Our school is fortunate to benefit from such specialist areas as an Art Studio, Computer Suite, Food Technology Room, Hydrotherapy Pool, Light Room, Soft Play and Sensory Garden.
Educational visits and residential ‘activity’ experiences further enrich our curriculum. In addition, we periodically plan a week of intensive activities focusing on subjects like Science, Physical Education or The Creative Arts.
Students’ progress is recorded, monitored and assessed at all stages throughout their time in school. Parents/carers and other professionals work closely together with the teaching staff to ensure that appropriate targets are set to enable continuing progress. This progress is formally reviewed annually in addition to ongoing reviews throughout the year.
We are a school committed to inclusive opportunities for our students and this is reflected in our integration programmes. In consultation with parents, weekly sessions are arranged for some of our students to attend other schools, nurseries and colleges, whilst other students benefit from visiting different groups within their own school environment. Throughout, the needs of the individual students are constantly considered and reviewed and details of the programmes are adjusted as necessary.
Mathematics / Numeracy
Mathematics is fundamental to our daily lives, and is therefore a very important part of our curriculum.
The early stages of mathematics are taught through play in the nursery and reception classes, progressing on to more structured lessons in the Key Stages.
In Key Stages 1, 2 and 3, we aim to follow the National Curriculum as far as possible with each student, and help them to understand and progress through the Key Stages to the best of their abilities. We follow the Government’s National Numeracy Strategy within a framework to meet the special needs of our student’s.
In Key Stage 4, students continue to develop their skills in mathematics/numeracy and further develop their use in everyday life.
The Further Education curriculum aims to equip the students for independent living. We aim to develop the skills students have learnt into tools they can use in everyday life within the community. Students study for ASDAN, All and Equal – ‘Moving On’ accredited courses.
ICT plays a big part in the mathematics curriculum – from a ‘switch’ used to operate a simple cause and effect programs, to programs designed to reinforce and develop understanding in all our student’s levels and strands of mathematics. Achievement is very important, however small – our students are proud of their achievement’s, which are rewarded either with praise, a ‘Special Mention’ certificate, or a House point.
Communication is key to all curriculum areas. The aim of English at The Ridgeway Community School is to enable each student to communicate and be understood to their maximum potential within society. Each student will achieve this at an individual level through PECS, Makaton signs and symbols, objects of reference, the spoken word and sensory cues. We work in conjunction with the speech therapists to achieve these aims.
In the Early Years, science is taught within the knowledge and understanding area of the Foundation Stage. The older students work towards and within the Nation Curriculum. Science is taught in classrooms, in our purpose-built science room and outdoors. Emphasis is on practical, first-hand and multi-sensory experiences.
History involves the development of an interest in the past. Finding out about the past through visits to historical buildings, topic work, speakers invited into the school and re-enacting historical events. The use of family photographs, timeless, sequencing events and daily/weekly plans all give students the opportunity to think about and develop an understanding and interest in past events about the family, the school, the local community, England and across the world.
Geography involves the development of an interest and awareness of the world around us, and the variety of life within it. This helps students make sense of their surroundings, and of the interactions of people and the environment they live in. Visits to the local community, journeys, school, home, maps, plans and watching the weather all enhance the understanding of the world around us for our students.
Art is promoted at The Ridgeway Community School for it’s many benefits, including creativity and self-expression. Students are given the opportunity to experience a wide range of media to develop skills in sculpture, pottery, drawing, painting, print making and textiles. We have a specialist art room that is equipped with a kiln and we work with artists in the local community. Student’s work is exhibited during the bi-annual Farnham Schools’ Exhibition.
Design Technology aims to enable every pupil to develop and demonstrate skills in designing, making and practical problem-solving, in activities structured appropriately to each pupil’s individual capabilities. Design Technology also aims to enable every student to develop their skills in making informed choices, in whatever way is appropriate to them.
Food Technology is integral to the curriculum at The Ridgeway Community School, reflecting its importance to our pupils in developing independence; we view Food Technology as a subject in its own right. The school has its own individually designed, purpose-built resource area that caters for all students’ physical abilities and contains a wide variety of specialist equipment together with everyday household equipment.
