The Lower Phase at Pens Meadow, Ridge Hill has three classes; Green, Orange, and Purple. Children are in Lower Phase from reception to year 3. Each pupil is placed in the class that can best meet their needs; both educationally and with regard to health.
The pupils in Pink class all have complex needs which require frequent interventions. To ensure a robust team is in place to enable all pupils to be supported to meet their outcomes they will be in a class based provision. However, all pupils will have opportunities to join with their peer groups where appropriate to enable them to have a wide range of experiences.
The Lower Phase and Complex Needs team of staff is led by Angela Sidaway, who has teaching and learning responsibility for the pupils. There are three other teachers, HLTAs, teaching assistants with health responibilities, teaching assistants and Special Needs Support Workers (SNSW). Each class also has SNSW over the lunchtime period.
Pupils in Lower Phase and Complex Needs all have a keyworker; a member of the class team, who is the main point of contact for parents. Pupils also have support from speech and language therapists, physiotherapist, occupational therapists, teachers for hearing impaired and visually impaired, school health, educational psychology, social care and the family support team as and when required.
The curriculum in Lower Phase and Complex Needs follows the Pens Meadow approach of placing the child at the centre. Communication, independence and personal development are the central themes. This is delivered through the Early Years, child centred, approach, evidenced through ‘learning journeys’, developing into a more structured, subject delivery approach when the pupils are ready for it, evidenced through DAPA (Dudley Agreed P Scale Assessment)
All pupils have targets in Maths and English as well as IEP targets to overcome their barriers to learning. The class teams work with families to focus on areas of priority to achieve targets together. Classes have a topic approach; each half term there is a different focus which enables interesting, exciting learning opportunities for pupils.
Although pupils have a class base, some elements of the curriculum are delivered to groups which are decided on pupils’ abilities and needs. These groups include phonics, soft play, and swimming. Pupils go out of school on regular community visits which are linked to topics, give opportunities to develop learning from school lessons, or are to take part in one on the ‘101 things to do at Pens Meadow’.
As pupils move throughout the Lower Phase they are challenged to grow and develop as individuals, meeting their targets and becoming confident young people so they are ready for transition to the Middle Phase.