At Yew Tree Community Primary School we are able to offer a unique specialist provision for pupils with all ranges of learning difficulties. This means Yew Tree is able to ensure all learners across all spectrums of education needs are able to meet their full potential.
Our DSP Classes
The Designated Specialist Provision consists of 3 classes which cater for children who have a special educational need, specifically Autism, and present with Communication and Interaction, Cognition and Learning and Sensory Needs.
A great emphasis is placed in all classes on providing a safe, caring and happy environment which enables and encourages each child to develop his/her potential.
Classroom organisation and teaching methods take account of the individual learning requirements of the pupils and various strategies and techniques are used throughout the DSP by highly skilled and committed staff who work very much as a team.
The DSP follows a unique curriculum entitled ‘Curriculum Around the Pupil’ (CAP)– please see the curriculum section below for more details.
DSP Curriculum – 6 Elements
Curriculum Around the Pupil (CAP)
The new curriculum approach is entitled CAP and simply means Curriculum around the Pupil. There are five key elements to the CAP approach, the use of National Curriculum, the Developing Skills Curriculum and P Levels, Emotional Literacy, Sensory Diet and Total Communication.
Some pupils are able to access subject specific learning and will be following the Progression Steps area of B Squared, which means where appropriate pupils will still benefit from National Curriculum coverage of Numeracy and Literacy at a level that is suitable for them. There will be a strong emphasis on functional Literacy and Numeracy skills even for those pupils who appear to be functioning at National Curriculum levels. These will be delivered in Numeracy and Literacy sessions, as well as through practical activities in the afternoon such as individual or group Speech and Language sessions, and practical life skills sessions. Some pupils who are ready for more structured learning will be taught through Maths, No Problem!, Literary Tree, Read, Write, Inc (Phonics), Kapow (Art, DT and Music), and GetSet4PE!
Pupils who are not yet accessing National Curriculum and who are not ready for subject specific learning will be supported through developing areas of Engagement, which include Cognition and Learning, Communication and Interaction, Social, Emotional and Mental Health, and Sensory and Physical. Pupils will have individualised targets on their Personal Provision Plan, related to these areas as well as outcomes on their EHCP. These will be delivered through 1-1 work sessions, small group activities where subjects are used as a vehicle for delivering these objectives, multi-sensory activities, and SALT/OT input.
Pupils will follow a ‘Theme’ approach but the Theme will act as vehicle to teach the skills that are related to the pupils’ specific areas of needs as opposed to delivering a set of National Curriculum objectives related to specific subjects. National Curriculum subjects and objectives will still be used where appropriate and where they support and extended the skills pupils need to develop.
Developing Skills Curriculum
Where pupils are not ready for National Curriculum skills or will need a modified approach to National Curriculum then the guidance called ‘Developing Skills’ will be used to support planning for learning opportunities for these pupils alongside P Levels. This document outlines four key areas to address in a Curriculum for pupils with additional needs and then further expands on these areas:
KEY FUNCTIONAL SKILLS- including communication, application of mathematical and number skills and using information and communication technology.
SKILLS FOR LEARNING- including working with others in a team, reflecting on learning and problem solving and independent inquiry.
THINKING SKILLS- sensory awareness and perception and early thinking skills
PERSONAL SKILLS AND OTHER PRIORITIES- physical, orientation and mobility skills, organisation and study skills, personal and social skills, daily living skills and leisure and recreational skills.
It is recognised that for pupils to fully engage in learning experiences they need to use their ‘thinking’ and ‘feeling’ brain together but strong feelings such as confusion, anxiety or anger can overwhelm our pupils and make it difficult for them to make effective use of their whole brain. In creating an emotional literate environment we are aiming to make our pupils feel CLASI
Capable- people around me are genuinely interested in enabling me to realise my potential
Listened to- I am free to say what I think or feel and it may lead to things changing
Accepted- I can explore different ways of being myself
Safe- I do not have to hide the way my emotions influence what I think, do or say
Included- I am valued for the distinctive role I play in this class and school
We will aim through developing emotionally literate environments and providing learning opportunities through activities such as ‘Check in/check out’, ‘Relax kids’ and circle time activities to enable pupils to:
Recognise their emotions in order to label and find them
Understand their emotions in order to become effective learners
Handle and manage their emotions in order to develop and sustain positive relationships
Appropriately express emotions in order to develop as ‘rounded people’ who are able to help themselves and, in turn, those around them.
