Darell Primary School Gathered Provision

Headteacher: Ms L Whateley

Teacher in Charge: Mrs S Richardson

Designation: Moderate learning difficulties and severe learning difficulties

Age range: 4 to 7

Aims and purpose of the provision

The aims and purpose of the Darell provision are to:

  • Provide children with moderate and severe learning difficulties specialist teaching targeted at the individual needs recorded in their statements;
  • Provide a structured, supportive environment where children can be happy, develop confidence and achieve their full potential;
  • Provide a broad and balanced curriculum and, through the use of a wide range of teaching methods and styles, to meet the needs of all learners;
  • Provide opportunities to develop independence and social skills;
  • Provide opportunities for inclusion into mainstream and prepare pupils for full-time mainstream education whenever possible; and
  • Work in partnership with parents and with all those involved in the education of the children.

Provision, staffing and facilities

The Darell specialist provision is a small group educational setting, within a mainstream school, which caters for children with moderate and severe learning difficulties from across the borough. The provision takes up to 8 children with statements of special educational needs between the ages of 4 and 7 (reception to year 2). There are 6 places for children with moderate learning difficulties and 2 places for children with severe learning difficulties.

Currently the accommodation comprises a fully equipped and resourced classroom and a small adjoining cloakroom with toilet. The classroom is on the first floor. With effect from Autumn 2011 the provision is to be relocated in purpose built accommodation on the ground floor of the school. The provision is very much a part of Darell School and shares all the facilities and resources of the school. The staff consists of a full-time teacher in charge, a part-time teacher (1.5 days), two part-time teaching assistants who operate a job share and a lunchtime supervisor. The specialist provision has access to a speech and language therapist one day a week, provided by the health authority.

Entry criteria

The provision is for children with moderate and severe learning difficulties who may also have other associated difficulties. The children need to be able to manage being in a provision within a mainstream setting. The children are referred to us by the special educational needs panel of the local authority and must have a statement of special educational needs. Occasionally a child may be admitted on an assessment basis in accordance with the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice.

Identifying and reviewing needs

All children have equal access to resources available within the school and specialist provision. The children’s needs are initially identified through the formal statutory assessment procedure and are recorded in each child’s statement. Over the first few weeks in the provision, the children are observed and assessed in a variety of formal and informal ways. An individual education plan (IEP) is then drawn up as appropriate for each child. These targets are shared with all staff, the parents and the child.

Whenever possible, the child is involved in identifying their own targets. The targets are on display in the classroom and children are involved in reviewing and assessing their progress throughout the term. New targets are set once old ones have been achieved.

A meeting is held with parents once a term to review progress and discuss and share new targets. There is an annual review where everyone involved with the child is invited to the review and invited to contribute a report. Parents are sent a questionnaire to complete. More regular reviews are held if it is considered necessary.

Access to a broad and balanced curriculum

The children follow a broad curriculum that meets the requirements of the foundation stage curriculum (for reception) and national curriculum at an appropriate level. Working on a three year cycle, there is a different topic each half term, around which we plan a wide range of activities to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of all areas of the curriculum.

The curriculum is flexible and is adapted to meet the needs of groups or individual children. There is intensive work on developing basic skills in speaking and listening and reading and writing as we consider these to be essential skills for accessing all other areas of the curriculum.

We follow the objectives in the national primary strategy at levels appropriate to individual children. Work in the classroom is supplemented by regular outings and educational visits, as well as weekly cooking and swimming sessions.

There is a balance between whole class, group and individual work designed to meet individual learning needs and to encourage language development and social skills. In addition, activities relating to speech and language and IEP targets are integrated into daily activities.

We follow appropriate aspects of the religious education curriculum. Parents can withdraw their child from religious education if they wish.

Home-school links

Positive home and school partnerships are vital and parents are actively encouraged to be involved in all aspects of the children’s education. We are always pleased to have parents helping out in school and all parents are very welcome to become involved in PTA activities. Parents are encouraged to attend all school events and to support the children when they take part in assemblies and concerts.

Termly meetings are held to discuss the children’s progress and to set new targets. There are regular opportunities to look at the children’s work. Once a year, a more formal annual review is held. Staff are available to talk informally at any reasonable time before or after the school day and parents are always welcome to make an appointment to discuss any concerns they may have. All the children have a home-school diary that can be used to share information on a daily basis.

Parents receive details of the planning for each half term, including ways they can help their child. The children take home homework and speech and language activities to share with parents and encourage involvement with their learning.

Links beyond the school

The staff liaises with a range of services and other professionals as appropriate and necessary for individual children. These include occupational therapists, physiotherapists, the Child and Family Consultation Centre and the Educational Psychology Service. The school nurse makes regular visits and meets with parents whenever necessary. The school doctor and any other health professionals involved with the child are invited to reviews and kept up to date with reports.

Links with mainstream classes

The provision is considered to be a class, albeit a small one, within the school. The children are fully included in the life and activities of the mainstream school. They take part in all school events and activities such as concerts, sports day, curriculum weeks, trips and visitors. They have the same access to the school’s facilities and resources as children in mainstream classes. Playtimes, lunchtimes and assembly times are spent alongside mainstream peers and some lessons take place with mainstream classes. The children have individual inclusion programmes and may join classes for other sessions or lessons as appropriate. Individuals and groups of children from mainstream classes regularly join the provision for some sessions as part of our inclusion programme.

Transition to the next stage of education

Each child’s learning is closely monitored while they are in the provision. Any individual inclusion programmes or changes to inclusion are planned and discussed with mainstream staff and parents before it takes place.

Children must transfer out of the provision at the end of year 2 but children may move on to different placements at other times if it is felt necessary or appropriate. Formal meetings with parents are held so that all concerned can discuss progress and consider the appropriate next steps for the child. Some of the children may be ready for a mainstream placement and some go on to other special settings.

The year 2 annual review is always brought forward to the autumn term to allow time for decision making and planning of the transition. The transfer from the provision is managed according to each child’s needs and varies depending on the new setting. For children returning to mainstream or when placements involve some days in mainstream, it may involve an increase in inclusion.

Contact the Darrell Specialist Provision

Darell Road,

Telephone: 020 8876 6721
Fax: 020 8876 3895
Email: info@darell.richmond.sch.uk

Updated: 9 November 2011