Teach Middle East Magazine Apr - Jun 2020 Issue 3 Volume 7 - Page 24

Featured School to meet their new teacher and see the classroom before the end of term. Assessment was another area of challenge. Since most of the pupils were working below National Curriculum levels, we needed a different tool to measure their progress and attainment. This has been provided by adopting the Cherry Garden School Branch Maps. A special school located in south London, the team at Cherry Garden School devised these documents to meet their own assessment needs and, recognising that they could benefit others, made them freely available. Hemam and Aquila staff work together, in consultation with families, to create a baseline assessment that is then updated regularly. This school year we have strengthened the partnership further by aligning the start and finish times of the school day for children attending the Center with the main school, insisted on school uniform for all pupils and drawn up inclusion timetables of up to 95% of the school day, depending on the needs of the child.  Class teachers view these pupils as Aquila children and seek to involve them to a much greater extent.  There has been a significant shift in attitudes of staff and we also notice that our pupils see these children as their friends, partners and companions.  They are truly welcoming and inclusive and a credit to us all.  Children who attend the centre have full access to the facilities at school, including their own weekly swimming lesson, two sensory rooms, soft play and our hydroponics farm.  They participate in PE and music lessons, break and lunch times alongside their peers in addition to academic learning. A key element of quality inclusive teaching is to ensure that students with disability have access to age- and grade- appropriate content from the general academic curriculum, as well as to core content-area instruction. We prepare a bespoke curriculum for these children, many of whom are non-verbal or have minimal speech, and some also have physical and/or medical needs. Evidence suggests 24 Term 3 Apr - Jun 2020 that communication and motor skills develop most when learning is embedded within structured interaction through small-group activities where students are learning Class Time together. Wayne Howsen, Principal of The Aquila School, is passionate about meeting the needs of all learners. He said, “As