I am very happy to be introducing you to Greenfield School through our prospectus. I hope that the prospectus will give you an insight into our approach to education and the wide range of exciting and creative learning opportunities that we offer our pupils. We are the only special school in Merthyr Tydfil and we therefore cater for a diverse range of Additional Learning Needs (ALN) for pupils from the ages of 3 to 19.
Greenfield is a warm, friendly and inclusive school where we aim to provide a safe and nurturing environment. There is a positive atmosphere within the school and the care and support that staff provide is exceptional, which is clear to all that know and visit the school. We strive to ensure that every pupil enjoys their learning and is given the opportunity to reach their potential to become as independent as possible. We do this through a Person-Centered Approach which means that we spend time finding out about what is important to our pupils and how they learn best. In Greenfield we pride ourselves on building strong and trusting relationships with pupils and parents as we believe that this is key to working collaboratively to help our pupils thrive and develop.
Greenfield is a forward thinking and innovative school, where the wellbeing of both pupils and staff is a high priority. This has been especially important in supporting families and staff to recover from the ongoing impact of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, which is why the Leadership Team has recently been developing a Compassionate Leadership approach within the school.
It is an exciting time in Greenfield School as we are currently writing our own bespoke curriculum to enthuse and meet the needs of our pupils and the local community. Designing our own curriculum as part of Curriculum for Wales has been a fantastic opportunity to develop our creativity and enthusiasm for learning. We truly believe that we have designed a curriculum that is innovative, interesting, fun and most importantly one that is appropriate and meaningful for our learners who have a wide range of ALN and complex needs, including health needs.
We also offer a wide range of therapies so that pupils can have their specific physical, learning, communication, social and emotional needs met. We practise Positive Behaviour Support where we look at behaviours from the child or young person’s perspective so that we can understand the purpose and function of their behaviour in order to support positive changes. In January 2023 Greenfield School achieved the ‘National Nurturing Schools Award’ and we were recognised for putting Nurture at the heart of everything that we do. We were very proud that the report stated that:
This is clearly a setting where creating positive loving relationships is a priority. All the pupils could identify an adult in school that makes them feel safe.
We have also achieved Trauma Informed School status, which means that staff are trained in recognising the effects and impact of trauma. We have staff specifically trained such as our ELSAs (Emotional Learning Support Assistants) who work effectively with pupils who need additional support for their emotional wellbeing.
We work closely with parents and carers and keep them well informed through our GRWP sessions where parents/carers are invited into school for information sharing, training events and coffee mornings. As a school we have good links within the local community and beyond to provide our pupils with a wide variety of opportunities. We work closely with Careers Wales and Merthyr College to support transition and every pupil leaves Greenfield School with a recognised qualification.
At Greenfield we have high aspirations for both our pupils and our staff. Greenfield School is a learning organisation which means that we not only focus on the learning needs of our pupils, but we also ensure that our staff are provided with high quality training and time for professional development. This means that Greenfield staff are highly skilled practitioners who have the expertise to meet complex learning needs. This has been recognised by Investors in People who in June 2021 awarded the school with the Gold Award. Greenfield School also shares sector leading practice with other schools in Merthyr Tydfil through the Greenfield School Outreach Service.
I feel incredibly privileged to be Head Teacher of Greenfield School and with the support of my colleagues, I am passionate about continually developing our school so that our pupils are given the best education possible and experience school as positive and happy place in their lives.
Our vision is ‘Opening doors to the future’.
If you would like to find out more about how we open doors to the future, I would be very happy to show you around the school.
Rhiannon Stephens Davies, Head Teacher
‘OPENING DOORS TO THE FUTURE’
Our Mission Statement
In Greenfield we aim to create a strong sense of belonging within our pupils that extends to our families and local community. We will share in each other’s successes and support each other in our aspirations to achieve. Together we will nurture confident, happy and independent pupils who show positive Greenfield values as they continue their journeys into the future.
- To develop pupils’ communication skills
- To use technology to impact positively upon quality of life
- To develop pupils’ independence and ability to communicate their choices
- To inspire a love for learning
- To provide a meaningful curriculum for all
- For pupils to value themselves and others
- To try new things and overcome challenges
- To foster a sense of belonging to a community
- For pupils to develop an increasing understanding of their role and responsibilities in life
- To respect the needs and rights of others as a member of our community
- To respect the needs and rights of others as a member of our community
Our vision and values have been developed to using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as our guide, to create a safe and inspiring place to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured and they are able to thrive. Our vision and values also compliment the ‘Four Purposes of Learning’ which underpin Curriculum for Wales. The Four Purposes are the shared vision and aspiration for every child and young person in Wales and support our pupils to become;
Equality and Equity
Greenfield School is committed to avoiding discrimination and actively promotes equality to improve attainment and progression for all pupils. The school recognises that skills are crucial for opening up opportunities and increasing the chance of a successful life. The school promotes Equal Opportunities as an employer.
Greenfield School is a Rights Respecting School and the UNICEF Rights of the Child underpin all our values and ethos. The school promotes and celebrates all aspects of diversity and inclusion.
Greenfield School promotes an equitable learning environment that is focused upon fairness and the breaking down of barriers to disadvantage. By securing equity for our learners, we endeavour to provide a Person Centred and holistic education that is in tune with the specific needs of individuals and helps them overcome their personal challenges. Greenfield aspires to be an equitable community where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their original circumstances.
Greenfield is a special school located in Pentrebach, Merthyr Tydfil, for pupils 3-19 years of age. We are the only special school in the authority. At Greenfield we have an excellent provision for a wide range of pupils with special needs, including moderate, severe and profound learning difficulties, specific learning difficulties, autism spectrum disorders and pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties. Here at Greenfield we create a strong sense of belonging that extends to our families and local community. Our pupils are given opportunities to push their boundaries and develop skills for independence. We share and celebrate each other's efforts and success and support each other in our aspirations to achieve.
- There are three school buildings consisting of the Primary Department, Secondary Department and Post 16 Department. We have 19 classes within the three departments. Pupils are grouped by key stage, ability and individual needs including:
- Foundation Phase, KS2, KS3, KS4 and Post16.
- Pupils with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties are grouped to ensure their particular needs for a sensory curriculum are met alongside their medical needs.
- Pupils with Autism Spectrum Disorder are integrated as much as possible into key stage groups or depending on the individual needs of the pupil can be taught in a designated group.
- Inclusion opportunities in mainstream lessons in local; schools and colleges are provided when deemed suitable.
- Class sizes are significantly smaller than in mainstream school with a high staff pupil ratio. There is an average of 6-13 pupils in each class with 3-6 staff depending on the needs and abilities of pupils in that particular class.
- Primary - Morning Session 9.00am - 11.45am ---------- Afternoon Session 12.30pm - 3.15pm
- Secondary - Morning Session 9.00am - 12.15pm -------- Afternoon Session 1.00pm - 3.15pm
Placements at Greenfield School are determined by the Local Authority (LA). Learners requiring a special school placement are put forward to a multi-disciplinary panel meeting held by the LA, where individual needs are discussed. Upon allocation of a placement at Greenfield School, parents/carers will be invited for an initial visit. During the visit, they will be given a tour of the school and can discuss the needs of their child and the provisions our has to offer. If parents/carers wish to accept the placement, the LA and school will make the necessary arrangements.
