Cloughwood Academy Primary Department
Our team consists of:
Jane Thomas (Y6 Teacher)
Georgia McKenzie (Y4/5 Teacher)
Adam Garrod (Y4/5 Teacher)
Michelle Brown (ELSA)
Cloughwood Academy’s Primary Department caters for referred pupils who have an EHCP for Social Emotional and Mental Health needs and are aged between 8 and 11 (years 4 to 6).
We deliver a child-centred, skills-based curriculum which takes into account our pupils’ complex needs. The vast majority of our pupils present with sensory and attachment difficulties and these aspects of their development are supported by the way we plan the learning that takes place. We pride ourselves on being an Attachment Friendly Provision where we have adopted the highly successful research-based ‘Thrive’ methodology. We consider Thrive theory when implementing the curriculum, designing the environment and delivering our teaching and learning via individual pathways for all our pupils, both academic and when supporting their social, emotional and mental health needs.
The Thrive Approach allows us to work with the children to help them grow in confidence in a way that allows them to re-engage with their learning and begin to develop the skills necessary to self-regulate behaviour, better understand their feelings and emotions, work better with others and, most importantly, to feel safe and secure in our learning environment. Success in doing this enables our pupils to be able to make positive choices and decisions, reduce anxiety and to develop pro-social behaviours and independence that leads to them becoming confident learners and capable young people. Key to the success of all of this is how this approach enables all of our pupils to make secure and positive relationships with their peers and all of the teaching staff.
(For further information on Thrive go to https://www.thriveapproach.com/the-thrive-approach/)
We are constantly developing and improving our curriculum so that it gives the children exciting, fully supported experiences which may not have been possible in a mainstream setting. As a result, our children enjoy school and our attendance and punctuality is excellent.
How do we intend our Primary Curriculum to reflect Cloughwood Academy’s overall aims?
‘To develop skills to become socially, emotionally and mentally resilient so that our pupils can be their best possible self.’
Our Curriculum focusses on a Learning Challenge approach as a foundation for the pupils’ learning experiences combined with a strong emphasis on Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE).
Our curriculum will work alongside the revised National Curriculum maths, English and computing. This curriculum promotes the children’s independence, enjoyment of learning, thinking and collaborative skills as well as understanding knowledge concepts. Our children are learning to learn and learning how to be successful young people, eventually able to function successfully in society.
Each half term our Curriculum uses a starting point of a question from which most of our subjects derive. We blend lessons and subjects together for a holistic approach to answering the challenge question using smaller questions. This builds up to the bigger picture and helps deepen knowledge. In addition, we provide meaningful experiences outside of the classroom to enrich the children’s experiences and increase their cultural capital.
We use the Singapore approach in mathematics, and wherever possible use thematic contexts for problem solving in Maths and a high quality text-based learning approach so that we can build our pupils’ basic skills and further develop and broaden their vocabulary.
Due to the increasing complexity of needs of our children, we now have a significant number who have sensory and attachment needs. As such, we have developed sensory spaces inside and outside the classroom. Inside, both classrooms have a sensory area which allows children to have time to self-reflect and self-regulate. Outside, our outdoor learning environment facilitates the pupils’ physical health development and allows physical feedback for those children with sensory issues.
In our wider role in the Academy, we are also developing closer links with pupils and staff in all departments. Wherever possible, the primary pupils join their secondary peers to enhance transition opportunities. We don’t see transition as a tokenistic, short period of orientation at the end of Year 6 but a gradual and regular experience that builds from the day our Primary pupils join us. This year alone some pupils have joined the Aim Higher group, and will be joining the pupils’ Futures sessions and achievement assemblies in the Summer term. Successful transition means the pupils can continue to feel secure and enable them to continue with their learning in an environment that holds no fears for them.
Our curriculum follows the National Curriculum for Maths and English and our curriculum map can be found here:
As part of the curriculum, Primary enjoy a number of regular off site educational visits, including:
- The Hartford School of Gymnastics
- The Education Library
- The Grange
- Barnton Circus
We have also enjoyed a day out to Western Approaches in Liverpool on Tuesday 5th November 2019.