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Longcause Community Special School Learning for Life

Lower School

Our Lower School Phase


Lower School is made up pupils from EYFS-Year 6, split across six classes.  Each pupil within Lower School has access to the full range of continuous provision that we have on offer. Pupils have a balanced and broad curriculum, being delivered either through the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile within the EYFS, or our unique Longcause curriculum documents for pupils within KS1 and above. Our Early Years pupils will also begin to develop their skills for life through our LLfL Curriculum, in addition to the Early Years Curriculum (further information on our LLfL Curriculum can be found in the subject page on the website). Pupils within the Lower School benefit from small class sizes with a high level of small group and 1-1 work. This promotes high levels of differentiation, enabling our team to target specific pupils' needs and enrich their curriculum through the range of provisions and interventions we have to offer.


All classes within the Lower School follow a TEACCH approach. These techniques are consistent and transferable between teams to enable a smooth transition as pupils move throughout the school. It also encourages skills to be built upon to further enhance pupil independence. All pupils will take part in 'learning cycles' throughout the day, which include both a learning activity and also an independent activity. Depending on the pupils individual needs, pupils will access these strategies at varying levels with our aims to increase the pupils independence through increasing the complexity of skills and opportunities in which pupils are using these strategies. 


Pupils have opportunities for regular physical activity and learning in different environments. In addition to the sensory room and school beach, we have further developed our Lower School outside playground. There is a range of learning opportunities for the pupils, including painting areas, mark making areas and chalkboards, a climbing frame, a new specialist swing, giant lawn games, trampolines and bikes to promote further Physical Development and life long skills. Our next step is to further enhance the provision by installing a quiet area for pupils and to increase the sensory experiences for the pupils we currently provide. 


Within the Lower School we aim to develop joyful learning experiences for the pupils to engage them in their learning. One of our actions to support this has been through developing the play experiences that pupils have throughout the entire day and the continuous provision on offer. Not only do pupils have access the this outdoor learning throughout the entire day, but classes each have designated play spaces where adults build upon key social and play skills. Through working with other adults within our highly skilled team, in addition to external agencies such as Occupational Therapists, these spaces have been developed to include a range of sensory experiences in order to meet the specific needs of the pupils. 


One unique provision that we celebrate within the Lower School is our Family Project. If you would like to find out more about our project you can find this in the specific page of the 'Key Information' section of the website. 


Our Early Years Foundation Stage


Our EYFS class is our pupils first step in their school journey towards developing these important skills. In our EYFS class we offer a broad and balanced education that meets the individual needs of the child building in the experiences that they have already had, increasing on their cultural capital. At Longcause School we want to support all pupils with SEND to develop the skills and attitudes to lead fulfilled lives. Our ethos is to support the children’s personal, social, emotional and communication development so that they feel safe and can begin their journey to readiness for learning.


We have three aims which link with developing pupil’s physical and mental well being that underpin what we do. We aim for pupils to be-

  • Ready to learn:  We want the children to be positive and confident when learning. We do this by building on their interests, developing curiosity and forming nurturing relationships, we ensure sensory and physical needs are met. We ensure we support the development of the child’s expressive and receptive communication.

  • Resourceful: We want the children to be spontaneous and to show initiative. We do this by teaching the TEACCH learning cycles, by creating opportunities for exploration, awe and wonder and problem solving. 

  • Resilient: We want to prepare children to persevere and stay involved in their learning even challenges occur. We do this by giving strategies to ask for help, building nurturing relationships, encouraging learning in real life situations, setting ambitious expectations and  beginning to introduce the language and culture that is used elsewhere in the school of “yet”.


Through the EYFS seven areas of learning and development we provide topics that engage the children, building on their own interests and experiences in order to develop an awe and wonder of the world around them. We recognise that each child comes into our setting with varied experiences and ensure that the learning opportunities provided widen their awareness and deepen their knowledge of the world.


The principles that guide our work in the EYFS are grouped into four themes: 

  • A unique child

  • Positive relationships

  • Enabling environments

  • Learning and development


The EYFS curriculum consists of seven areas of learning and development, which are split into prime and specific areas. These are- 

  • Prime: Personal Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical development. 

  • Specific: Maths, Literacy, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design. 


RE is incorporated in Understanding the World and through our engagement in the whole school RE days. Pupils are also immersed in these skills through daily worship, our weekly school family breakfast and church celebrations. Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development is firmly embedded in our curriculum.