPAC, incorporating therapies into teaching e.g. Occupational Therapy sensory techniques/sensory circuits.
 
Teachers at The Brook have consistently high expectations of all pupils; they plan and teach lessons that enable pupils to learn exceptionally well across the curriculum. Teachers and other adults authoritatively impart knowledge to ensure that pupils are engaged in learning and generate high levels of commitment to learning across the school. Teachers use well-judged teaching strategies, including setting appropriate homework that, together with clearly directed and timely support and intervention, match pupils’ needs, accurately.
Each pupil is taught individually and as part of a group using an approach which best suits their learning needs. Teachers systematically and effectively check pupils’ understanding throughout lessons, anticipating where they may need to intervene and doing so with notable impact on the quality of learning. Consistently high quality marking and constructive feedback from teachers ensure that pupils make significant and sustained gains in their learning (see assessment policy for more information)
 
Our CPD programme and appraisal process helps to give teachers and SNA’s the skills they need to continually develop and improve their ‘tool kits’. Leaders focus relentlessly on improving teaching and learning and provide focussed professional development for all staff, especially those that are newly qualified or at an early stage of their careers. This is underpinned by searching performance management that encourages, challenges and supports teachers’ improvement.
 
14. Achievement
 
Our pupils achieve well due to all aspects mentioned in this framework. The pursuit of excellence in all of the school’s activities is demonstrated by an uncompromising and highly successful drive to strongly improve, or maintain, the highest levels of achievement and personal development for all pupils over a sustained period of time.
Our Assessment, Recording and Reporting policy (click here) details how we assess our pupils at the Brook and how we monitor pupil’s progress. Our yearly data analysis and report give details of achievement and progress and focussed intervention groups based on the analysis. Please look at achievement part of website for these reports.
 
The school development plan (click here) also gives information on the areas of the curriculum, teaching and learning and assessment which we are focussing on developing, how we are doing it and what we expect the impact to be.






 
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