Bower Grove School’s Satellite provision is managed by Bower Grove teaching staff and support assistants.
The Satellite is based at West Borough Primary School and is situated within the Keystage 2 building. It comprises two spacious classrooms, an office, a toilet and a calm area. It is very much part of the school with direct access to all areas, including a large playground and extensive playing field.
The ethos of the satellite is to be as inclusive as possible and to facilitate pupils’ integration into a main school setting. All pupils attending the satellite will have a diagnosed Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) and will need additional support and encouragement to access a mainstream environment.
Admission to our satellite will be via the Local Authority. Children must have ASC as their primary need and should have the social and academic potential for integration into a mainstream setting. Pupils are placed in the Satellite with an expectation that they will be able to access mainstream provision.
Some children on the autistic spectrum may have great challenges attending a mainstream environment. We will ensure all pupils receive specific help in developing their social and communication skills, inter-peer relationships and behaviour modification, if appropriate.
In the Satellite, the school core values and community code are embedded in everything we do. We place a strong emphasis on learning to listen, take turns and share; as well as being kind, responsible and show respect to others and to property.
Whilst we support each child at their level of need, we have high expectations of children’s self- organisational skills. Children are expected to unpack their bag every morning, keep their work spaces tidy, clear up after themselves and make sure they take everything they need home with them at the end of the day. Support is given where needed and independence encouraged with progress monitored regularly.
We encourage the children to take responsibility their home learning. They take a book home to read daily, with adult supervision and support where necessary. Children take home weekly home learning tasks. These are modified according to need.
There is daily communication between home and school using contact books to inform on the day's events and future plans. Newsletters go home regularly and information can be found on the school website.
As the children arrive in the mornings, they register, unpack are encouraged to participate in activities that promote social skills. These are games based, either group games such as Uno or paired games such as Connect 4 or Snakes and Ladders. Children may engage in free play with construction toys alongside their peers. Some children prefer quieter activities such as drawing, colouring, jigsaw puzzles or looking at books and comics.
Following registration, children are placed into groups. One group participates in Sensory Diet activities. These physical activities are intended to help children stay alert and calm at the right times. The other group joins in with Social Communication Programmes. These are an effective way to build self-esteem and prepare children to tackle new social situations. They enable children to have the courage to put themselves in situations they may have felt too scared too before and can help them understand situations they are in regularly more clearly.
This introduction to the day is designed to help the children reach an optimum state ready to engage in learning. The intervention they receive is dependent upon their area of need and may change from term to term.
All Satellite children are encouraged to attend West Borough whole school assemblies on a Monday and Friday morning and depending on their level of integration attend other school assemblies throughout the week.
Lessons and Curriculum
Following assembly or interventions, children disperse to classes; either in mainstream or Satellite. Throughout Keystage 2, lessons typically begin with Maths and following morning break, English. Support staff are timetabled according to need.
The majority of Satellite children integrate into mainstream for the afternoon sessions. They follow a topic based curriculum. Details for each year group curriculum can be found in class areas on the West Borough school website.
Children who are not yet ready for integration remain in the Satellite class. Satellite children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum modified to individual needs. A large proportion of teaching time concentrates on the National Curriculum especially the core subjects of English and Maths. In the afternoons learning is predominantly topic based to encompass other subjects with a termly focus, for example Science, Geography or Art.
Each child’s learning is personalised to incorporate objectives linked to the outcomes in their Educational Health Care Plan. It also includes targets and information around the child’s social communication, emotional, behaviour, sensory and medical, intervention and integration needs.
Lunch and Play times
Children have the opportunity to have a healthy snack before going out for play at morning break. They can choose to play with their Satellite friends or other children. Staff encourage children to make new friends with their mainstream peers.
At lunchtime, depending on their level of integration and readiness, the Satellite children can choose to eat school dinner or packed lunch with their mainstream class or Satellite friends. There is a Satellite table in the school hall where children are supervised. They eat alongside their peers and remain at the table until it is time to go onto the playground. Lunch play is supervised and a plan is put into place for those children that find the unstructured nature of playtimes difficult.
Children integrating into mainstream classes will be expected to have good behaviour for learning and a positive attitude towards learning. They should be able to work alongside or with a peer or group of peers. They should show good academic progress over time. Their social communication should be developed adequately for classroom activities. Individual needs will be catered for to allow successful integration, such as ICT, writing slopes, sensory equipment, visual timetables and task boards and staff but not necessarily 1:1 teaching assistant support from the Satellite or the main school. Some children work independently for part or all of their timetable.
When children are ready to integrate we carefully target support to ease the transition to mainstream. Some children go into class for a portion of the lesson and steadily increase their time in class; others go in and stay for a full session from the very first time.
For the children not yet integrating, strong links are made with their peers in order for them to develop a wider friendship group. We support and encourage inclusion wherever possible; in PE lessons and other mainstream class activities, whole school events, in-school and after-school clubs, day trips and residentials. On occasion, Satellite children invite their mainstream friends to Satellite for social time. Where appropriate, there may be opportunities for social skills programmes or other learning activities that include mainstream children.
West Borough staff often report how well behaved and polite the Satellite children are and what a good example they set.
Satellite children take an equal part in all whole school events and the school is fully inclusive of our pupils. Over the years, Satellite children have represented the school in various sporting events, represented their class as House Captain or Vice-Captain or have been elected to the School Council.
Satellite children embrace home learning tasks and never cease to amaze us with their efforts. Thank you to parents and other adults who support their children with a practical and creative approach towards home learning tasks.
Sanctions and Rewards
We abide by the West Borough behaviour system. This system is straightforward to understand; the children respect the rules and expectations and respond well to the consistent approach delivered across the school by all staff. Every child, regardless of level of intervention, has the opportunity to earn an invitation to termly POY (Proud of You) events for good behaviour throughout the term.
We understand that for some of our children this is not always attainable. We acknowledge positive moments and small steps and reward all our children with Satellite trips and Satellite events so that children can enjoy a positive experience with their friends.
Satellite children are part of the West Borough House system and can earn house points for their mainstream class and compete for their house. Parents are invited to a Friday morning assembly if their child has been awarded ‘Pupil of the Week’ for achievement in their mainstream class.
In addition to this, children can earn various rewards and praise, such as ‘Satellite Star of the Week’ certificates and prizes and special mentions to the Head Teacher.
We believe in a positive praise reward based system. At the end of every afternoon, children who have completed their work and who have managed their behaviour well are invited to join Satellite reward time where they can enjoy an activity of their own choice. Daily reward time has proved to be an effective motivator.
The Satellite believes children should enjoy coming to school to learn and play with their friends and that all children deserve equal opportunity to access a full and engaging curriculum, delivered by trained and competent staff, to enable them to achieve their full potential wherever they are taught.
If you any questions concerning the Satellite provision please contact:
Mrs Julie Atwal
West Borough Satellite
Mrs Julie Atwal
Mrs Marie Albrow
Mrs Sharon Hull
Miss Rebecca Snell
Mrs Liz Brotherwood
Teacher - Fridays only
Miss Any Grant