This is a small school with 40 pupils on roll. the school provides for pupils mainly with speech, language and communication needs. Some pupils have additional learning, sensory or physical needs; there are a growing number of pupils with autism spectrum conditions. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs. Currently the school is based on two sites in close proximity to each other. The main site caters for Years 3 to 6 and the second site for Reception to Year 2.
A brand new teaching block with facilities for enhanced Occupational Therapy will be completed in 2015. Link Primary School is run by Link Day School Limited, a registered charity, and the trustees are governors of both the Link Primary and Link Secondary Schools.Pupils should present with a primary and significant delay or disorder in speech, language and communication.
The speech, language and communication impairment will usually be the primary concern. Any other difficulty such as hearing impairment, physical disability or emotional and behavioural disorder will be secondary to the language and communication impairment and will not be acute.Priority would depend on the children’s statement of special educational need and initial assessment. As a specialist school for children with speech, language and communication difficulties there are small classes with a high ratio of adults to children.
All classes have no more than eight pupils.High adult to child ratio in order to allow pupils opportunities for 1:1 work across his school day. An individual learning pathway is devised and monitored by a collaborative team including Teacher, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapy and Support Staff.
The environment is modified to provide minimal distractions. OT sessions take place within a small group. A curriculum offers challenge with language practised and generalised across the school day.
Pupils are given opportunities to work independently on achievable and manageable tasks. A structured visual timetable and individualised schedules are used for ‘different’ days or outings Opportunities to practise emerging social skills takes place within a small group setting. Language targets incorporate ‘Key Words’ of the week and Speech and Language Therapy is integrated into all aspects of the curriculum.
Opportunities for small group work and 1:1 work takes place with the teacher / therapist to concentrate on IEP targets. First point of contact at the school is Sue Ramm (school secretary) Safeguarding Lead- Beverley Dixon Head Teacher
Assessing child progress
A schedule of on-going assessment takes place throughout the year. A highly differentiated curriculum is delivered with opportunities to over learn and re-visit areas of the curriculum to ensure consolidation. IEP targets are linked to statement objectives and planned, monitored and reviewed by this multi-disciplinary team. In addition short term curriculum ‘next steps’ are planned and monitored by the whole team. The therapists work in partnership with the children, teachers and staff, parents and carers, occupational therapists, educational psychologist and external agencies to provide an informed and accurate picture of the children’s strengths, difficulties and progress. Parents contribution to the children’s Individual Education Plans ensures that therapy goals are incorporated into their targets and reports on progress toward meeting targets are discussed.
Ofsted 2014 'From their starting points, which are usually very low, pupils’ achievement throughout the schools outstanding, irrespective of individual special educational needs or disabilities. All groups make excellent progress, including those pupils eligible for support through additional funding. Similarly, those from different ethnic backgrounds and pupils who speak English as an additional language also make excellent progress'.
Informing parents and carers
Formal and informal information sharing methods are used on a regular basis. We recognise the need for home school books and these are used across the school to inform parents /carers of day to day events.
Formal IEP review meetings take place termly and thorough reports are prepared for the annual review of progress towards statement objectives.
Termly IEP meetings take place for each child along with the Annual Review meeting to discuss progress towards meeting their statement objectives.Informal meetings and telephone contact can be made at the convenience of staff and parents.
Parents will receive IEPs/Class teacher/Speech and Language Therapy and where relevant Occupational Therapy/Music Therapy and or Drama Therapy reports.
If a child is not making progress
All children's progress is carefully analysed due to the intensive assessment of each child's needs. Rigorous monitoring and evaluation takes place in order to review the effectiveness of interventions and change plans accordingly.
Currently we are using the IPC which is the International Primary Curriculum. Additionally schemes of work or plans for core subjects are drawn up by the subject leaders and therapists. Ofsted 2014 'The school’s rich and varied curriculum makes an exceptionally strong contribution to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Staff seize every chance to widen pupils’ horizons and broaden their first-hand learning experiences through a wide range of trips, extracurricular activities, visits and residential experiences that allow them to take risks in a safe,supportive environment. Highly effective links with schools internationally allow pupils to develop an excellent understanding of people whose lifestyles and cultures may differ from their own'.
Adapting for child needs
An individual learning pathway is devised by a collaborative team including Teacher, Speech and Language Therapist, OT and Support Staff. All staff are experienced in teaching pupils with Speech, Language and Communication impairment and or Autistic Spectrum Condition.
Language targets are incorporated into ‘Key Words’ of the week and Speech and Language Therapy is integrated into all aspects of the curriculum. Therapists work closely with children, parents, class teachers, occupational therapists, learning support assistants and external professionals to providing a whole school approach to improving the children’s communication skills and attitudes that prepare them for the future. A high level of visual support is offered including pictures and signing to support concepts and understanding.
Teacher flexibility on child needs
A highly differentiated curriculum is delivered with opportunities to over learn and re-visit areas of the curriculum to ensure generalisation.
