Pupils at Grove House School follow the national curriculum, adapted and differentiated to meet the wide range of needs of its pupils. Staff have worked collaboratively to develop schemes of work based on the programmes of study that are appropriate for pupils with speech, language and communication difficulties, mitigating barriers to learning and assessment.
There are three main components to the curriculum:
- The academic curriculum (read more)
- The therapeutic curriculum (read more)
- The social, emotional well-being curriculum (read more)
Pupils will only be able to reach their potential if all three are treated with equal importance, equipping them with knowledge, communication skills and the ability to cope functionally within the wider community.
The Academic Curriculum
Pupils at Grove House School follow the national curriculum, adapted and differentiated to meet the wide range of needs of its pupils. Staff have worked collaboratively to develop schemes of work based on the programmes of study that are appropriate for pupils with SLCN, mitigating barriers to learning and assessment.
The Curriculum Offer
The curriculum offered by Grove House School is under constant review. The final offer is always based on the cohort of pupils’ differing needs and changes to examination syllabuses.
Key stage 2 and 3 pupil have lessons in the following subjects:
In Key stage 4 and 5, appropriate qualifications will be offered at a range of levels in a number of academic and practical subjects. The programmes of study at this stage will be designed to accommodate the individual needs of our learners.
Grove House School is committed to following the model of collaborative practice, with therapy integrated into every aspect of school life. Some pupils, however, require more specific, focused work in order to address specific difficulties/deficits. In this situation, direct therapy may be offered, but delivered wherever possible with peers in the classroom environment.
The OT may also work with individual pupils where the need has been identified. Where appropriate, individual or small group sessions are timetabled with therapists during the school day to work on specific issues. There is a flexible approach to the delivery of therapy, with the type and intensity of intervention tailored to the changing needs of individual pupils as they move through the school.
Speech and Language Therapists support a number of lessons a week for each class, selected during discussions of lesson content in joint planning sessions with teachers. Speech and Language Therapists lead on specialised Social Skills and Communication/Literacy sessions. The OT supports pupils with a variety of interventions including sensory diets and movement breaks.
Form Teachers see their class at least twice a day and take overall responsibility for their pupils’ general progress and pastoral care.
Form Time is structured time in which pupils participate in a variety of structured activities.
In addition, the time is an opportunity for pupils to follow programmes that have been recommended for them by teachers or therapists. They may include the following:
- Multisensory reading and spelling programmes
- Reading to an adult
- Handwriting programme/fine motor skills tasks
- Social stories
- Listening skills
- Apps to address SLCN
- Touch typing
The Social Skills programme has been developed collaboratively by the multi-disciplinary team to help pupils relate the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the curriculum to their everyday lives. The curriculum presents pupils with a range of settings: school, home, the community, college and work, and develops skills required for each through role play and community visits wherever possible. In each scenario useful concepts, vocabulary and phrases are directly taught and pupils rehearse associated social skills. Pupils may, for example, need help to understand different ways of speaking in different contexts and how tone of voice and posture can influence meaning. Learning in this subject continues across the curriculum, as all staff focus on developing pupils’ life skills in their own subjects.
Personal, social, health, citizenship and economic (PSHCE) education is a key part of the Grove House curriculum: it is taught discretely to pupils in all key stages. Pupils are taught to assess risk and make safe and informed decisions, and are taught the language associated with communicating these decisions to others. Citizenship, British values, drug education, financial education, sex education and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle are all covered within this programme in addition to Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL). Areas of learning include:
- New beginnings
- Getting on and falling out
- Going for goals
This curriculum is taught using practical work and visits wherever possible, giving pupils the chance to apply their learning to real life situations. PSHCE themes extend into every aspect of school life, ensuring key messages relating, for example, to British values, are actively promoted. Assemblies, visual displays and lessons in all areas of the curriculum reinforcing learning to ensure all pupils have a solid understanding and can generalise this vital learning to all contexts.
Work experience placements are essential to the process of preparing pupils for the workplace. Placements, however, need to be very carefully managed to ensure that pupils are supported appropriately. The key stage 4 and 5 coordinator will take responsibility for liaising with parents and employers and procuring suitable and meaningful placements. They will carefully match each pupil to a placement with full consideration of the pupil’s individual needs and safeguarding issues. Pupils are fully prepared for work experience placements in Life Skills lessons, so they arrive with a range of work-related skills and a good understanding of expectations. Pupils are also prepared for independent life by completing a travel training programme, where pupils are taught to travel safely, effectively and independently.
These types of projects and activities allow the true collaboration of the three area of the Grove House School curriculum, with pupils able to work on outcomes for each. They play a key role in preparing pupils for life beyond school by developing pupils’ social communication and work-related skills.
The enrichment programme at Grove House is crucial to the delivery of the curriculum aims. An integrated programme of activities contributes a number of positive outcomes:
Pupils spend informal time with their peers developing social skills and the confidence to communicate on a daily basis. Enrichment activities provide an opportunity for pupils to develop new social circles across the year groups, contributing very positively to the life of the school community.
Pupils enjoy their time at school. It is important that pupils engage in appealing and memorable experiences to motivate a love of learning and willingness to embrace school life.
Gifted and Talented (GAT) Education
Grove House School recognises that it may have pupils who are gifted and talented in one or a number of subjects. These pupils deserve an education that is suited to their needs and abilities and will allow them to fulfil their potential.
The school aims to:
- Stretch and challenge in every classroom, subject and learning environment.
- Support excellent academic outcomes and high aspirations.
- Offer opportunities to further pupils’ abilities beyond the classroom and in/out of school contexts.
Grove House School defines ‘gifted and talented’ learners as those who are working at a level significantly ahead of their year group in one or more subjects. These pupils are identified using a range of appropriate criteria including:
- Prior performance and attainment data
- Evidence-based classroom performance
- Self, parental and teacher nomination
- Identification by a recognised external group/person (eg enrichment activity leader)