Secondary Thematic Pathway
The Thematic Pathway is split into Early Thematic classes and Thematic Classes. These students are aged between 11-16 years of age, so typically from Year 7 to Year 11, matching the Secondary Phase of school life. The classes are arranged into age and need. In all classes in our pathway, our learners are supported with their communication, sensory and emotional regulation, developing their social skills and practicing skills for life after school. All the areas of learning are based on our four school values of ‘Be independent, show respect, spread happiness and connect community’.
Younger Secondary Classes:
- Pegasus (Thematic)
- Phoenix (Early Thematic)
Older Secondary Classes:
- Griffin (Early Thematic)
- Centaurs (Thematic)
Our Secondary Thematic Life Skills learners are taught using a more traditional teacher-led approach, with adaptations of activities within lessons. These inter-connect with the British Values and form the basis for supporting with emotional development, and promoting good citizenship.
Early Thematic students overlap with the Sensory Life Skills Pathway and Thematic Pathway. The pedagogy of teaching in our Early Thematic classes looks different to our Thematic classes. The teaching styles in our Early Thematic classes focus on a carousel of activities with continuous provision, which will support our learners' individual needs further. These classes are at the early stages of the Thematic Curriculum.
Secondary Thematic Pathway
Ages 11-16 years
Phoenix – 12 children
Pegasus – 12 children
Griffin – 11 children
Centaurs – 13 children
Daniella O’Brien- Pathway Lead/
Jamie Weller- Unqualified Teacher
If a student attended The Wyvern School before entering this Pathway, then they would have experienced the EYFS Pathway in Reception and Year 1, the Primary Thematic or Primary Sensory Pathway.
Students are ready to join the Pathway when:
Children are ready to join Thematic Pathway when they can engage with a more formal learning approach and have a more consistent form of functional communication. They will be able to begin to answer questions using their form of communication and be able to have some kind of interaction with their peers, familiar adults and unfamiliar adults. Their attention skills will be increasing so that they can follow simple instructions from the Teacher and have some capability to work in a whole class setting for some of the time. Students will begin to actively engage in group learning for short periods of time, although some of their learning will still need to be individualised. They will have strengthening social skills and be able to share a resource and play with their peers. They will be of Secondary age or at least 10 years old. Most students joining the Secondary Thematic Pathway will have come from Primary Thematic Pathway. However, if a student has gained a consistent form of communication and requires a more formal learning approach they may move from the Sensory Pathway or STEPS.
Students are ready to move on to the next Pathway when:
Students who have increased their attention, engagement, social skills, Reading, Writing, Maths and Communication levels as assessed on The Wyvern milestones, to a degree where they can participate in regular academic learning, will then be ready for the CLICK Pathway. They will be regulated most of the time and showing increased social and emotional skills. Regarding academic areas, the Secondary students will have reached around Milestone 9-10 and possibly showing elements of Year 1, in most academic areas.
Each student in year 10 and 11 will have a personalised route through accredited course based on their knowledge and skills in English and Maths, this is discussed with parents at annual review and parents evenings.
AQA English Entry Level 1 and 2 (Typically Centaurs Class)
AQA Maths Entry Level 1 and 2 (Typically Centaurs Class)
Pre-entry level units English and Maths (Typically Griffins Class)
All students will access Arts Award
All students access ADSAN Independent Living Skills certificates.
Life after Wyvern
In our Pathway, we focus on building the foundation blocks of life skills and independence to enable children to be prepared for their adult life and journey into Post 16 education. All our learning in Thematic Life Skills is to prepare our learners for life after school. We practice skills in school and across different contexts, including in the community, to ensure that our learners are ready for adult life and can lead as independent lives as possible. There is a Careers section of the Thematic curriculum which Secondary students work on throughout their time in the Pathway and there are weekly sessions on the timetable with around 40-50 minutes’ worth of activities linked to considering careers after The Wyvern.
In our Pathway, the children have access to a wide range of subjects including:
Thematic children have Maths and English activities every morning, and the children are taught to read using Fresh Start daily, when developmentally appropriate. The one hour English lesson coverage includes phonics, reading, comprehension, creative writing and writing for a purpose, handwriting and fine motor skills, spelling; and communication skills. The Early Thematic students will be working on pre-reading skills, fine motor skills and gross motor skills as well as mark making, basic comprehension, early number skills and increasing their form of communication skills. For the Thematic students, the one hour Maths lesson coverage focuses on a different area of Maths each day, including number and place value, four operations, shape, measure, money, calendar and time, statistics and ratio. Our afternoons consist of two 50-minute lessons, and the length of these lessons are dependent on our children’s individual abilities to attend to these lessons. As with all of the lessons, the length of lessons and areas covered will depend on the readiness of the children in each class. We find this approach to Maths ensures the children consolidate their learning through repetition and with meaningful, hands-on and purposeful activities. All Maths sessions will include manipulatives to increase their understanding of early Maths skills.
All the learning objectives are in the form of ‘I can’ statements and derive from The Wyvern School Progression Documents for English, Maths, PE, Communication and Religion and Ethics. The other subjects learning objectives come from the Thematic Life Skills Pathway curriculum document- see appendix 1. The Pathway curriculum runs on a 5-year cycle as the students could potentially be in the Secondary Pathway for 5 years. Each term in every cycle is based on books which creates a hook for learning the broad and varied curriculum. The chosen books were diverse, age appropriate, developmentally appropriate encompassing a wide range of themes for the students to gain different experiences. The curriculum covers all aspects of life skills including independence and social skills. It encompasses a wide range of topics to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum. The starting points are always based on the children’s own experiences, with a view to increasing their understanding of the world around them- Secondary Thematic Topic Cycles
The curriculum forms the over-arching focus for each week, the daily focus is based on the class cohort as well as each child’s individual EHCP targets.
