Knowl Hill School

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Knowl Hill School

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The school is currently full and we are looking towards September 2019 for new admissions of the current year 6 and below. . . . . SaLT position available - please see vacancy page for details.

Local Offer

Knowl Hill School Provision

General

As an independent Special School many but not all of our pupils have EHCPs and we work with LEAs to provide a specialist environment for pupils with SpLDs.  

What We Offer

To all students:

  • A broad, balanced curriculum that is highly differentiated and where the presentation, content and delivery are adapted to take account of the needs of pupils with Dyslexia, ASD & regulatory difficulties (affecting attention, anxiety and emotion), Dyspraxia, DLD and ADHD, (SpLDs).
  • Delivery takes account of differing processing speeds and memory difficulties, ensuring that the pace is appropriate, checking for understanding and adapting the lesson as necessary.
  • Teachers with specialist training, knowledge, experience & skills in differentiating the curriculum and utilising multi-sensory teaching methodologies and augmentative teaching approaches for pupils with a range of specific learning difficulties.
  • A good selection of GCSEs and BTECs are available at KS4, e.g. English Language and Literature, Maths, Science (combined double award), History/Geography/RE/Sociology (dependent upon the cohort), ICT, Sport, and Cookery. Pupils can take two visual arts subjects at GCSE, choosing from Art and Design, Textiles, and Photography. We do not offer Modern Foreign Language given the difficulties of our pupils.
  • A high Adult to Pupil ratio, so that teaching and learning can be effectively monitored and evaluated. Small teaching groups allowing for more interactions with the teacher, greater opportunities for 1:1 teaching, a greater variety of instructional approaches, greater proportion of time spent in class rather than in withdrawal interventions, and more social & academic engagement.
  • Small class sizes, generally 3 – 7 pupils.
  • Onsite SaLTs and OTs to provide direct therapy.
  • Teaching staff working in collaboration with speech & language therapists so that teaching informs therapy and therapy informs teaching. Teachers and Therapists work together to jointly plan and deliver the curriculum.
  • A peer group which contains children with similar needs and where pupils can make friendships and be part of a social group.
  • A calm learning environment, with reduced distractions.
  • Brain breaks
  • Termly Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are drawn up by the teacher, therapists and SENDCo. Targets are set which are measurable and achievable, yet challenging in specific areas of individualised need.
  • Touch typing training given to all pupils
  • A wide range of software and laptops/desktop computers available in every classroom.
  • A therapeutic and forensic approach to behaviour management. Incidents are dealt with individually and pastoral support plans created to ensure a calm and safe environment for all pupils. Knowl Hill School does not take pupils with a diagnosis of EBD.
  • A wide variety of trips to supplement and enrich the curriculum wherever possible, and to provide an experiential multisensory education.
  • A reward system not only for academic achievement and progress, but also for attendance and character. Regular celebration assemblies and positive points/merits available for every lesson.
  • Homework is deliberately kept to a minimum until KS4 to decrease stress levels at home, but more can be given upon request. For younger pupils there are no negative consequences for failing to do homework. Reading books and weekly spelling lists are provided. For older pupils, a homework club is available.
  • A wide range of extra-curricular activities such as karate, craft classes, board games, trampolining, football and other sports. Instrumental music lessons are available.
  • An open door policy. Parents are able to track their child’s progress in positive and negative points throughout the day online. There are regular emails to parents from tutors and phone calls are made whenever necessary.
  • Access arrangements for exams.
  • Termly assessments and reports on academic progress.
  • An emphasis on preparation for college and adult life. Functional maths and English lessons to all pupils, with rewards for learning common sequences such as the months of the year. Lessons in independent travel and in home skills, such as laundry and cooking.
  • Career advice and college visits from year 9. As our pupils come from a wide area, encompassing several counties and London boroughs, the advice is tailored to individuals. Two weeks of work experience in year 10.
  • Breakfast club from 8am.

