Ethos & Vision
Individual, Inclusive, Independent
At Strathmore we are dedicated to preparing and challenging every learner to become an active contributor to their community by:
- Promoting communication
- Engaging families
- Championing independence
We achieve this through:
- Inspirational teaching
- Integrated therapy
- Bespoke curriculum
- Maximised inclusion opportunities
OUR AIMS AND VALUES
1. Enhanced learning and communication
For each individual:
- To develop their abilities, matching high expectations with specialised and appropriate support. Our staff are trained in current methods such as TEACCH, PECS and Makaton, and we have a team of therapists including speech and language, music, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
- To develop means of communicating to their full potential, using multi-modal means such as sign, symbol and voice output to enhance speech and literacy.
- To access a fun, flexible and personalised creative curriculum in which meaningful learning opportunities are provided in real-life contexts. We adapt the national curriculum so that learners develop a broad understanding at their own level and make connections between areas of learning.
- To make measurable progress, both towards individual academic targets and as a whole person functioning in their community with confidence and self-esteem. We provide holistic individual education, behaviour and therapy plans that are flexible and regularly reviewed. Our annual reviews are attended by external partners, so that transitions are planned well in advance.
2. Safety, dignity and value
- We value the integrity of every learner, seeking to understand, motivate and enable them to follow their own path. Class groups provide a safe pastoral environment and learners are grouped flexibly across classes for learning according to age, needs and interests.
- We acknowledge the value and contribution of all learners, staff, families and visitors to our school. We welcome a diverse mix of people across cultures, ages and experience to share our community.
- We aim to provide a rich quality of life for every individual, to promote relationships, rights, responsibilities and access to opportunities.
- We promote the highest standards of physical and emotional health for all through our provision of therapies, behaviour support and care plans. All adults in our community are DBS checked. All activities are risk assessed, so that we are able to support learners to take well managed risks.
- We acknowledge and promote a spiritual life for each individual within the multiple cultures of our community, celebrating themes and festivals of the year within our curriculum, in our assemblies and through participating in local events. We welcome feedback to include any further opportunities we may have missed.
- We focus on developing the 'Cultural Capital' of each learner to prepare them for their future success. This includes a breadth of learning experiences across the curriculum.
- We aim to involve all individuals in decision-making at every level. We include learner voice from the three campuses by engaging with student council representatives and this informs some school leadership decisions.
3. An outward-looking learning community
- We want all of our learners to live as independently as possible as active members of their communities. This begins when learners take on some responsibility within school and beyond for their environment, preparing them for being able to generalise these skills in later years.
- Our curriculum reaches into the local community, with a mix of well-prepared links and visits and a focus on social, cultural and spiritual enrichment. We welcome an enthusiastic team of peers from other schools to join learners in their play and curriculum activities and have Volunteer Inclusion Programmes set up at lunchtimes across the 3 campuses.
- Our staff work collaboratively with families and other professionals to ensure consistency across all environments. We develop and share best practice to aid smooth transition into adulthood; including supported work placements, further education, leisure activities and supported living.
- Strathmore staff are members of a learning community within and beyond the school, in which all are encouraged to share and develop knowledge, skills and understanding through formal and informal contacts. We are involved in research at universities and relish our role developing understanding and approaches to support learners with additional needs in the wider community of learning. We are committed to changing our local communities to accommodate our learners more effectively.
A programme of continuous professional development (within and beyond school) is set up for staff to develop knowledge of how to support learners with special educational needs. All members of staff receive core training to build up their 'tool box', and have the opportunity to share expertise with others, being supported to developing themselves through our appraisal system.
As a part of a staff CPD in 2022 we collated our ideas about what we would like our learners to be doing in 10 years time...