John Jamieson School

John Jamieson is an open and welcoming, generic, all age Special School and National Teaching School which caters for pupils with a learning difficulty

Early Years and Primary Phase

The Primary Department offers a positive, caring and nurturing environment where all pupils’ access outstanding teaching and learning. We offer a broad, creative and fully differentiated curriculum that embraces a breadth of teaching strategies. A commitment to meeting the individual needs of the pupils is at the heart of all that we do and this is underpinned by the East SILC pathways to learning; the sensory, towards independence, and the independent curriculum. These pathways reflect the experience of learning encountered by our young people and include sensory, practical and experiential opportunities to explore themes and topics from the National Curriculum. Children access the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum where appropiate, the essence of which is continued as they move through the primary phase. We have a strong commitment to develop key skills through play.
We have an ongoing cycle of assessment that includes Individual Learning Pathway Plans. Parents and carers are encouraged to contribute to these to support the progress and planning of the next steps in the personal and educational development of their child.
Pupils’ physical, social and emotional needs are carefully considered and opportunities to improve self- help and independence are built into the curriculum. On site this is supported with regular sessions in the soft play, sensory rooms and Millenium Garden. Our pupils’ in Primary also benefit from weekly trips to the local library, supermarket, park and weekly swimming sessions off site.
Our holistic approach to learning is supported by a variety of agencies who work in collaboration with our teaching staff to deliver a range of interventions. This includes our own Speech and Language Therapist and commissioned team of Occupational Therapists. The Physiotherapist and Nursing Team are also on call throughout the school day to support in the physical and medical needs of our pupils’.  

All students are taught literacy daily. We follow the National Curriculum and EYFS. Literacy is spilt into 3 key areas which are Writing, Reading and Speaking & Listening.

Writing begins with sensory mark making and progresses to conventional letter formation and writing skills. A variety of strategies are used to meet the varied needs of our pupils. These include the Write Dance Program, role play, poetry, songs, rhymes and multi-sensory activities designed to develop fine motor skills.

All Year 1 and Year 2 pupils have a phonics assessment and are then taught phonics at the correct stage for them. Pupils have regular phonics sessions using a multi-sensory approach. Our children have access to a wide range of books and follow the Bugs Club Reading Scheme which allows pupils and parents access to books in school and online at home. We have established good links with our local library and pupils in key stage 1 & 2 have the opportunity for weekly visits there. They are able to enjoy browsing and choosing books and enjoy listening to a story. At John Jamieson we aim to ensure that all of our pupils love reading.

Speaking & Listening
Communication is at the heart of all learning in school. We use Total Communication, Speech, Sighs & Symbols, Lego Therapy and Talk About.We engage our pupils in communication at every given opportunity and use a range of activities such as Intensive Interaction, which establishes the building blocks of communication through to the more formal and sophisticated skills needed to communicate effectively in everyday life. We aim to equip our students with the skills they require to communicate and socialise effectively and with confidence.

We teach numeracy daily usually in the classroom but at other times in the Soft Play Area, Sensory Room, out in the playground or even out in the local environment. Some numeracy lessons are formal but others may involve play and role play. We use different strategies to encourage the children to learn and develop numeracy skills and encourage them to use these skills in their everyday school life. We teach a broad range of numeracy skills including light and object tracking, number work, shape, time and measures and where appropriate mental and written calculations, tables and graphs. In every classroom we have practical resources to help children learn mathematical concepts based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum or the National Curriculum. Numeracy concepts are also taught in other subject areas. We aim to make numeracy lessons fun and engaging but also challenge our pupils to reach their full potential.

In Science we use the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage as the basis for our planning, with the aim of teaching children about the world we live in. Our aim is to encourage children’s curiosity, while developing the skills needed to plan and carry out different types of practical investigations. We use multisensory methods of teaching to allow all of our pupils to learn science using signs, symbols and by simple recording methods.
We use a cross-curricular approach to enhance learning, based on individual needs, and engage our children in a wide variety of problem solving activities. The children take part in role-play and discussions, and wherever possible, are involved in ‘real’ scientific activities, using the local environment to promote learning.

Personal Social and Health Education and Citizenship
Through PSHE essential life skills are taught to help young people feel good about themselves, cope with their disabilities and interact positively with others. In Primary lessons PSHE focuses on five social strands and emotional aspects of learning. These include self-awareness, managing feelings, motivation, empathy and social skills.
The themes over the year are;
Autumn term- New beginnings and Getting on and falling out
Spring term - Going for Goals! And Good to be me
Summer term- Relationships and Changes

Physical Education & The Physical Curriculum
In the Primary Phase the children take part in PE lessons each week with their class. This can be in the hall, the playground, soft play area or in the local environment. Throughout the year different areas of PE are covered including gymnastics, games, athletics and swimming depending on the children’s individual needs. Children work to develop their skills in order to play simple games or to create a performance.
On occasions, PE lessons may be linked to other areas of the curriculum. Knowledge and understanding of health and fitness is embedded within PE lessons so that children understand the benefits and effects of exercise. PE lessons may include working alongside other professionals and include Bikeability and Table Cricket.
Each school day in primary begins with a Wake Up Shake Up session in the hall and Positive Play sessions run at lunchtimes and play times.


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