The Primary Department at Pens Meadow, Ridge Hill has four classes; Rainbow, Red, Yellow and Pink. Children are in Primary from the age of three or four up to eleven. Each pupil is placed in the class that can best meet their needs; both educationally and with regard to health.
The Primary team of staff is led by Liz Abbotts, who has teaching and learning responsibility for the pupils. There are three other teachers, two HLTAs, a class based nurse and teaching assistants. Each class also has care support workers over the lunchtime period.
Pupils in Primary 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, 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 Primary 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. Primary 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 Primary Department 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 Secondary Department.