Fairfield School Departments
Our Philosophy of Teaching and Learning at Fairfield
At Fairfield we are focused on developing an interactive growth mind set in all our pupils, to enable them to become effective learners. This is achieved through stimulating their interests, to encourage and develop a sense of engagement and achievement. Our aim is that pupils are healthy and safe and they enjoy and achieve in all areas of their development. Fairfield creates environments in which effective teaching and learning enables all our pupils’ opportunities to enjoy and achieve as valued individuals in our school community. We believe in having a positive approach towards school life, and our pupils are supported to become motivated and confident learners.
We personalise opportunities to create optimum potential through our bespoke, creative curriculum; which is taught by experienced professionals, enabling all pupils to succeed. This is achieved through the utilisation of individualised teaching approaches. Our pupils begin Fairfield with a variety of experiences, opportunities and needs. It is the role of all staff to encompass an holistic approach to learning, encouraging the pupils to develop a sense of pride, care and sensitivity towards themselves, their peers and the school.
All pupils are allocated a pastoral class group with staff who know each student well. There are four departments in school; within Early Years and KS1 there are 3 classes; KS2 5 classes; Secondary 5 classes; and Post 16 3 classes. Each department has a head of department leader. Each class is lead by a teacher, an advanced or senior ETA, additional ETA support workers and some classes have interveners to support individual pupil’s needs. There are between 7 and 12 pupils in each class. Except for some nursery aged pupils all learners are full time. Each department has classes specifically tailored to meet the needs of pupils with PMLD. This structure provides a seamless progression and transition pathway throughout school.
What does our Early Years and Key Stage 1 curriculum look like?
We have a creative approach to learning, which is guided by the child’s interests. Our teaching methods are based on empirical evidence of effective practice. Our flexible timetable encompasses focused learning sessions, continuous provision and pastoral class time.
We share an early year’s philosophy as we believe in A Unique Child – they are unique in their strength and needs, we devise educational strategies for learning which are personalised to each individual. We believe Positive Relationships – between all professionals which are involved in your child’s education and care. We promote Enabling Environments - so all children have access to a high quality, broad and balanced curriculum.
What happens in Key Stage 2?
In Key Stage 2 we welcome children from year’s three to six. We strive to build on their early learning skills, to foster independence, giving children a sense of ownership and contributing to their learning. Our classes reflect the children’s different learning styles and individual needs. Lesson and personalised activities are planned by staff teams with the skills and experience to support each individual child in their learning and development.
Play based and experiential learning activities are established within classes to provide opportunities to explore and experiment in their learning. We continue to hold the core values of a, ‘unique child, positive relationships, and an enabling environment’ in order tonsure that all our children are valued as unique, an as contributors to their education and school life.
Key Stage 2 plays an important role to bridge the provision between our primary and secondary departments, key stage two work closely with both departments to make transitions as seamless as possible.
What opportunities do the pupils have in the Secondary Department?
In the secondary department the pupils are from years 7 to 11. They follow a subject based thematic curriculum which allows for creativity and flexibility, to meet the pupils individual needs. The four secondary classes are organised into ability groups where teaching and learning opportunities are differentiated to build on the pupil’s strengths and needs. The pupils engage in some discrete subject teaching and some topic based learning.
In the secondary department we have specialist subject rooms (food technology, art and music, media suite with green room and a sensory space) which the pupils use to enhance their learning opportunities. Our aim is to promote independence in our pupils and enhance the development of daily skills and experiences. We have two mini buses in school which we use on a Thursday to facilitate learning opportunities outside the classroom.
What experiences do students have in the Transition Department?
The Post 16 Department at Fairfield caters for the needs of students from years 12 to 14. The focus for the students is the ASDAN accreditation that we offer all of our students. This consists of a number of units which include literacy and numeracy in addition to life skills and work based learning. Our curriculum in Post 16 is tailor made to meet the needs of each individual student and aims to prepare all our students for adulthood.
Classes are organised into ability groups, which ensures all students are able to access the curriculum at an appropriate level to meet their learning needs. All students are involved in enterprise projects. Some of our students do external work experience placements whilst others do work experience on site such as in our Post 16 cafe that runs every Wednesday morning. It is called ‘The Mug Shot’ and is open to staff, parents and friends. Horticultural projects area also organised throughout the year; a focus for this work is the Christmas market.
Regular meetings are planned with a member of the careers team who support the students and their families in the choices available after Fairfield. We also plan visits to adult provisions and have a Moving On Event so that our young people and their parents/carers can make informed choices about the future of our students.