Topic outline

  • New Curriculum model

    Cross-curriculum Responsibilities: Literacy, numeracy and digital competence


    There is a range of competences and skills which are foundations for almost all learning and are essential to being able to participate successfully and confidently in the modern world. Priority has already been given to literacy and numeracy within the Welsh curriculum through the LNF, including Routes to literacy and Routes to numeracy (RFL). Digital competence is increasingly fundamental to learning and life and that it should have similar status within the curriculum to that of literacy and numeracy. Literacy, numeracy and digital competence should be Cross-curriculum Responsibilities for all teachers and people who work with children and young people. The curriculum structure needs to ensure that children and young people develop high levels of competence in these aspects and have frequent opportunities to develop, extend and apply them across the curriculum.


    Competence in literacy, including competence in the spoken word, syntax and spelling, is essential for learning across the curriculum, not least because of the fundamental role of language in thinking. The key to developing command of these skills lies not in repetition and drill for significant periods of time during the school day but in a sound understanding of their essential components supported by developmentally appropriate teaching and learning and rich contexts within which they can be reinforced, extended and applied. Without this, as one contributor remarked, ‘There is a real danger that we are teaching the mechanics of writing but giving the children nothing to write about’. Children and young people also need every opportunity to explain thinking, explore and discuss ideas and use language skills at an appropriate level. The literacy component of the LNF provides guidance about a common approach to the reinforcement of such skills at different developmental stages.


    Competence in numeracy, including arithmetical and data-handling skills, is deployed widely across the curriculum, and competence in numeracy is essential for independent living and work. Children and young people need regular opportunities to deepen their understanding of number and, as with literacy, to reinforce and use their numeracy skills in different contexts. It is important that all teachers and other staff who work with children and young people have an understanding of how best to reinforce these skills and take opportunities to consolidate learning appropriately. The numeracy component of the LNF provides guidance about a common approach to the reinforcement of such skills at different developmental stages.


    Digital competence plays an increasingly powerful role in the lives of children and young people, for communication, networking, information, leisure and entertainment as well as for an increasing range of transactions and educational applications. The ability to use digital technology skills creatively is an increasingly common feature of the modern workplace, for example for developing simulated models that test out ideas safely and inexpensively or when using complex medical equipment that needs to be reprogrammed to match the patient’s individual needs.

    Enrichment Curriculum

    In its recent Successful Futures report  the Welsh Assembly has challenged schools to use the curriculum imaginatively to help children become:

    1. ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives
    2. enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work
    3. ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world, ready to be citizens of Wales and the world
    4. healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society

    At Ysgol Pencoch all staff are involved in the new curriculum for which there are six areas of learning and experience:- 

    • Expressive Arts
    • The expressive arts provide opportunities to explore thinking, refine, and communicate ideas, engaging thinking, imagination and senses creatively. They also promote exploration of issues of personal and cultural identity.The Expressive Arts Area of Learning and Experience will span art, drama, music, dance, film and digital media.
    • Humanities
    • The Humanities area of learning and experience helps pupils to learn about people, place, time and belief. It  gives them an understanding of themselves and other people, their own locality, Wales and the world in a range of times, places and circumstances.
    • Mathematics and Numeracy
    • The Mathematics and Numeracy area of learning and experience is concerned with developing a good, lasting understanding of mathematical concepts and the confidence to use and apply numerical skills in everyday life. It includes experiences that enable pupils to develop their broader numeracy and financial skills by exploring relationships in quantities, space and data, and to apply them to real-life situations.
      Mathematics helps pupils  to make sense of the world around them and to manage their lives. It gives them skills they need to interpret and analyse information, solve problems and make informed decisions. 
    • Health and Well Being
    • Our pupils need to experience social, emotional and physical well-being to thrive and engage successfully with their education. The Health and Well-being area of learning and experience will help them to build the knowledge, understanding and skills that will enable them to develop positive and appropriate relationships, deal with the difficult issues and decisions they will face and learn to live independently.
    • Language, Literacy and Communication
    • This area of learning and experience provides the building blocks for different forms of communication, literacy and learning about language, and also opportunities to develop competence in different languages.
      Being able to listen attentively and communicate effectively are crucial to learning and living. Developing and expressing ideas through speech is important to both thinking and learning.
    •  The teaching and learning of Welsh is a priority for the Welsh Government.
    • Science and Technology
    • Science and Technology are closely linked, each depending upon the other. Science involves acquiring knowledge through observation and experimentation, and technology applies scientific knowledge in practical ways. This area of learning and experience encourages curiosity about the  natural, physical world and universe through investigating, understanding, and explaining.  
      The Science and Technology area of learning and experience draws on physics, chemistry and biology, engineering, design technology, graphics and computer science.

    Staff have each joined one of the above areas.
    There are also three cross-curriculum responsibilities – literacy, numeracy and digital competence and where appropriate, both a Welsh dimension and an international perspective will be included.

    At Ysgol Pen Coch we have been freed up to deliver a truly specialist curriculum to meet the practical learning needs of our children.  Our new afternoon sessions will provide enrichment activities with greater focus on life skills, social skills, body awareness and becoming engaged in the world around.

