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The Primary Department



The Primary Department views every child as an individual and seeks to ensure that every pupil, regardless of their special needs, abilities or background, fulfils their potential within a happy, supportive & safe learning environment.



The Primary Department is currently divided into four class groups of pupils from Year 3 upwards. Pupils are grouped where possible according to year group but some pupils with complex needs have been placed in in a cross year class group in order to access a sensory curriculum and to make the teaching groups more manageable.

Pupils with complex needs have timetabled access to a dark room and sensory room.


Some specialist input is provided by the following services: speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, music therapy, educational psychologist, community mental handicap team, social services & Children & Family services and the school nurse.


Each class has its own timetable with planned teaching sessions. Pupils with complex needs may have an individual timetable to access specialist activities and sensory sessions.


Individual Education Plans are drawn up for every child and linked to Annual Review targets. Individual Education Plans are reviewed each term.

Progress is assessed yearly using 'P' levels.


The Primary Curriculum     

Pupils within the primary department fall within the chronological requirements of Keystage 2 of the National Curriculum.

In Literacy and Numeracy pupils may be working on learning objectives associated with Foundation and Keystage 1.

In foundation subjects most pupils access programmes of study from Keystage 2 but may be working on objectives from Keystage 1 if they have not gained the basic knowledge or skills in that area.

This enables most primary pupils to access programmes of study at a relevant level of development and in foundation subjects gives pupils access to a broad, balanced and appropriate curriculum.


Within the past few years the needs and abilities of the pupils within the department have changed considerably, with some pupils needing access to a more personalised curriculum that has been developed for their specific needs.

The provision of different and safe sensory activities and environments for pupils with profound and complex learning difficulties can give valuable opportunities for interaction and responses that may be difficult to quantify in terms of subject relevance.

The primary classes have been using a thematic based curriculum with all classes sharing the same theme. The four year rolling programme enables most pupils to cover a theme twice at a lower and higher level during their four years in primary and makes sure that pupils coming into primary from mainstream schools or who have moved around within primary have not missed learning key knowledge and skills. 


Curriculum subjects

In addition to reference to the school policy documents on each individual subject the following applies to grouped subjects in the primary curriculum.


Spoken Language and Listening skills : Literacy targets for pupils are set through Individual Education Plans as well as whole class objectives.

All staff endeavour  to promote an environment in which pupils will communicate confidently with both adults and their peers. Picture Exchange Communication (PECS), signing and symbols and communication aids are used for some pupils. Teachers work closely with the speech therapist to develop individual speech programmes and group activities on the Social Use of Language (SULP)


Reading: Emphasis is placed on the continuing acquisition of pre and early reading skills. Early years work on phonics is continued through the use of Letters & Sounds at Keystage 2 with supporting online materials from Discovery Education and LCF phonics and whole word recognition is used alongside phonics to support visual learners.

The main reading scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree with supporting materials from Storyworlds and RM reading schemes. Some sensory stories are available for pupils. Communicate in Print is used to support reading.


Writing: Writing their name is a key life skill and pupils are encouraged to develop additional writing skills within the context of age appropriate activities.

Pupils are also encouraged to use ICT literacy programmes and develop keyboard skills.


MFL: Pupils at Keystage 2 have access to a Modern Foreign Language through whole school International week, department language days and individual language lessons in Yr5/6.


Numeracy and Mathematics:

Numeracy and mathematics are covered through individual targets set in and class practical based modules. A modified sensory curriculum has been written to work alongside the modules where appropriate for some pupils.

ICT is used to reinforce numeracy skills.



Subjects are taught on a modular basis through the thematic curriculum with pupils building on prior knowledge and learning new skills.



Keystage 2 use the Espresso coding programme of study to cover the computing requirements of the National Curriculum.  Additional ICT planning is indicated on the medium term plans.


The Arts:  (Art, Music)

Subjects are covered through the cross curricular themes.

Music therapy is provided for some pupils who have been identified as needing specialist support.


History & Geography

History and Geography modules are taken from the Keystage 2 National Curriculum and learning objectives adapted to take account of pupils understanding and previous knowledge.



The primary curriculum follows the Gloucestershire R.E syllabus. Primary pupils have a weekly assembly.


Personal Health & Social Education

Personal health and social education and sex and relationships education are addressed through curriculum focus as well through daily care routines and self help skills.


Physical Education

Primary classes have timetabled access to the swimming pool and hall as well as the new outdoor sports area.

In terms 3&4 some Keystage 2 pupils, led by a Gloucestershire dance instructor, join with pupils from Hopelands School for a Dance project leading to a public performance.

In terms 5&6 Keystage 2 pupils have football training from a visiting instructor.


Deborah Lees, Head of Primary. March 2014

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