At the main Primary School:
Early Years Department: Quartz and Pearl (Nursery and Reception Years)
Department 1: Ruby, Garnet, Diamond and Sapphire (Years 1 – 3)
Department 2: Opal, Onyx, Amber and Emerald (Years 3 – 6)
School opening times for pupils: 9.15am - 3.15pm
The pupils are grouped according to age wherever possible, but other groupings can also be taken into consideration, depending on the needs of the children. Pupils with ASD are taught in autism specific classes. Each class has up to 9 pupils with one teacher and at least 4 support staff.
Pupils have access to secure outside areas for play, trampoline areas, cookery room, gardening area, an interactive sensory room, a soft play- room, an ICT suite and a hall.
Off-site provision includes: Lady Allen Adventure Playground, Putney swimming pool, visits to the local area (e.g. shops) and trips on the Fun Bus. Pupils may also take part in themed based outings and visits to use the facilities at the Secondary School site in Roehampton. When involving pupils in offsite trips the learning and sensory needs and level of enjoyment for each pupil is considered.
Children are taught National Curriculum subjects through a topic based approach, based on a rolling three year programme. Pupils have individual termly curriculum goals and they are also set targets on their IEPs which address their barriers to learning.
Communication is a priority in the Primary Department and the acquisition and development of language skills are planned jointly with the speech and language therapist. We promote an augmented language environment with the use of Makaton sign language, visual symbols, objects of reference and aural cues to aid comprehension.
All staff are trained in specialist strategies to aid pupils communication. Pictorial systems (e.g. PECS, PODD & ALD) are used to support the development of pupils’ communication throughout the school. Makaton sign language is used to augment communication and staff receive weekly training in this to ensure consistency.
TEACCH or structured teaching is used throughout the school. It is adapted for each classroom. Visual timetables and instructions are used by all classes. Structure helps pupils to understand what and why they do things and when they are finished. This reduces anxiety and enables children to maximise learning opportunities.
Staff in the ASD classes are trained in the TEACCH approach and understand that the consistency in approach helps pupils to become independent. We have regular training updates and share our excellent practice with parents and colleagues from other schools. We are the Wandsworth and regional training base for TEACCH.
Intensive Interaction is an approach we use to teach the pre-speech fundamentals of communication. The approach works by progressively developing enjoyable and relaxed interaction sequences between the interaction partner and the pupil.
Sensory Integration is an approach we use because most of our pupils have sensory processing difficulties. Sensory Integration is the way we use the information from our senses in order to be purposeful and organised people. Children who have difficulties in this area find learning difficult and this affects their progress in all areas of life.
Our school staff are trained in the delivery of activities and techniques designed by therapists who have received formal training.
There is an enhanced Arts curriculum. Dance and music are taught by specialist teachers who take groups across the school. We have an active singing/signing choir at the primary school who have performed at all three school sites and in the local community. All teachers integrate art into their topic sessions and children also produce artwork for themed events, e.g. combined arts afternoon.