Our school uniform comprises of:
- Green sweatshirt.
- White or Dark Green polo shirt.
- Grey trousers/skirt.
As a special school we understand that uniform can be difficult for some pupils, especially if they have sensory needs. Whilst we like pupils to look smart and to wear the correct uniform we will make adjustments where necessary to meet the needs of individual pupils.
If you would like a sweatshirt and or polo shirt with the school logo, details of suppliers are available from the School Secretary.
Applications can be made for Welsh Government Pupil Development Grant - Access to help towards uniform costs. Please contact the School Office for the most up to date application form.
**THIS GRANT IS FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR SEPTEMBER 2023 TO JULY 2024. APPLICATION PROCESS OPENS ON 1ST JULY 2023, PAYMENTS WILL BE MADE FROM MID JULY ONWARDS**
Most pupils travel to and from school on transport with escorts provided by contractors to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council. Parents who do not wish for their child to be brought to school on county transport can make their own arrangements. Parents are asked to inform transport if their child will not require transport to or from school. Parents can contact the local authority transport department on 01685 725135 or 01685 725453 if they have any concern or issues regarding transport. Medication must not come into school via school transport and/or in pupils bags. All medication is to be signed over to the school nurse in person. The school request that they are also made aware of any parental concerns.
During severe weather please log onto Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council Website for information on school closures: www.merthyr.gov.uk. Information is also available on our school website: www.greenfield.sch.uk
- Information on school closures will also be shared via class charts and our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Please follow us:
- Twitter: @Greenfield_sch
- Facebook: Greenfield Special School
We have four school minibuses to enable pupils to make links with the local and wider community. Two of our four minibuses are adapted to transport wheelchairs.
The importance of school attendance cannot be understated. School gives lasting friendships, important social skills, opportunities, choices and experiences.
If a child misses school they are likely to;
- have problems keeping up with school work;
- dislike school more;
- not achieve to their full potential;
- lose their place in friendship groups and become isolated from peers;
- become involved in anti-social or criminal behaviour; and/or find difficulty in getting into further education or a job/career.
Greenfield is committed in ensuring that all children and young people fulfil their potential our mission statement being Opening Doors to the Future– regular attendance at school is one of the biggest factors in achieving this. It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to inform the school as soon as possible if their child will be absent, and ensure a satisfactory explanation is given to the school. I the school does not receive a phone call then you can expect a call from school to ask why your child is absent.
How can you as Parents and Carers Help?
As Parent/carers you can do a great deal to support the regular and punctual attendance of your child at school by taking the following actions:
- Start good habits early, arrive at school on time and keep to school rules.
- Inform the school on the first day of any illness or absence, providing medical evidence where appropriate.
- Make it known that you do not approve of poor attendance, lateness or truancy.
- Ensure your child only misses school for legally allowed reasons such as illness or days specifically set aside for religious observance.
- Always send in notes to explain an absence.
- Avoid booking family holidays during term time.
- Attend parents' evenings and other school events.
- Read all letters that the child brings home from school.
- Talk to the school or the Education Welfare Service about any problems or difficulties they may be experiencing.
Additional Learning Needs : The system is changing.
What is happening?
At Greenfield School we pride ourselves on opening doors to enable our pupils to make great progress. Our environment is truly inclusive and provides rich learning experiences to ensure all our learners enjoy school, make progress and grow in confidence. It is for this reason that we are excited about the changes that the new special educational needs system is bringing. The Welsh Government have produced new legislation that will change the way that children and young people with Special Educational Needs are supported. The new system defines Special Educational Needs (SEN) as Additional Learning Needs (ALN).
The key changes of the new ALN system:
- Bringing together all current systems into a new, single system for ALN;
- Being leaner/person centred;
- Providing leaners with the same rights and entitlements whatever their age of setting;
- Improving transition between settings;
- Being a fair and transparent system for all.
This means that children, young people and parent(s)/carer(s) will:
- Access the support they need earlier;
- Be more involved in making decisions about the support they need;
- Be able to find information more easily;
- Be supported if they disagree with decisions.
Children and young people with ALN will also now get this support for longer. The new system is applicable for children and young people up to the age of 25.
What will it look like at Greenfield?
The new system will introduce Individual Development Plans (IDPs). The pupils at Greenfield School currently have statements of SEN and Individual Education Plans (IEPs). IDPs will replace these documents. The IDP will be created with the child/young person and the parent/carer in collaboration with wider agencies such as health and social care professionals. The IDP will capture all that is important to and for the learner, describe their needs and state how the learner will be supported in terms of the Additional Learning Provision (ALP) that they require to meet their needs.
When will it happen?
This is a phased approach which will take place over a number of years. This means there will be two systems in operation between Sept 2021-2024: the new ALN system and the current SEN system. Over the next two years, Welsh Government have directed learners with statements to move over to the new system following this timetable:
- School Year 2022-2023 - Nursery; Reception, Year 6; Year 10 and Year 11
- School Year 2023-2024 - Year 2; Year 3; Year 4; Year 5; Year 6; Year 8; Year 9 and Year 10 Year 11 and Post 16 will follow a ‘flow through’ approach, where those currently in Year 10 and below, who are being moved to the ALN system during the implementation period, will ‘flow through’ into Further Education with an IDP already in place.
At some point over these timeframes, we will hold a person-centred planning meeting to develop the IDP together. The IDP will then be reviewed at least annually.
Find out more:- There is lots of information about the changes available. Please use the links below to find out more and get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.
- Animation: Additional Learning Needs: A Parents Guide
- Animation: Do you understand what the teacher is asking? A Learners Guide
- Welsh Government: Additional Learning Needs (Special Educational Needs)
- Merthyr Tydfil Website: Additional Learning Needs
- ALN Information: Advice and Guidance for Parents (English)
- ALN Information: Advice and Guidance for Parents (Welsh)
- Advice for Parents: Snap Cymru
Right Respecting School
Greenfield School is a Rights Respecting School. This means that at Greenfield, we put children’s rights at the forefront of everything which we do. We work with the UK Committee for UNICEF to create a safe and inspiring place to learn, where children are respected, their talents nurtured, encouraged to thrive and to accept equality. At Greenfield School, we embed the Rights Respecting values throughout everyday school life, which encourages pupils to have the best chance at leading healthy lives and be responsible, active citizens. Children’s rights are at the heart of everything that we do. There are four key areas of impact for children at Greenfield School which are; wellbeing, participation, relationships and self-esteem. These areas help to promote and to develop pupils' Health and Well-being skills. Currently, Greenfield School has achieved the Bronze Award, submitted evidence for the Silver Award and is working towards achieving the Gold Award for Rights Respecting Schools.
Greenfield School has developed an Outreach Service to support Learning Resource Bases within the Local Authority of Merthyr Tydfil.
The overall aim of the service is to upskill staff, thus enabling them to provide the pupils within the provisions with an enriching, positive and person-centred education experience. The Outreach Service aims to increase the knowledge and understanding of the staff by embedding Positive Behaviour Support values, through a Person Centred Practice approach.
