We are determined to see our pupils overcome their individual barriers to learning and gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes they will need for the richest possible adult life.
Staff listen carefully to each pupil and their parents who influence Individual Education Plans (IEP’s) that focus on communication, social relationships and life skills and we work closely between home and school to address them. We plan our teaching of English, Mathematics and ICT to meet individual long term needs. Our passion for the performing arts enriches our whole curriculum opening up real, relevant learning that is enjoyable and sustained. We work with colleges and other providers to ensure that what pupils learn both in school and when they leave us prepares them for the life to which they aspire.
About Fox Hollies School
Fox Hollies is a local authority maintained special school for pupils aged 11-19 years. All of our pupils experience great difficulty in learning basic skills, and we work with them and their parents or carers to understand and minimise them. Most things are taught in very small steps that ensure success. Our classes are of a size, typically nine pupils based with a teacher and two teaching assistants, that enables the staff to get to know each pupil really well. Each class contains pupils who are usually of the same age and pupils progress through the school in their year group that includes pupils of a wide range of needs.
We aim to offer a personalised curriculum to each of our pupils. We focus closely on individual education plans that are informed by the pupils themselves and their parents or carers who take part in annual review meetings and transition planning.
The journey through school
We are developing our use of personal learning and thinking skills to help our pupils learn how to learn, and develop skills for the rich opportunities we offer for inclusive and vocational learning.
In key stages 3,(Lower School ages 11-14) and 4,(Upper School ages 14-16), pupils receive their full entitlement to the National Curriculum through teaching that also links closely the priorities of Every Child Matters. In our Further Education Department, 16-19 years, the curriculum focuses on developing the skills required by pupils in preparation for leaving school. Pupils are able to achieve a wide range of accreditation and qualifications that represent challenge at their individual level of ability.
There is opportunity for pupils to work, through the class and key stage arrangements, in 1:1, small group, ability group or large group settings. This provides a very flexible structure that promotes personalised learning and social skills.
NB. It should be noted that, whilst it is usual for pupils to remain at school until they are 19 years old, they may leave school or seek a new educational setting appropriate to their needs at the end of the year in which they are 16 years old.
Every pupil has curriculum records that travel with them through their school career ensuring continuity and progression. All pupils will have an Annual Review of their Statement of Special Educational Need in which the views of pupils, parents, staff and other professionals are brought together to report on how the individual pupil’s needs are being met and to plan agreed targets for the coming year. Each pupil also has a Progress File which is used to record achievements and interests.
Our membership of the Connexions service, enables us to provide students with learning opportunities that have a post-school, work skills focus. Many exciting initiatives have been developed through this partnership, ranging from integration links, Work Taster Days, Industry Weeks, to work-shadowing and work experience placements in a wide range of settings.
From year 8 we engage pupils, their parents and carers and a range of professionals in creating and updating individual Transition Pathways a transition planning tool based on person-centred planning. As well as supporting transition Transition Pathways also inform pupils’ Individual Education Plans.
Extra curricula activities such as community visits, residential experience and the 'hidden curriculum' of ethos and attitude play a valued part in the life of the school. Our Performing Arts College status and Leading Edge Partnership with Queensbridge and other local schools enables us to provide a rich range of additional opportunities.
The Performing Arts
We proudly celebrate our status as specialist college for the Performing Arts.
Over many years we have seen significant benefits from engagement in quality arts education and enrichment activities.
Arts education is of significant benefit to pupils of all abilities, providing exciting experiences and a stimulating medium for learning through dance, drama, music, art. We have seen this produce huge gains in pupils’ confidence, communication and social skills.
Our success extends and enhances resources and opportunities for all of our pupils and provides a rich diet of community based and out of hours learning.
Performing Arts have enriched our whole curriculum and informed our teaching of other subjects with many techniques such as interactive storytelling, role-play and scene setting in widespread use across our school.
Through our specialist status we are further developing and consolidating our links with other schools, a range of activities that extend beyond school day and term-time, better resources and staff training in the arts.
Our partnership with Queensbridge School
We have a close and growing partnership with Queensbridge School with whom we share our campus. Pupils from the two schools are taught to relate positively to each other in a way that benefits everyone. Relationships are excellent and all of our pupils are given opportunities to work with Queensbridge School pupils during the school year.
Our programme of inclusive activities includes social games groups who meet regularly at lunchtimes, a group of our Year 7 School pupils working with peer supporters from Queensbridge School group on a shared (PSHE) module, pupils across our Lower and Upper Schools planning and running joint events as part of the curriculum, a joint vocational course at South Birmingham College, joint work during Industry Week that involves a week long project that links realistically to the world of work, joint performance projects, extended schools activities and holiday arts workshops.
Working alongside our partners Queensbridge School, on the Highbury Campus, allows us to preserve the very best of what is special about the education and support that we provide, with opportunity to be a part of a wider community and to take advantage of all that this offers.