The senior leadership team, alongside the governing body and colleagues at Bright Futures Educational Trust, continually review and evaluate the existing provision.
The Head of School is responsible for completing a self-evaluation form annually, which summaries the achievements we have made as a school. Pathway leaders and middle leaders contribute to this evaluation form where appropriate. Child Focused meetings are held termly with senior leaders and class teachers. At these meetings each child is discussed and progress celebrated. These meetings also ensure that the Head of School can make judgements on future areas of increased focus or areas that may require improvement.
There is a strong team approach at The Orchard’s, with excellent and very positive working relationships at the centre of everything that we do. The staff team who will support your child is wide and varied. It includes senior leaders, support staff, teachers, health professionals, governors, the school also supports trainee teachers and trainee support staff.
All staff who work in school are highly trained in a variety of strategies which will support your child’s development. There is 100% commitment from all staff to ensure that all pupil needs are fully and creatively met.
Steph Clemmet and Aisha Shaikh – Parent Support Advisor
Georgia Marrow and Hayley Smith – Ad hoc social work support and family support
Each classroom is structured to ensure it can meet the needs of the learners it support. There is a nurturing and supportive ethos in every classroom, this is supported by clear routines and structures which encourage learning throughout the day. There is a high staff ratio in each classroom. Highly trained and specialist teachers provide good and often outstanding teaching.
Our playgrounds and outside spaces are fully inclusive for all children. Staff plan a variety of different enhancements across the week so that children get lots of different experiences which provide social, physical and cognitive challenges. They include: sensory trays, spinners, climbing frames, scooters, bikes, sand pits and lots of other play resources.
Parents or carers are invited to a transition review meeting six weeks after their child starts at the school.
At this meeting, parents have the opportunity to contribute to their child’s personalised learning plan. At the six week point each child will have their own set of personalised learning targets these cover the areas of the particular curriculum which fits their needs at that time.
At The Orchard’s children are assessed against their own individual learning plan called a PLIM (Personalised Learning Intention Map). The targets on these maps are coproduced with the child, parents, therapy teams and using the school’s own sequences of learning which support next steps planning.
At The Orchard’s we absolutely recognise and value the importance of working closely with parents and carers to get the best outcomes for children. Parents or carers are welcome into school at any time (this should be agreed with the class teacher in advance to ensure the class are on-site and in class at the time of the visit).
We have a number of events which parents / carers are welcome to join. These include coffee mornings, workshops, whole school events such as sports days, festivals and celebrations.
We have two Parent Support Advisor’s who lead workshops such as self care, Riding the Rapids and other specific parent interventions.
We really value the knowledge and support that parents offer the school and we expect that parents work closely with us to support their child’s learning at home.
Our assessment system Earwig allows parents and carers to upload achievements so that home learning is considered as part of a child’s overall progress towards targets.
At every child’s annual review the child’s teachers help the child to complete a series of questions that contribute to a ‘pupil voice’ document. The child has the opportunity to give their opinion on what they like about school and which targets they have found easy, difficult and what is important to them next. For children who have difficult in understanding these questions the class team will work with parents or carers to complete on the child’s behalf by using their observations skills and knowledge of the child.
Parents and carers are encouraged to visit secondary setting when their child is in Year 5. There are two secondary special needs’ schools that the majority of our pupils transfer to, each school has a particular criteria for admittance. Parents’ preference are always given a high priority when choosing a secondary school in Trafford.
We work closely with the secondary special school in the borough to ensure a smooth transition for the child and family.
Children visit their new school in the summer term and receive visits at The Orchard’s from their new teachers.
A transfer review is held in July for the key adults involved to discuss the finer details of the child’s transition.
‘Championing Remarkable Children’ through a communication focused and child led curriculum which nurtures success and celebrates progress.
Curriculum vision as a spidergram
At The Orchard’s we recognise that the most important feature of children learning to manage their behaviour is positive and trusting relationships with the adults who support them. We work very hard to ensure that all children are understood as individuals and that where there are incidents of unsettled behaviour we consider quickly what a child is trying to show us through that behaviour and change the support that they are offered so that they are better supported.
Each child has their own individual relationship management plan and this shows adults clearly what children need where they may feel unsafe, frustrated or unregulated.
We aim to ensure that all children feel loved, cared for and understood at all times whilst they are in school. This provides them with a secure base from which to be able to learn.
At The Orchard’s we follow a Total Communication approach and we excel in ensuring that children’s communication needs are met throughout the school day. We use a variety of approaches and work closely with our onsite SALT team to ensure these remain relevant and effective. The approaches used include: objects of reference, photos, symbols, PECs. Eye gaze, intensive interaction, communication boards and books, PODD, touch cues, signalong, verbal language programmes.
There is a strong focus on developing all children’s independent skills inline with their age and stage of development. Pupils in early years are encouraged to ‘do things for themselves’ such as dressing, eating, drinking, washing and using the toilet. As children progress through the school there are higher expectations for pupils to tidy up, send messages, independently move through school, experience public transport. These independent skills are planned for at an individual level by the adults who know the children well, but also considering what is important to the child and their family.
All pupils have access to a range of community facilities, such as swimming pools, library, and visits to local shops & cafes.
Me and My Community is the aspect of curriculum which most directly supports the social and emotional development of our pupils. This is planned for at an individual level on each child’s PLIM (Personalised Learning Intention Map) but also delivered discreetly as an SMSC session each day on the timetable.
The children are provided with opportunities to develop independence throughout the school day – this maybe related to making choices, dressing, eating or other independent life skills.
We use intensive interaction as a technique to develop all children’s early social and communication skills. Staff receive training in this area and seek opportunities for interactions throughout the day. The skills that children learn during these interactions are key building blocks for more formal communication methods.
See the below complaints policy
Parents and carers are always welcome to contact the school for additional support. The Parent Support Team are able to help with a wide range of enquiries including:
The Orchard’s Special School is a school for pupils age 3 – 11years old in the borough of Trafford. We are committed to providing individualised learning, support and opportunities for pupils with severe learning difficulties, complex needs (including physical, visual and hearing impairments) and autism.