The nature of the Outreach support will vary according to the needs of the pupils, the staff and the schools. It may incorporate a number of elements including: advice; consultation; training; joint planning and assessment and modelling of techniques and strategies. This is achieved by:
- Providing accredited training
- School to school work
- Collaborating and sharing good practice
- Facilitating inclusion projects
The Outreach Service is committed to supporting colleagues to meet the needs of their pupil in a collaborative partnership.
Religion, Values and Ethics - RVE
At Greenfield School, RVE is taught using rich task learning, incorporating all AOLE’s if appropriate. RVE is also the focus for pupils’ daily assemblies, where we explore our school values and aims.
RVE helps pupils develop secure values alongside developing their personal spiritual and ethical beliefs. Through exploration of their own and other people’s beliefs, values, lifestyle and challenges, pupils can develop empathy, face and overcome their own challenges, build confidence and resilience which in turn will support their own mental and emotional well-being. Through reflection on their learning in this area, they can begin to take measured decisions about lifestyle, manage risk and form positive relationships based upon trust and mutual respect. They should develop the skills and knowledge to manage everyday life as independently as they can.
We were delighted last term to be awarded the Eco-schools Platinum Plus Award. This award is the highest possible award to achieve.
We were visited by an Eco-Schools assessor. As part of this the assessor met with our Eco Committee and was also able to see how being eco-friendly and learning about sustainability fits with our school curriculum. We also produced a case study about the importance of water in school and the wider community. As a school we have gained the Eco-Schools award on a number of occasions.
Schools achieve Platinum status once they have been awarded the Green Flag four times – demonstrating their long-term commitment to environmental education, student involvement and sustainability. Platinum schools are ranked amongst the best in the world on the Eco-Schools programme. We are obviously very proud of this award. Thank you to our Eco Committee for sharing all of the information with the assessor.
TRAUMA INFORMED SCHOOL
CLA FRIENDLY SCHOOL - TISUK Award
Greenfield is a Trauma Informed and CLA (Children Looked After) Friendly School. We have received the Platinum Award for CLA Friendly schools and are a certified organisation for being Trauma Informed. This means that we use person centred approaches to support pupils on an individual level, offering the care and support that each may need.
Greenfield is proud to provide pupils with an emotionally available adult and a wide range of wellbeing interventions, including Relationship Based Play, ELSA and Therabuild. Greenfield School is committed to enhancing the achievement and welfare of CLA and PCLA in the following ways:
- Having high expectations for the child and ensuring equal access to a balanced and broadly based education.
- Recording, monitoring, and improving the academic achievement of the child in addition to their health and wellbeing.
- Achieving stability and continuity.
- Prioritising reduction in exclusions and promoting attendance.
- Promoting inclusion through challenging and changing attitudes.
- Promoting good communication between all those involved in the child’s life and listening to the child.
- Maintaining and respecting the child’s confidentiality wherever possible.
- Ensuring staff awareness of, and sensitivity to, the difficulties and educational disadvantages of CLA.
- Ensuring an appropriately trained Designated Teacher is appointed, who will be responsible for all CLA.
- All CLA and PCLA will have a Personal Education Plan (PEP) drawn up between the school, the child, and the child’s social worker,
The National Nurturing Schools Programme Award.
Nurture is at the heart of Greenfield and we are immensely proud of achieving the Nurture Award at the end of the Autumn Term 2022. This means that we have succeeded in creating a nurturing culture for the children and young adults at Greenfield School.
This award is evidence of our success in implementing and embedding a nurturing culture that responds to the social, emotional and mental health needs of its pupils, alongside their academic studies.
Breakfast Club - A breakfast club is provided daily upon pupils' arrival at school. Pupils are offered a choice from toast, cereal, fruit or yogurt and to drink water or juice. This facility is provided free of charge.
School Meals - All school meals are cooked on the premises. We can cater for most dietary requirements. Dinner money is £2.30 per day, payment made using the cashless system PARENT PAY. Pupils can also bring a packed lunch to school.
Universal Free School Meals - The next phase of the expansion to provide free school meals to all pupils in primary school will begin in September 2023, with the offer growing to include the majority of learners in years three and four. The programme will then expand further in April 2024, reaching years five and six. Where local authorities are able to reach these year groups ahead of these milestones they have been funded to do so.
Special School Nursing Service
About Us - We are a small team of Nurses covering the 5 Special Schools within CTM UHB. Our service is an enhanced service, meaning that not all learners attending will require the support of the team at all times. However, we would encourage all children and young people or their families to contact us for advice in regard to their healthcare needs at school.
What We Provide - Our service is designed for those learners with healthcare needs that require support during their time at school, to include physical and mental health and wellbeing. We support Special Schools to support Learners with Healthcare needs by liaison with the child or young person, their family and the wider team around the child to assist with treatment/care planning, and to facilitate training and education of staff where appropriate. We also work with those professionals to ensure that learners are provided with the services required to protect their health and development; such as childhood immunisations, and additional learning provision.
School Nurse - Medication - The school has strict guidelines as to the giving of medicines. All medication to be given at school must be accompanied by written consent stating the name of the medication, dosage and time to be given. All medicines/tablets/creams/lotions must come to school in the original container bearing the child’s name, name of medication and dosage. Please inform the school of changes or discontinuation of medicines. All medication must be signed and received by the school nurse in person. Medication must not come into school via school transport and/or in pupils bags.
Medical Issues - Any medical issues are dealt with by the School Nurse who works in close liaison with other Health Professionals. This includes physiotherapy, occupational health, paediatric consultants and speech and language therapists.
School Website - Our website also has all the information required about life at Greenfield School. Greenfield School Website.
Home School Links - At Greenfield we communicate with parents and give regular updates and information via our platform/app ‘Class Charts’. Please download the app and contact your child’s class teacher for log in details.
We celebrate our successes through our social media pages on Twitter and Facebook. Please follow us:
- Twitter: @Greenfield_sch
- Facebook: Greenfield Special School
Google Classroom - The link provides you access to Google Classroom for Blended Learning. The pupils will have access to their online classroom via their HWB Login. (email@example.com)
Parent Information Evenings - We hold parental consultations during the Autumn and Summer terms. All meetings are well attended, and progress and targets are shared with parents.
Friends Of Greenfield
Friends of Greenfield has been a registered charity since 2014. There are four trustees who ensure that the charity is run in accordance with the Charity Commission. We make grant applications, organise social events, Christmas raffles and Christmas fayre and rely on the good will of parents, carers and local businesses who generously donate to our charity.
At the beginning of the school year we ask senior management what they would like us to fundraise for. The charity committee which meets once a term will decide what will benefit the pupils of Greenfield school the most.
Since 2010 approximately £340000 has been raised by Friends of Greenfield. These funds have enabled us to purchase four minibuses, develop our outdoor learning area, purchase chrome books and other ICT equipment, new sports kits, installed a swing and a roundabout for our wheelchair users and recently a new sensory room.
GRWP was established in 2017. The aim of GRWP was to develop links between home and school and to support parents and carers by organising workshops on topics such as behaviour, toileting, PECS etc.
