Muntham House Primary Unit caters for pupils from Key Stage 1 and 2, where individual need arises, we also support lower Key Stage 3 to aid the transition into main school learning offering a broad curriculum in a personal setting. Our Children and Young People are based in a defined area of the school with their own designated grassed playing area and hard court (additionally we have a ‘secret garden’ just for us with our own trim trail, but don’t tell anyone as it’s a secret!). Within the unit we have three bright and well equipped provisions, each specifically organised to suit the needs of the individuals accessing them. The facility supports an introduction back into a school system for pupils who are joining MHS.
- Primary 1 – benefitting from an adjoining sensory room, individual workstations, supporting pupils with sensory issues, more vulnerable pupils, some who have additional safety needs as well as smaller working group requirements.
- Primary 2 – focusses on pupils who require development in their group working ability and tolerance of others. This setting increase of sensory exposure within the classroom and has less dependency on individual workstations.
- Primary 3 – introduces individual desks, supporting whole group working whilst still ensuring personal space. The environment is fully decorated as expected of a mainstream primary classroom.
The placement of Children and Young People within each of these classes will be assessed by the Primary team and based on individual needs; such as emotional development, ASC needs and statement requirements, as well as age and academic ability.
Predominantly the lessons are carried out within the primary area, this includes, Topic, Maths, PDC, History, Geography, Drama and SPaG. Additionally, pupils are taught within specialist subject areas such as ICT, Art, DT, Science, PE and Outdoor Education. Our work with Children and Young People throughout the school is based on establishing safe working relationships, the staffing within the Primary Unit reflects this as the frequency of additional teaching staff is limited to just the specialist subjects. Seven key staff are based solely within the unit, working closely with each pupil and supporting the establishment of new relationships as they develop over their time with us.
Regular training and development opportunities are taken by our Primary Unit staff to enhance their skills, they have undertaken training from the Autistic Education Trust to support our work with all pupils and training is carried out throughout the year on elements relating to SEMH as well as subject development within teaching.
All behaviours and events are seen as learning opportunities as Children and Young People are supported in gaining a greater understanding of how their own emotions and personal choices impact on both themselves and others. The Primary Unit strives to create a warm, welcoming and relaxed environment with clearly defined areas including ‘cosy corners’ and a den which was personally decorated by the Primary Unit members. We have two extra inhabitants of the unit called Max and Springer who are our pet rabbits! They are cared for by the Children and Young People who take responsibilities for their needs and ensure they get lots of cuddles. The introduction of animals into the unit has encouraged pupils to reflect on their need to monitor behaviours by considering the effect they have on the wellbeing of others.