Independent Learners

Overview

At Delamere pupils who are under the umbrella of independent Learners have either moderate or severe learning difficulties and may have a range of additional needs, including;

  • additional sensory or physical disabilities
  • complex health needs
  • social, emotional or mental health difficulties
  • a diagnosis of autism

Pupils are taught in groups that reflect their chronological age and their learning style.

Intent

At Delamere School, we recognise that our pupils within the Independent Learners Department require access to a specific learning style. Our intent is to: 

  • Provide a highly aspirational, broad and balanced curriculum
  • Provide a ‘total-communication’ environment, where Pupil Voice is prioritised
  • Work collaboratively with families and other professionals
  • Provide a learning environment which provides sufficient challenge and repetition
  • Support the children to develop their independence and personal development skills
  • Provide a wide range of experiences, including visits into the community.
  • Ensure our highest ability learners are supported to make at least expected progress from their starting points.

Implementation

Pupils who are under the umbrella of Independent Learners require varying levels of adult support to help them access their learning and make progress. At Delamere our Independent Learners are accessing their learning between P4 and Delamere Step 3.

The Independent Curriculum

Underpinning all teaching and learning is an emphasis on the development of Communication and on the development of core skills including

  • Communication: Receptive and Expressive Language
  • Literacy: Reading* and Writing
  • Maths: Numeracy, Measurement, Geometry and Statistics where appropriate
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development including emotional literacy & independent life skills.
  • Physical development; gross motor skills, fine motor skills including games and swimming

*Phonics is streamed on a daily basis across the department (with some children from the Structured Learners). The children are grouped according to their phonics/pre-phonics level.

In addition, our broad and balanced curriculum also includes access to high quality provision in;

  • Expressive Arts and Design; music, creating art and design, music, dance and drama
  • Humanities; Geography, History and RE
  • Science
  • Computing

Lessons are differentiated to meet the needs of all children. All teachers are aware of the importance of repetition and challenge

Teachers use 5 key strategies to provide challenge;

  • Identify and account for prior knowledge
  • Build on interests to extend knowledge
  • Inch wide / mile deep (Opportunities to deepen understanding / use knowledge in a different way)
  • Use differentiated questioning techniques
  • Consider different perspectives

All teachers are aware of the EEF recommendations around best practice for children with special needs in mainstream settings as some of the advice is equally relevant in a special school setting;

  • Create a positive and supportive environment for all pupils, without exception
  • Build an ongoing, holistic understanding of your pupils and their needs
  • Ensure all pupils have access to high quality teaching
  • Complement high quality teaching with carefully selected small-group and one-to-one interventions
  • Work effectively with teaching assistants

Strategies, approaches and Interventions

At Delamere school it is recognised that our pupils will have specific needs and requirements that must be addressed. Personalised approaches may include:

  • Alternative communication systems which are developed with Speech and Language Therapists.
    • Differentiated equipment – electronic writing tools etc
    • Personalised timetables
    • Precision teaching to embed knowledge into long-term memory
    • ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) sessions
    • More Able and Talented policy and opportunities such as 1-1 music sessions
    • Speak Out / Stay Safe group (linked to NSPCC programme)
    • Rights Squad (linked to Rights Respecting Schools Framework)

Communication

All pupils at Delamere will have a functional communication system [pupil voice]. All children will be supported to develop their personalised method of communication making at least good or Outstanding progress from their individual starting point. A wide range of communication strategies are used to support children at Delamere in the Independent Learners Department. All strategies are personalised to individual pupils needs. These include

  • PODD activity mats
  • Signalong signs
  • SnapCore app

Communication is streamed across the department on a weekly basis and the children will be grouped and taught to their blank level assessment needs.

Educational Visits

Children are given the opportunity to access the wider community which helps enhance the children’s learning opportunities. The children are able to transfer skills taught in school into wider contexts for example, handling money in shops, road safety and communicating in varies settings.

Impact

  • All children will be able to form positive relationships with others
  • All children will have a functional form of communication which they can use in school, at home and out in the community
  • All children will receive high quality input from a range of professionals
  • All children will make at least expected levels of progress based on their starting points across curriculum subjects and the 4 core areas of their EHC Plan
  • All children will have strategies to support emotional self-regulation
  • All children will have a basic understanding of appropriate behaviour and how to keep themselves safe
  • All children will develop independence skills in preparation for transition into their next stage of education.

The Head of the Independent Learners department is Gemma Berkul

At Delamere, as well as teaching our children to develop their learning, we also offer support to families in a variety of ways.  CLICK HERE to see what our parents say.

 

Delamere School Irlam Road Flixton M41 6AP
T: 0161 747 5893 E: delamere.admin@trafford.gov.uk
Ofsted Outstanding Provider
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