Personalised Learning Centre

Opening September 2018

Pupils at Linden Lodge are registered sight-impaired or blind, but also present withy learning and sensory needs that can be masked within a non-specialist setting. It is therefore recommended that they receive a fully VI specialist programme in order to enable them to develop their own potential, both as Braille users and to be able to reach their full academic potential.  Our expectation is that our more able pupils will be supported to GCSE and beyond.

In terms of social and emotional development, issues of self-identity and self-esteem as a visually impaired young person are likely to become more apparent, and a key aspect for pupils is access to a Compensatory Curriculum to develop their potential to live independently. Pupils also access an Sex and Relationships Education Curriculum, which, given that they do not have visual access, is wholly differentiated. In preparation for adulthood, a holistic understanding of pupils’ needs and the highly specialist approaches to meet these is critical.

 

Provision at the Linden Lodge School Personalised Learning Centre

 

  • The Centre accommodates 20+ secondary-aged, visually impaired, children and young people, who are either following GCSE courses or who are on pathways leading to these at Key Stage 4.
  • Pupils are in classes of 8 students, led by a form tutor who is a qualified teacher of the visually-impaired. Each student follows an Individualised Learning Programme, which includes an Individually tailored IT package to enable the visually impaired learner to access the curriculum. They have access to personalised Braille equipment and an assessment is
  • carried out to select the most appropriate system for them, taking into account any additional tactile needs.
  • Pupils are placed within a peer group of students of similar age and ability and who are fluent in spoken language, most of whom are Braille users and all of whom have the potential for GCSE and beyond.
  • All teaching is carried out by qualified teachers of the visually-impaired. In addition to the form tutor delivering subjects from the National Curriculum, pupils also have access to additional subject-specialist teachers who are also qualified teachers of the visually-impaired. Subject-specialist teaching is offered in Maths, Science, Art and PE complemented by a weekly whole-class Music lesson.
  • The curriculum offers the full range of subjects apart from a Modern Foreign Language. Instead, pupils will receive individual Braille tuition.  Twice weekly, pupils will have access to Braille tuition from a qualified teacher of the visually-impaired and a higher level teaching assistant to develop their competency in Braille 2. To reinforce this and build fluency, Braille is also used in all academic teaching.
  • The Sex and Relationships Education Curriculum has been differentiated for the visually-impaired and is delivered on a weekly basis. As pupils cannot access sex education via visual means, specific strategies are required and it is important, as part of keeping them and others around them safe, that they have full access.
  • Through a personalised programme, pupils are continually assessed and prepared for entry into GCSE course at the end of Year 9. The school offers courses accredited by AQA and Edexcel. Since the school is partnered by Southfields Academy, pupils have access to a state of the art Science facility for practical lessons, along with visually-impaired peers and are taught by a qualified teacher of the visually-impaired in collaboration with the Head of Science. 
  • Those pupils who show a talent for Music can also access individual music tuition in an instrument of their choice, leading to external examinations.
  • In terms of social and emotional development there is also access to individual Music Therapy within the school’s Creative Therapeutic Arts Department, which provides class groups with regular Movement Therapy sessions. In addition to these sessions, pupils also have access to individual counselling, if needed.
  • PE is supported by qualified and experienced teachers of the visually-impaired. The school’s commitment to physical education is reflected in its organisation of the regional Panathlon Disability Programme, through which pupils can access disability sports and join local and county teams, including teams for visually-impaired young people. The twice-weekly PE programme includes swimming, fitness and outdoor sport. The teaching team are specialists in vision-impairment and can enable students to achieve a higher level of success and independences that might otherwise be achievable.
  • Many pupils are registered blind and therefore need weekly access to a compensatory curriculum. This is specially written for the visually-impaired and helps to develop life skills, such as cooking, washing and caring