Science, Technology, Enquiry and Mathematics
Mathematics at Palatine school is divided into blocks of study that span all levels across the school and are split into programmes of study in numeracy and shape, space and measure.
At the earliest level of learning there is an emphasis on experience and emerging awareness of touch, communication, vision, movement, and sensory exploration. Pupils work at reacting, responding, engaging and cooperating in a variety of situations using the senses. They continue into the P levels by beginning to communicate intentionally, participate with less adult support, sustain concentration, explore materials, remember learned responses and respond to options and choices. Extending into the higher P levels, there is a focus on developing pupil’s skills in the number system, calculations, measures, shape and space whilst seeking to use and apply those skills in a wide range of contexts. Beyond P Levels pupils further develop these skills in number, shape, space, measures and handling data with added emphasis on the number system, place value, addition and subtraction (both written and mental methods), multiplication and division (including times tables and written methods), fractions, algebra and using and applying these skills. These processes are supported by our calculations policy which is consistently used across the school. Children are encouraged to be independent in solving problems, asking questions and recording their workings.
As a school we use Numicon as a central resource to support mathematical and conceptual understanding. Since investing in this key resource we have seen a considerable increase in the achievement of progress of pupils within mathematics demonstrating its effectiveness in supporting the teaching and learning in this area.
Within our Science curriculum at Palatine we aim to provide pupils with opportunities to be able to learn new facts as well as being able to work scientifically to investigate and learn new skills. The children work on the following concepts in science as well as using different equipment, including computers to support them
- Life processes and living things
- Materials and their properties
- Physical Processes
- Working scientifically
This is enabled through investigations, practical and multi – sensory teaching and learning that promotes pupils taking a hands-on approach. Risk assessments for all practical activities have been completed by the science lead and ratified by the health and safety officer. These risk assessments complement each individual classes own risk assessments for the management of their pupils.
Technology and Computing
In recent years Palatine have focussed heavily on promoting the access to and use of technology to promote teaching and learning across the curriculum as well as delivering the discrete computing curriculum. Pupils now have access to a range of technology that supports learners at all ends of the access spectrum.
IPads – Each class has an IPad which is used to support the curriculum. Some pupils also have their own individual IPADs which enable them to be able to communicate with more efficiency during their school day using software such as Pro Lo Quo.
Our Sensory room has been fitted with kinects hardware allowing pupils to activate and engage with sensory equipment through kinaesthetic control. We also have a dark room
Pupils have access to a newly refurbished ICT suite that includes a clever touch screen and pupil friendly computers. This is used with more frequency by our Junior Learners who use this space to complement their core teaching and learning as well as the delivery of their discrete computing curriculum. We also have clevertouch screens in five classrooms where they use ICT to support teaching and learning by experienced members of staff. The ICT refurbishment plan extends to all classes using this technology in due course. These new screens and our already existed interactive whiteboards provide a key learning focus within many curriculum and learning sessions.
Eye Gaze technology allows pupils who unable to access ICT through physical movement to be able to interact with software through the movement of their eyes. This particular supports our learners with PMLD and is significant in allowing some pupils independence in their communication and computing skills.
We have recently had a new immersive room installed for the children to use where adults can programme different images and videos into the system for children to experience. This can be linked to topics the children are covering such as transporting them to a different country or situation such as a market as well as linking into different stories such as ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ to provide visual and auditory props in order to retell the story or become more familiar with it. The floor of the immersive room can be interactive to allow the children to interact with the different environments.
The school X Box Kinect allows pupils ways of interacting in a physical kinaesthic way with software programmes that encourage gross motor skills, hand eye coordination and communication/ interaction skills.
Communication and interaction is promoted through the use of ICT with pupils accessing Big Mac switches as well as software programmes such as Pro Lo Quo on the Ipad.
Pupils are encouraged at the earliest stages of understanding about ICT to investigate cause and effect through noisy toys, switch toys and simple touchscreen devices. This cause and effect is also promoted through a wealth of multi-sensory communication and individual interaction opportunities.
Enquiry is developed with all pupils through planned independent learning which seeks to enable every child to have the opportunity to be able to demonstrate their own excellence in learning through creative independent learning opportunities. History and Geography skills as well as an understanding of people and communities are promoted through the set topic themes and form the basis of the core learning within these topics. Immersive learning environments and creative teaching and learning strategies enable these themes to become alive and exciting for pupils.