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We are a specialist provision unit for Cognition, Learning and Interaction. We are located on the far side of the school, in a quiet and secluded area. Our unit is accessed using a fobbed entry system, which means our pupils are able to explore and enjoy the whole teaching and learning area safely. Within the unit, there is a teaching room, a sensory room, a second smaller learning space, as well as our own kitchen and toilet facilities. 

Whilst we have access to the mainstream playground, field, play equipment and outside gym equipment, we also have our own outdoor play area. 

Our teaching day starts at 9.00 am and finishes at 3.00pm. In the morning, our children arrive through an entrance we share with Poplar, Felix’s Cognition and Learning Unit. There is always a member of staff at the gate at those times, which enables parents/carers to pass on any information relevant to help us ensure the continued well-being of pupils.  We would encourage you to message us using ClassDojo to share information of a more sensitive nature, or to raise issues and queries which do not require our immediate attention.  

As an interaction unit, we believe that sitting down to breakfast together sets the tone for the day. We encourage informal chat during those times, so as to foster child-to-child, and child-to-adult interaction from the very onset of the day. During the breakfast period, pupils choose their lunch option. Our lunch menu consists of many different options including a hot meal option, a vegetarian option, as well as the daily choices of pasta and jacket potatoes with a choice of fillings. Children also have the option of choosing from a selection of desserts. Alternatively, the children can bring  their own packed lunch. Children should bring their own water bottle, which they will have access to throughout the day. 

Within our unit, we have two main teaching groups: Sand Pine, led by Miss Matthews, and Stone Pine, led by Mrs Roberts. Whilst some pupils stay within the same group at all times, others alternate between the two learning groups to foster and maximise individual progress. The teaching and learning team is made up of two teachers, one HLTA (higher level teaching assistant) and three TAs (teaching assistants). 

We have a visual timetable which is also shared verbally with the children.  We follow the National Curriculum as and where appropriate, teaching in a holistic and multisensory way. We plan your child’s learning using a variety of tools including their EHCP targets. Ear defenders are provided for children who require them (and they may also bring their own if they prefer). 

Within Sand Pines, communication is supported through the use of PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System). This enables children with little or no verbal communication to communicate through the use of pictures. Both teaching groups make use of ‘now and next’ cards to support children’s understanding. 

The sensory room is used by children who require a sensory break in a calming and low sensory environment. This room and the smaller learning area, are also used to facilitate 1:1 intervention such as play therapy and speech and language therapy. 

We enjoy our outside time at breaks and lunchtimes where staff from the unit provide the children with supported games and activities. Children who prefer a quieter environment have full access to our own secluded play area which is always supervised by members of staff.

Pupils who are able to enjoy assemblies and PE in the Sports Hall have the opportunity to do so, supported by Pine staff. They are also able to take part in whole school events such as Sports Day and school visits, if this is appropriate for them. 

Stone Pines

The Stone Pines group is taught by Mrs Roberts for the vast majority of subjects, including English, Maths, Science, Humanities, PSHE, Computer Studies and Arts and Crafts. More specialised subjects such as Music and PE and delivered by specialist teachers. We watch BBC Newsround most days and encourage children to remain curious at all times. 

There is always at least one teaching assistant on hand to provide additional support during input and differentiated sessions. 

Each pupil is provided with a zipped file where they may keep their writing implements and has a named tray where he/she can store work books, as well as a reading book. A seating plan is in place, so that each child has ownership of their own learning space. 

Our year 6 pupils are encouraged to take on additional responsibilities within the unit to support their own development, as well as that of others. This includes monitoring the classroom  and being play buddies at break times. Staff from the unit also monitor and engage with children at break and lunch times and are always on hand to provide help and support. Year 6 pupils are specifically prepared ahead of their transition to secondary school through targeted PSHE sessions.

Pupils read to an adult daily and are encouraged to retell the story or answer questions to showcase their understanding and enjoyment of what they are reading. We also have a class reader which we read from at least three times a week. 

Sand Pines

The Sand Pines Group is taught by Miss Matthews, supported by Teaching Assistants within the unit. 

After breakfast, children are supported to complete individual work which is carefully planned to extend and consolidate their learning. All children have a reading book, or a PECs book to share with an adult. 

Every day, we carefully plan activities to develop engagement and interaction. These are brilliantly fun activities which are designed to be irresistible to children, whether they are messy, noisy or funny in some other way! Each activity has four distinct stages – to focus attention, build attention, encourage turn taking and foster independent learning. 

We also complete a daily maths activity, along with work on our topic and on developing fine motor skills (including using scissors and cutlery, threading, tracing, writing and playdough). Music, art and PE are taught by specialist teachers. 

Children have opportunities every day for good quality and well resourced play, supported by adults in the unit. 

On a Friday afternoon, we always cook, whether flatbreads, buns, biscuits or pizzas. It is one of our favourite times of the week!

Assessment

Your child’s EHCP is reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that the outcomes remain appropriate for your child’s academic and pastoral needs. In addition, we use carefully selected assessment tools to help us monitor progress and address needs promptly and efficiently. 

SEND plan targets are reviewed and updated termly and you will be fully involved in the process. We believe that strong parent/school relationships are crucial to achieve the best possible learning experience for each child. 

Class reports are sent home annually, at the end of the school year. These include targets which you can also help support. We start each academic year using baseline assessments to enable us to gain a clear picture of your child’s learning profile and to plan specific and therapeutic interventions to support their needs.

We use Class Dojo to share your child’s learning experiences throughout the day and would encourage you to sign up so that you have the opportunity to see and praise your child on their achievements.

The whole team looks forward to welcoming all of the children, be they existing or new pupils, and to being part of their ongoing learning journey. 

Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or require any further information.


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