It also gives the parents an opportunity to socialise and discuss their own experiences. Many friendships have developed giving extra support for each other.
School Policies and Procedures - The school and Governing Body review school policies and progress towards implementing strategies when appropriate.
These can be accessed via the school by contacting the school office by telephone on 01685 351817, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting our school website https://www.greenfield.merthyr.sch.uk/
Governing Body minutes to meetings can be viewed at the school upon request.
Charging and Remissions - No charge is made for any activity that takes place in school. Parents are invited to make voluntary contributions to food technology lessons, trips and other school-based activities to cover the cost of transport and admission, etc. No child will be left out of any activity if parents cannot or will not make a contribution. If insufficient contributions are made, a trip or activity may not take place.
Complaints - The Governing Body has established a procedure to consider complaints in relation to the school’s curriculum and other related matters. This procedure is available in a document available in school. A copy would be available to any parent seeking to make a complaint under these arrangements. It is emphasised, however, that many complaints can be dealt with quickly and effectively by informal consideration based on discussions with the Head Teacher. An appointment can be made to discuss any complaints with the Head Teacher and also to view any curricular related documents.
Curriculum Development in Greenfield
The Journey So Far
In Greenfield School we have been on a journey with Curriculum for Wales for many years and in September 2019 we started the process of planning our whole school curriculum. All teachers have been fully involved throughout this process as we believe that being part of the curriculum design process will help our teachers to fully understand the ethos and purpose of Curriculum for Wales. Designing our own bespoke curriculum for Greenfield has been an exciting but also daunting and sometimes frustrating process. However, as this process has evolved we truly believe that we are designing a curriculum that is innovative, exciting and appropriate for our learners who have a wide range of complex learning needs.
In 2019 the school’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) started working closely with staff, pupils, parents, governors and stakeholders to update the vision, aims and values of the school so that they reflect the future direction of the school and embody the 4 purposes of learning which underpin Curriculum for Wales. Pupils played a key role in creating the school’s values and made sure that they are expressed in language that they can understand. Although much of this work was carried out during the pandemic the school found ways of involving parents through the use of surveys and discussion during parent Grwp sessions via virtual meetings. Once this work had been completed the school mapped the four purposes against the newly developed vision, aims and values for the school which allowed the school to focus upon the four purposes that are most relevant and important for Greenfield pupils.
All teachers in the school were allocated an Area of Learning and Experience (AOLE) and each AOLE was asked to complete an enquiry looking at the readiness and progress of each AOLE within the school. At the end of the academic year 2019-20 each AOLE gave a presentation of their enquiry outlining what stage the school was at in terms of how the school’s curriculum met the new curriculum demands and what needed to be done next. All AOLEs worked collaboratively with the school council to develop the vision for their AOLE which focuses on the needs of Greenfield pupils, especially in preparing them for as much independence as possible for life beyond school.
The SLT then worked closely with all teachers to develop a curriculum map and planning model for the next year 2020-21. From September 2020, there was a focus AOLE for each half term. The AOLE coordinators identified a theme that was cross- curricular and the ‘What Matters Statement’ that was linked to the theme. The AOLE coordinators also chose two of the ‘Four Purposes’ that drove the planning for that half term. The What Matters Statement based on the theme ensured a cross curricular approach. Teachers then decided upon the content of each of the supporting AOLEs as part of their mid-term plans which gave them autonomy and flexibility to meet the needs of their individual learners which is essential within a Special School.
This work was severely disrupted due to the pandemic therefore it was decided that the long term curriculum plan would be repeated for the academic year 2021-22 which allowed teachers to refine their plans. AOLEs provided teachers with ideas and resources and potential links with other AOLEs and relevant WMS to encourage a cross-curricular approach. This allowed teachers to experiment with the suggested examples and the WMS provided by the AOLE teams and use the ideas that were best suited to their learners.
Since 2018 the school has worked with Central South Consortium (CSC) on a number of projects and School Improvement Groups (SIGs) to contribute towards the development of Curriculum for Wales and to create supporting resources including case studies. The school has also worked with Professor Emma Renold at Cardiff University via Central South Consortium, to support in the development of the Relationship and Sexuality Education curriculum.
Throughout this process teachers have been given training in Curriculum for Wales, curriculum design and have been given time to work together in AOLEs and in planning teams.
During the academic year 2020-21 all teachers completed the ‘Cross-regional Curriculum for Wales Middle Leader Professional Learning Programme’. By engaging with the four assignments within this module teachers gained a deeper understanding of Curriculum for Wales and how the wider reform elements supported their professional learning journey towards successfully enacting it. The AOLEs were given time to meet after each module to discuss the content and how this could support the development of their AOLE in terms of curriculum design and development.
We follow the new Curriculum for Wales in the Foundation Phase, with an emphasis on providing fun and exciting 'hands on' learning experiences in our indoor and outdoor provision, which is differentiated to meet the needs of our learners. Each class has access to an outdoor area as well as our own HydroTherapy Pool and local amenities such as the ICC's Sensory Room and Forest School area. We use a multidisciplinary approach in collaboration with other professionals to ensure that our learners have full access to the curriculum. As a result, the staff works closely with Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Dietitians, Community Nurses and other professionals. We also use Attention Autism to develop concentration, adapting these principles to introduce topics and skills.
The curriculum focuses on:-
Creating ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives. Our goal for Early Years learners is to help them become as independent as possible when performing day-to-day tasks like expressing their likes and dislikes, completing learning activities, and interacting with their peers. We use a variety of interventions, including Relationship Based Play, to improve learners' opportunities to develop these skills.
Enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work. We work on developing functional life skills for our learners in the Early Years by providing them with practical real-life scenarios.
Ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world. It is important for us in the Early Years to have a sense of belonging within the school community as well as experiences with Welsh culture and heritage. We teach our students that their actions have an impact on the wider world.
Healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society. It is paramount that our learners are able to communicate their wants, needs and desires in their chosen form of communication which we promote through Total Communication. We provide a range of therapies in the Early Years to promote a healthy lifestyle such as Hydrotherapy, Move and Healthy Eating.
Key Stage 2
Every Key Stage 2 class has a teacher and a team of learning support assistants to support the learners. Each KS2 classroom has its own outside learning area. Pupils are grouped on ability and wellbeing. We deliver the Curriculum for Wales via a range of teaching and learning strategies that are individually tailored to the needs of each child.
At Key Stage 2 we deliver a range of exciting learning opportunities and pride ourselves on delivering fun and multi sensory activities that will engage our learners in a range of topical concepts. We deliver kinesthetic, practical activities that are well planned so all can access, making sure that we teach a range of skills and give learners lots of fun learning experiences.
We know that learning doesn’t just happen within the classroom walls so we use our grounds and our local community to teach many skills. We have weekly slots and use of our new outdoor playground and hydrotherapy pool. We also use off-site provision such as our local sensory room, forest school area, soft play centres and local walking trails and playgrounds.
