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Rigby Hall Special School is situated within the Aston Fields area of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.
Our aim is to provide a high quality education for those children and young people aged from nursery to post 16, with a range of learning difficulties and/or autism.
Our purpose is to provide a safe, positive, stimulating and challenging learning environment where all our pupils’ needs are identified and met and where progress, achievements and success are recognised and celebrated.
In addition, we will develop pupil’s personal responsibility and encourage decision making and choice. To achieve this we listen to and respect our pupils’ voice and contributions, communicating with them through whatever means appropriate. Our children are supported to make good judgements; to protect themselves and to manage their emotions and communicate ideas and we ensure our young people are ready for life’s opportunities.
Relationships between staff and pupils are excellent and create a genuine, positive and supportive family atmosphere. We develop individualised pathways where pupils are best prepared for life beyond school, taking in to account their individual needs.
We are committed to improving outcomes for children and young people and value our partnership with parents and outside agencies; working together to ensure a consistent approach and learning environment that meets each pupil’s needs. We encourage interagency collaboration and integrated working with education, health and care colleagues.
Rigby Hall welcomes opportunities to work with others, sharing our expertise with other schools locally and regionally and within our local authority.
We are exceptionally proud of our school and hope the website gives you a valuable insight in to Rigby Hall School.
In Early Years at Rigby Hall, children’s learning is led by their interests. We work with the pupils through lots of play, building up knowledge and skills through lots of fun, sensory based activities. The children learn to develop their attention and listening skills through short bursts of individual and small group sessions, including music and songs.
In Early Years, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which covers:
As children progress into Key Stage One (Years One and Two), children begin to experience more formal learning through a mix of whole class and small group work, following the National Curriculum. Pupils also enjoy weekly Cookery, Write Dance and Forest School sessions, along with a continuing focus on communication skills development. Children still have opportunities to consolidate their learning through structured play, including role play and outdoor learning. Teaching is based around themes to engage the pupils in their learning.
Key Stage 2 covers years 3 to 6 and consists of 4 classes. Willow class, Beech class, Oak class and Rowan class. All classes cover the national curriculum subjects which are taught creatively and differentiated to each individual pupil’s needs. Pupils are also taught self-help skills and are encouraged to be as independent as possible with their toileting and dressing. Another focus is to help pupils to form friendships and learn appropriate play skills. This includes turn taking, sharing and kind touch. We also engage in a range of sensory play which supports language development, communication, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills and social interaction
We use ‘Write Dance’ and ‘Phonics’ groups to support our development of literacy. We also use a total communication approach and use objects, symbols, signing, photographs and simple language to help us understand what is happening around us and to communicate.
We take learning out of the classroom as often as possible to give real life experiences and hands on learning. All classes go on educational visits throughout the year and go to sporting events such as bell boating. Pupils all have weekly forest school sessions, a term of swimming lessons, half termly themed days and RE mornings. The complex needs class focus on life skills and have regular visits to parks, shops and cafés.
Pupils always leave KS2 ready for their new experiences in KS3. They demonstrate progress in academic subjects and their confidence and independence flourishes during their time in KS2.
There are 3 classes in our Key Stage 3 department; year 7, 8 and 9. Year 7 and 8 are more class based with some lessons taught by specialised teachers to ensure an easier transition from Key Stage 2. Year 9 are taught by more specialist teachers to ensure an easier transition into Key Stage 4.
Children are taught through areas of learning organised as subjects. Leading on from the focus of child-centered learning at Key Stage 2, pupils’ experiences in Key Stage 3 become more enquiry-based, problem-centered, and involve more decision-making. Key Stage 3 pupils are given opportunities to develop skills throughout the whole curriculum in a greater depth. All children in Key Stage 3 take part in work related learning. Children get to meet employers of businesses and participate in small projects to develop their personal ‘work related’ skills. Further to this, children in year 9 can choose a vocational option relating to an occupation or employment, where they study a subject in greater depth.
Children have the opportunity to go to Drayton manor and go on a Pioneer visit to develop team building and independence during their time in Key Stage 3. As well as these, children are given exciting opportunities to go on trips and learn outside the classroom in relation to their topic or learning objective.
Key Stage 4 at Rigby Hall consists of 3 classes; 4.1 (Year 10), 4.2 (Year 11) and 4.3 (pupils with more complex needs).
Our aim within this key stage is to provide students with the opportunity to gain qualifications that will support them when they move to either further education or the workplace. We offer a range of qualifications including GCSE’s, BTEC’s, Functional Skills and Vocational courses.
In addition most pupils will complete a JASS award (Junior Award for Schools) this gives students the opportunity to experience and try new activities as well as contribute to a school or community based project.
As well as focusing on academic achievements we also aim to develop students socially and equip them with skills they will require for their future, such as having the confidence to go into a shop or café and purchase items independently.
We have a strong team ethos within key stage 4 to ensure all pupils support each other and have opportunities and experiences that they will remember.
Our Post 16 department is situated away from the main school building in our bungalow. This facility and its position ensures that the students receive their first sense of ‘life beyond school’ and encounter a different environment to the main school, with a college feel and approach.
Our students have the option of covering a one year or two year course with us, depending on individual pathway, need and ability.
Our pupils are in school for 3 days a week covering life skills such as functional English and Maths, cooking, self-care, and transferring these into everyday experiences. They also learn how to respond to different issues and scenarios that they may encounter when they have left school. We work on travel training where this is appropriate and relevant, and work closely with our families to look at the next steps and life beyond school.
The students take part in a vocational day where they learn skills associated with work and then they also help to run a café at our local Church Hall, St Godwalds. Every Friday they take part in a College Links course at HOW College. This includes sessions on IT, Catering, Hair & Beauty, Multi-skills, Motor vehicle and Sports.
Our ethos in Post 16 is all about encouraging independence, self-confidence and building on the skills that the pupils have been taught throughout their school life, through opportunities that enable them to transfer these to everyday situations. Post 16 is the final step in our student’s school life before heading off to local college or other suitable specialist provision.
Pastoral care at Rigby Hall is vitally important and goes hand in hand with the education of our pupils. We believe that children need to be emotionally regulated in order to be able to learn, and from the moment they arrive we strive to ensure our pupils feel safe and happy.
Our pupils have a class teacher who is their first contact, however there are other adults that may support with emotional wellbeing such as Teaching Assistants who run specific groups designed around the needs of the children such as Talkabout and Thrive. This develops our pupils’ self-esteem, confidence and the ability to communicate how they are feeling.
We work closely with school health, speech and language and other agencies in order to provide support for our pupils and also our parents / carers. We have a parent liaison team that hold events with parents in order to give advice that is specific around the child, such as using symbols or signs to aid independence at home.
We have a wide range of after school clubs which enable our children to access social time after school in a safe and structured environment. These are very popular across the age range of the school and the differing needs of our children.
We pride ourselves on our open door policy and we are always happy to talk to parents / carers about anything they need. Our goal is to enable our pupils to become happy, healthy learners who are as independent as they can be.