Watermill School, Turnhurst Road,

Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST6 6JZ

School Tel: (01782) 883737   INSPIRE Tel: (01782) 883777

Headteacher: Mr J May

Complex Needs Overview

 

Complex Needs Hub Overview

 July 2016

Definition of Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities.

“Children and young people with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (CLDD) have conditions that co-exist. These conditions overlap and interlock creating a complex profile. The co-occurring and compounding nature of complex learning difficulties requires a personalised learning pathway that recognises children and young people’s unique and changing learning patterns. Children and young people with CLDD present with a range of issues and combination of layered needs – e.g. mental health, relationships, behavioural, physical, medical, sensory, communication and cognitive. They need informed specific support and strategies which may include trans-disciplinary input to engage effectively in the learning process and to participate actively in classroom activities and the wider community. Their attainments may be inconsistent, presenting an atypical or uneven profile. In the school setting, learners may be working at any educational level, including the National Curriculum and P scales.  This definition could also be applicable to learners in Early Years and post-school settings.”

CLICK HERE to see our Roots for Learning summary. This is how we measure pupil progress.

CLICK HERE to see our rational on Managing Complex Behaviours.

Definition and Statement of Engagement

“Sustainable learning can occur only when there is meaningful engagement. The process of engagement is a journey which connects a child and their environment (including people, ideas, materials and concepts) to enable learning and achievement. “

(Professor Barry Carpenter. Associate Director (SEN) Specialist Schools and Academies Trust.)

 

Criteria for placement in complex Needs Hub

The majority of students in the Complex Needs Hub have a diagnosis of ASD in addition to their other learning difficulties. All students have challenging behaviour and/or communication skills that lag behind their general level of development. Students are placed into one of 2 classes; primary (KS1 KS2) and secondary (KS3 KS4). Placement in the Complex Needs hub is reviewed on an annual basic and opportunities for integration into and out of the hub are being developed.

 

Principles of the Complex Needs Curriculum and the Staffordshire Knot Hub.

 

Students with complex needs by definition require individualised learning pathways and support strategies. However, there are identifiable principles which underpin the teaching and learning within the Staffordshire Knot Hub:

Basic Needs Fulfilment

Students are only fully receptive to learning once their basic and psychological needs are met. The Complex Needs Hub offers a nurturing environment, with small classes and high staffing ratios so that these basic needs can be more effectively fulfilled. The sensory issues that are often associated with complex needs, (hyper/hypo-sensitivity,difficulties with processing or integrating sensory information) need to be addressed and the specialised environment offered in the hub, reflects this priority.

 

Structure, Scaffolding and Cues.

Students with complex needs often have limited understanding of the spoken language and may have sensory difficulties and rigidity of thought, which makes understanding what is happening difficult. To support understanding, clear cues are used to signify activities, events and places. These cues may be in the form of photographs or symbols, sound cues (such as activity specific songs/ music) or objects (objects of reference,) The use of “Now/Next”  “wait” “not available” cue cards, visual timetables and TEACCH strategies are embedded across the day and shared between settings.

Ecological approach to teaching and learning.

An ecological approach is an approach to teaching and learning which has the student at the centre of their learning.(centring around the child’s interests and motivations, what they needs to do day to day as well as bridging the gap to more formal learning). This approach takes into account the students’ motivators, and the often narrow field of interest, and uses this to support further learning.

Positive behaviour management

Challenging behaviour is seen as being communicative in nature. Staff look for the purpose behind the observed behaviour and support the student to make more effective interactions and choices. All students have an individual behaviour plan, which not only describes the strategies for managing challenging behaviours but also identifies the skills which need to be developed in order for the behaviour to diminish (communication, social, emotional and /or sensory). Physical activity is incorporated throughout the day to support student’s sensory and physical needs.

Communication and Social Needs.

Total Communication incorporates all forms of communication. (Speech, Makaton sign, photographs, symbols, objects of reference, gesture, cues, body language, facial expression, Voice Output devices / communication aids. PECs and communication books, to name a few)

Communication development is central to all teaching and learning in the Hub. Communication skills are developed across the day, on an individual and small group basis. An element of choice is embedded into all activities and interactions and offers the students control over their learning and environment.

Time is also given to developing early effective interactions through activities such as Intensive Interaction, Sherbourne Movement, Rebound Therapy, Soft Play and Massage. Opportunities to develop peer interaction skills such as parallel play, sharing, turn taking and co-operative play are also embedded across the day.