Information Communication Technology
In the Early Years, ICT is taught within the Knowledge and Understanding area of the Foundation Stage. The older students work towards and within the National Curriculum. We have an ICT Suite and computers in all classrooms. Students use switches, touch screen, mice and keyboards to access ICT. Internet access is also available; this is supervised at all times and subject to parental permission
It is the policy of The Ridgeway Community School that all students should have access to impartial careers education and guidance throughout their time at school.
Careers lessons are taught with identifiable learning outcomes so we can monitor and review each child’s progress. Staff throughout the school are involved in careers education from work related play in the lower years to dedicated lessons in the 14 – 19 group. We work closely with the Careers advisor from Connexions. More information can be found under resources on the front page.
Modern Foreign Languages
French is taught in the senior school, giving students the opportunity to experience the French language through games, songs and enacting life in France, a French cafe, music, dance and through watching videos of French children and their families
Music making is integral to the Curriculum at The Ridgeway Community School. Through it, we endeavour to realise the potential of every pupil, whatever their level of ability. We acknowledge it as one of the most effective means of achieving communication, expression and creativity and as such features strongly within the curriculum.
Music is taught throughout the school as a curriculum subject and we also give our students regualr opportunities to experience live musical performances. All the students in the school have opportunities to perfom for an audience, such as in the Christmas production and our senior students take part in a variety of musical events, often with other local schools.
For our more able students, we offer instrumental tuition. The school owns 12 brass instruments and we have a tutor who visits once a week to offer lessons and works alongside the school’s music subject leader.
At The Ridgeway Community School, we value the creative arts and we feel that this is an area that our student’s can access alongside their mainstream peers.
Personal, Social & Health Education
PSHE and Citizenship allows students the opportunity to develop personal skills, values and self knowledge necessary to exercise their rightful role as a member of the community and become valued individuals with personal dignity.
PSHE and Citizenship underpins the whole ethos of The Ridgeway Community School and is incorporated in all curriculum subjects. Personal growth, spiritual appreciation, social development and moral understanding are areas of development for all students.
Learning about religion is important for all students as RE helps to promote the spiritual, social and cultural development of individuals. At The Ridgeway Community School RE is delivered through a curriculum that is relevant to the student’s life experiences, whilst also encouraging an awareness and understanding of the belief and the practice of religion. It offers students opportunities to develop their self-confidence and helps them to understand the world they live in as individuals and members of a group. It also helps to develop positive attitudes towards others, respecting their beliefs and experiences.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from RE lessons.
By teaching Thinking Skills, we aim to increase pupil confidence and independence, leading to greater self-esteem and ownership of learning. There are eighteen thinking skills starting with the base skills, e.g. looking and listening, moving on to the core skills, e.g. remembering and linking, and finally the higher order skills, e.g. reviewing and improving. Thinking skills are taught in discrete lessons and also used to enrich learning across all curriculum areas.
Horticulture Provision at School.
Horticulture is now included in the timetable as an individually- recognised subject across the school.
“Social and Therapeutic Horticulture” – as it is officially known – is now increasingly recognised as a natural practical addition to the curriculum, delivering both direct and indirect beneficial learning outcomes and providing the opportunity to utilise our “Outdoor Classroom” resources around the perimeter areas of the school.
Taught by a dedicated horticultural therapist, the subject is used as a complimentary therapy for youngsters of all abilities, as an occupational aid to managing challenging behaviour, as well as a formal “academic “ subject for our More Able and Talented students (MAT).
The subject is taught in lower school, though the Key Stages and is cross – linked with the ASDAN syllabus. Additionally, since our school has now acquired Accredited Centre status, our FE students can access vocational entry level horticulture courses at City and Guilds level in – house.
Our school is currently one of only seven SEN schools in Great Britain who hold the prestigious Level 5 recognition from the RHS School Gardening Programme. This has become very popular with pupils and parents alike, who are keen to harness the potential benefits of such vocational experiences as the Post – 19 transition approaches and our senior students move on to young adult life.