    How it will work:

    • morning sessions will retain their focus on language and communication, mathematical development, personal and social development, digital competence and Welsh
    • afternoon sessions will focus on five curriculum enrichment areas (outlined on the other side of this leaflet) - your child’s class will experience each of the enrichment areas, one afternoon per week
    • each teacher is responsible for one of the enrichment areas and will plan to ensure that your child has the right experiences within that area
    • learning will still be guided by annual targets and termly IEPs
    • you can still request specific therapies apart from the afternoon activities
    • we will still use home school diaries for day to day communication

     What this will mean for your child:

    • greater access to therapeutic and individualised activities
    • afternoon sessions that are more focused on his/her needs
    • more time in activities away from tables and chairs in the classroom
    • communication with and from school will be clearer as your child will have only one class teacher with lead responsibility for him/her

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  • Using my body

    Using My Body

    During these sessions your child will take part in activities that build whole body skills, strength and co-ordination - these are called gross motor skills.  These will be delivered on both a group and an individual basis according to need.

    Activities to include:

    gym, Sherborne movement, dance, riding, ball skills, boccia, rebound therapy, athletics, physiotherapy, swimming

  • Playing and Being with Others

    Playing and Being With Others

    Playing is a hugely important part of everyone’s life.  It is, simply, fun.  But actually play is how people, and especially children, are designed to learn.  We learn best when we are enjoying ourselves.  We want to do those fun activities again and again.  We try out all sorts of things we could never do for real, find out about how the world works, tell stories, children get to be in control and safely practice life like situations. 

    When we play with others we learn about turn taking, sharing, other people’s feelings, waiting, giving and taking.  So play is the “work” for these sessions.

    Activities to include:

    DIR Floortime (structured play), performing arts, Incredible Years programme, WiiBuilding Club (Lego based therapy), Venture Into Play, Therapeutic play.

  • Out and about

    Out and About

    Your child will spend this afternoon getting out and about, with lots of hands on experiences.  Different activities will be scheduled across the year, with practical life skills back at school when the weather is too bad for a class to go out.

    Activities to include:

    Forest Schools, shopping, Creative Arts project (Transition project with Ysgol Maes Hyfryd at Eco Centre) cooking, swimming, community visits, RDA (riding).


  • Using my hands

    Using My Hands

    This is the time for your child to develop their hand strength and skills using hand-eye co-ordination activities.  There will be lots of creative fun for fiddly fingers!  Building concentration and practice will also be important here.

    Activities to include:

    Wizard Club (magic therapy), computer skills, art and crafts,therapeutic music

  • Just Being Me

    Just Being Me

    These sessions  concentrate on health and wellbeing, with sensory activities to help your child relax, focus and develop their personal and body awareness.

    Activities to include:

    reflexology, story massage, TACPAC (tactile communication), Soundbeam, Skoog music, vibroacoustic therapy, Virtual Reality(learning confidence in unfamiliar situations), neurofeedback, AIT (auditory integration therapy) Irlen Lens training, Eye -Gaze training.


  • Assessment

    Assessment reports YPC

    Here at Ysgol Pen Coch we assess the progress of our pupils using the assessment package ‘BSquared’ and also Routes for Learning (RfL) for pupils performing below P4. RfL is currently being updated by a working party for the  Welsh government. Lynne Harkin represents Pen Coch on that working party.

    BSquared is a standardised assessment package which shows small steps of progress within National Curriculum and P Scales allowing teachers to track the progress of individual pupils in order to plan next steps in their learning. P Scales are a set of descriptions for recording the achievement of pupils with additional learning needs (ALN) who are working towards the National Curriculum levels. The P scales are split into eight different levels with P1 being the lowest and P8 the highest with National Curriculum level 1 following on from P8.

    The B Squared assessment package is currently used in over 3000 schools across the UK. Assessment at Ysgol Pen Coch is important for several reasons. It allows teachers:


    • To find out what a pupil knows, understands and can do
    • To find out what a pupil cannot yet do
    • To check that a pupil has learnt the main teaching points of the day or week
    • To find out whether a pupil is ready to move on to the next activity, there by informing teacher’s planning
    • To discover what progress a pupil has made over time
    • To help set clear targets for individual improvement
    • To enable teachers to intervene with strategies to support pupils with their learning e.g. PECS, TEACCH, Makaton, iPads
    • To report to parents and other professionals on individual achievement and progress in relation to individual education plans and units of work


    Every pupil in school has an assessment file which contains the pupils’ assessment information. Within the file you will find evidence in the form of pieces of work, photographic evidence and evidence compiled through staff observations to prove that a pupil has achieved a particular P level and/or National curriculum level for the different subjects. Pupils’ Annual Targets and IEPs, as well as evidence of tests that pupils have taken are also kept within this file.

    For more information regarding assessment at Ysgol Pen Coch please do not hesitate to contact myself or your child’s class teacher.

    Many thanks, Sian Griffiths (Assessment Co-ordinator)

    Assessment Criteria

    1. Encounter: The student is present for the activity without any obvious awareness of progression

    Awareness: the student appears to notice or fleetingly focus on an object, person, or event during the activity

    3Attention & Response: the student begins to respond though not consistently to what is happening during the activity, by example, showing signs of surprise, enjoyment or rejection

    4Engagement: The student gives sustained and consistent attention to the supporting adult or stimulus by for example listening, looking, following with their eyes

    5Participation: The student is fully involved in the activity for its duration and occasionally but not consistently actively responds to an adults’ lead. They will show enjoyment of the process in their own way

     6Imitation: the student is fully involved in the activity and will imitate showing some independence

     7Student Initiation: The student is fully involved in the activity and will experiment and be proactive within it.

    Assessment report 2010 -11
    IEP Guide File
    AfL File
    Latest Book Scrutiny File
    Latest book scrutiny File
    POPAT Within Ysgol Pen Coch
    CASPA and Assessment Reports


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