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Woodpecker Class

Key Stage 3 & 4 – Year 9 to 11

About Woodpecker Class

Our Teacher: Mrs Emma Norman

Woodpecker Class caters for pupils in upper KS3 and KS4. The students are of mixed ability with a range of learning styles; however, they learn well together as a whole class or in smaller differentiated groups.

Students are taught following the guidelines of the National Curriculum and the Adult Curriculum, which are tailored to their individual needs. Students also work towards appropriate accreditations such as ASDAN Transition challenge and/or Entry Level functional qualifications in English and Mathematics.

Learning Focus

A mixture of adult led and independent learning is encouraged to allow students to gain confidence in their own knowledge and abilities. Independent living skills form a large element of the curriculum delivery to ensure students develop age appropriate functioning and aspirations.

Students have regular opportunity to sign up for particular foundation subjects to enable students to learn to take ownership of their learning. The foundation subjects are taught through the school’s termly theme, this makes the learning purposeful, practical and engaging. In science, students develop scientific enquiry through practical experiments, discussion and observation. English and Maths learning is fundamentally practical and differentiated to suit each students’ abilities and learning styles.

Students engage in reading and writing for different functional purposes such as reading and writing emails, notes, letters, instructions, lists and form filling. Interpretation and recording of activities occur through the use of ICT, symbols or traditional writing methods. Students use laptops individually, in pairs or small groups to research topic-based information to support their learning. Speaking and listening plays a huge part in all learning activities; students are given opportunities to practice skills needed to communicate with familiar and unfamiliar people through practical role play activities and real-life contexts.

Mathematic lessons focus on different strands from number and place value, using all four operations in practical situations as well as measure including the basic understanding of time and money. Students learn the value of coins and purchase items through practical activities, written problems, role play and visiting local supermarkets and shops. A practical learning style supports students to transfer learned knowledge into real life situations.

Throughout the week, individual and guided reading sessions, alongside weekly spellings, occur where the students use their phonics skills to decode. As well as opportunities to discuss texts and carry out comprehension activities. Daily or weekly interventions, such as: fine motor, physio, speech and language, reading and numeral recognition are carried out by class staff for selected students based on their needs. Students complete weekly Physical Education sessions to learn new skills, stay healthy and build understanding of team work and turn taking. Many students have their own individualised timetables which they can refer to throughout their day, to support independence and understanding.

Mrs Emma Norman, Woodpecker Class Teacher


Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education is an important part of daily life in Woodpecker class. Each member of the class has designated roles and responsibilities which they carry out daily or weekly to develop independence and assist the organisation of the class. Distinct PSHE / RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) lessons take place throughout the week to prepare students for life challenges and opportunities.

All students access weekly friendship groups with the schools Pastoral Lead, providing them with the skills and strategies needed to develop and maintain positive relationships and friendships.