The Primary phase of the school is housed separately to the main body of the school and is situated inside The Compass building. We are co-located with Christopher Pickering Primary school and have strong links with them and the wider local community. Although we do not operate within the same building as Key stage 3, 4 and 5 our values and ethos are the same. We work together to improve the outcomes of our students and give them the experiences, skills and knowledge they need to be able to thrive as they move to our upper school in Key stage 3 (Year 7 and above). As we are a only a short walk away, our pupils regularly access the facilities at Ganton upper school such as the hydrotherapy pool and we regularly hold whole school events on the one site.
At Ganton Primary we accommodate for pupils from FS1 age (4) to Year 6 (11), although children as young as two may be offered part time placements at the school. At the end of Year 6 our pupils will move to an appropriate class group in Key stage 3.
Currently we do not have any pupils of EYFS age in the school. However, Twinkles class is our dedicated EYFS classroom. This is the largest of our classrooms at Ganton Primary and is set up as an EYFS base with a focus on learning through play and continuous provision. For the majority of pupils in this class they are experiencing full time education for the first time. Although they may not all be of EYFS age with most being Year 1, their developmental level is still of a very young infant, hence why they require a nurturing, exciting environment where the focus is very much on engagement and early developmental skills rather than subject specific formal learning. Pupils in Twinkles class are assessed throughout their first year with us so that we can identify their learning pathway and begin to map out their journey through the school according to their needs and abilities.
Key Stage 1
Many pupils in our Key stage 1 phase are still not developmentally ready for subject specific formal learning. As a result there continues to be a heavy focus on building engagement through the engagement model and creating an environment where the pupils can learn through play and have lots of opportunities to apply learned skills in a natural way led by their own interests. For the majority of pupils Communication and Interaction is the primary barrier to learning so it is imperative that as a school we focus on this as early as possible, giving all pupils the tools to be able to have some form of functional communication. We work closely with Speech and language specialists who advise us on the most appropriate strategies to use for each individual.
Our pupils tend to thrive upon structure and routine, throughout Key stage 1 we introduce more structure and routine into the school day, sessions are short, snappy and engaging before moving onto something else. This maintains pupils interests and maximises learning time.
For those pupils ready for more formal learning they will begin to access Phase 2 phonics and guided reading sessions as well as daily Maths.
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2 the pupils are divided into class groups according to their communicative abilities and cognitive development.
This way the thematic teaching and learning can be pitched at an appropriate level for the group and this maximises opportunities for learning over time.
Currently there are four Key Stage 2 classes, one for pupils with multiple and complex difficulties who generally have limited functional communication, two for those pupils following a steady developmental path, albeit at a much slower pace than their peers and finally a group who have acquired some grasp of early literacy and numeracy skills and are working within a more formalised learning environment. Pupils within each of these class groups often have additional complicating factors such as ASD or challenging behaviours.
Some pupils are admitted to the school during Key Stage 2 when the gap with their peers has meant that they are less and less appropriately included in the mainstream classroom, often through no fault of the setting. Very often, the young people who arrive at the school during this Key stage have found the social and emotional aspects of mainstream settings too difficult to manage on a day to day basis.
Whatever the needs of the children throughout the school, there is always a personalised approach to learning designed to meet those needs in the classroom and beyond. Outcomes from the child’s EHCP direct learning and are a strong focus. Once more, close links with families are encouraged and maintained.
Pupils continue to follow a half termly theme, this helps engage the pupils in their learning and allows us to make learning fun. For the academic year 2021 - 2022 we will be working on Cycle 1.