Key Stage 3
The Key Stage Three Department consists of four classes which range from pupils aged between eleven and thirteen years of age. Pupils follow the Curriculum for Wales which relies heavily upon an inclusive and thematic based approach to learning. The Curriculum for Wales covers six areas of learning which are Languages, Literacy and Communication, Mathematics and Numeracy, Expressive Arts, Health and Well-being, Humanities and Science and Technology. At Greenfield School, the Curriculum for Wales centres heavily upon cross-curricular links and the importance of local heritage which encourages and enables learning to be meaningful and purposeful to each individual learner. The Curriculum for Wales encompasses a skills based approach which inspires learners to learn through hands on experiences, captivating learning through exciting and rich activities both in and out of the classroom environment.
All Key Stage Three classes follow targeted interventions which include Rocket Phonics, POPAT, STYLES, Big Maths and IXL. These programmes enable pupils to explore and develop their own learning within the school environment and provide the opportunities to further extend through to home based learning. Pupils experience a wide and diverse range of activities suited to their individual needs to encourage, excite and stimulate learning throughout the school week. All pupils have IEPs, One Page Profiles, Transition Plans and Learning Journeys as part of the Person Centred approaches that we adopt at our school. We also implement the IDP system for those learners to whom it may apply.
Encouraging pupils to develop their independent and social skills is extremely important and at Greenfield, we have systems in place to support pupils to develop functional skills. The use of the community as an extension of the classroom, plays a big part in the nature of our focused teaching and learning. Pupils have the opportunity to access termly outdoor experiences at Bryn Bach Park to complete a variety of outdoor educational activities. All pupils have inclusive swimming sessions at either our school pool or at Aberfan Community Centre. A wide range of community visits often take place, including shopping to purchase cookery items which are used to later cook with, park visits, local community nature walks and thematic termly trips.
Key Stage Three pupils have access to a wide range of weekly sporting clubs which include Boccia, Chess, Football, Gymnastics, Netball and Rugby. A multitude of sporting trips are always on offer, which provide pupils with experiences of team work both in our school and whilst competing against other schools. The Key Stage Three curriculum offers a wide range of educational and functional activities and experiences which suit the needs of all different types of learners. It is a broad and engaging curriculum which caters to all pupils’ strengths, interests and abilities.
Key Stage 4
Pupils in the Key Stage 4 department have a varied, enriched and functional curriculum that enables all pupils to develop a wide range of skills. We follow the new curriculum for Wales where we provide our pupils with opportunities to become:
- Ambitious, capable learners ready to learn throughout their lives.
- Enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work.
- Ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world.
- Healthy, confident individuals, read to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.
Accreditation is at the heart of our curriculum, the pupils will work on a range of units to achieve Edexcel Qualifications in Pre Vocational Studies at either Entry 1 or Entry 2.
Being out and about in the community is an important aspect of the curriculum where pupils gain further understanding of using money, time and travelling within the community. Pupils will have access to the local community, shops, shops facilities, libraries, the town centre and further afield as part of their exciting curriculum.
In the Post 16 Department we ensure all young people leaving Greenfield have the skills, knowledge and resources to be as independent in life as they can be. We adapt teaching and learning to meet the needs of all of our learners in order to support them to achieve their ambitions in our person centred approach.
Our bespoke curriculum, which builds on the thematic curriculum, is designed to challenge all learners to achieve their maximum potential. There is a continuing focus on developing skills in Literacy, Numeracy, and Digital Competence.
We pride ourselves on providing context based learning which ensures cross curricular links are made. We aim to provide enriching experiences for all pupils to embed the curriculum through trips,rewards, external visitors and work experience.
We ensure formal and informal accreditation options are centred on the pupils interests and take into account local employment and training opportunities. Our values at Greenfield underpin all areas of the curriculum by immersing the pupils in high quality resources which are age and understanding appropriate for them to be successful.
Our curriculum is creative and exciting to encourage and nurture an enthusiasm for learning. We work collaboratively with parents, family, carers, professions and all parts of the wider community to create opportunities that allow pupils to develop; empathy, resilience and curiosity so they can make decisions for themselves and have a voice.
We hope that by doing this, our pupils have the opportunity to develop as young people who are successfully “opening doors for their future”
As a special school our assessment arrangements have always been based upon the principle of progression and developmental stages. As described above, our new curriculum is a concept based curriculum and each concept has been mapped out to describe the knowledge and skills at each progression step. These have been formulated as ‘I can …’ statements which have been taken from the ‘Descriptors of Learning’. Although the Welsh Government has published the Enabling Pathways we felt that we needed a clear ladder of progression that bridges the gap between Routes for Learning and Progression Step 1. As a school we have therefore mapped knowledge and skills for 3 pre-progression 1 steps, these include the following;
- Pre-progression step 4
- Pre-progression step 5
- Pre-progression step 6
This allows teachers to follow the concept based curriculum whilst being secure that they can pitch the learning at a level that is appropriate to the needs and developmental stage of their individual learners.
Teachers use a range of Assessment for Learning (AfL) approaches to inform their planning. AfL has been an integral part of the assessment and planning process within the school for a number of years. During the academic year 2019-20 a whole INSET day was dedicated to AfL approaches.
Teachers also use summative assessments such as the V5 B Squared assessment tool that is now in line with Curriculum for Wales and allows teachers to be able to measure small steps in progress which is so important for pupils with ALN. The use of B2 will be linked to the Target Setting over the coming year. Over the next year the focus will shift from analysing the performance of groups/cohorts to the progress of individual pupils which is a lot more meaningful for pupils with ALN.
We are planning on developing Pupil Progress Profiles that will follow the pupil through their school journey and will celebrate their achievements and will also include examples of their work. It will also provide a profile of their skills and specific learning needs so that teachers can monitor their individual progress effectively. There will be key pieces of work that will be assessed that link to the enquiries/projects that have been undertaken each term.
As a school we hope to align this work with the moderation process which will need to evolve to be more in line with the ethos of Curriculum for Wales. The newly appointed MLT Key Stage Leads will start to play a key role collating, analysing and monitoring data for their departments.
The school also uses a range of summative assessments to identify pupils that require literacy and numeracy interventions including, NGRT (New Group Reading Test), NARA (Neale Analysis of Reading Ability), Wraps and Sandwell for numeracy.
Pupils in Key stage 4 and 5 also follow accredited courses in school and in college from Entry 1 to Level 1 that provide them with qualifications including Agored Cymru and Edexcel Level.
PCP - Person Centred Practice
Person-centred Pracitice is a process of constant review, learning and listening. Person-centred Practice focuses on the immediate and the future, taking into account the needs, thoughts, concerns and opinions of the individual, and consulting their family and friends and others within their ‘personal network’. This person centred approach helps individuals identify their aspirations, and mobilises those concerned family, friends, services providers and school - to help the individual concerned to pursue their own personal ambitions. Services should, in theory, become more flexible and tailored to the needs of the person, rather than a group of people with differing requirements.
There are five key features of Person-centred Practice.
- The person is at the centre
- The person and their family and / or carers are consulted and actively involved throughout the planning process.
- The plan reflects what is important to the person, their capacities, and what support they require.
- The plan results in actions that are about life, not just services, and reflect what is possible, not just what is available.
- The plan results in ongoing listening, learning, and further action.
