Vranch House is a centre for the treatment of over 2,000 outpatients with physical difficulties, a provider of various therapies throughout Devon and an independent Day School in Exeter for children with significant physical difficulties.

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Last updated: 24/02/2024

Head of Education's Report 2017


Vranch House School Profile 2017


1.       What have been the significant changes this year?


Class changes

VIEW Curriculum

Commissioning of secondary provision at Vranch House

The introduction of Earwig Academic


1a. Class Changes

As the growth in class numbers has required, there have been further changes to teachers and support staff in each of our classes this year. Each class team is still led by a designated teacher and typically comprises a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA), a Lead Therapy Assistant (LTA) and a Teaching Assistant (TA), as well as part-time support from our Meal Time Assistants (MTA).   Where a pupil has particularly acute medical needs, these teams may also have a Health Care Assistant (HCA). HLTAs are able to cover individual sessions in cover for the class teachers and will hold at least a Level 3 qualifications.  The LTAs work closely with the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy staff allocated to Vranch House to ensure delivery of best practice in classes regarding postural management, positioning, exercise programs and use of specialist equipment to promote physical development.

This year we welcomed two new class teachers to the Vranch House team: Evelyn Gawen in Class 3 and Zoe Gilbert in our new Class 4.  Both Zoe and Evelyn come to us having had a wide and varied experience of teaching and supporting children and young people with SEN and have already had a positive impact on the teaching and learning at Vranch House.

The current staff allocation for each class is as follows:

Class 1

Class 2

Class 3

Class 4

Teacher: Dee Bradshaw

HLTA: Ronnie Lye

LTA: Helen House

MTAs: Michala Smith, Kerstie Davies (P/T), Mel Lynch (P/T), Lauren Millington

Teacher: Chloe Bond

HLTA: Chelsea Armstrong

LTA: Debbie Prout

TA: Charlotte Davey (P/T)

MTAs: Kay Dennis, Coleen Kelly

Teacher: Evelyn Gawen

TAs: Sandra Selley, Adrian Jackson

HCA: Tammy Brown

MTAs: Karen Finn, Teresa Sprague, Charlotte Davey

Teacher: Zoe Gilbert

HLTA: Sam Woodcock

LTA: Julie Lobb

MTAs: Laura Madden, Adelle Gale

Number of pupils: 6

Number of pupils:6

Number of pupils:6

Number of pupils:3

NB: All staff allocations and pupil numbers were correct at time of printing and may be subject to change.

1b. VIEW Curriculum

In order to achieve the wide spectrum of aims and aspirations for our pupils at Vranch House, as set out in our ‘Curriculum Policy', we have continued to develop the ‘Vranch Individual Education and Wellbeing (VIEW)' Curriculum.  This pupil needs-led and highly individualised approach to teaching and learning is the core of our Education provision at Vranch House and covers three broad areas of developmental progress: Communication & Cognition, Physical Development and Experience and Expression.  Recent developments include our Specialist Speech & Language Therapist, Michelle Weick, really driving forward the Communication & Cognition domain.   Together with other Vranch House therapists, she has also developed ‘People Play,' a new approach to fostering early peer-interaction and social skills. 

A broad outline of this curriculum can be seen below:

Vranch Individual Education and Wellbeing (VIEW) Curriculum



Communication & Cognition


Physical Development


Experience and Expressi

Areas of development

Pre-intentional Communication

  • Receptive (understanding)

- Gestures

- Understanding of nouns+verbs

- Attention to adults/peers and environment

  • Expressive (using)

-  Split attention

-  Turn taking, eye contact

-  Split attention

- Initiating ‘conversation' with peers

Intentional Communication

  • Receptive (understanding)

- Working memory

- Attention to an environment

- Joint attention

- Concept of size

- Concept of time

-  Language of position

  • Expressive (using)

-  Maintaining a dialogue with peers/adults

-           Accept/agree, reject/refuse

Gain attention, request and respond

Share information

Emotional and Social advocacy

-           Expresses likes and dislike (preferences)

- Impulse control

-           Emotional control, identifies and names:

o    Emotions of others

o    Own emotions

o    Reason for emotion

-           Indicates preferences in people/events/


-           Flexible thinking

-           Self-monitoring/

-           regulation

-           Planning and prioritising

-           Task initiation

-           Organisation


Physical wellbeing

- Body schema/map

- Weight bearing

- Changing position

-   Physiotherapy and OT plans

-  Core strength

-  Recognising and expressing pain/discomfort

-  Endurance and dexterity

- Personal hygiene routines

Working towards independence

- Orientation and mobility

- Developing modes of movement

- Engaging with safe and unfamiliar places

- Concept of money

- Overcoming obstacles

Integrating the senses

-   Proprioception

- Cause & effect

- Residual Vision

- Residual hearing


-   Tactile and Haptic

- Smell & Taste

- Sensory Integration

-  De-sensitising

Exploration and creativity

- Cooking

- Movement to music

- Making music

- Exploring art media and methods

- Craftwork

- Horticulture


For further details on the VIEW Curriculum and how this relates to the Early Year Foundation Stage (EYFS) and National Curriculum, please see our Curriculum Policy at http://www.vranchhouse.org/about-vranch-house/downloads/curriculum-policies/ or contact me directly for a hard copy of this policy.

1c. Commissioning of secondary provision at Vranch House

It has long been a request from Parents and Carers of children attending Vranch House that we extend our school to include secondary aged pupils.  The Management Team of Vranch House have repeatedly offered to provide this to our Commissioners, Devon County Council (DCC) 0-25 SEN Team and, in May 2017, Vranch House were formally asked by the DCC 0-25 SEN Team to explore how we might deliver this provision.   In September 2017 we opened our first secondary class, Class 4, with four pupils and Zoe Gilbert as a new class teacher for Vranch House.  This new provision now forms part of our Core Offer and has received positive feedback from all those who have accessed this exciting new provision so far.  The ASDAN ‘Transition Challenge' program of work has also proven to be wholly complimentary to the VIEW Curriculum in developing skills for adulthood and has given a meaningful framework to trips out to access local services and engage with the local community. 

