Our Special Class at Chepstow School is a discrete group of cross age learners, with a diverse range of additional educational needs. Students enjoy extended support for learning, physical, emotional, behavioural and sensory challenges.
The primary aim of Our Special Class is to provide as normal an education as possible, based in a local school and affording a high degree of personalised support. Enjoyment and fulfilment in the learning environment is high on our list of objectives and the consistently high level of attendance by group members is a testament to the successful way in which teaching and learning takes place. Whilst students are afforded increased support, they are nevertheless encouraged to do as much as they can for themselves, finding practical and workable solutions to the variety of problems they encounter in everyday life.
The school week is based on a range of activities taking place both in the classroom and in the wider community, with a heavy emphasis on experiential learning. Students are encouraged to take a full and active part in a carefully differentiated curriculum developed to promote improved confidence and self-esteem.
A daily programme has been developed to meet the challenging requirements of preparing students to face the rigours of adult life. Particular emphasis is placed on ‘learning to lead our lives’ and ‘learning to adapt’. Basic academic skills are a key feature, with students often achieving above expectations in literacy and numeracy. A second focus centres on the improvement of social and independent living skills and considerable time each week is given over to these important aspects of personal development.
Advancement is assessed in line with the School’s traditional reporting methods. In addition progress is also monitored through baseline assessments (P Scales) and a ‘Personal Achievement Booklet’, which reflects developmental criteria developed through student/parent/teacher/partnerships.
Parental support and involvement is of the highest standard, reflecting active participation in planning, target setting and monitoring progress. Each year, as part of the Annual Review, parents are presented with an extended progress report and together with other interested parties help to formulate appropriate future pathways.
Many students remain as part of the class until they are nineteen before moving on to appropriate day or residential based college education.