Person-centred thinking and planning is founded on the premise that genuine listening contains an implied promise to take action. Unless what is learned about how the person wishes to live, and where they wish to go in their lives is recorded and acted upon, any planning will have been a waste of time, and more importantly a betrayal of the person and the trust they have placed in those who have planned with them. From a school, education and learning perspective there are clear links to Transition Planning where Person-centred Practice principles and processes should be a clear driver for planning for your child / young person’s future.
Positive Behaviour Support - PBS
At Greenfield School, we strive to be a Person-Centred Organisation with Positive Behaviour Support at the heart of our work. PBS adopts a preventative approach to behaviour management which strives towards the reduction of restrictive practices whilst keeping all individuals safe and promoting growth and development. PBS is regarded as best practice. The PBS philosophy means that we expect each young person to be a full and valued member of our community with the same rights as everyone else. It ensures respect for their culture, ethnic origin, religion and gender, and seeks to maintain and develop their self-esteem, confidence and give a sense of well-being by ensuring all young people:
- Have the means to communicate and are supported by staff who are effective communication partners;
- Are encouraged to make real and realistic choices and exert control over their own lives;
- Are listened to;
- Have even their smallest achievements recognised and celebrated;
- Are exposed to appropriately pitched expectations and effective behaviour modelling;
- Are taught skills and compensation strategies which increase their ability to manage their own behaviour.
PBS is a multi-tiered, school wide approach for all our learners. The emphasis of this approach is placed upon skill building which enables individuals to interact appropriately and safely with their environment and those within it. It places a responsibility on the staff team to understand those factors within the environment that are supporting and maintaining the behaviour that is considered challenging. This may include examining both their environment and also their own behaviour. This approach moves away from the idea that the reason for the behaviour is based within the child themselves, and shares the responsibility with the environment and those within it.
Every pupil at Greenfield School has an Annual Review each year. We have a PCP (Person Centred Practice) approach which is a process for continual listening and learning, focusing on what is important to the pupil now and in the future, acting upon this in alliance with all who are involved in the young person’s life. PCP is a way of assisting pupils to work out what they want, the support they require and supporting them to achieve this.
During the review the pupils Statement of SEN or Individual Development Plan is reviewed and actions are set for the forthcoming year. We have tea, coffee and biscuits available for all attendees to ensure they feel welcome and comfortable. We begin the review by introducing all who are in attendance and by finding out what the pupil has been doing in Greenfield School over the past year. The people who attend the review will vary depending on the needs of the learner involved. Sometimes it may just be the class teacher and parents/carers, other times there may be health, social care and education professionals.
Everyone is expected to give input throughout the review to ensure that all aspects of the pupil’s life have been addressed. We will share a document with you to help you to think about and plan what you might want to talk about during the review (documents attached). This will include things that you like and admire about your child; things that are important to and for them; things that are currently working well and things that could be working better; aspirations for the future and thoughts of what the focus for the upcoming year might involve. We will also review last year’s Actions to ensure all have been addressed.
Some comments from previous reviews:-
- Pupil comment– “I enjoyed my review and I was happy that people listened to me.”
- Parent comment – “I’m incredibly grateful for all the effort being put forward to help my daughter to progress in her life and society.”
- Professional comment – “Reviews are well organised, information on pupil’s is readily available both before and at the review meeting. Pupils are always given the opportunity to be part of the review and are encouraged to give their views. Having all the relevant agencies present allows for smoother transition.”
Numeracy - The interventions we offer are bespoke to the need identified for each of our learners throughout the school. In the Primary department we run a number and play intervention whereby pupils engage in a fun, interactive session whilst developing their basic number skills. In the senior department, we screen pupils using the Sanford testing. Pupils are then referred to be considered for intervention. We identify which pupils have a considerable gap in their learning with respect to number and shape, space and measure and use the intervention as an opportunity to attempt to bridge the gap between their number skills and how this can be applied in a wide range of contexts. We also identify our M.A.T (more able and talented) learners and ensure they are receiving the challenge required to excel in their learning.
Big Maths - Big Maths intervention is done one to one or in small groups if pupils are working on the same problem. The class teacher puts forward pupils who they think are in need of additional support, this can be identified through weekly Big Maths tests. When a pupil is achieving they target pupils can be swapped to allow as many pupils as possible to access additional support throughout the year. All pupils are assessed once a year to track progression.
Number & Play - The Number & Play Programme is aimed at parents & carers of children in our Early Years Department. The programme is run over 6 weeks (6 x 60 minute interactive workshops) and encourages parents to interact and play with their children in a positive way to promote and stimulate their child’s early language & numeracy development through songs and craft activities. The programme also promotes a strong healthy relationship with parent and child through fun, creative activities. There is a focus on a Number rhyme or song a week and during the workshops parents and children work together to create a prop linked to this rhyme. The rhyme prop is then added to the child's rhyme box. At the end of the 6 workshops the child will have a box of 6 rhymes with props which they can take home.
Reading / Literacy - Reading intervention is done one to one or small groups, the pupils are identified from the reading test data. The pupils who are identified are just needing that extra little bit of support to enable them to become more confident with reading skills. Breaking down tricky words, letter confusion or initial blends. These are some of the barriers which pupils overcome this then enables them to become more confident independent learners.
POPAT - Program of Phoneme Awareness Training - Programme of Phoneme Awareness Training, what is it? This is a highly structured programme for children who struggle to identify sounds in words. POPAT starts with 18 pure sounds which are represented as pictures. The programme is made up of fun games which leave the pupil’s feeling happy and confident wanting to return to the POPAT board. The pupils do not realise they are learning at this point; it is very structured but lots of fun. After successfully completing a number of games including CV (continent vowel), VC, CVC, CVCC and CCVC we then introduce four more important sounds N, J, Y, and NG. Throughout the POPAT programme you would use the POPAT blue book which gives step by step instructions of how to follow the programme. Very quickly the vowels are introduced A E I O and U. Then very quickly again we replace all the sound pictures with letters. Then the real fun starts where the pupils can read write and say the words they have learned in their POPAT books. Now we are ready to challenge those tricky words through listen and write programme. It unravels the complexities of English spelling, punctuation and grammar.
ICT - At Greenfield we are committed to ensure that all our learners have the opportunity to become more digitally competent so that they can evolve into enterprising, creative and critical thinkers. Therefore, we offer an ICT intervention with a focus on building our pupils ICT skills. The ICT intervention we offer is bespoke to the need identified for each of our learners throughout the school. In the primary school we run sensory ICT sessions where pupils can have access to our fantastic Immersion Room and Sensory room where they will engage in fun, interactive sessions that will develop their ICT and DCF skills. In the senior department, pupils also have access to the sensory and immersion room but we can also refer pupils to receive one to one or group ICT interventions. Teachers identify the pupils that have gaps in their ICT skills. Through the intervention we attempt to bridge the gap and build upon the ICT skills of the young learners. We can also identify our M.A.T (more able and talented) learners and ensure they are receiving the challenge required to excel in their learning through the coding and computational thinking interventions.
