Welcome to class 7a – class teacher, Alicia Belshaw
We are a key stage 3 class based in the middle team department, accessing a semi-formal and formal curriculum.
As a class we work on two different curriculum pathways, some are on a semiformal curriculum pathway and some are on formal curriculum pathway. This means that we are all learning about the areas in the National Curriculum, but at an appropriate level for us with repetition of activities and time built into the day to explore, learn through play, and have our sensory needs met.
We follow the Equals Curriculum, this means we focus on the core curriculum areas of my communication, my personal, social, and emotional development (PSED), my thinking and problem solving as well as my creativity and the world about me.
The academy day
Students arrive at school, either on school transport or with their parents and are greeted by a member of staff. They then have the opportunity to make breakfast; this helps us to develop life skills and independence in preparation for the future.
This is followed by the hello and registration session. In this session, students say good morning to each other and share how they are feeling. This is also a time to look at the date including day, month, and year. During this session, students are encouraged to communicate with staff and peers. Sometimes an adult will lead our hello sessions, other times a pupil can lead the session.
Our first lesson of the day differed by day of the week, Monday is weekend news and assembly, Tuesday is PSHE, Wednesday is art or PE (we split into two groups and do the opposite on a Monday afternoon); Thursday is RSHE and Friday is maths.
After lesson one, students have outdoor play where they can play with friends and get some fresh air. During this time students can run around and play games or chill out and relax. Followed by a drink and relax time, which includes listening to relaxing music, lights off and sensory toys on the desks to help students calm down in preparation for lesson two.
Lesson two of the day on Monday is maths, Tuesday is science, Wednesday is food technology; Thursday is swimming and Friday is topic work. After each session, students are given chance to reflect on their learning and there is a class reward system where students earn smiley faces throughout the day in order to access a particular activity in choosing time. The more smiley faces that you earn in a day, the wider range of activities you can pick from in our choosing time session.
After a morning of working hard, we have outdoor play again followed by lunchtime, which is either school dinner or a packed lunch from home.
Our third lesson of the day takes place in the afternoon. Monday is art or PE (we split into two groups and do the opposite on a Wednesday morning), Tuesday is literacy where the focus is on reading, Wednesday is literacy where the focus is on writing, Thursday is our carousel afternoon where students mix with pupils from other classes to participate in a chosen activity which isn’t part of their core curriculum, e.g. percussion or refurbishing broken furniture, and Friday is our star of the week assembly.
At the end of each day, there is choosing time, which is based on the class reward system. During this time, students pick an activity, such as Lego, games, iPad, or colouring. The day finishes with students sharing a story or animated story before saying goodbye to everyone.
All children are supported with transfers from their class equipment into their home chairs, their belongings are all put together and they are supported onto the bus home.
Assemblies and star of the week
We join in the main assemblies on Monday mornings, where we share our school prayer, weekend news and Friday afternoons, where we celebrate our star of the week and learn about different themed days.