For the staff and pupils at Fiveways School being lead school for the “Somerset Partnership Teaching School” alliance has brought many benefits for example
Working with The Wessex Teaching School we have developed a Schools Direct Initial Teacher Training programme that has a Special Educational Needs and disabilities (SEND) emphasis. Staff from Fiveways have developed their own skills e.g. through delivery of training days, supporting trainees in placement or acting as mentors. One of the greatest benefits is when a trainee is employed as teacher in our school.
Fiveways has a training centre on site which enables us to offer easily accessible and cost effective specialist CPD linked to the needs of our pupils and school development plan.
CPD also includes leadership and progression programmes. Fiveways Teaching Assistants have embraced this opportunity, for example Level 4 SEN award and then moving on to Foundation Degree. As part of this they undertake school projects which have directly benefitted the teaching and learning at Fiveways.
Links with other schools, both special and mainstream have widened our opportunities for school to school visits and sharing best practice. Fiveways, along with the other Somerset special schools work together to offer outreach to local schools.
There are opportunities for research and development in collaboration with other schools and organisations e.g. support services. This enables us to reflect on and develop teaching and learning approaches in school, linking our practice to research.