Pre-Opening Information for Parents

Building and Facilities

Once fully resourced, Elm Tree will provide specialist areas such as:

  • Sensory Integration Room
  • Immersion room
  • Rebound Room
  • Soft Play
  • Therapy rooms

These rooms will be used in line with pupil’s individual plans, created alongside professional advice.

In addition to these, Elm Tree has dedicated Food Technology and Music Rooms and a Drama Studio.

We want our pupils to be seen and heard as valuable members of the community."
Ms B Barnsley, Headteacher

Staff and Class Teams and Multi-Agency Working

Each class will be staffed with a Teacher and at least 2 additional support staff. Classes will have a maximum of 9 children.

There will be an extensive rolling program of appropriate training which will be either school based or delivered by external agencies to ensure that all staff are highly trained aware of current best practice.

Elm Tree will work closely with outside agencies to ensure children have the appropriate provision to meet their individual needs. This includes Speech and Language therapists, Occupational Therapists specialising in Sensory Integration and Inclusion Support.

Curriculum

Our curriculum will be developmental and differentiated not only by KS and chronological age but also through personalisation within lessons. 

The curriculum will be based around 4 Core areas of:

1. Achievement

This covers physical development, social development, subject specific learning or the five areas of engagement depending on the child’s individual learning needs. The five areas are DfE descriptors for children who are below subject specific learning. These areas are: exploration, realisation, anticipation, persistence, initiation.

2. Communication

This includes initiation, interaction, friendships, social skills and opportunities, alternative and augmentative methods of communication (AAC)

3. Wellbeing

This includes celebrating diversity, physical and emotional health, identity, community belonging, pupil voice, special interests, and understanding of autism as appropriate

4. Independence

This includes being part of the school and wider community, life skills, making choices, safety (personal, online, road and travel) and accessing services.

Our children will have personalised provision tailored to their needs which may include specialist approaches such as intensive interaction, identiplay. TEACCH (The use of structured teaching which consists of four elements; physical structure, visual schedules, work systems and task organisation) principles, Lego therapy, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication Systems), aided language displays, COSST,  AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) , personalised sensory diets, food therapy, social skills opportunities, gross and fine motor skills interventions, personalised speech and language programmes and outdoor learning .

Positive Support

We understand that some of our pupils may display distressed behaviour at times. We aim to provide an environment that supports children to develop regulation strategies through trauma informed approaches such as low arousal and emotion coaching.

Communication

Elm Tree will use a variety of methods to support communication such as speech, sign and symbols, PECS, aided language displays, low tech communication aids and ICT. We will work closely with Speech and Language Therapists (SALT) to develop the best methods for individual children.

Sensory Support

Elm Tree aims to provide a low arousal environment where the sensory needs of the children are supported throughout the school day. We will also work closely with an Occupational Therapist and Sensory Integration Practitioner to develop individual sensory diets for the pupils.

Uniform

Our uniform can be flexible to suit each individual child’s needs.

Children can wear:

  • White Polo Shirt
  • Green Sweatshirt
  • Green Knitted Jumper

(embroidery is optional)

With either:

  • Grey/black jogging bottoms
  • Grey/black skirt
  • Grey/black trousers
  • Grey/black Pinafore

In summer:

  • Grey/black shorts
  • Grey/black Skirt
  • Green Check Summer Dress

Working With Parents

We believe that the involvement of parents and carers is essential in helping pupils make good progress.  The more closely that school and home can work together the more effective the learning. Full and regular information will be provided to parents and carers regarding pupils progress and there will be many informal and formal opportunities for parents and carers to come into school.

Enrichment

Pupils at Elm Tree Academy will enjoy many educational visits including to the local shops, cafes or place of interest. Educational visits are an important part of the vibrant curriculum experience and provide opportunities to generalise learning and experience new situation outside the school environment. All visits will be carefully planned on an individual pupil basis and risk assessments will support the safety of all. Parents and carers will be informed an involved.

The new school will have excellent indoor and outdoor play facilities so that our pupils will learn to play appropriately, taking turns and interacting with other young people.

A wide range of festivals will be celebrated in the school.

Safeguarding

All staff will be appointed through safer recruitment procedures and will receive training in child protection which will be refreshed and updates on a regular bases.

Elm Tree will follow Sandwell Safeguarding policies and procedures.

Named staff will be qualified as first aiders.

Equal Opportunities

It is the priority of Elm Tree academy that all pupils will have full access to a broad and balanced curriculum, regardless of gender, race, religion, culture, class, ethnicity or disability. Activities will be planned taking into account individual backgrounds to maximise opportunities.