We are extremely lucky to be able to work in partnership with two of the mainstream schools within Maritime Trust to create satellite provisions. The satellites are based at Featherby and Bligh Primary Schools.
The creation of the satellites has meant that we have been able to increase the number of places that we can offer to children with special educational needs in Medway. In very simple terms we rent the space from the mainstream schools to increase capacity. The pupils and staff within the satellites are Danecourt pupils and Danecourt staff.
The children attending the satellites will have access to -
- The same curriculum offer and opportunities to those children attending Danecourt@Gillingham
- Access to whole school and seasonal special events
- Wear the same uniform to the children attending Danecourt@Gillingham
- Danecourt named within their EHCP
- Access to school transport
The staff working in the satellite provisions also receive the same training as any other member of staff at Danecourt, as well as having access to the same development opportunities.
The admission process for places at the satellites is the same as for Danecourt@Gillingham. A decision regarding where a child will be most appropriately placed will be made as part of the admissions process. Children do transition between sites during their time at Danecourt, for example it is felt appropriate, moving from Danecourt@Gillingham to Danecourt@Bligh, however this would always be done in consultation with parents/carers. Furthermore, if it is felt necessary for a child to move from one of the satellites back to Danecourt@Gillingham this move would be supported.
The satellites are overseen on a daily basis by teachers based within the satellites, who are also part of the Danecourt Leadership Team. The development and leadership of the satellite provisions is led by Zoe Smith (Deputy Headteacher).
Danecourt at Featherby is the provision for our Foundation Stage children (Year R). The provision is located just a few minutes away from the Gillingham site on the Featherby Primary School site and led by Megan Tutty, who is the Early Years Lead at Danecourt School.
Danecourt at Featherby is currently run as two classes - Hedgehog and Owl Class, with capacity for up to 24 children. Both classes have their own classroom and shared learning spaces that include a sensory room, soft play, multisensory space, small group learning space, toilets, changing facilities and a large outside area. Being a smaller setting the transition from nursery/ preschool has been very successful for our children. Lots of the children's learning is supported through play and exploration too which is familiar to them.
The children attending Danecourt@Featherby are supported in adult directed activities in addition to through their play. This support is delivered both in small groups and 1:1 this is through activities such as 'Attention Everyone', Sensology, Squiggle whilst you wiggle and yoga to name just a few. Each child is assigned a key person who will invest time in getting to know each key child, the way they learn and their targets so they can find opportunities to support learning at all times. Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy targets are also supported with guidance from the NHS and our inhouse therapy team. The children who attend Danecourt at Featherby are offered rich early years play opportunities with the support of a personalised SEND approach.
The children who attend Danecourt at Featherby also regularly visit Danecourt at Gillingham. This enables the children access to a range of additional outdoor learning activities as well as Rebound Therapy. It also provides the children with the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the environment that they will continue their school journey when they transition from reception to year 1. This has proven extremely beneficial for a smooth transition for the children moving from Featherby to Gillingham. The children who attend Danecourt at Featherby DO NOT need to apply to Danecourt at Gillingham as we are one school just at different locations.
The children attending Danecourt@Bligh are typically in key stage 2 (years 3 - 6). The provision is located in the heart of Bligh Primary School, although the satellite does benefit from its own entrance and playground. Bligh Primary School is located in Strood and about 25 minutes away from Danecourt@Gillingham. Danecourt@Bligh is led by Megan King who is the class teacher within Leopard Class and a Senior Leader of Learning.
Danecourt@Bligh consists of three classes and has capacity for up to 36 children, all of whom are based within one of the three classes. In addition to the classrooms the provision also has a shared space that is also where the children eat their lunch. As well as the spaces within the satellite, the children attending Danecourt@Bligh also benefit from accessing some of Bligh’s provisions including their amazing Forest School space.
The curriculum offered to the children attending Danecourt@Bligh is the same as the curriculum offered to the children attending Danecourt@Gillingham. The teachers work collaboratively to plan for children across the school. Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy targets are also supported with guidance from the NHS and our inhouse therapy team.
The children at Danecourt@Bligh also have the opportunity to visit Danecourt@Gillingham, with access to school minibuses to transport the children between the sites.