Tree House

Teacher: Mrs Harward & Mrs Filus (KS1), Miss Richardson (KS2)

Teaching Assistant(s): Mrs Farquharson, Miss Guest, Mrs Laflain, Mrs Chrzan, Miss Banham, Miss Bond and Miss Harding

The Courtwood Curriculum

We provide a broad and balanced curriculum, which is enhanced with the option to participate in many extra-curricular clubs and activities. Maths and Literacy are taught every day for at least an hour and links made to applying knowledge in real-life contexts. Foundation subjects such as science, history and art are taught via Learning Journeys which immerse the children in a topic.

Literacy

We teach literacy using a scheme of work called The Power of Reading. Reading and writing skills are embedded and taught by studying a whole text from beginning to end, lasting anything between a week and six weeks. As well as reading and writing there are opportunities for speaking and listening, drama, art and music.

Numeracy

Numeracy is taught using a scheme of work called Abacus. All areas of maths are covered within this scheme including calculation, data handling, shape and space, geometry, measurement and mental maths. Children are regularly taught problem-solving skills and given the opportunities to apply these to a real-life context.

Learning Journeys

Learning Journeys bring together many of the remaining school subjects such as art and geography. Class trips are often organised to enhance a topic and support the learning taking place at school. Junior children receive French lessons for a term and Year 3 receive a years’ worth of SoundStart music tuition. Some subjects such as RE, PE, PSHCE, Music and French are taught discretely, whilst others such as history, geography, DT and art are usually taught through Learning Journey’s in a cross curricular way. Please see the Curriculum map in this booklet for a wider overview.

Homework

Homework is set half-termly and matches the class Learning Journey for the half term. There are non-negotiable tasks that must be completed weekly such as spellings and times-tables practise. In addition there are a further nine tasks (either literacy, numeracy or topic based) that the children can choose to complete (a minimum of three must be completed.)

Extra-Curricular

We provide a wide-range of extra-curricular clubs and activities throughout the year at Courtwood. Clubs include: Multi-Sports, Gymnastics, Cheerleading, Street Dance, Ball Skills, Craft, Gardening, Cookery, German, Science, Computing and Lego. Years 5 and 6 may have the opportunity to represent the school in teams such as Netball and Football.

What Skills Will You Be Learning About in the Treehouse?

During the year you will go on many Learning Journeys with your class which will change annually. You will also be learning a variety of real life skills as listed below.

Social Skills

Social skills will include dressing, toiletting, friendships, communication, mananging feelings and behaviour. Will we address thesse issues through the use of modelling, social stories, peer-modelling, visual prompts, chatter box and chill and chat sessions. Children will also have an individual programme to follow from Speech and Language and Ocupational Therapy professionals.

Real Life Situations 

Real life situations will consist of activities such as cooking afternoons. Social outings will include visits to libaries, shopping trips, parks and restaurants, which will be travelled to via public transport. Children will learn skills such as how to interact with people in everyday situations, money skills, how to access public transport and how to stay safe.

Independence

Children will need to learn to work independently and in small groups within the Treehouse and when accessing mainstream. For this to happen children will need to be taught this skill. This will be achieved with the use of TEACCH activities where children work at individual work-stations completing and revisiting previous learning,as well as through the use of visual prompts, visual timers, rewards, now and then cards, heres the deal cards. 

Mainstream Schooling

Children will learn to access their mainstream classroom for a set period of time depending on need and age. In these sessions it may be that your child has access to maths and literacy or it could be that they attend foundation subjects such as, P.E., Art and Design and Technology. Children will also play with their mainstream peers during playtimes and lunchtimes.

Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy

Children will work on programs devised, set an overseen by an Occupational Therapist/Speech and Language Therapist, which meet each child’s individual needs. Key Stage 1 children also follow the Attention Autism program which builds up attention and focus of children on the ASD spectrum.

Forest School

Wise Owl Woods (WOW)

The woods were gifted to the school in 2013 and officially ‘opened’ by the Deputy Mayor of Croydon in September 2013. They are a superb resource and we use them as often as possible, to enhance learning across the curriculum. Trained teachers and Teaching Assistants lead Forest School sessions and Year 5 and Year 1 children attend scheduled Forest School sessions on Friday afternoons during the course of the school year. Class teachers will use the woods at any other time to support outdoor learning. 

The Tree House Enhanced Learning Provision

The Tree House is a purpose built SEN unit for children on the Autistic Spectrum, built and opened in 2014. The Tree House can cater for up to 14 children, two per class from Reception to Year 6. There is an infant classroom (Holly class), a junior classroom (Chestnut class), a therapy room, sensory room, meeting room and toilets. There is also an outdoor area. Where appropriate, children from the Tree House will join their mainstream classes for lessons.

Targets for Treehouse

Social and Emotional

  • Making Relationships
  • Initiate play with others
  • Demonstrate friendly behaviour
  • Take turns with other children
  • Learning to compromise
  • Confidence in asking for help
  • Say what they like and dislike and why
  • Describe themselves in positive terms
  • Engage in new play activities
  • Cooperate with boundaries and routines
  • Work as part of a group
  • Negotiate and solve problems without aggression

Physical Development

  • Show increasing control of an object
  • Handle objects safely
  • Manage own dressing and toileting
  • Manage own sensory needs
  • Understand the need for a varied diet
  • Fine motor development

Rights and Responsibilities

We use our Courtwood Rights and Responsibilities as a way for all the children in the school to understand the school rules. The principle is that children understand that they have a right to certain things, but with that right comes a responsibility to behave in certain ways. We have a right to: 

Learn

Be safe

Be treated fairly

Be happy

Be listened to

RIPPLE

The RIPPLE effect is a set of six learning behaviours that we believe will enable the children to do the best they can in their learning, whilst at Courtwood. These were developed in partnership with our children, governors and staff. They are: 

R
Resilience

I
Independence

P
Perseverance

P
Practise

L
Listening

E
Effort

Our children understand the language of learning and are able to articulate how these skills are used in their daily lives at Courtwood. Achievement is celebrated weekly. 

PSHE Curriculum

At Courtwood, we see PSHE as central to everything we do.  We teach PSHE as a discreet subject at least once a week, but it is also integrated in all aspects of daily school life. We place great importance on helping children to learn the knowledge, understanding and skills required to live healthy, safe, responsible and rewarding lives. We recognise that in order for children to achieve their full academic potential they must also develop socially, emotionally and morally.