Sensory Needs

Many students with complex needs have significant sensory difficulties. Difficulties may arise from over/under sensitivity to specific stimuli, (sounds, colours, textures, tastes, smells, movement, pressure) and /or they may difficulties with sensory processing and integration. These sensory issues may impact significantly on learning and may lead to a variety of behaviours being presented. (twiddling, flapping, spinning, jumping, climbing, vocalising, toe walking, refusal to accept clothing/shoes, limited diet, obsession with materials/toys, smearing, covering ears/eyes, self-injury, ) Responses to stimuli may be variable and dependent upon on a variety of other factors, including emotional state, physical state and the demands of the tasks /environment at that time.

Students’ sensory needs are individually considered and incorporated into their individual learning pathway and behaviour plans. The environment across the Complex Hub balances the sensory needs of individual students.

Generalisation of skills and understanding.

Students with complex needs have particular difficulty with generalising skills and understanding across contexts. Often students will be dependent upon specific cues for understanding and their reliance upon such prompts can limit their potential independence within activities. Staff support students to maximise their independence by fading prompts in a planned and individual programme. Students will also need to revisit learning in order to maintain and consolidate skills, and also to embed established skills into new contexts.

The Complex Needs Curriculum Domains

The Complex Needs Curriculum identifies four domains of learning that provide the foundation for formal learning. Each domain links to subjects identified in the National Curriculum and ensures that each student accesses a broad and balanced curriculum. A topic based approach is used to deliver content.

Communication and Functional Skills

 

Communication, Literacy, Maths and ICT

 

Life Skills :

 

Self Care, PHSE and Citizenship

 

Physical Skills:

 

P.E. hydrotherapy,swimming, independence

 

Sensory skills: Exploration and Learning -

 

Music, MFl, Art and Design, Design Technology (including food technology) Science, Geography, History, RE.

 

 

The Complex Needs Curriculum describes a pre-formal programme of learning that supports the development of those skills and concepts which underpin more formal learning. It could be summarised as a “Learning to Learn” curriculum model. Achievement within this curriculum model is expected to reflect both vertical and lateral progress of learning

Students accessing the Complex Curriculum will typically be working at P2-P4 of the P Scales. It is acknowledged that a number of students will be working at levels P4-6 of the P Scales. In such cases, identified student’s learning pathways will be developed from both this and the National Curriculum programme of study.

Assessment

Summative Assessment

Summative Assessment occurs termly, using the Roots for Learning Assessment Tool. This assessment document records both vertical and lateral progress (in communication and cognition.

 Currently, progress in PE, Swimming, Geography and History are recorded using the Watermill school assessment documents.

Students who have been assessed as nearing the completion of Roots for Learning, Root 4 (P4-P5 depending on individual learning profile) will be baselined using B-Squared. This will then become part of the summative assessment tool for that student.

Students in the secondary-aged class receive accreditation of their achievements from ASDAN (Transition Challenge, Towards Independence). 

Formative Assessment.

Formative Assessment occurs daily and is ongoing. Students are assessed against individual lesson objectives and objectives derived from their individual education plan (set and reviewed as part of the EHC process annually). Formative assessment or assessment for Learning often takes the form of observation or photographic evidence but also it may include annotated work or video. All members of the staff team are responsible for formative assessment and all assessments are reviewed by the class teacher and next steps are agreed.  Evidence is collated and stored in a students work folder.

In addition to the assessment identified above. it may be appropriate to use additional assessments tools. For example Rebound Therapy Assessment, Pre-Verbal communication schedule, Sensory Assessment etc.  Identified students will also receive assessment and monitoring from other professionals e.g SALT, physio, OT, CAMHs , LEA Sensory Advisor Asessment.

Close liaison with family members and multi agency workers is vital when target setting and assessing the individual.

Reporting on individual progress occurs throughout the year and includes  parents evening, school report in the summer term and through the Annual EHC meeting.

Planning

The Watermill Long Term documents inform planning and ensure coverage. The class teacher then produces Medium Term Planning (MTP) using the Complex Curriculum Overview.  From this, the teacher produces a weekly plan,that incorporates individual learning pathways. This planning will include all four main areas of the complex curriculum and will also allow other programmes to be included. Incorporated into this are the pupils I.E.P’s (these are generally embedded across the daily routine but may occasionally necessitate specific additional planning)

 

 

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Complex Needs Hub Overview

 July 2016

Definition of Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities.

