Personalised Learning at Diamond Wood
At Diamond Wood Community Academy, we believe that every pupil has the right to receive the best possible education. Diamond Wood will always be ‘A place to grow and a place to shine’ for every single child that walks through our doors. We are whole-heartedly committed to providing all our pupils with an equal opportunity to thrive in a setting free from discrimination in all its forms.
We strive to be a school where children, whatever their individual needs and learning abilities, will find teachers who will champion them and ensure they are able to succeed. It is for this reason that our curriculum has been carefully designed to meet the needs of all learners. We do not have separate curriculums for pupils who need additional support, but instead allow children to work within the curriculum at the stage which is appropriate for them.
At Diamond Wood Community Academy we have a ‘three-phased approach’ to teaching and learning. These phases are as follows;
- A whole school approach
- Personalised response
- Deep recovery
Although our initial and main approach to teaching involves high quality whole class dynamic teaching, we understand that not all children develop at the same rates. Therefore, where our pupils are struggling to engage in the curriculum, we will support them by making ‘Phase 2: A personalised response’ a priority for them. This is when ‘interventions’ or ‘booster’ sessions will be arranged at school level for the children to enable their needs to be met. If it becomes apparent that children are still showing less than expected progress on review of this additional support, children will be provided with the additional support within ‘Phase 3: Deep recovery’. This is where specialist support becomes available with the support of our school Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo).
At Diamond Wood Community Academy we ensure that all interventions we implement are driven by research and evidence. This is to ensure that any time spent out of the classroom environment for children will be effective and have a high impact. When the need for an intervention is identified, time is taken by leaders and teachers to speak to other professionals and research interventions which are proven to have the most impact. Training for staff is then provided to ensure the interventions can be delivered as intended. Once the intervention is in place, it is reviewed on a regular basis to analyse impact and ensure the children’s needs are being met.
As well as specific research-led and evidence-based interventions, children working within ‘Phase 2: Personalised response’ may benefit from accessing booster groups. Boosters are different to interventions in that they provide time to recap, consolidate and apply knowledge and skills learnt during whole class teaching. They are not a ‘package’ provided by specialists. They are a session planned for by the class teachers themselves to provide additional support. For example, having a fine-motor skills group for children who may benefit from this in addition to handwriting practice. Another example is our ‘Guided Reasoning’ sessions in Maths where children need additional support to read the questions presented to them and apply known strategies to answer them. They work in a smaller group with adult support rather than the whole class environment.
Informing Parents and Carers
If your child is working within any Intervention or Booster groups you will be informed by their class teacher. They will explain the reason for this and the intended outcome. You will also be provided with regular updates about the impact these groups are having upon your children's learning and development. Class teachers can also provide you with ideas and guidance about the ways in which you can continue to help your children at home. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with a member of the class staff team, Mrs Alderson or a member of our Senior Leadership Team. Each year group also has a Curriculum and Achievement Leader who would always be happy to meet with you and answer any questions you may have.
Speech and Language Support
Early intervention is key when providing language support for children who speak no or very little English when they come to Diamond Wood Community Academy.
Mrs Shaw is our Speech, Language and Communication support assistant. Her role is very varied, supporting children throughout the Key Stages with both Literacy and Language skills including Speaking and Listening.
She works with children both in the classroom and in 1-1 sessions. She helps children with ‘English as an Additional Language’ to improve their knowledge of English and she also helps children with their phonics skills.
At Diamond Wood Community Academy, our SENDCo is Mrs Alderson. She is also a member of our Senior Leadership Team (SLT). If you need to contact her, please ring 01924 325308 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and address the email specifically to her.
Safeguarding and Wellbeing
Mandy Farrar is our Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer in school. She provides pastoral care and support to our children and their families. She is our Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead. Mandy will work with any child and family who may need short or long term support whether that is due to issues with attendance, punctuality, behavioural issues, home situations, bereavement or illness.
The aim of the support is always to encourage and develop engagement and communication between the school and families. Through this engagement the aim is for the children to feel better supported and more able to access all the learning opportunities available to them at Diamond Wood Community Academy.
She also works with families to help and guide them through processes of working with external organisations, such as Early Help, Family Support, School Nursing, Kirklees Young Carers and others agencies.
Mandy is always around early in the morning before the school day begins and can be found in the playgrounds before and after school. She is always willing to listen to any questions, worries, concerns or queries that you may have. Her door is always open.
Bilingual and Multilingual Support
We are extremely lucky to have a number or bilingual and multilingual members of support staff in school. We have recently employed a Romanian Speaking Teaching Assistant called Caty who is fantastic at supporting our Romanian children and families.