The Middle Department
Welcome to the Middle Department at The Milestone School
Our Department mission statement is “Learning for Living” as our intention is to enable our pupils to develop their knowledge and practise their skills, preparing them for their journey to the Senior Department and life beyond The Milestone School. We believe that together we will achieve success to “Remove Obstacles and Enable Access to Learning”.
Pupils in the Middle Department have access to a broad and balanced curriculum, supporting their development, knowledge and skills. Communication, language and interaction is at the heart of our curriculum, as we believe this underpins all areas of our pupils’ learning and development.
Classes in the Middle Department are primarily based in one room, with highly skilled class Teachers and Learning Support Workers (LSWs). Some pupils in the Middle Department may be taught a few lessons by different teachers in a variety of different rooms and settings; these may include English, Maths, PE or RSE. These lessons are divided into a number of short activities to maintain pupils’ interests and meet their learning needs. Outcomes and intentions are based on the The Milestone School Curriculum Framework, individual learning Pathways and informed by a variety of schemes of work, that best suit individual pupil needs. In addition to this, different activities may be offered to support pupils, for example mobility activities, a sensory curriculum, interventions, the Social Use of Language Programme (SULP) and Hydrotherapy. Life Skills are also a focus in the Middle Department and pupils are provided with opportunities to transfer skills to when accessing the community. Pupils in the Middle Department spend their playtimes on the Middle Department Playground and are supported by ‘Playmakers’ and members of their class staff team.
Pupils moving into the Middle Department, from the Foundation Department, begin their transition by spending an afternoon with their new class and teacher. In the Summer Term, they are invited to join the Middle Department assemblies and other activities.
When pupils are ready, they begin to prepare for transition to the Senior Department. In the Summer Term, pupils visit their new Department and will be shown around by the Head of the Department.
At the Milestone School, we understand transition is different for each pupil and we will arrange appropriate activities to help support the needs of individual pupils.
Ensuring learning is as much fun as possible we plan a number of Department events and extra-curricular activities during the year. These may include:
- Topic Launch Days – This is an opportunity for the pupils to take part in a whole Department exciting experience, related to our topic that supports their engagement and enthusiasm.
- Global Awareness Week – This is a chance for pupils to learn about other countries and/or cultures. Pupils may listen to music, cook food or learn some of the language of another country.
- Sports events – Pupils have access to sports events and tournaments off-site. Additional coaching is available at times during the year for some pupils.
- Trips and Residential trips – Classes try to incorporate at least one educational trip per half term. Some classes may attend a residential week in the Summer Term.
- Horse riding – Riding for the disabled (RDA) sessions may be available for some pupils in the Department.
- Swimming – Some pupils access the school Hydrotherapy pool and some pupils attend GL1.
- Experience Harvest, Christmas and Easter – Pupils have the opportunity, three times a year, to visit a local Church and take part in a variety of Festival themed activities.
- Annual ‘Rotary Kids Out’ – We are extremely lucky that the ‘Rotary Club’ give the majority of the pupils in the Department the opportunity to access a local ‘Fun Park’ attraction. Our pupils receive unlimited access to the attraction with other Special School pupils. This gives them a stress free, fun experience and the opportunity to socialise with pupils from other schools.
Middle Department meets twice a week for an assembly. During these assemblies classes will take turns to prepare a short presentation on a chosen theme.
Every Friday there is a ’celebration’ assembly in which pupils receive certificates and merits to celebrate their achievements. Milestone TV is also showcased as a means of sharing what is happening in all Departments across school.
Special Whole school assemblies are opportunities to celebrate achievements, as well as occasions such as Sports Relief, Red Nose Day ...
Assessment and Reporting to Parents
Your son/daughter’s teacher will be continually assessing their work to help inform planning and to tailor the personalised learning programmes appropriately for each pupil. This process will help your son/daughter become empowered to take an active part in their own learning. Teachers will support pupils, where appropriate, to help them set their own targets and goals.
There are four Parents’ Evenings during the year when your son/daughter’s teacher will meet with you to discuss how they are getting on at school. The first three Parents’ Evenings are with your son/daughter’s current class staff, and the fourth (usually in July) is with the new class team who will be with your son/daughter the following year.
Annual Reviews / EHCP meetings
Each pupil has an Annual Review or EHCP meeting during the year. This is an important meeting with you and other people involved in your son/daughter’s education/care.
You will receive details about this meeting from the school’s administration/EHCP team.
Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you have any questions or would like any further information.
Middle Department is a positive environment where all pupil successes are celebrated, no matter how big or small they may seem. To encourage improvement in their learning and behaviour, classes will adopt their own ‘Positive Small Step Reward System’ e.g. Stickers, Marbles/Coins in a Jar, Star Charts.