Ofsted 2014 'The seamless work between education and therapists allows pupils to develop their ability to speak, listen, and explain their understanding exceptionally well across all subjects'.
Small classes and high staff ratios mean that all children have a high level of individual support. Our mission statement.Linking Hands to Reach Each Child's Potential' embodies what we believe as a school that collaborative practice and additional support results in levels expected for individual pupils.
Language Therapy is integrated into all aspects of the curriculum. Therapists work closely with children, parents, class teachers, occupational therapists, learning support assistants and external professionals to providing a whole school approach to improving the children’s communication skills and attitudes that prepare them for the future.
A high level of visual support is offered including pictures and signing to support concepts and understanding.Pupils are provided with regular, planned opportunities to use and apply their mathematics skills across all subjects.
Meeting child needs
Ofsted 2014 'All groups make excellent progress, including those pupils eligible for support through additional funding.
Similarly, those from different ethnic backgrounds and pupils who speak English as an additional language also make excellent progress. Pupils’ progress in communication is outstanding because education and therapy staff consistently use a range of communication methods. These include signing, pictures and symbols, and technology such as touch-screen tablets. All methods are highly effective in supporting pupils’ learning. As a result, pupils with specific speech and language difficulties become less frustrated. They make rapid gains in their ability to speak clearly and explain their thinking. This also makes them more enthusiastic and engaged in their learning across all subjects'.
A schedule of on-going assessment takes place throughout the year.
Comfort, safety and socialising
Ofsted 2014 'The school’s work to keep pupils safe is excellent. They are well looked after and feel safe and secure. As a result, they enjoy coming to school and this is evident in their rising attendance. Behaviour is outstanding. Pupils feel happy and safe in school and enjoy strong supportive relationships with staff. They are able to concentrate on their learning because anxieties are reduced to a minimum'.
Social and emotional skills
Ofsted 2014 'The school promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development highly effectively,resulting in harmonious relationships between pupils and adults. They are courteous and polite to each other and to adults, opening doors and saying, ‘Thank you’, when others do things for them. Pupils raise money for a wide range of causes and have positive views on the importance of helping those less fortunate than themselves'.
Learning for independence
One of the ways to develop independence is to offer as many opportunities for children to use their special interests as motivators.
Ofsted 2014 'The use of technology to make learning lively and help pupils to communicate more effectively is excellent. Pupils are confident in using tablet computers to photograph and record their work and to help them in their learning and communication'.
Perseverance and resilience
Reward systems act as motivators and the school's behaviour policy is embedded in the culture of the school.
Ofsted 2014 'They are able to concentrate on their learning because anxieties are reduced to a minimum'.
Please see Behaviour policy www.linkprim.co.uk
The school is undergoing a period of improvement in terms of building and the surrounding school environment. Currently the school occupies two sites. The main building, a homely environment comprising four classrooms, assembly hall, computer room, nurture room, cookery room and a number of side-rooms used for individual or small group work. A smaller detached house is roughly 80 yards away from the main building.
This site usually houses children from Reception – Yr2. The children in this provision are offers a ‘Learning to Learn’ or ‘Ready to Learn’ curriculum. The school improvement plan includes the development of a large teaching block including four large classrooms and a specialist OT room. The outside space will expand learning beyond the classroom in the form of sensory garden and fruit and vegetable growing areas.
Ofsted 2014 'A wide range of support programmes and resources. Extra specialist teaching support in lessons and in small groups is equally effective. Consequently, eligible pupils make the same excellent progress in line with their peers. This demonstrates the school’s commitment to equality of opportunity'.
Who we work with
"The LA caseworker and EP services are also involved in children’s education. Some children have health needs which warrant interventions from other health professionals including Physiotherapists or Visual Impairment officers. Additional support services external to the school include Parent in Partnership or independent charities such as IPSEA and CAMHS."
How we work with other agencies
The LA caseworker and EP services are also involved in children’s education. Some children have health needs which warrant interventions from other health professionals including Physiotherapists or Visual Impairment officers.Additional support services external to the school include Parent in Partnership or independent charities such as IPSEA and CAMHS.
Specialist services and expertise
Special Support Assistants Sensory processing support Speech Language Communication Support Autism Spectrum Disorder Support Occupational Therapy School Nurse (TBC) Access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Protocols for informing parents/carers and child
At The Link School, establishing and developing relationships with parents, carers and the local community is a central part of our philosophy. Children learn best when school and parents work together. We value the contribution that parents and carers make to our school and endeavour to provide many opportunities where parents are involve in school life. We have an active P.T.A. called The Link Association. They organise many fund raising and social activities such as children’s discos and summer and winter fairs.
Helping your child settle with confidence
Ofsted 2014 'Expectations of what pupils can do are high and staff constantly push the boundaries for what pupils can achieve. This prepares them exceptionally well for the next stage in their education'.