Saxon Hill School’s unique profile enables us to provide a holistic and developmental curriculum for children with physical, medical, sensory and associated learning difficulties from pre-school right through to transition into adult life. The fact that we are an all-age (2-19) provision has huge implications for the relationship we have with our children and families.
We travel the same journey for a significant proportion of their life, and in many cases, for the whole of the child’s school life through to adulthood. We often refer to “the family of Saxon Hill School”. This reflects our ethos of supporting the holistic needs of child and family.
Family support is a key element of our ethos, and we function as a hub for the wide range of agencies, such as Health and Social Care, as well as being a school.
How does your school know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
Children attending Saxon Hill School generally have a statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan identifying a physical and/or medical disability, and often a sensory disability and associated communication and learning difficulties. Some children may be placed at Saxon Hill School on an assessment placement pending a Statement or EHC plan.
Children attending Saxon Hill undergo continuous assessment during their school life. Their physical, medical and learning needs are monitored continuously, and the provision is adapted as their needs change and evolve.
How will your school staff support my child/young person?
The school is divided into Key Stage departments, with each Key Stage led by one or more qualified teachers, and a comprehensive team of Higher Level Teaching assistants, and Teaching Assistants. All children access the statutory national curriculum, but this is adapted depending upon the learning needs of the children.
There is significant emphasis on the holistic needs of the child, with each child having a physical timetable that complements their academic one. All professionals work closely with other agency professionals on site, such as the physiotherapy team, speech and language therapists, and our nursing team to ensure that the wider needs of our children and families are being met.
Saxon Hill has a dedicated bathroom team that ensures every child’s personal care needs are met throughout the day.
Each child has a class tutor that may be a teacher or a Higher Level Teaching Assistant. This person is the main contact between school and family.
The headteacher and leadership team have an “open door” policy to children and parents, and value the relationships we build with families.
School governors work very closely with the leadership team and middle leaders to ensure they understand the effectiveness of Saxon Hill’s specialised provision, and work through committees to ensure that the strategic objectives and school aims are achieved.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s/young person’s needs?
Saxon Hill School has six age-phase departments:
- Early Years Foundation Stage – ages 2-5
- Key Stage 1 – ages 5-7
- Key stage 2 – ages 7-11
- Key Stage 3 – ages 11-14
- Key Stage 4 – ages 14-16
- Post 16 – ages 16-19
We have three learning pathways through the key stages that are designed to meet the wide-ranging needs of our children:
Curriculum Pathway – Children generally functioning between P-Levels 1 – 3, and having profound and multiple learning difficulties. Our Sensory Pathway children may also have significant and multiple physical, sensory and communication needs. The curriculum we offer has been specifically designed to reflect their sensory interaction needs and to develop their pre-learning skills and responses, and includes experiences such as Sensology, Sound Bath, Resonance Board, Aroma therapy and massage. Each child’s development is tracked and targeted to develop their interaction with the world around them.
Sensory classrooms are adapted to deliver the appropriate learning experiences and care for our most complex children and young people.
Learners Curriculum Pathway – Children generally functioning between P-Levels 4-7, and having severe learning difficulties. These difficulties may be associated with their physical or medical disability and children may also have sensory and/or communication difficulties. The curriculum is based on developing key learning concepts through the delivery of Thematic Units. Learning challenges are developed to reflect different aspects of the statutory curriculum in a stimulating and challenging programme based around a common theme for the term.
Each child’s progress is tracked against wider holistic skills development (social, communication, and physical) as well as against personal progress in key subject strands, including Literacy and Maths.
Learners Curriculum Pathway – Children generally functioning at P8 and above, and may have moderate or specific learning difficulties and/or communication difficulties, sometimes associated with their physical, medical or sensory needs. This curriculum is more typical of a mainstream school offer. It continues to utilise the Challenge Curriculum as described above, but differentiated to challenge our more able learners. At Key Stages 4 and 5, students access formal accreditation such as Entry Level and Functional Skills qualifications.
As the needs of our children evolve, we continually assess the most appropriate pathway for them. This sometimes means creating groups that can blur the boundaries between key stages, and children can move between pathways to achieve a personalised model to meet individual needs.
Pathways can overlap – with sensory children working with emerging learner groups, and likewise, emerging learners often work with our developing learners. This offers freedom for children to progress into more appropriate pathways as they develop their skills and learning.