Voyage Learning Campus - Primary Staff
|Samantha Richardson||Lead Teacher||Penguins Class|
|Christina Poole||Teacher||Turtles Class|
|Karen Evans||HLTA||Starfish Class/Assessment Class|
|Ellen Flynn||Teaching Assistant||Penguins Class|
|Michelle Blackborow||Teaching Assistant||Dolphins Class|
|Hannah Trego||Teaching Assistant||Turtles Class|
The Primary Unit is based on the Milton site in Weston-Super-Mare for students from Year 1 to Year 6 with the opportunity for some Year 7’s to remain if it is felt more time in a Primary environment would be beneficial to them.
We are a dedicated primary unit specifically tailored to meet the needs of Primary aged children. We firmly believe that all students have a right to receive an education which is tailored to meet their individual needs and learning styles. The curriculum we offer across Primary is designed to ensure that every child can experience success, achievement and are able to fulfil their potential; we do not just replicate what they got in mainstream but with smaller class sizes.
Part of this means that, we don’t group children by their age but by their needs and the support they will require in order to make progress behaviourally, socially, emotionally and academically.
We have 4 classes; Seahorses, Turtles, Dolphins and Penguins and children may start in one class and then move on to another when their needs change. Each class has a very different focus, approach to learning and curriculum.
Seahorse class focuses on allowing children to build up relationships with key adults so they feel special and safe about coming to school. It reduces any anxieties that they may have about going to school. Turtle class focuses on ‘Wowing’ children back into learning (often as many have become disengaged) with lots of practical and sensory learning activities, which also develops understanding of emotions. Penguins class then focuses on children learning to manage their behaviour, making the right choices while doing some more formal lessons. In Dolphins class it is most like a mainstream school where the children have a more formal approach to lessons. These are the children who we will try and return to a mainstream setting.
Starting at Primary
In order for us to ensure that we meet a child’s individual needs and we put them into the correct group, each child will spend time with our Higher Level Teaching Assistant completing a range of activities so we can begin to understand what it is they need. This means that over the first four weeks, they will have a slow transition, coming in for small amounts of time each day, 90 to 120 minutes. At the end of the four weeks, a review meeting is held with parents, the Local Authority and other agencies involved to discuss which group they will access and if any further support is needed. Once a decision is made, a child then begins a transition into their class, with full time education being the ultimate aim. The time taken for this depends on the progress of the child and how quickly they become ready to be in school full time.
Providing a child with a slow transition reduces their anxieties and from experience gives them a more successful start to their time at the Voyage Learning Campus. ‘Rushing’ the process does not give any child the best start for them.
Curriculum, Thrive and Theraplay:
We are very aware that in order to help a child succeed at the Voyage Learning Campus and work towards returning to mainstream we need to ensure they each have access to a curriculum which takes in to account a child’s emotional, social and development needs as well as ensuring academic success through the delivery of the National Curriculum.
We therefore offer a ‘Thrive’ Topic based curriculum built around the children’s individual needs.
‘Thrive’ allows us to support children with their emotional health, wellbeing and social skills, all of which are needed for learning to take place. ‘Thrive’ is based on up to date brain science and research into child development and helps staff in school to adapt their approach to individual children to building self-esteem, well-being and behaviour.
The ‘Thrive’ approach beings with a computerised screening, where teachers answer a series of question about each child, the computer programme then allows to staff to individually identify gaps in emotion and social development and the corresponding areas that need to be focused on. It allows us to identify individual targets and suggests ideas for activities and strategies to support the individual child.
The outcome of the assessment supports us in identifying which group a child should go into and influence the way the curriculum is delivered. You can find out more information by visiting www.thriveapproach.co.uk.
The weekly timetable allows the ‘Thrive’ to be embedded through all areas at the same time as ensuring a good coverage of the National Curriculum.
We also use another intervention to meet children’s emotional and social development needs. Every morning each class starts the day with “Theraplay”. Theraplay is an adult directed and structured circle time which includes playful cooperative and nurturing activities. Theraplay is 99% interactive and creates an atmosphere of fun, caring, acceptance and encouragement that leads to better social, emotional and even cognitive development. Theraplay not only works on developing some important skills it also really does get the day off to a positive start.
The timetables between classes will vary slightly due to the students individual needs and where they are on their journey to returning to mainstream.
The school day begins at 9.00 and finishes at 2.50. Each day begins with breakfast within the class to give children time to settle and find out the plan for the day.
Morning break - 10:35 to 10:50am
Lunchtime break - 12:00 to 12.45 pm
Behaviour, Expectations, Rules, Rewards & Sanctions:
Everyone is expected to:
- Keep each other safe.
- Look after our school.
- To have courage.
- To have fun.
Our behaviour system is built around the principal of a ladder that the children can move up during the day for keeping the above expectations.
Everyone starts the day on Green. The children work their way up the ladder throughout the day depending on their behaviour . The children will be able to move up before break, before lunch and at the end of the day if they keep the expectations. At the times mentioned the children will discuss if they have kept the expectations and therefore can move up. Each step represents points and where the student is at the end of the day represents the points that they get. These are recorded at the end of each day and add up. Each student receives a certificate at the end of the week with the total number of points. The child with the most points gets first choice of activity on Friday afternoon, the second gets next choice and so on.
Rewards & Celebrations:
There are lots of opportunities throughout the day for the children to gain rewards for making the right choices and for trying their best. These include:
Students can collect stars throughout the day for being kind and completing work of a high standard. When students get 12 starts they get a hot chocolate or milk shake with Mrs Angus.
· Fantastic Fridays (based on points achieved)
Every Friday the students will have an opportunity to choose an activity e.g. cooking, junk modelling, bingo. However, this will also be catch up time. Students will only be able to have Fantastic Friday once they have completed all their work. When work is completed then students can join in.
· Celebration Assembly
Every Friday we will come together for celebration assembly and give out a variety of rewards and certificates.
We have high behaviour expectations, at the same time as supporting a child to understand their behaviour, manage it before learning how to change it.
Part of this system is a number of consequences for when wrong choices are made. These include:
- Not moving up the ladder and therefore not gaining points
- Phone calls home
- Missing break and lunchtimes
- Not having Fantastic Friday
- Not being allowed out of centre on trips
- Isolated (having to work on your own away from friends)
- For more serious incidents we do short term exclusions