The primary department, Key stages 1 and 2, is a small supportive area which caters for learners with Communication and Interaction needs such Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), some may have associated social, emotional and mental health needs. The area works to develop the younger learners’ academic levels as well as to improve the social and everyday life skills of the students.
The children benefit from a range of unique curricula available at Headstart by being able to allow the children to participate in subjects which they have a particular interest in. Equine studies, construction, cooking, forest school and educational visits are just some of the subjects which have enabled the children to develop their enjoyment of learning. The primary area has also taken an approach to outdoor learning, working closely with the forest school area of Headstart, learners are encouraged to be outside of the classroom and to understand learning practically through a range of on-site and off-site activities.
The classroom itself is situated next to the schools small animals and pet care area which allows the children to take responsibility for the feeding and maintenance of the animals. It also offers an area which children can go to when they need some personal time. There is also a small assault course and play area based on the vast school field which the children have a particular fondness of!
The primary area is installed with a state of the art interactive whiteboard, a stimulating classroom area which allows children to learn in a variety of different forms, a thriving bookshelf with books handpicked by the children, a kitchen area which allows children to develop their social skills and a sensory room which gives the opportunity for children to have a calming and relaxing environment if they require. Communicate In Print is largely used within the primary area as it allows many of the ASC learners the understanding of the tasks set by the teacher as well as understanding the area they learn in.
The curriculum itself is in guidance with the national curriculum and plans follow through the governments schemes of work. The teaching style within the area enables the children to access the curriculum through roleplay, group activities and group discussions. Each term offers the children a unique opportunity to learn about a different country through topic work, this also relates to the end of term house challenge based around the particular country.The area benefits from a range of online resources such as phonics play and espresso education to allow the learners to take responsibility for their learning and also offers an entertaining learning experience. The staff work closely with parents and carers and offers the opportunity for further learning in the children’s home environment through online resources and tasks set out by the teacher once agreed by the student and parents and carers.
Each students particular needs are taken into consideration, this being implemented through one to one support with the teaching and excellent support staff with every student on a daily basis to improve on the specific areas for the child’s development.
The staff look at every child’s specific needs within the primary area whilst relating to each of the young learners’ SEN Educational, Health Care Plans. The children enrolled work closely with a range of different professionals including; occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, educational psychologist, behaviour psychologist and personal mentors.