Synthetic Phonics at Penn Hall School
Pupils are taught to read and write using the Read Write Inc Phonics scheme. This provides a clear, systematic and consistent approach to learning. The scheme runs seamlessly throughout the Primary and Secondary departments ensuring that pupils are taught reading and writing skills at an appropriate level.
Pupils start by learning the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to sound-blend words for reading (decoding) and spelling (encoding). Where appropriate children are also taught handwriting skills.
Pupils are ability grouped for daily phonic sessions, daily guided reading sessions and Literacy lessons. Pupils who are using phonic knowledge with confidence may follow the Read Write Inc Literacy and Language scheme. This has been developed to reflect the requirements of the new National Curriculum and encourages enthusiasm for adventurous vocabulary ‘power words’, effective use of language, English grammar and ‘Big Question’ debates.
Penn Hall, along with all local authority schools in Wolverhampton teaches RE according to the LA locally agreed syllabus. It reflects the fact that religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the customs, beliefs and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. Children learn both about religion – learning about major world faiths’ beliefs, special days and customs – and from religion – considering attitudes towards issues that affect children and society today. Christian and major festivals of other religions are celebrated at the school throughout the year, and parents are invited to join us for class assemblies, services and festivals on a regular basis.
Parents can withdraw their children from all or part of the religious education and collective worship provided if they so wish.
Modern Foreign Languages
There is a requirement to teach a Foreign Language at Key Stage 2 and a Modern Foreign Language at Key Stage 3. For children following the formal curriculum French will be taught on a weekly basis. These sessions will begin with experiential activities and will lead to an introduction to vocabulary as appropriate to the level of understanding of each pupil. For children following the semi-formal curriculum themed days will introduce them to different European cultures and languages.
Personal Social Health Education
The Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) curriculum, including Citizenship, helps to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives, and to become informed, active, responsible citizens with an awareness of financial capability issues.
Issues relating to Drugs Awareness will also be included in the PSHE curriculum. They will also find out about the main political and social institutions that affect their lives and about their responsibilities, rights and duties as individuals and members of the community. Weekly time-tabled support in Personal Development including Citizenship, is provided throughout the school as appropriate. Person Centred Planning (PCP) is an integral part of the curriculum. It is formally addressed through PSHE lessons and on one to one interviews with our Connexions adviser. PCP encourages skills of self-advocacy and informs choices for transition.
Additionally guidance and support is provided through the Connexions service at the age phase 14 – 19 years to assist students and families with transition to post school placements and their EHCP.
We believe that such programmes assist our pupils to manage their disability with confidence and success. This in turn leads them to live more independent and fulfilling lives in the wider community.
Sex and Relationships
The teaching of Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) in school is a statutory requirement and therefore forms part of the school’s PSHE curriculum. The teaching of SRE at Penn Hall School will not take place in isolation and will be approached from a biological, ethical, moral and emotional point of view. It will deal with the importance of family life, respect, love, care, sex, sexuality and sexual health.
As well as a normal teaching programme, some issues may necessitate a one to one teacher-pupil input and contributions from external agencies, such as the school nursing service.
In Key stages 3, 4 and 5 PSHE education is timetabled for every class. The three core themes of Health and Well-Being, Relationships and Living in the Wider World, encompass some of the aims within Citizenship education which is statutory for Key Stage 3 and 4.
The National Curriculum for citizenship aims to ensure that all pupils:
- acquire knowledge and understanding of how the United Kingdom is governed, its political system and how citizens participate actively in its democratic systems of government
- develop knowledge and understanding of the role of law and the justice system in our society and how laws are shaped and enforced
- develop an interest and participate in volunteering as well as other forms of responsible activity, that they will take with them into adulthood
- develop skills to think critically and debate political questions
- enable them to manage their money on a day-to-day basis, and plan for future financial needs
Parents can find out more about our curriculum through either a visit to the school, or by contacting the school office for a copy of the Curriculum Policy or the School Prospectus.