Phase Leader: Marie-Claire Nixon
The primary phase at Arbour Vale School caters for children within Key Stage 2, between 8 and 11 years of age. Children within the phase have a vast range of complex learning needs and are grouped according to these learning needs, rather than by age. Vertical grouping ensures that teachers can deliver learning approaches and strategies that are well matched to the needs of the children within their class. Teaching is adapted and highly differentiated to meet children’s personalised learning targets.
Class groups consist of an average of eight pupils and support ratios vary depending on the learning needs of the children within each class. There are currently 57 children across the eight classes in the primary phase. Three of the classes in primary are specifically for children with Autism, one is for children with complex medical needs and profound learning difficulties, one is for children with high sensory processing difficulties and three have children with a range of complex learning needs, some of whom have children with Autism who are beginning to engage in social interactions with their peers.
The primary phase aims to develop the learning of all pupils by building on the strengths they have already established throughout their early years education, whilst supporting areas that are more challenging for them. Where pupils have moved up from the early years phase at Arbour Vale School, they usually display high levels of well-being and have preferred ways of learning and communicating. Strong links between the two phases ensures that the transition is smooth and learning builds on from prior learning, using approaches that have proven to be successful for each individual pupil in the early years.
Pupils encounter a range of learning opportunities with particular focuses on peer interactions, communication, attention to task, engagement in learning and developing independence. We aim for pupils to be more resilient, happy, confident, more independent learners who communicate thoughts and preferences and are more able to self-reflect and self-regulate by the time they transition to Key Stage 3.