The School’s Curriculum, Content and Approach
One of the MHS aims is to: “develop a positive attitude to learning in a fun, stimulating, challenging yet safe environment.” The Medina House curriculum has been devised to enable all children to “be the best they can be” throughout their school day.
Communication underpins every area of the MHS curriculum, with the aim that all pupils will transition to secondary provision with a functional means of communication. Our children are therefore immersed in a total communication environment. All lessons are delivered in a multi sensory, practical way by a class teacher with the support of Teaching Assistants. Every child accesses adult and child led learning based on our topic cycle. In addition to the general curriculum, individualised approaches (such as physio programmes) are incorporated as appropriate. Therapy assistants who are based on site and NHS therapists, work with class teams to ensure speech/physio targets are part of daily practice.
The Early Years Foundation Framework (EYFS) is taught to those children who enter MHS in the nursery and reception year. The focus is on the three prime areas of: communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development which are taught through a half termly, theme based topic. These topics offer a variety of multi sensory learning experiences both indoor and outdoor that engage children in an active and enjoyable way. There is a strong focus on communication and developing independence.
In Key Stage One and Two, pupils also follow a topic approach, based on the National Curriculum and MHS schemes of work which are currently being reviewed. The core subjects of numeracy and literacy, ICT and PHSE are incorporated in these topics but are also taught separately. PHSE has a very strong focus and is also taught as a separate subject which includes our bespoke “Be Safe” programme. The Foundation subjects of Science, History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology, R.E., P.E. and Music are taught through half termly topics. Children receive their full PE entitlement plus weekly swimming for all and horse riding on a rolling programme. At the start of each term, parents receive a class curriculum newsletter, which informs them of what their child will be learning that term.
In addition to the formal curriculum, MHS aims to “provide every opportunity to experience and participate in the wider world as independently and safely as possible”. All children attend Forest School for half a day once a week. The aim of Forest School is to develop children’s experiences beyond the confines of the classroom and playground. Through participating in activities such as collecting resources around the forest, building shelters and making insect houses and bird feeders, children build their self esteem within safe boundaries. In Key Stage One Forest School is run on site in an adapted area of the school field, whilst Key Stage Two children travel by minibus to Haylands Farm where there is a purpose built site.
In the summer term, all pupils have the opportunity to take part in the UKSA programme. In Key Stage One, community based learning is a part of every child’s weekly timetable which focuses on building social and independence skills. In Key Stage Two, visits are linked more to a topic children are studying and involve venues such as Brading Roman Villa and Carisbrooke Castle.
We recognise that our children have a variety of different sensory processing needs and offer sensory circuits and other individual resources/approaches to ensure that all our children are ready to learn.
At MHS, we are always looking to broaden our children’s learning and experiences and hence visits to Briddlesford Lodge Farm, Medina College to take part in an ICT project and a behind the scenes look at the IOW Festival site are proposed for the future.
Please view some examples of our curriculum below: