"The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is exceptionally effective in ensuring pupils make outstanding progress"
- Ofsted, 2018
Our English Curriculum covers speaking and listening, reading and writing. We aim to ensure that English/Literacy skills are used in as many functional contexts as possible. The English curriculum is delivered mainly in group sessions and is maintained within pupil’s 1:1 sessions throughout the whole school. Groups are taught using the Read Write Inc. programme (as well as Cued Articulation for the signers), which is an English phonics programme, linked to the new National Curriculum. Pupils who have completed the RWI phonics programme, move onto the RWI comprehension programme.
Our maths curriculum covers: using and applying numbers, shapes, space and measures. We aim to ensure that mathematical skills are used in as many functional contexts as possible. The mathematics curriculum is delivered mainly in group sessions and is maintained within pupils’ 1:1 sessions throughout the whole school. Groups are taught using the Number Worlds programme.
The science curriculum is carefully structured, using the requirements of the National Curriculum as an overall basis for planning. The curriculum is taught over a two year period and divided into a variety of half termly topics such as light, humans and forces. Pupils access learning in a group setting once a week in addition to the learning opportunities provided across each school day. Groups are arranged by age range and are based on science and group work ability.
Computing is taught through both individual and group teaching. All pupils have an allocated computing target on their IEP which they work towards throughout the school year. This is a skill that is functionally the most appropriate for each individual pupil and may be a cross curricula target, such as manding (requesting) for items using a high tech Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) application, such as Proloquo2go. Computing targets may be taken from the school’s assessment tools or from the National Curriculum.
All pupils attend a weekly food technology session that is linked to their theme for the half term. Within these sessions a range of functional skills are developed and practised including cooking skills, health and safety and food hygiene. During these sessions pupils are also encouraged to explore different tastes, try out new varieties of food, recipes and ways of preparing food.
Personal, social, health and economic development is fundamental for children and young adults with SEN and is integral to everything we do within our school. We aim to promote our pupils’ spiritual, health, social and cultural development and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.
Our pupils are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across and beyond the curriculum, and specific objectives are highlighted for each pupil within their individual education plan. In addition to their personal programmes they also access two PSHE group sessions within their classes on a weekly basis. The aim is to teach pupils a range of functional topics that relate to their circumstances, age and needs in order to support their personal development as an individual, a member of the school and as an active citizen within the local community.
PSHE areas involve:
- An understanding of self
- Developing personal autonomy
- Developing confidence
- Building relationships between people
- Knowledge and understanding of the world around
- An understanding of appropriate behaviour
- A sensitivity to the needs of others
- Taking responsibility for one’s own actions
- An awareness of and respect for the variety of belief, language and culture in society.
"Leaders’ work to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is excellent. A range of enriching activities, community events and work experience placements prepare pupils well for their futures."
- Ofsted, 2018
The PE curriculum will engage pupils in a range of sports and activities; and will ensure that each pupil:
- better understands and recognises their strengths
- is challenged to try new things
- develops and broadens key skills for life e.g. turn taking, following rules, hand-eye coordination, listening to instructions, interacting with others, self-help skills etc.
All pupils are encouraged to take an active role in all aspects of PE and pupil participation is key. Throughout the school day we focus on promoting healthy lifestyles and this is strengthened through the PE curriculum.
Please see a list below of the activities that are offered:
- Swimming (Latchmere Leisure Centre/ Ernest Bevin School)
- Ball games (Fulham Football Club)
- Trampolining (FlipOut Wandsworth)
- Horse Riding (Lower School – Vauxhall City Farm)
- Skiing (Upper School - Snowbility)
- Gym (Post 16 – Wandle Leisure Centre / Carshalton College)
- Individual and group sessions with the Occupational Therapists
Music and art
All pupils access weekly singing and signing assemblies where we learn songs relating to our curriculum topics. Our ‘song club’ performs at regular events and in the local community to help raise funds. Every class has daily music lessons – these consist of practising our assembly songs and playing a range of different instruments. We regularly welcome guest performing arts companies who run workshops for our pupils and we ensure that our pupils visit theatre productions and other performances.
The art curriculum at Tram House School is designed to engage, inspire and provide opportunities for learners to express themselves creatively. All “art” projects, activities and work meet our four key aims:
- Enable pupils to produce creative work, exploring ideas, materials and recording experiences
- Have opportunities to work in both 2D and 3D
- Use art of other artists to influence their work
- Explore art in other cultures.
Each academic year the art curriculum follows three different themes. These may include such themes as ‘Celebration’, ‘Natural Forms’ and cultural based ones such as ‘African art’.
Within the themes, pupils are expected to engage in a wide range of art mediums, including paint, collage, photography, and work in both 2D and 3D. Pupils record, document and keep their work safe in sketchbooks and class galleries.
Geography, history, RE, drama/performing arts
We have a themed week once a term which incorporates other areas of the curriculum e.g. Geography, History, Religious Education (RE), Drama/Performing Arts.
Pre Group Learning
Some of our pupils are not yet ready to learn in a group. Before pupils are included in group learning it is essential that they are taught and will have mastered some pre-requisite learner skills. They should have a requesting repertoire of at least 20 strong requests; be able to follow simple instructions readily; be able to do basic imitations; be able to receptively identify and label their favourite things and common objects and pictures; be able to look to the instructor for instruction and be able to tolerate delayed reinforcement. They should also be able to sit in a small group for at least 5 minutes without disruptive behaviour, and be able to wait without touching stimuli.
We use the principles of ABA and VB (with 1:1 support) to teach our Sixth Form students functional communication and independence, while also providing vocational experiences and accredited qualifications. The Sixth Form is designed as a pathway enabling young adults aged 16-19 years to reach their next steps and gain independent skills within the community.
Students in the Sixth Form follow individualised programmes that respond to individual needs, while utilising the principals of ABA to deliver accredited qualifications. The Sixth Form offers young adults the opportunity to follow the ASDAN Personal Progress, which enables them to access the Personal, Social Development course at Entry Level. The Sixth Form English and maths curriculum focuses on functionality, and learning skills to apply in daily life. We offer Entry Level Certificates in English and maths.
Students in the Sixth Form have an opportunity to engage in a wide range of activities, which have included accessing the local gym, swimming, horse riding, skiing, cycling, tennis, football, dance, cricket, water sports, yoga and rollerblading. All these activities provide our students an opportunity to develop functional skills and independence, while adding evidence to build their ASDAN portfolios.
Work experience is planned and provided for all students where appropriate. Vocational experiences in ‘real’ working environments provide students with opportunities to practise the skills they have developed within the school setting. All work experience placements include an ABA Tutor, and students continue to work towards their personal targets and programme. Recent work experiences include a gift and card shop, a café, office and charity shop.
In the community
Opportunities are given for students to engage in the community, while having positive experiences and building upon their functional skills and independence. We currently utilise our position in London by accessing a range of offsite destinations. These include the Snow Centre at Hemel Hempstead, local restaurants and cafés, the library, swimming pool, and supermarkets.
College link programme
We provide a weekly link programme with a local college. The link programme provides students an opportunity to experience ‘college life’, while learning valuable life skills. Currently, students are working towards developing basic cookery skills, with an opportunity to access accredited qualifications where appropriate. Though the college link programme is in its early stages, we expect this to develop into an opportunity that can provide students with a ‘taste’ of different curriculum areas.