Napier Miles Primary
Napier Miles Primary caters for all Kingsweston Reception and Key stage 1 Pupils. We then specialise at Key stage 2 to provide relevant and engaging learning for primary pupils with complex or significant learning differences and needs. Pupils with a diagnosis of Autism and whose learning complexities are less will move at the end of Key stage 1 to our primary provision at Shirehampton for their Key stage 2 phase.
Class groups are carefully planned and staffed, each being led by a qualified teacher with a minimum of one full-time teaching assistant. Every effort is made to group pupils to best reflect their personal, social and academic learning needs. Pupils’ individual learning journeys are planned and delivered to reduce barriers to progress.
Teachers reference EHC Plans and their professional judgement in utilising the KWS learning and assessment pathways to establish a baseline for new pupils. This is normally completed within 6 weeks. From this, personal learning outcomes are set to enable pupils to make progress, building upon their strengths and interests as well as developing new skills in areas they find more challenging.
The learning journey is a skills and knowledge based pathway which emphasises:
- Sensory and physical preferences/need
- Understanding, thinking, applying and generalising
- Social, emotional and personal development and independence
We provide a broad, balanced, relevant and flexible curriculum, with learning opportunities beyond the classroom. We celebrate the successes of every pupil, preparing them for the next stage of their life with a stronger more confident ‘voice’ and sense of self. Opportunities for pupils to practice using and applying their knowledge is a key part of the overall approach. This encourages learning connections to develop and the embedding of skills and knowledge in the longer term.
Teaching and learning approaches are matched to pupils preferred style and areas for development, and may include 1 to 1, paired, small group collaboration and independent work. Some pupils will have individualised daily schedules designed to maximise engagement, support transitions and develop independence within regular routines.
Some pupils may also have a support plan, ensuring a consistent approach in helping them understand, manage and develop their communicative behavioural and emotional responses to the world around them. As part of this they may be the subject of a personal risk assessment, again to ensure safety, care and support. In addition pupils with specific medical or personal care requirements will have agreed appropriate care plans in place. All these plans will be shared and written in agreement with parents/carers.
We believe in working in partnership with parents, carers and other professionals. Engaging parents/carers in their child’s learning is achieved through formal means such as parents’ evenings, annual reports and annual reviews. Also each class provides a termly curriculum newsletter and learning update. Teachers communicate with families through a Home-School Diary and will make phone calls home to celebrate a success as well as discuss any concerns. Parents and carers are also invited to special events during the year. Family views are sought as part of the child centred review process, led by the school’s designated EHCP co-ordinator. Also they are given the opportunity to help shape feedback foci for parents’ evenings to reflect their particular priorities or concerns.
This is enhanced by a strong focus on all forms of communication, ”learning to learn” and the development of social, emotional and self-care skills. It is essential that all learning is relevant and enriches the pupils’ experiences.
The school day starts at 8.40 and finishes at 3.10. Specific learning sessions will be timed across the school day suiting the needs of each class.
Where appropriate pupils are encouraged to eat an energising and healthy snack mid-morning, followed by a 20 minute playtime. This is a great opportunity to ‘decompress’ and try out developing social and play skills. Lunchtime is from 12.10 to 1.10. Additionally all classes have a 15 minute facilitated play, movement or social session halfway through the afternoon.
Our approach to reading and phonics as part of communication
We believe that reading and writing skills are underpinned by pre-phase speaking and listening.
Our pupils benefit from regular Attention Autism sessions assisting the development of attention from fleeting to integrated and sustained. These highly motivating sessions also prove to be extremely supportive of spontaneous vocalisation and speech. Many pupils also benefit from Intensive Interaction techniques to develop shared interest, attention and direction of an activity.
Multi-sensory approaches to storytelling encourage pupils to read, comment on and respond to texts, frequently with the help of communication sheets, aids or PECS. Some pupils will learn to read key elements of text supported by symbols, others will move on to develop word recognition. We use a range of reading schemes, books and especially written or adapted materials to provide our pupils with relevant, motivating resources.
We teach reading using techniques that suit the individual. For many of our pupils a whole word “see” and “learn” method is beneficial as they find the building, blending and segmenting of words from their smallest components confusing. For some of our pupils, reading is about developing a wider understanding of the meaning of photographs, objects and social sight signs. Others suit phonics based teaching strategies based on Letters and Sounds and supportive physical gestures from Jolly Phonics. They work through a series of phases from listening and sound discrimination to phonological awareness.