1d. The introduction of Earwig Academic 

Assessment of developmental progress against our highly individualised and bespoke VIEW curriculum requires an assessment tool that can be tailored to meet our needs as a staff.  After a great deal of research and comparison, I found that the online software offered by Earwig Academic fits this brief perfectly.

The assessment area within Earwig can accommodate all conventional assessment structures and this has allowed us to upload the developmental targets of the VIEW Curriculum for use as our assessment criteria.  Having our evidence capture and assessment marking forms housed in one software package means that staff are now able to complete the whole process; from evidence capture to assessment and evaluation of this evidence, in one highly efficient and short input on a tablet device or PC.

The introduction of the Earwig system also provides a secure login for every parent, so that they can see each new record as it is made.  Parents and carers have given very positive feedback so far about their experience of accessing their child's timeline in Earwig, not least of all how it makes after-school chats between parent and child much more relevant and helps to encourage shared best practices between home and school.


2.       Outcomes for pupil at Vranch House School

2a. Progress and Achievement of our pupils

Last year, following a scrutiny of achievement against outcomes set at Annual Reviews, I set myself and the teaching staff the following tasks:

  • To increase the number of targets ‘Achieved' and reduce the number of ‘Partially Achieved' targets by working closely with the teachers to ensure all targets set are observable, focussed in term of progress anticipated and realistically achievable within an academic year (or with few exceptions, by the end of a Key Stage).
  • To reduce the number of ‘Not Achieved' tagets by ensuring outcomes are not critically dependent on a pupil being in full health for the whole academic year.

Comparison of outcome data from 2015-16 compared to the 2016-17 data

Academic year

Outcomes Achieved

Outcomes Partially Achieved


Not Achieved










↓ 1.59%

↓ 13.62%

↑ 13.28


Although the number of ‘Partially Achieved' outcomes had, as per the goal set last year, decreased since last analysis of outcomes data, this had not been due to a corresponding increase in ‘Achieved' targets.  Conversely in fact, and of most concern, was the marked increase in the number of targets now being recorded as ‘Not Achieved'.  As with most numerical analysis of data relating to the measurement of human activity, these figures do not give the complete story of the activity behind them.

The individual development-focussed nature of the VIEW Curriculum has seen many of the previous Annual Review Outcomes, set when the curriculum was subject-driven, become outmoded and no longer appropriate.  As we are still part-way through the journey of moving all Outcomes for pupils from previous subject-based ones to VIEW-based in content, these now-irrelevant Outcomes have been recorded as ‘Not Achieved' as there is no category of ‘No Longer Appropriate'.  

Other Outcomes marked ‘Not Achieved' were phrased ‘By the end of Key Stage 2...', or similar; a period of time covering 3 school academic years and chronological 4 years.  Framing an Outcome with success tied to an end-behaviour expected after 4 years has meant that we cannot legitimately state that these targets were even ‘Partially Achieved' at the time of the Annual Review, so ‘Not Achieved' was recorded.   We are still part-way through replacing such inappropriate Outcomes with smaller-step VIEW-linked Outcomes that describe expected small-step progress achievable by the next Annual Review (12 months from the date of Annual Review).

I will of course continue to support and ensure rigour in the setting of outcomes, and achievement against them, for all pupils at Vranch House each academic year.  In future reports however I will look to use the VIEW curriculum data captured by Earwig to give a truer account of pupil progress.  I will continue to produce the percentages of Outcomes review data (as above), but will do so with a narrative for fluctuations over those from the previous year, as opposed to setting perhaps unachievable increases or reductions in percentages ‘Achieved' or otherwise. 

3.       School Development Plan

The School Development Plan (SDP) is written by the Head of Education each year after evaluating the successes, challenges and areas for improvement within the school and agreed with the Management Team.  Sound progress has been made against the SDP for 2017/18 and the main points of focus for this academic year under Ofsted ‘Areas of Development' are as follows:


Area for development

Action for development

A.      Effectiveness of Leadership & Management

A1. Implementation of revised Induction programme for new staff

A2. Provision of Post 12 education and services

A3. PMR and Wellbeing supervisions to be introduced for HLTAs

B.      Quality of Teaching, Learning & Assessment

B1. Development of the VIEW Curriculum

B2. Develop the secondary provision offer

B3. Earwig Academic to be effectively used to produce statistics on progress against the VIEW Curriculum

B4. Further improve use of AAC across the school

C.    Personal Development, Behaviour & Welfare

C1. Replace RM Integris with a non-MiS reliant method of recording and reporting pupil attendance

C2. Further improve Parental/Carer engagement through extended use of Earwig Academic

C3. Introduce half termly Ability, Behaviour and Cognition (ABC) award assemblies

D.   Effectiveness of Early Years Provision

D1. Staff Training on writing Outcomes and setting targets

D2. Repeat audit of Outcomes achieved by class and by Key Stage


E.       Outcomes for Pupils


E1 EYFS to be mapped across to the VIEW Curriculum

E2. Earwig Academic to be used to capture EYFS progress

E3. Gain Parent/Carer input to completing the EYFS profile


The satisfaction questionnaire for parents was issued in January 2018, as per the previous year's surveys, to gauge parental satisfaction with all we deliver here under the Core Offer at Vranch House School.  The results of this survey will be published on the school notice board in Reception at Vranch House and I hope to publish these on the Vranch House website in the near future.