For many pupils with additional needs there may be difficulties with their sensory processing ability. The term sensory processing refers to the ability to take in information through our senses (touch, proprioceptive , smell, taste, sight, hearing, vestibular), organize and interpret that information and make a meaningful response. The seven senses are fundamental to a child’s ability to learn & function in any environment. Therefore if there is a difficulty in organising or integrating this sensory information this can have a dramatic impact on the pupils ability to engage in learning experiences. This is when they will need a Sensory Diet approach related to specific senses they may have problems with in order to enable them to utilise the senses they have and integrate information from the developing senses. These activities will vary greatly depending on the needs of the pupils but could include the need for rebound therapy, sensory room, specific equipment such as physio balls, visual stimulus and auditory stimulus.
Underpinning this whole Curriculum is the need for the Total Communication Approach. If pupils cannot access the curriculum due to difficulties in receptive language skills and cannot demonstrate their learning due to difficulties in their expressive language skills then the Curriculum approach will be ineffective. The Total Communication approach acknowledges the need to match our expressive communication to the needs of the pupils so that they can engage in learning experiences be that through Sign, use of Objects of Reference, PECS, clear speech, body language, intensive interaction and the use of visual supports such as timetables, now and next boards and symbols such as ‘wait’, ‘help’ and ‘Traffic Lights’. The Total Communication Approach also acknowledges that we need to be adept at responding to the child’s expressive communication so as to build relationships and understand what they have learnt during activities so we can build on this for future learning experiences.
These sessions will be planned for by each individual class teacher as depending on the needs of the pupils they may have a CAP more weighted towards Communication and Sensory Skills or Developing skills or National Curriculum. Themes will be decided on based on what elements of CAP need to be focused on for those pupils so this will be done on a yearly basis to accommodate changes in class structure. Each Pupil will have a Learning Profile, using information from their Statement, where their specific areas of needs are identified . This learning profile will also generate information for their LRT plans and PPP’S. Together this information will be used to support planning that will lead to a variety of learning experiences that specifically cover their areas of needs for example fine motor skills, gross motor skills, early play skills, sequencing skills, expressive and receptive language skills, turn taking, understanding and expressing emotions, controlling anger, accepting responsibility and working together, functional Literacy and Numeracy.
How CAP will be assessed
Children will be assessed using B Squared whilst those working at National Curriculum will be assessed using the school’s preferred method of ‘No levels’ assessment where pupils are assessed using the Year Group objectives they are working at and given at description of beginning at, working at and secure. If pupils are using the ‘Developing Skills’ Curriculum they will be assessed using the objectives outlined in the ‘Developing Skills’ curriculum through observation of these skills being achieved in CAP sessions, this information will be recorded through their PPP progress and their Annual Review of their statement.
Please click on the links below to see bespoke curriculum plans for our three classes;
Within the DSP, we are lucky enough to have a newly developed outdoor area, specifically designed to meet the sensory needs of our pupils. It includes a climbing frame, swing, trampoline, sensory foot trails, mud kitchen, racing track for scooters and bikes, bedding areas and wild flower area. This provides lots of vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile input which helps to regulate our children, ensuring they are calm and ready to learn. The area also provides opportunities to develop cognition and learning, as activities are set up in the space using natural resources with a specific learning, as well as communication using Intensive Interaction, communication boards and Blank Level Questioning all based around activities.
Benefits of Rebound Therapy
Strengthening of Limbs
Jumping straight, astride
Gentle bouncing on hands and knees or feet
Kneeling and bouncing with or without coaches support
Stretching of body
Jumping and counting
Counting the steps as they mount / dismount trampoline
Clapping and counting
Waiting their turn
Safe progression of moves
Learning new words and signs
Using symbols and other aids (PECS)
Using on body signs
Bouncing in sitting position
Progression from assisted bouncing to bouncing independently or jumping independently
From assisted mounting/dismounting to unaided
Being praised, happy to try move again or try new moves
Knowing what is expected
Asking for or independently completing moves
Progressing from assisted sitting and bouncing to attempting independently or becoming independent
Feeling good having worked hard
Face to face bouncing/jumping
Sitting face to face
Waiting their turn
Recognising success and clapping
Using rhymes (if you’re happy, head, shoulder knees and toes)
Coach bounces section of trampoline near different parts of pupils body
Stretch limbs, raise legs, arms and keep hold of while bouncing
Standing/sitting in middle
Walking around the trampoline
Bouncing using arms
Sense of achievement
Praise from coach, peers and visitors
Increasing Height and Depth Perception
Controlled bouncing (gentle, vigorous, high, low)
Mounting/dismounting trampoline correctly
Locating parts of the trampoline
There are also benefits of Rebound Therapy: Stimulation of the digestive system, improved bowel function, internal organ massage and clearing of toxins from the body. These are achieved by the different movements on the trampoline (bouncing, walking, side to side at different tempos and weights offered) The toxins are cleared by the bouncing, causing stretching and contracting of cells in the body.
Our DSP Manager is Mrs Robyn Gray, who can be contacted via the school's main office on 01514778950 or via the school email yewtreeknowsley.gov.uk