School Curriculum, Organisation, Pastoral Care
Grove Park School is committed to the provision of a curriculum which responds to the needs of the individual pupil whilst ensuring access for all to a broad and balanced range of educational activities and experiences.
The whole curriculum is viewed as a framework of expectations in which pupils are able to progress at their own pace. In order to challenge each child, work has been modified by our experienced staff to be appropriate to the age and abilities of the class group, and then differentiated in a suitable way for each member of the class to be able to learn.
In practical terms, this means that there is an emphasis on Communication and Personal Social and Health Education, as well as the traditional subjects on the school timetable. Practical activities such as Swimming, ICT and Food Technology are used as a means of teaching a whole range of skills.
We have a statutory responsibility to teach Religious Education throughout the school across the whole age and ability range. This too is modified to meet our pupils’ special needs and a reverence for life and respect for others’ beliefs is positively fostered. We also have regular whole school assemblies which are planned to be as inclusive as possible. Parents / carers wishing to withdraw their child from such activities should discuss this with the Headteacher.
Please follow this link to our curriculum plans for Key stages 1-5 https://www.grove-park.e-sussex.sch.uk/curriculum-1/
For children with oral communication difficulties we use the international signing system of Makaton. This is used with speech and we have found that it does encourage the children to speak. All the staff learn and use the system and we hold regular training sessions for parents / carers
Post 16 Curriculum and Leavers
At 16 whilst maintaining planned education in core skills, the emphasis moves to preparation for adult life. This encompasses the Youth Award Scheme (ASDAN, begun in Key Stage 4), more practical involvement with the community, and further development of life skills. Suitable vocational placements are arranged in the local area. Where appropriate students also have the opportunity to attend vocational day courses at local colleges e.g. catering at West Kent College. We support students and their parents / carers with transition preferences post 19. Students may remain at school until they are 19 and usually move on at the end of Year 14.
Grove Park has always successfully supported pupils on the Autistic Spectrum. Most pupils with autism are able to work and learn within the main classes in each phase, with additional support, resources and individual timetables. Some pupils require extra support. This can take many forms, from input from a member of the ASD teaching team, advice for the class teaching team or individual input.
Training is a key factor in ensuring that all staff have good to outstanding knowledge of autism and how to work effectively with pupils with autism. All staff have training and assessment of knowledge through the induction process.
Parents are offered support with regular group meetings, whole school and a smaller ASD parent support group for newer parents and those with younger children on the spectrum. This has been a very positive group, invaluable in supporting parents with children coming into the school and the child at home. There are very clear lines of communication between class teachers and parents for all pupils, especially those with autism as this is needed to create consistency and awareness between home and school to help prevent the challenges that often present with this cohort of pupils. The lead teacher for autism arranges home visits, sometimes in conjunction with the school nurse, Speech and Language Therapist or OT to support parents at home with strategies for the child.
At the Secondary phase, there is a class for pupils who require a differentiated, highly structured style of teaching with an ASD specialist leading it. At the Primary phase there is a specific room - the Yellow Room - set aside for pupils who may need to use it at times to access their learning or support in a room away from their classroom. This room also holds a lending library of books, information and resources for teachers, parents, pupils.
Annual Review of Educational and Health Care Plan
All students will have, or be in the process of converting to, an EHCP. This will be reviewed annually and all relevant parties will be invited to contribute to the review.
Health Education (Including Sex Education)
The curriculum includes many aspects relating to health education. However, one aspect which particularly concerns parents / carers of children with learning difficulties is Sex Education. We clearly see that the role of the school in dealing with this subject is to ensure that any questions are honestly answered at the appropriate level of the child’s understanding. Equally important in this area is the whole school ethos with our emphasis on caring relationships and acknowledgement of people as individuals. With this in mind, Sex Education is dealt with throughout the school as part of our Personal, Social, Health, & Citizenship Curriculum, and Parents / carers are invited in to school for discussion and briefing when coverage of more specific and intimate personal issues are planned for the term.
Classes are organised according to age and need, where possible they are taught in the Key Stage equivalent class in each phase. Class groups can be upto 10 students but more typically 7 or 8 students in each class, with a Teacher and at least two Teachings Assistants.
The pupils are grouped from Reception to year 6 into 6 class groups. The Primary Department follows the Foundation and Key Stages 1 and 2 of the National Curriculum differentiated according to the child’s need.
In Secondary pupils are currently grouped across the age and need spectrum into 5 classes, for pupils in year 7 to 11. Pupils/students chronological age are always considered.
Again the pupils/students are grouped into 3 class groups, the 6th Form Department caters for 16+ Students in Years 12, 13 and 14 as with Secondary usually more than one year group because of the wide age range, however, the students chronological ages are always considered when work is prepared.
All pupil / student admissions are referred through Pupil Services at County Hall. Children are admitted to the school at any time and not only at the beginning of a term. This enables them to acclimatise individually and ensures that they are not overwhelmed by other new children. It also enables the class teacher to spend more time with the new child. The youngest children are admitted initially on a part time basis. Prospective parents/carers are encouraged to make an appointment to visit the school and meet the staff and pupils.
Pupils / students are able to attend Grove Park provided the Governors agree that:
Links with other Schools
It is the policy of the East Sussex Education Department as well as the Government Education Department DfES), to encourage contact and involvement between special and mainstream schools and colleges of further education.
Pupils / students benefit from regular and reciprocal occasions when they are able to share both social and curricular opportunities.
Grove Park also offers a wide range of vocational experience opportunities to some mainstream students. Students can come into the school either as volunteers or for a period of work experience. They work alongside our staff and are able to gain a valuable insight into the working of the school.