Dyslexia and DLD

  • General SaLT input:
  • Appropriate level of therapy input following formal and informal assessment
  • 1:1, paired, group and class based therapy
  • Joint sessions with OT
  • Input may include:
    • Word Aware vocabulary group
    • Phonological Awareness groups
    • Social Communication groups
    • Study skills groups
    • Self Esteem groups
    • Lego Therapy
    • Girls and Boys social ‘clubs’
    • SALT support at lunchtime or in the playground

 

  • English/literacy each week delivered in groups of up to 10 pupils, taught by a teacher trained, experienced and skilled in delivering English /Literacy to pupils with Dyslexia and ASD.
  • Weekly phonological awareness groups led by the SaLT team. Daily reading practice. Programmes such as Nessy and Wordshark.
  • An individualised, structured intervention to improve word recognition, phonological skills, reading comprehension and written expression that is designed by a Dyslexia-trained teacher, and delivered individually or in small groups by the teacher.
  • Mathematics /Numeracy each week, delivered in groups of up to 10 pupils, taught by a teacher trained, experienced and skilled in delivering mathematics /numeracy to pupils with SpLDs, including Dyscalculia.
  • Access to IT for longer pieces of written work, with an interactive reader and voice recognition software, plus the ability to change the font and background colour. Coloured paper for short pieces of work.
  • Subjects such as Science, Geography, History, using specially produced worksheets and mind maps, avoiding large amounts of dense text.
  • Oral feedback is given on work individually by the subject teachers on a task by task basis and also after the termly assessments. This includes a summary of achievement so far, specific advice on how they can progress further, and target setting. This information is also used in written reports for parents/carers.

ASD

  • Teaching staff that have training, experience and skills in working with pupils that have learning needs associated with ASD, and in integrating advice from therapists so that the content, delivery and pace of the curriculum is suitable and engaging.
  • Calm classrooms where the communication and sensory environment is adapted to the learning needs of pupils with attention/sensory difficulties.
  • The uses of structured multi-sensory and visual strategies so that instructions /tasks are explicit, hold the pupils’ attention and support compliance.
  • A structured day with predictable routines so that pupils understand and can predict what is expected of them, leading to reduced anxiety. A visual timetable for all pupils.
  • Input from an ASD experienced teacher and SaLT team that target specific difficulties in regulating emotions (such as frustration and anxiety) and provide pupils with a range of strategies that support a better adapted response and greater social inclusion.
  • Social skills groups run by the SaLT department to target the development of social communication and pragmatic skills.
  • Minimal use of unnecessary language, idioms, sarcasm or language implying meaning. Clear, precise directions.
  • Pupils are given time to process any communication before expecting them to act on it. Staff ensure pupils understand the instructions given to them.

Anxiety

  • We offer an educational/social environment which is designed to promote confidence, self-esteem and independence, where pupils are individually and sensitively supported and where, at the same time, they are encouraged to take verbal direction from an adult.
  • Staff help pupils to develop strategies to cope when they are anxious and support to understand the triggers for their behaviour and ways to understand the impact of their behaviour on those around them.
  • An onsite School Counsellor.
  • Specific preparation for exam stress with OT, breathing techniques, etc.
  • Yoga and mindfulness teaching provided by OT department.
  • Regular assemblies and PSHE lessons designed to build self-esteem and provide strategies for coping with stressful situations and difficult relationships, bullying, social media, etc.
  • No formal SATs – assessment is carried out in a way which avoids stress as much as possible.

Attention and Memory Difficulties

  • Chunking of information in lessons. Whole group listening demands do not exceed 15 minutes. Teachers make regular checks on focus, attention and understanding of all pupils and have contingencies in place for distracted behaviour.
  • Input /learning activities are visually clear, short, varied (e.g. multi-sensory) and paced to maintain interest; pupils are given time to process; the level of challenge is controlled, and strategies such as modelling, priming and prompting are employed to support participation and task completion.
  • To improve task compliance, teaching staff ensure each child knows ‘what I need to do, how will I do it, how will I know when it is finished, how much time will I have.’
  • Appropriate differentiation & visual support (e.g. cue cards with widgets, mind map or writing frame) to enable independent working.

 

Dyspraxia/DCD

Sensory processing difficulties

  • Onsite OTs deliver direct therapy, targeting fine and gross motor skills, visual perceptual skills, visual motor skills, alertness and sensory processing skills, organisational skills, and independence and life skills.
  • Wobble cushions, fiddle toys and a wide range of OT equipment.
  • OTs work with teaching staff in subjects with a practical element such as cookery, PE and art.
  • Lego therapy as a joint therapy with the SaLT department, targeting fine motor skills.
  • Appropriate sensory diets developed by the OT department and sensory and movement breaks to enable pupils to manage lengthy situations and events.
  • Sensory Explorers group to help pupils with sensory needs to work with unfamiliar textures and tastes.

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