Exciting news, public notice has been issued by NCC - please have your say on our exciting plans for the future

Teaching and Learning

Method of Teaching

The spirit underlying all teaching and learning is that all pupils will have access to a range of learning experiences that reflect their needs. Particular emphasis is placed on the core skills of ‘communication and interaction’ including reading, writing, speaking and listening, numeracy, personal skills, social and ICT skills.Pupils are taught in whole class groups, small groups and as individuals depending on the activity/task to be done and the needs of the pupils. Many children do not learn effectively in an incidental manner. Learning experiences are structured to build upon and extend prior learning, enabling pupils to have a sense of achievement and recognise that they are making progress in their learning. 

In order to achieve this pupils in KS2 and KS3 are taught through topics, with big questions which aim to motivate, inspire and challenge. We try to embed learning in real life and relatable experiences. We have created immersive environments to support this. We build in opportunities to go out on visits or invite speakers into school to broaden our pupils’ experiences. Whenever possible we focus on developing real life skills to support our pupils’ independence and prepare them for life beyond Fred Nicholson. All lessons use a variety of teaching strategies that reflect the individual needs, previous experience, intellectual abilities, current levels of attainment and learning styles.


There is an ethos within the Fred Nicholson School that all learners are working towards being Independent adults, taking an active role in the adult world. This is done by increasing and extending the range of experiences undertaken by the learners depending on their varied needs and as they progress through the school.

Pupils are encouraged and supported to gain independence skills through all of their curriculum lessons such as in changing for PE, real life scenarios in maths and taking part in the TITAN program.  When pupils progress to KS4 their Independence curriculum is developed as part of their Life and Work Skills program each Monday.

Morning Independence session focus pupils on following routines to help them become independent around school, as well as more focused learning for individual pupils’ independence needs.

Where pupils need more input towards particular Independence tasks there is the opportunity to be referred for an Independence Intervention. Parents may ask the class teacher to refer their child for an independence intervention if they feel this may be of benefit, or a pupil can be referred by a member of the school staff where an issue is identified. Parents will kept fully informed of any interventions planned and involved in assessing their impact. See the attached Powerpoint presentation which gives an overview of our Options and Life and Work Skills Programme.

Physical Sensory Interaction (PSI)

The Physical, Sensory and Interaction team was set up in September 2017 at Fred Nicholson School.  The team focus on a wide range of needs, which are met through one or more of these areas (see below).  The PSI team are led by a co-ordinator that sits on the Senior Management team.

The Physical needs of our pupils are met under the guidance of Physiotherapists and Occupational therapists.  An identified member of the team liaises with these professionals ensuring individual pupils complete physical exercises identified to meet their individual need.  This includes 1-1 exercise support, small group work and hydrotherapy.

Some pupils access our sensory room, this offers a selection of stimuli, which supports pupils with developing, and engaging  their senses in a safe environment.  This area also includes the support for pupils that have a hearing or visual impairment.The interaction team work with pupils throughout the school on varied interventions to target individual pupil’s needs.  They work closely with the Speech and Language Therapists to support pupils that require extra support and the different communication needs they may require.

Interaction Room
This is a new department within FNS. Here we support the SaLTS with speech therapy; to do this we run a language group for lower school and compliment the salt targets in individual sessions and groups if applicable. Also within this department, we offer A.R.R.O.W, acceleread/write and support with comprehension and vocabulary building.  We work closely with some of our EAL pupils and non verbal pupils. Social Skills groups are run throughout KS3 and 4. Here the pupils are encouraged to work as a group embedding all the social skills we need both at home, school and in to the environment around us.  This is all done through ‘Fun’ activities. The ‘Talk Boost Programme’ is also taught across the school.  This is a group work programme to support listening, understanding and use of language and uses lots of fun and interactive activities to engage the pupils.

Coming soon …………..Lego Therapy

We currently have two Speech and Language Therapists that are based in school for one day a week.  They carry out assessments and work with the interaction team and class teams to support the pupils within the classroom.

Physio and Occupational Therapy
Mrs Germon has liaised with the physio team from the Norfolk and Norwich Jenny Lynd Unit for the past 5 years.  Ann Maxwell (Physiotherapist) visits school every half term to see the pupils who need this intervention.  She advises on exercises for pupils which are carried out by Mrs Germon and also monitors their progress and development. Currently there are three separate small groups following a stretching and balancing plan and some individual sessions. These groups only last for approximately 15 to 20 minutes and are once a week.  These are in addition to PE lessons.
An Occupational Therapist is involved if the pupils EHCP states the need.   They offer advice and support for individual as required.

There is currently a working party focusing on the development of a  Sensory Interaction room, this is a very exciting time for the team.

Hydrotherapy  –   muscle building exercises in a warm shallow swimming pool.   
The Physiotherapist visits once a term at the swimming pool to observe, advise and give instructions to pupils and supporting adults about what exercises to teach.   These lessons are at Greenbanks Swimming Pool and take place once a week.  There is a team of 5 adults for 6 pupils, including a Life Guard.  The sessions run on a rota system supporting pupils that have been identified for this intervention. This is a lot of fun and hard work – the pupils love it. 

Visual and Hearing Impairments
Pupils with these needs are supported by the Sensory Support Team – specialists with Hearing and Visual impairments (HI, VI). 
The Hearing for the Deaf Teacher is Alison Barley and the Visual Impairment support worker is Neil Wall.  We ensure hearing aids are checked regularly and in good working order.  If there are any causes for concern  we contact either specialist and support us given to the young person.  Alison and Neil visit school once every half term.  Two members of the PSI team have a BTEC Award for HI.

Sensory Room
This space can be used in three different ways, relaxation, stimulation or education.  Either of these three are valid and appropriate for our pupils.  Sessions will last between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the pupil.  This is also an ideal time to support their use of language, they say what they want to do in this room or can just experience the different equipment we have in there.  It develops confidence, experiences, and language.  It is a calm safe environment allowing pupils to spend time exploring and learning.

Exciting News !!!

The PSI department have a working party that are working together to provide Fred Nicholson school with a Sensory Interaction Room. Sensory Interaction supports children with Sensory Processing issues with how they process information through their senses.   Funding will be from the School budget, a donation from the Friends of Fred and further third sector funding is being sought due to the considerable amount this valuable resource will cost.  There will also be additional funding from the Sport Premium funding which has been set aside for the academic year 2016/17 and 2017/18.  This will contribute towards the cost of the equipment within the Sensory Interaction room. 

As this exciting venture, progresses we will keep you updated on the website.  Please follow our progress and support our fundraising activities.