ELSA - ELSA is an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant. In Greenfield Special School an ELSA support children with their social and emotional needs as a one-to-one intervention or group sessions. ELSA’s are warm, kind and caring people who want to make children and young people feel happy in school. and to reach their potential socially, emotionally and academically. An ELSA, support children who have experienced loss and bereavement, emotional literacy, self-esteem, social skills, anxiety and worries etc. ELSA’s set a SMART target with the child or group every half term approx 6 weeks so that the child can see measurable progress. Once the target has been made ELSA plans sessions for the child to achieve their target. This can be done as a one-to-one or group session. ELSA will also help children find solutions to problems they might have. Relationships are key in helping children and young people to feel safe and nurtured.
Bake My Day Café - The Bake My Day Café is a state of the art food technology provision where our pupils can learn about making healthy food choices and preparing healthy food options. Pupils and their class teams decide upon a termly health food project with an end goal that is inclusive and celebratory. For example, extending our links with the local community, inviting guests from neighbouring schools and Greenhill Manor to share our succesful outcomes.
Welsh Language and Cwricwlwm Cymreig
At Greenfield School we are committed to developing the Welsh language alongside an understanding and appreciation of our rich heritage and culture. This reflects MTCBC’s goals in its Raising Aspirations Raising Standards (RARS) and also in MTCBC’s Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP) 2022-2032:
‘To continue to grow opportunities for Welsh medium education across the County Borough, supporting families and professionals to develop their skills in the use of Welsh so that they are more confident to use the language wherever they are.’
Pupils have the opportunity to communicate in Welsh at a level that is developmentally appropriate for each individual. These are based upon the Welsh Language Patterns that are provided by the Central South Consortium and HWB. The approach is inclusive and allows each pupil to achieve their potential. Emphasis is placed upon skill development in speaking and communicating and this is achieved through participation in conversation, song and other art forms.
Opportunity to develop Welsh is integrated into lessons in all Areas of Learning and Experience and is encouraged in incidental and informal contexts in all aspects of school life. As part of Welsh Government’s Siarter Iiath (Welsh Charter), Greenfield has embarked upon working towards the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards in Cymraeg Campus led by our Criw Cymraeg which has representatives from throughout the school to help promote our work in Welsh language development.
Our Cwricwlwm Cymreig is delivered through a wide range of activities that include cultural offsite visits, sport and music. The school is very proud of having our own mascot by the name of Dewi - a green dragon who emerges from his cave to help us in celebrations and all things Cymraeg!
Links with the Community
For last two school years our school in cooperation with International Links Global had the pleasure to be involved with the Erasmus+ Project 'The World we want in 2121'. The project brought a lot of exciting activities and learning opportunities. We met participants from Greece, Spain and Sweden. During our overseas visits pupils and staff were able to visit schools in Murcia in Spain and Levadia in Greece. Greenfield school was the host to two events; one in February 2022 and February 2023. Our guests have had the opportunity to take part in learning sessions led by our teachers and also visit Cyfarthfa Park and Castle to learn about the history of Merthyr Tydfil and Wales. Many fantastic memories will stay with us for life and we are looking forward for new Projects coming soon. We are going to visit Poland, Sweden and Italy in May taking part in CPD opportunities.
The learners of Greenfield School make great use of the local community in order to develop skills, knowledge and independence. We are fortunate that we have a supportive community on our doorstep in Pentrebach, where the local shops, park and trails offer a safe environment in which to explore the world and practice life skills and healthy routines. We value our longstanding links with the after school club ‘Bridging the Gap’ and the residents of our neighbouring residential home. Every Christmas, Greenfield looks forward to celebrating the season by singing carols with the residents of Greenhill Manor.
Future Valley Construction Partnership
We have established an effective partnership with Future Valley Construction who are responsible for the development of the new A465 road. Pupils have engaged both in school and on the construction site, learning important roles and responsibilities associated with this sector of employment. Pupils have developed relationships with key staff, understood the importance of PPE and worked as teams to complete various projects. The partnership is ongoing and will continue to develop over the next few years.
Royal Crescent Allotments
We have a fantastic partnership with the Royal Crescent Allotments in Penydarren. The pupils with the 14-19 department have an opportunity to visit the Royal Crescent Allotments in Penydarren weekly. The pupils help manage the sensory garden as well as help the ladies and gentleman with any jobs on their plots. The pupils have enjoyed taking part in lots of projects and helping set up this lovely area for everyone to visit.
Stephens & George - Chess
Greenfield have been working closely with the Stephens and George Charity to deliver a weekly chess club to our KS3 learners. The focus of Chess Club is to develop our learners Mathematics and Numeracy skills whilst learning how to play the game of chess. Learners begin by being introduced to simple strategy games such as 'Connect 4,' before transitioning on to more challenging games such as draughts. Learners are then finally introduced to specific chess pieces and learn how each piece moves. The prepositional language and strategic thinking skills employed by learners are highly transferable to all aspects of the curriculum and pupils thoroughly enjoy working with Russell, our chess tutor.
Greenfield school has been accessing the local bowls club every Monday afternoon. Merthyr Bowls Club have been running sessions with our pupils engaging them with the sport. The ladies from the bowls club have kindly given up their time to develop this partnership and work with our pupils to develop their skills and ability. The group of twelve pupils that have access to the provision have flourished in terms of their sporting ability in regards to bowls, and the social skills they have gained. The Greenfield bowls club has given them a sense of belonging and allowed them the opportunity to feel part of a team, they even have three sets of Greenfield personalised bowls they play with that the ladies acquired funding for. Thank you to the ladies at Merthyr Bowls Club for giving us this opportunity and long may the partnership continue to flourish.
Sports, Physical, Education and Clubs
Specialist ASD Provision
At Greenfield school we employ a variety of teaching and communication strategies to support our pupils. These include:-
- Picture Exchange Communication (PECS)
- Social Stories
- The Curiosity Programme
- Attention Autism
- Intensive Interaction
- Rebound Therapy
We take advice and support from a number of sources including TEACCH and Pyramid Consultants. All of our teachers receive the appropriate training to ensure the best possible outcomes for our pupils.
Hydrotherapy Pool - Hydrotherapy is a form of exercise carried out in a specially heated pool. The water is approximately 34 degrees Celsius. The combination of extra heat and the buoyancy of the water provide a relaxing medium in which pain relieving exercises can be carried out and thus improve general fitness levels. The level of exercise can be adjusted according to the age and abilities of the pupils. The benefits of our Hydrotherapy pool:
- Improving and maintaining the range of joint movement;
- Helping muscles to relax;
- Helping to relieve pain;
- Reducing pressure on weight bearing joints while exercising;
- Facilitating rehabilitation.
In 2022 our Charitable trust enabled us to secure the funding to install an immersive room. £10,000 was donated by the National Lottery and the remaining money donated from a variety of fundraising sources – including London Marathon runners!!
What is an immersive room??
The Immersion Room allows projection of images or information on three walls and the floor space of a room at the same time, creating a unique 360º experience for teaching, learning, research, and communications. The experience is similar to a virtual reality experience, but in a group setting. Immersive Reality Rooms provide an alternative learning environment that immediately engages and stimulates anyone who walks through its doors. This interactive technology instantly transforms any space into an immersive sensory experience.
The immersive technology is creating a revolution in learning as we know it, changing it to an interactive, and simply a magical experience.
At Greenfield School learning through music is very much valued and has many accessible andinclusive attributes. Music is one of the five disciplines that make up the Expressive Arts Area of Learning and Experience.
