Core Purpose

We believe that the core purpose of Percy Hedley School is to engage, enable and empower every pupil to optimise their future life chances by unlocking individual potential and maximising their progress and attainment.

We do this by working together in trans-disciplinary teams and engaging with parents and stakeholders, to share knowledge, skills and develop a shared understanding of each pupil, their needs and collectively how we can optimise outcomes.

There are four main strands to how we do this. Each strand interacts with the others to ensure that pupils make excellent progress within the context of their significant and complex special educational needs and disabilities.

Strand 1: Key Drivers

The Key Drivers define the areas of development we believe are critical to our core purpose:

  • Communication
  • Wellbeing
  • Functionality and Independence

By optimizing Communication, we empower children to have a voice, express their thoughts, desires and wishes and be heard. We believe that communication is vital for thought, enables literacy, which in turn unlocks access to all other subject areas.

By optimizing Wellbeing, we enable children to live healthier lives, make sensible choices and enhance their physical and mental health, leading to lower demand for medical services. Wellbeing underpins quality of life and engagement, leading to improved attendance, attitudes to learning, progress and less time lost from learning opportunities.

Finally, we believe that learning must be purposeful and pupils should be enabled to apply their learning in functional, ‘real world’ contexts wherever possible. Functionality and Independence stresses that depth of learning and teaching for understanding are critically important and this leads to pupils who are able to apply their knowledge across different contexts and time. This together with life skills and personal independence are critical to adult life.

Strand 2: The Curriculum

The curriculum at Percy Hedley has been created within the context of our Core Purpose and the Key Drivers.

Our curriculum is built upon a modified National Curriculum and utilises the assessment framework iASEND. Pupils follow a curriculum appropriate to their Key Stage and stage of attainment (A, S, E, N or D). The method of delivery is appropriate to their Special Educational Needs – cerebral palsy (CP) or speech and language difficulties (S&L).

Pupils with CP are taught in lessons that follow the principles of Conductive Education. Pupils with S&L follow the ‘Experiential Language Topic Based Approach’ (ELTBA), designed specifically to meet the wide spectrum of needs of children with speech, language and communication needs.

The curriculum content and delivery is modified according to individual need, age, stage and attainment. The curriculum concentrates on teaching for understanding and to ensure our pupils develop the functionality and independence they will need in adult life. Every opportunity is seized to help pupils make sense of their world, develop knowledge, skills and understanding relevant to their lived experiences and to support their communication, physical and mental wellbeing.

Strand 3: Assessment

In addition to therapeutic assessments relevant to the needs of each pupil, ongoing assessment is key to their attainment and progress. Finely tuned, sharp and reliable assessment ensures that learning opportunities are targeted at next steps.

iASEND is the assessment, tracking and target setting system that provides the information staff need to ensure all pupils experience learning opportunities that optimize their learning, attainment and progress and supports them to increase their depth of learning. Our assessment procedures support joint professional practice by increasing understanding of pupils’ learning journeys leading to learning opportunities that are effectively and accurately differentiated and focused.

Strand 4: Trans-disciplinary Teams

At Percy Hedley School staff work in ‘trans-disciplinary teams’. This means that therapists, teachers and support staff work closely together to meet the needs of the pupils in their class. Staff discuss, plan, assess and deliver sessions jointly and share their professional knowledge and expertise, not only to support outstanding and holistic progress, enhance communication and wellbeing, but to support staff development, build and develop professional knowledge.

Conclusion

These strands underpin the excellent work undertaken by teaching, therapy and support staff. We believe that everyone can learn, make progress and achieve. Staff work together to engage, enable and empower every pupil to optimize their future life chances by unlocking individual potential and thus, maximize pupils’ progress and attainment.