The Secondary Department
The Secondary Department at Pens Meadow, Ridge Hill has three classes; Orange, Purple and Green. Children are in Secondary from the age of ten or eleven up to sixteen.
Each pupil is placed in the class that can best meet their needs; both educationally and with regard to health. On occasions, pupils with complex needs do not transfer to the Post 16 Pensnett site, but stay at Ridge Hill if it is agreed this is best for the pupil.
The Secondary team of staff is led by Valerie Hill, who has teaching and learning responsibility for the pupils. There are two other teachers, two HLTAs, class based health support and teaching assistants. Each class also has care support workers over the lunchtime period.
Pupils in Secondary 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 Secondary follows the Pens Meadow approach of placing the child at the centre. Communication, independence, personal development and preparation for the next stage of their school career are the central themes. This is delivered through a structured, subject delivery approach, evidenced through DAPA (Dudley Agreed P Scale Assessment) enriched by topics which change every half term. 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.
Secondary pupils follow an accredited curriculum; ASDAN Life Skills Challenge.
Pupils have a registration group, which is their class base. However, to provide challenge and meet different needs, pupils are grouped for some elements of the curriculum. These groups include phonics, soft play, farm visits and swimming. Whilst there is flexibility of movement between classes, the aim is that pupils become established in classes with staff that know them well. This provides a safe and secure learning environment where pupils can maximise their potential.
Pupils go out of school on regular community visits which are linked to topics, give opportunities to develop learning from school lessons in different contexts, or are to take part in one on the ‘101 things to do at Pens Meadow’.
As pupils move throughout the Secondary Department they are challenged to grow and develop as individuals, meeting their targets and becoming confident young adults so they are ready for transition to the Post 16 Department.