Visits and Residentials
Visits and residentials are an essential part of our curriculum. We want to make our curriculum as 'real' as possible, and so whenever we can, we link lessons to real-life learning. This may take place within school, eg. visiting the hydrotherapy pool, or within the school grounds, eg. looking for minibeasts in our forest school.
More often, real-life learning takes place in the local community, eg. when learning about different religions, we visit the local churches and mosques; we go shopping for our snack for class to practise using money; we use our communication skills to ask for items in cafes; we develop our physical skills by going on local walks; we learn how to socialise and play by visiting the local parks; we go swimming at the local leisure centre; and we develop independence skills by practising road safety in our local area, and by using public transport.
As part of our topics, and as part of the 'Short Breaks' provision in the holidays (see clubs and activities section on website), we also travel further afield to extend our learning, eg. to Blackpool Zoo, The Royal Armouries in Leeds, the seaside.
Our focus curriculum weeks are a real 'hit' with children, with one telling us that 'this has been the best week of my life!' When we had 'Caring Me' week, pupils visited residential care homes to work and play with the elderly residents, and during 'Safe me' week, children went to the local police station.
At Key Stage 2, pupils take part in work experience at the local farm and attend the annual residential activity holiday.
To ensure the curriculum is as motivating and exciting as possible, we also regularly have visitors into school. During our 'Caring Me' week, children helped bathe babies in classes, and we had donkeys and dogs for the disabled in school. During our 'Safe Me' week, the fire engine came up to school and children sat in the cab, tried on the helmets, turned on the sirens and sprayed water through the fire hose. When our topics are about animals, we bring in spiders, snakes and tortoises for children to hold. A recent 'Helping others' topic had a doctor in class, and we also have speakers into our assemblies: at Harvest Time, each class made a hamper of food for the homeless, and staff from the Salvation Army came to thank us and tell us what it would be used for; and during 'Blind Awareness Week', we had a visit from the Guide Dogs and we all had a go at letting 'Sandy' lead us round the hall.