Most students are taught in mixed ability classes for the first three years. More able children are given the opportunity to develop at a faster pace within a separate group.
Gifted and Talented students and those capable of moving onto Higher Education are identified at an early stage and offered additional programmes to develop their strengths.
Learning at Parklands
Students at Parklands High School are benefiting from a new style of teaching. The ‘Learning at Parklands’ initiative, known as LAP, came into force for all new Year 7 pupils in September 2005. The students work on six projects over their first year in the school, each project lasting half a term. A core team of teachers, who have all been trained in Mind-Friendly Learning techniques will take the Year 7 students for over half of their weekly time-table, to create a secure and stable environment perfect for learning.
“It is really a wonderful initiative focusing on how our young people learn best. We are taking the best practice of our primary schools to change our Year 7 curriculum. It promises to be an exciting future for all our students and staff”. (Mr. Smithies)
A support team of 8 staff is available to assist teachers and provide support to students that require additional support with reading, writing and number skills. Learning Assistants also provide support to any student who may have difficulty adjusting to life in a large comprehensive.
Students are monitored very carefully and progress is assessed and discussed at regular intervals. So successful was this project that we have now continued it into year 8.
Some children may have missed schooling through illness, or possibly be late developers. Early hearing or speech problems may have caused key concepts to be missed or a student may require support in one specific area of education.
At Parklands the Learning Support Teachers help in a variety of ways:
- Supporting teachers within the classroom
- Teaching small groups for support with specific skills or concepts e.g. spelling, reading and maths
- Working with Gifted and Talented and potential Further/Higher Education students throughout the school
- Liaison with outside agencies e.g. Educational Psychologist, Education Welfare Officer, School Health Service
- Assessing all students to identify those who require additional support
- Provision of a Reading Programme and a Reading Club
- Provision of a Homework Club
The Pastoral Team also support students to break down barriers to learning. They offer counseling if required and informal discussion to students and their families when a different approach may be required to address issues that may be complex in nature. The school also has the opportunity to access support from external agencies if required.
At present a number of our students have ‘Statements of Educational Need’. Support teachers and classroom assistants provide extra help and support in lessons.
The school works closely with Abbot’s Lea School and a number of students attend Parklands High School on a full or part time basis. Links with other special schools are also developing. All young people joining Parklands High from a primary school have already been assessed and given a National Curriculum Level in the core subjects of Maths, English and Science. This information, together with our own baseline NFER tests, is used to identify students who may require additional support. If we feel any pupil does require support, we will invite parents into school to discuss the ways in which school and home can work together to promote higher levels of attainment.