Enjoy Learn Master Succeed
At Elms School, we have high expectations of all pupils and we aim to support them with their social and emotional development as well as their learning needs. We want them to enjoy learning, thrive and become happy, productive members of an evolving British society.
At Elms School, we have created a bespoke curriculum offer that follows the new National Curriculum as well as embracing Fundamental British Values. “The broad and balanced curriculum successfully meets the pupils’ social, emotional and academic needs. In particular, the nurture programme provides pupils with very effective support that contributes well to their overall progress.” (Ofsted October 2017). In addition to academic subjects, we offer a range of activities through our “Student Led Learning” sessions, which occur every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.
The KsENT Algorithm in Pupil Asset
Twenty-three special schools in Kent have worked with a company called Pupil Asset to develop a bespoke assessment tool that will enable teachers to assess the progress of pupils of all abilities and ages using an agreed algorithm. The Kent special schools’ algorithm was developed from historic pupil progress data from a three-year period, across all year groups from a range of Kent schools. The schools were representative of all Kent special schools meeting the needs of all pupils: PSCN, SEMH and C&I.
The algorithm sets challenging and aspirational targets, which takes account of predicted progress from differing start points. The Pupil Asset tool enables targets to be generated from pupil starting points as they join our schools at different times. The algorithm will be reviewed annually as the data set develops to ensure it remains challenging and aspirational.
“Pupils make good progress from their starting points” (Ofsted October 2017). All teachers assess pupils’ work against the National curriculum and then track their progress using Pupil Asset. We report to parents three times per year in addition to the Education Health Care Plan review.
If a pupil is not making expected progress, we provide a specific programme of interventions delivered by our experienced HLTA’s. This programme is regularly reviewed
At Elms School, we off a wide range of accredited outcomes at Entry Level, Functional Skills and GCSE’s. We use a variety of examination boards to ensure the best possible outcomes for our pupils. We continue to research and develop our accredited outcomes for pupils in Key Stage Four, ensuring we continue to offer a relevant and broad range of accreditations. The current core offer for examination subjects is English, Maths, Computer Science, Science, Food Preparation and Nutrition and PE. We also offer some subjects as an option: Art, DT, MFL and Humanities. In Key Stage 4, pupils have the option to take a Duke of Edinburgh Award.
At Elms School, we are committed to using a holistic approach to support our learning expectations. All staff at Elms school work in a nurturing manner that embeds the Restorative Justice ethos of our school. We focus on removing possible barriers to learning and success by providing ‘tuck in days’ for our pupils at the start and end of each term. We also provide bespoke therapeutic interventions, such as Thrive in specific allotted Thrive rooms. This specific intervention supports pupils to manage their behaviour and regulate their emotions so that they can learn and succeed. We also offer some counselling; Lego Therapy and we implement OT and Speech and Language programmes as set by therapists. We work closely with our external partners, who are crucial in supporting our Holistic Approach. They include Virtual Schools, local Colleges, NHS, Social Services and Head Start.
Some pupils follow alternative curriculum programmes in Key Stage 4, which focus on developing core skills and preparation for the next steps in education or training. “Pupils are well supported to move to mainstream college after Year 11. Staff provide very effective personalised support to make sure these transitions are successful” (Ofsted October 2017.)
We have organised the subjects into Faculties, each with a Faculty lead. Within the team, staff continue to refine the curriculum provision ensuring that we best meet the needs of all our pupils. Each Faculty produces subject development plans and is responsible for the subject budgets.
Core Curriculum at Key Stages: 2017/18
Our day is structured so that we do most of the academic learning in the mornings. In Primary phase, pupils have one lesson in the afternoon followed by Student Led Learning three times per week. In the Secondary phase, all lessons occur in the mornings apart from Monday afternoons, which consists of PSHE and team-building activities. Secondary pupils also follow Student Led Learning activities for two to three afternoons per week