“Children and young people with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (CLDD) have conditions that co-exist. These conditions overlap and interlock creating a complex profile. The co-occurring and compounding nature of complex learning difficulties requires a personalised learning pathway that recognises children and young people’s unique and changing learning patterns. Children and young people with CLDD present with a range of issues and combination of layered needs – e.g. mental health, relationships, behavioural, physical, medical, sensory, communication and cognitive. They need informed specific support and strategies which may include trans-disciplinary input to engage effectively in the learning process and to participate actively in classroom activities and the wider community. Their attainments may be inconsistent, presenting an atypical or uneven profile. In the school setting, learners may be working at any educational level, including the National Curriculum and P scales.  This definition could also be applicable to learners in Early Years and post-school settings.”

CLICK HERE to see our Roots for Learning summary. This is how we measure pupil progress.

CLICK HERE to see our rational on Managing Complex Behaviours.

Definition and Statement of Engagement

“Sustainable learning can occur only when there is meaningful engagement. The process of engagement is a journey which connects a child and their environment (including people, ideas, materials and concepts) to enable learning and achievement. “

(Professor Barry Carpenter. Associate Director (SEN) Specialist Schools and Academies Trust.)

 

Criteria for placement in complex Needs Hub

The majority of students in the Complex Needs Hub have a diagnosis of ASD in addition to their other learning difficulties. All students have challenging behaviour and/or communication skills that lag behind their general level of development. Students are placed into one of 2 classes; primary (KS1 KS2) and secondary (KS3 KS4). Placement in the Complex Needs hub is reviewed on an annual basic and opportunities for integration into and out of the hub are being developed.

 

Principles of the Complex Needs Curriculum and the Staffordshire Knot Hub.

 

Students with complex needs by definition require individualised learning pathways and support strategies. However, there are identifiable principles which underpin the teaching and learning within the Staffordshire Knot Hub:

Basic Needs Fulfilment

Students are only fully receptive to learning once their basic and psychological needs are met. The Complex Needs Hub offers a nurturing environment, with small classes and high staffing ratios so that these basic needs can be more effectively fulfilled. The sensory issues that are often associated with complex needs, (hyper/hypo-sensitivity,difficulties with processing or integrating sensory information) need to be addressed and the specialised environment offered in the hub, reflects this priority.

 

Structure, Scaffolding and Cues.

Students with complex needs often have limited understanding of the spoken language and may have sensory difficulties and rigidity of thought, which makes understanding what is happening difficult. To support understanding, clear cues are used to signify activities, events and places. These cues may be in the form of photographs or symbols, sound cues (such as activity specific songs/ music) or objects (objects of reference,) The use of “Now/Next”  “wait” “not available” cue cards, visual timetables and TEACCH strategies are embedded across the day and shared between settings.

Ecological approach to teaching and learning.

An ecological approach is an approach to teaching and learning which has the student at the centre of their learning.(centring around the child’s interests and motivations, what they needs to do day to day as well as bridging the gap to more formal learning). This approach takes into account the students’ motivators, and the often narrow field of interest, and uses this to support further learning.

Positive behaviour management

Challenging behaviour is seen as being communicative in nature. Staff look for the purpose behind the observed behaviour and support the student to make more effective interactions and choices. All students have an individual behaviour plan, which not only describes the strategies for managing challenging behaviours but also identifies the skills which need to be developed in order for the behaviour to diminish (communication, social, emotional and /or sensory). Physical activity is incorporated throughout the day to support student’s sensory and physical needs.

Communication and Social Needs.

Total Communication incorporates all forms of communication. (Speech, Makaton sign, photographs, symbols, objects of reference, gesture, cues, body language, facial expression, Voice Output devices / communication aids. PECs and communication books, to name a few)

Communication development is central to all teaching and learning in the Hub. Communication skills are developed across the day, on an individual and small group basis. An element of choice is embedded into all activities and interactions and offers the students control over their learning and environment.

Time is also given to developing early effective interactions through activities such as Intensive Interaction, Sherbourne Movement, Rebound Therapy, Soft Play and Massage. Opportunities to develop peer interaction skills such as parallel play, sharing, turn taking and co-operative play are also embedded across the day.