The class timetables vary from Early Thematic to Thematic classes and by age.
The timetables include outdoor learning and physical developmental skills. Communication and Social skills are focussed on throughout the day including snack-times and lunchtimes.
The timings for each area are as follows:
In our Secondary Thematic Life Skills Pathway, you will see some, if not all, of these approaches to learning depending on the child’s individual needs: the use of Makaton, symbols, visually supported resources, visual timetables and now and next boards. Communication is a key skill for the Thematic Pathway as is developing the level of independence. Clear and labelled environments will be evident in every classroom. Communication aids will be utilised in every session according to the individual student’s needs such as PECS/ Communication Books at various levels, digital aids such as VOCAs and switches. Manipulatives are always used, in Maths sessions particularly, and hands-on resources to support learning are used in other sessions, where appropriate. The environments are clear and organised areas with separate areas designated for different purposes, e.g., work, reading corners, calming space. In addition, you will see displays for English, Maths, Daily Reflection, our school values, Topic/children’s work, children’s individual targets and space for children to move and regulate.
Teachers are skilled to adapt their teaching and prepared lessons within the activity if they feel a student needs their learning extended or simplified. The Teacher also considers a child’s emotional regulation and will make adaptations accordingly.
In the Pathway, we assess the children in a variety of ways. To ensure consistency across the school, we assess in Reading, Writing, Maths and Communication using The Wyvern progression documents. This is recorded on the school assessment system, Earwig. The progress of their EHCP targets is also recorded on Earwig. The students’ progress is monitored regularly by the Pathway Leads and the assigned Assistant Head. There is an expectation that all students will achieve a green good, progress outcome at the three assessment periods.
Pupil Progress meetings are undertaken three times a year led by the Assistant Head for assessment alongside the Assistant Head affiliated to the Thematic Primary Pathway where the Class Teacher can discuss the achievements and progress of the class. Actions from these meetings are then followed up by the Class Teacher and assigned Assistant Head.
In the classrooms, the children receive ongoing verbal feedback on a day-by-day, lesson by lesson basis. This feedback is given in a meaningful way to the children alongside stickers, high-fives, verbal comments or ticks etc. depending on the child’s level of understanding and own individual preferences. The day-to-day impact is also monitored through pop ins each week undertaken by the Pathway Lead, IRIS reflections three times a year and Learning Walks also three times annually. Feedback is given to the Class Leads after all of these monitoring systems. When necessary, actions will be set for the Pathway or individual members of staff.
In the Pathway, we focus on building the foundation blocks of life skills and independence to enable children to be prepared for their adult life and journey into post 16 education. All the learning in Thematic Life Skills is to prepare the learners for life after school. We practice skills in school and across different contexts, including in the community, to ensure that our learners are ready for adult life and can lead as independent lives as possible.
Students who have increased their attention, engagement, social skills, Reading, Writing, Maths and Communication levels as set on The Wyvern milestones, to a degree where they can participate in regular academic learning, will then be ready for the CLICK Pathway. They will be regulated most of the time and showing increased social and emotional skills. Regarding academic areas, the Secondary students will have reached around Milestone 9-10 and possibly showing elements of Year 1, in most academic areas.
Our Reading Guarantees
- Daily Fresh Start phonics sessions for those students who are developmentally ready. This will not be for all of the students.
- Fresh Start sessions are between 40-60 minutes long across the course of a day.
- All children have books that go home are changed weekly. They can read, share and enjoy these chosen texts at home with their families. Reading records accompany these books so families can record information about their child’s reading or enjoyment of the book.
- Information is sent home to parents with how they can support their child with their reading
- Reading for pleasure time happens during every school day, where staff can read stories to the children, and the children can have time to explore a variety of reading materials
- Comprehension tasks and activities at least once a week as a stand-alone lesson, embedded through English lessons, but comprehension skills are also practised during other subjects throughout the timetable.
- All children are to be heard read every week, at least twice a week, by a member of staff on a book that is aimed at their own reading ability level inclusive of Fresh Start texts.
- Reading opportunities in other subjects, e.g., give children the time to practise their reading in Maths questions, cooking instructions, signs around the school or local community and games instructions, where appropriate to the child
- Every class will have a reading area. This is having reading material at height accessible for the children with a range of different texts of different genres and abilities, and will include somewhere comfortable for the children to sit. It will have a reading display clearly labelled with signs and symbols linked to the texts being read each week, photos of the students in the class reading and any other labels and signs that are relevant for the class cohort.
Our Maths Guarantees
- The schemes used in Primary Thematic are ‘White Rose Maths’ and/or ‘Maths for Life’ to support the planning and pedagogy of teaching
- Wide coverage of the Maths curriculum as is appropriate and accessible for individual learners
- A cross-curricular approach to teaching of Maths, where appropriate, e.g., cooking lessons, reading bus/train timetables in the local community
- Repetition is key to embedding key skills and understanding which is why Maths happens daily in planned sessions, but also incidentally during the school day.
- Manipulatives are available for all Maths session as Primary Thematic students learn through a multi-sensory approach.
- A concrete (using manipulatives), pictorial (using images), then abstract (using symbols) approach is clearly presented to the students.
- The teaching of Maths is dependent on the individual learner’s needs