The Russell School Gathered Provision

Headteacher: Mr D Harrison

Teacher in Charge: Miss J Giampaola

Designation: Severe and complex learning difficulties including autistic spectrum conditions

Age range: 4 to 7

Aims and purpose of the provision

The aims and purpose of the provision are to:

  • Provide children with intensive 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, 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 Russell specialist provision is an educational setting that provides a broad and balanced curriculum for children between ‘rising 5’ and 7 years old. All the children have severe learning difficulties and a statement of special educational needs. The provision follows the National Curriculum, which is modified to give the children the opportunity to achieve. The complex needs of the children are paramount and individual education plans (IEPs) are central to the provision offered. The provision has places for a maximum of five pupils. A high staff to pupil ratio is important in order to meet the individual needs of each child.

The provision has access to speech and language therapy and occupational therapy one morning each week.

Entry criteria

All children must be from ‘rising 5’ to 7 years old. They must have a statement of special educational needs for severe and complex learning difficulties. They may have associated behavioural difficulties and may be on the autistic spectrum. Occasionally pupils may be placed 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 provision. Depending on individual need, some additional resources are available for providing inclusion opportunities or support for physiotherapy or occupational therapy activities. The provision has some funds available for purchasing small items of specialist equipment which may be needed for individual children.

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 the children are observed and assessed in a variety of formal and informal ways. An individual education plan is then drawn up incorporating learning, social and language targets appropriate to 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. New targets are set once old ones have been achieved.

An annual review is held and everyone involved with the child is invited to the review and, is also invited to contribute a report for the review. More regular reviews are held if it is considered necessary.

Access to broad and balanced curriculum

The children follow a broad curriculum which meets the requirements of the foundation stage curriculum (for reception) and national curriculum at an appropriate level. The curriculum is flexible and is adapted to meet the needs of individual children.

There is intensive work on developing communication and self-help skills. Work in the classroom is supplemented by regular outings and educational visits as well as weekly swimming sessions.

Pupils have the opportunity to go horse riding once a week.

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

The teacher in charge of the specialist provision works closely with parents. Good home-school relationships are seen as a major priority and vital for the progress of each child. The teacher keeps parents updated on a termly and daily basis in a number of different ways. A home-school book is written in daily to tell the parents how their child has been at school that day. The parents, in return, are asked to inform the school of any information from home that may affect their child’s behaviour at school.

Parents are encouraged to come to school for a coffee morning once a term. At this meeting they can give each other mutual support and seek the advice of the class teacher or other invited professionals. Newsletters are sent home regularly. A school newsletter tells the parents about whole school news and forthcoming events. A class newsletter details the curriculum to be covered that term and any important dates for the class. The headteacher asks for parent representatives to be appointed from each class in the Russell School. They meet with the headteacher regularly to discuss any class or school issues.

Links beyond the school

Staff liaise 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.

Links with mainstream classes

The Russell provision shares all resources and a building with the mainstream school. It has a separate outdoor play area, but the mainstream children regularly play there too. When an appropriate number of staff are present, children have the opportunity to play in the mainstream infant playground.

Children attend infant and whole school assemblies. They also fully take part in school events such as sports day and the Christmas production. Special events are regularly planned. The specialist provision teacher works closely with the mainstream staff to ensure events such as these are fully inclusive.

Often children from older year groups come to the class to help the children with their work. The year 6 children have excelled at this and show themselves to be responsible and resourceful. The provision has an inclusion nursery nurse who works three days a week and is responsible for supporting individual children in mainstream lessons. Each child that is included in a mainstream classroom has an individual programme tailored to meet their needs.

Transition to the next stage of education

Each child’s learning is closely monitored. Any individual inclusion programmes or changes to inclusion are planned and discussed with mainstream staff and parents before they take place. Children must transfer out of the provision at the end of year 2 but they may move on to different placements at other times if it is felt necessary or appropriate.

Formal meetings with parents are held so that everyone concerned can discuss progress and consider the 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 specialist 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 Russell School Gathered Provision

Petersham Road,
TW10 7AH

Telephone: 020 8940 1446
Fax: 020 8332 0985

Updated: 1 February 2011