7 Stars is an in-classroom provision, which provides small class support for students to focus on improving literacy and social skills. The group has twice the amount of English lessons, with a larger focus on literacy acquisition and a focus on accelerating attainment. The aim of the group is to reintegrate pupils into mainstream lessons as soon as possible.
7 Stars also stay together in their small group for most subjects across the curriculum, so they have fewer teachers and have Teaching Assistants who are always with the group. In this sense, the 7 Stars programme is based on a primary school model of learning. The students learn in a safe environment, where feelings can be explored and worked through, and where they are encouraged and supported to speak and listen appropriately and productively. Just like all other children, 7 Stars students have the opportunity to go on school trips and mix with others.
All 7 Stars teachers and support staff liaise closely with one another, so pupils receive the best possible teaching and learning opportunities. Pupils are taught writing, and lessons focus on the acquisition of key skills at word, sentence and text levels. Students receive a well-balanced curriculum that includes learning about a range of different text types. Some of the English Department schemes of work are adapted and pupils are assessed using English Assessing Pupils Progress level charts. Pupils have the opportunity to improve their spelling, and receive twenty minutes dedicated spelling teaching each day. The “Alpha to Omega” reading, writing and spelling programme is used to catch up on learning not secured at primary school. Pupils have the opportunity to raise their accuracy and comprehension reading ages. They are taught reading through dedicated daily guided reading lessons. All pupils will have his or her reading age tested regularly to ensure that progress is being made.