Learning about music and through music forms part of the Curriculum for Wales offer at Greenfield School up to the age of 16. Much of the learning in the Primary Department is through song and includes the use of tuned and untuned percussion at Key Stages 2 and 3. At all stages, music develops motor skills, creative, performance and expressive skills, social interaction, self-esteem and does not rely upon verbal communication. The therapeutic value of being immersed in music is of great importance to the wellbeing of our pupils. Opportunities for music making also includes religious cultural festivals such as Christmas and St. David’s Day celebrations.
Greenfield School offers instrumental tuition for piano, drums, guitar/ukulele and brass via Merthyr County Music Service whose staff visit the school on a weekly basis. Where appropriate, study towards grade examinations is offered, accredited by Trinity College of Music, London and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM).
The school is always keen to invite local and nationally based musicians to perform for the pupils and many of the visiting musicians offer workshops for classes and groups.
Like music, drama is also one of the five disciplines that make up the Expressive Arts Area of Learning and Experience. Many of the qualities and benefits described for music are also common to the study of drama.
Drama complements the development of non-verbal and verbal communication in an art form that naturally offers inclusion and expression.
Drama is used in many aspects of the curriculum e.g. role play in class based activities, puppetry and class and whole school performances.
Visiting theatre companies form part of the performance experience that we offer at Greenfield School and features in our projects that we share with international partners.
O.T. - Occupational Therapists are trained to understand the whole person, including their physical, mental, emotional, behavioral, and sensory needs. They will consider the interactions with family, peers, and significant others, as well as the interaction with the environment and community. In Greenfield School we have a core OT team whom assist in:
-Seating Assessment and review of specialist seating equipment to promote good postural management and skill development to promote symmetrical posture and the right posture for accessing play/work activities. -Assessment of daily living skills and recommendations of equipment to promote the development of these skills. (Specialist toileting seating/equipment, adapted cutlery or beakers) -Developing Sensory Profiles/Passports for students whom require Sensory Integration Strategies and techniques, which are incorporated into class routines. These strategies may incorporate Sensory Circuits, Sensory Toys, and Sensory Diet Activities.
Physio - Physiotherapy helps to optimize movement and function through promoting active movement, developing range of movement in joints and muscles, building strength, balance and improving posture. Physiotherapists work with all age groups who are identified as requiring Physiotherapy. The team work closely with each child/young adult and their family, in liaison with NHS and/or private Physiotherapists. Each identified child/young adult will have specific aims to target their main areas of need and help them to achieve their goals, which should be reviewed and evaluated regularly, with individual programmes in place to help enable progress. Physiotherapists also assist in the assessment, review and adjustment of specialist equipment to aid a child/young adult’s movement and function e.g. standing frames, walking frames, orthotics (such as ankle/foot splints) and postural management equipment.
Rebound - Rebound Therapy is used at Greenfield School to provide therapeutic exercise and recreation for students with a wide range of additional needs. During the sessions a trampoline is used to facilitate movement, promote balance, an increase or decrease in muscle tone, promote relaxation and sensory Integration, Sensory feedback and Sensory Regulation. Rebound Therapy can also improve tolerance to exercise and improve fitness level. During these sessions students also focus on and practice communication skills while building trust with the facilitators.
Wellbeing Council - At Greenfield School, our Wellbeing council is a group of children that represents the views of all our pupils.Each year School Council members are nominated by their peers. All pupils will then vote for a candidate within their own classes. Wellbeing council gives our pupils the opportunity to have their voices heard and be part of the whole school community. They help to make decisions about school life and organise projects that support learning and development, such as organising charity events, theme days or representing the school at outside events.
Duke of Edinburgh Awards
Parc Bryn Bach
Key Stage Three pupils have the opportunity to take part in termly visits to Parc Bryn Bach. At Parc Bryn Bach, learners are led by a certified and qualified outdoor instructor who will conduct exciting and plentiful outdoor activities which are suitable for all ages and abilities. Activities include Bush Craft, Canoeing and Kayaking, Caving, Climbing, Gorge Walking, Hiking, Open Water Swimming and Paddle Boarding. Each activity is set in a different part of South Wales. Taking part in the outdoor sessions helps to develop pupils Health and Well-being skills in addition to further developing skills in Humanities. Parc Bryn Bach provides learners with meaningful and plentiful opportunities which encourages individuals to step outside of their comfort zone, set personal challenges, overcome fears and further develop behavioural and social skills whilst in a community setting. What great fun!
At Greenfield’s we use the Forest School area within the ICC grounds. Forest School is a unique form of outdoor learning, with a play-based and child-led ethos. Pupils engage through practical learning and hands-on activities in a natural setting. The children are allowed to take risks and explore, within a safe outdoor space. Sessions are designed to stimulate each child’s imagination, creativity and desire to explore through activities involving natural materials, shelter-building and natural art.
Each learner gets something different out of Forest School; it can improve confidence, behaviour, physical and social skills, emotional wellbeing, language and communication, concentration, knowledge and understanding of the world. Being in nature offers practical, sensory experiences that are suited to the preferred learning styles for many of our learners.
Greenfield Cycling Club
Greenfield School is committed to developing sustainable travel and healthy bodies through cycling, wheeling, scooting and walking. Many of our learners will need to engage in the prerequisite skills that build up to cycling. These can include the use of scooter and balance bikes before progressing to two-wheeled bikes.
We have been fortunate in obtaining a grant from the Duke of Edinburgh scheme which has been used to purchase quality mountain bikes and accessories. These form part of our plans to use them on the expedition sections of the Duke of Edinburgh awards. The Taff and Trevithick trails provide local and safe practice routes to develop these skills.
Cycling is inclusive at Greenfield School and there are a number of adapted bikes that are available for those learners who require three or four wheeled cycles. For wheelchair users there are two bikes that have been kindly donated by the parents of Amalie Williams, a former pupil. These trikes have a front section that accommodates a wheelchair and its user, so that cycling is accessible to all.
Greenfield School has close links with Sustrans, a charity that promotes sustainable travel. Sustrans says: ‘We work for and with communities, helping them come to life by walking, wheeling and cycling to create healthier places and happier lives for everyone.’
Greenfield School is working with Sustrans in developing skills ladders to develop cycling, scooting and wheeling. In addition to onsite cycling, classes access ‘Cwm Cycling’ in the Rhondda and Aberdare, who offer a range of adapted cycles and circuits to explore. Two members of Greenfield staff have Agored Level 2 Ride Leader qualifications and MIAS Level 1 and 2 in Mountain Bike instruction.
What the pupils think!
These comments were given by our pupils from across the school – see what they think of life at Greenfields.
- “I really enjoy coming to school every day and seeing my friends and teachers.” BR
- “I love all the sport we get to do in the MUGA” EJ
- “My favourite topics to do at Greenfields are art and cooking in Bake My Day” VP
- “I love Greenfields because we get to do fun things!” AM
- “I like doing big maths in my class and getting all the answers right!” ND
- “I like going offsite to go shopping and learning about money.” JJ
- “I like this school because I have made lots of friends” KW
- “I like Everything!!” JM