Sensory Needs

Many students with complex needs have significant sensory difficulties. Difficulties may arise from over/under sensitivity to specific stimuli, (sounds, colours, textures, tastes, smells, movement, pressure) and /or they may difficulties with sensory processing and integration. These sensory issues may impact significantly on learning and may lead to a variety of behaviours being presented. (twiddling, flapping, spinning, jumping, climbing, vocalising, toe walking, refusal to accept clothing/shoes, limited diet, obsession with materials/toys, smearing, covering ears/eyes, self-injury, ) Responses to stimuli may be variable and dependent upon on a variety of other factors, including emotional state, physical state and the demands of the tasks /environment at that time.

Students’ sensory needs are individually considered and incorporated into their individual learning pathway and behaviour plans. The environment across the Complex Hub balances the sensory needs of individual students.

Generalisation of skills and understanding.

Students with complex needs have particular difficulty with generalising skills and understanding across contexts. Often students will be dependent upon specific cues for understanding and their reliance upon such prompts can limit their potential independence within activities. Staff support students to maximise their independence by fading prompts in a planned and individual programme. Students will also need to revisit learning in order to maintain and consolidate skills, and also to embed established skills into new contexts.

The Complex Needs Curriculum Domains

The Complex Needs Curriculum identifies four domains of learning that provide the foundation for formal learning. Each domain links to subjects identified in the National Curriculum and ensures that each student accesses a broad and balanced curriculum. A topic based approach is used to deliver content.

Communication and Functional Skills

 

Communication, Literacy, Maths and ICT

 

Life Skills :

 

Self Care, PHSE and Citizenship

 

Physical Skills:

 

P.E. hydrotherapy,swimming, independence

 

Sensory skills: Exploration and Learning -

 

Music, MFl, Art and Design, Design Technology (including food technology) Science, Geography, History, RE.

 

 

The Complex Needs Curriculum describes a pre-formal programme of learning that supports the development of those skills and concepts which underpin more formal learning. It could be summarised as a “Learning to Learn” curriculum model. Achievement within this curriculum model is expected to reflect both vertical and lateral progress of learning

Students accessing the Complex Curriculum will typically be working at P2-P4 of the P Scales. It is acknowledged that a number of students will be working at levels P4-6 of the P Scales. In such cases, identified student’s learning pathways will be developed from both this and the National Curriculum programme of study.

Assessment

Summative Assessment

Summative Assessment occurs termly, using the Roots for Learning Assessment Tool. This assessment document records both vertical and lateral progress (in communication and cognition.

 Currently, progress in PE, Swimming, Geography and History are recorded using the Watermill school assessment documents.

Students who have been assessed as nearing the completion of Roots for Learning, Root 4 (P4-P5 depending on individual learning profile) will be baselined using B-Squared. This will then become part of the summative assessment tool for that student.

Students in the secondary-aged class receive accreditation of their achievements from ASDAN (Transition Challenge, Towards Independence). 

Formative Assessment.

Formative Assessment occurs daily and is ongoing. Students are assessed against individual lesson objectives and objectives derived from their individual education plan (set and reviewed as part of the EHC process annually). Formative assessment or assessment for Learning often takes the form of observation or photographic evidence but also it may include annotated work or video. All members of the staff team are responsible for formative assessment and all assessments are reviewed by the class teacher and next steps are agreed.  Evidence is collated and stored in a students work folder.

In addition to the assessment identified above. it may be appropriate to use additional assessments tools. For example Rebound Therapy Assessment, Pre-Verbal communication schedule, Sensory Assessment etc.  Identified students will also receive assessment and monitoring from other professionals e.g SALT, physio, OT, CAMHs , LEA Sensory Advisor Asessment.

Close liaison with family members and multi agency workers is vital when target setting and assessing the individual.

Reporting on individual progress occurs throughout the year and includes  parents evening, school report in the summer term and through the Annual EHC meeting.

Planning

The Watermill Long Term documents inform planning and ensure coverage. The class teacher then produces Medium Term Planning (MTP) using the Complex Curriculum Overview.  From this, the teacher produces a weekly plan,that incorporates individual learning pathways. This planning will include all four main areas of the complex curriculum and will also allow other programmes to be included. Incorporated into this are the pupils I.E.P’s (these are generally embedded across the daily routine but may occasionally necessitate specific additional planning)