Broadmeadow is a special school commissioned for up to 75 pupils aged from 3 to 11 years with a range of educational needs. We have 10 classes arranged by age and by need, with a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 9 pupils in each class.
All teaching is carried out by staff who are experienced in teaching children with learning difficulties. Staff skills, knowledge and expertise are kept up to date with training and professional development through the school, outside agencies or training course providers. Pupils are taught through both a cross-curricular themed approach or a set of discreet units depending on the context, based on the curriculum schemes, and in line with the EYFS / National Curriculum guidelines.
We use our own assessment tool, which we call Broadmeadow Levels – a 100 point scale written in blocks of 10 for the curriculum areas that we assess: reading, writing speaking, listening and understanding; number and practical maths; computing; Physical Development; PSED – relationships and well-being, PSED – independence skills; and science. BM Levels are used to produce data based on children’s attainment. BM levels provide us with the whole school as well as individual pupil data and enable us to track progress over time. We have also produced a system of in house ‘I can’ statements along with Engagement Indicators and moderation materials for each level plus differentiated Curriculum Schemes. The former enables a recognition of the achievement of pupils working from levels of engagement to subject skills, target setting for individual pupil outcomes and inform short and medium-term planning. The assessment scales identify strengths and learning needs in all areas of the curriculum. During their first half term of admission, children will have access to all areas of learning, which will form the basis for assessment. Members of staff are thus able to gather information from a wide range of observations (including specific assessment tasks when appropriate), which will provide a level of attainment for individual pupils.
From September 2021 all Reception aged children will be assessed using the national reception baseline tasks within their first six weeks of school.
For children at earlier levels of attainment, the Engagement Model is a national tool used to recognise and help teachers to get children motivated to join in activities and use their senses to learn. It relies on observation and careful analysis of children’s responses. Further information can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-engagement-model
Pupils will have an annual review of their Education Health and Care Plan and receive an Annual School Report in the Summer Term. There are opportunities for parents’ discussions on progress in the Autumn, Spring and Summer Terms.
At the end of Key Stage 1 (in year 2) it is our statutory duty to report attainment of children at Pre-Key Stage Level nationally using the standards for Maths and English and also numbers of children using the Engagement Scales. In 2012 the National Phonic Screening was introduced for children in year 1. When we have children for whom this task is appropriate and meaningful, it is administered and reported on. Children who stay with us into Y2 are able to have another opportunity to sit on the Phonics Screen if appropriate.
Early Years Foundation Stage Profile
The EYFS was refreshed and re-written in 2021. It encourages a broad, balanced curriculum delivered to capture children’s interests for children in the foundation stage until the end of reception. At this time children are assessed to decide if they have reached the Early Learning Goals in the 17 strands of the curriculum and have reached a Good Level of Development. This information is to be shared with the Local Authority but will no longer be subject to moderation. Within the documentation, the Development Matters guidance outlines broadly what children should be taught within each year, this is cross-referenced within our curriculum documentation.
Approaches to Teaching
We offer a personalised curriculum considering children’s specific interests and diverse learning needs. Staff are encouraged to take a practical and creative approach to teaching. We use a range of specific teaching methods including PECs (Picture Exchange Communication System); TEACCH; Intensive Interaction; Therapeutic Play; Lego Therapy; Rebound Therapy; Makaton signing; and reward-based strategies.
Our curriculum is exciting and carefully structured, providing a broad, balanced and relevant learning experience for all children. Our expert team of staff have worked together to produce curriculum schemes in all areas of learning including creative subjects and humanities. They are a planned sequence of work and are divided into the stages of learning that we see here at Broadmeadow- from sensory learners to those who are applying skills in a range of situations. Learning activities are tailored to the individual interests and needs of the children. Using our curriculum framework, staff design lessons and activities that motivate pupils to learn.
Areas of learning and development are planned within our curriculum schemes:
- Literacy: reading, writing and phonics
- Maths: number and practical maths
- PSED: independence skills and relationships and well-being
- Physical Development
- Exploring & Experimenting (Computing & Science)
- Expressive Arts and Design (Art and Design, Design and Technology including cooking and nutrition, and music)
- Culture and Communities (Geography, History, RE, and Foreign Language)
Our reading scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree. Phonics is taught using Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics, as appropriate to the individual learning needs of our pupils. Daily reading is facilitated for those children who are able to engage in this with our reading scheme.
Any queries regarding the curriculum can be directed to the Head Teacher of the school.