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Teaching and Learning

Staff at Soundwell consider themselves lifelong learners. Our core subjects are overseen by leaders and specialists in those areas. As curriculum leaders, we meet regularly to review our successes, areas to develop and to ensure we are sharing best practice. 

Teaching approaches at Soundwell are based on the latest research. We understand that learning needs to be carefully sequenced and planned for students to achieve their potential. Lessons at Soundwell follow these evidence-based principles:

  • Elicit and build on prior knowledge;
  • Provide models and worked examples;
  • Judicious use of scaffolds;
  • Manage pupils' mental load;
  • Provide daily retrieval activities;
  • Provide activities to promote long term memory.

Click on the core subject pages to the right to see subject specific examples of how these pedagogical principles are implemented. 

Our pupils are grouped with those who have similar aptitudes and needs rather than by academic ability in order to promote friendships and prosocial interaction. We have one Hub for pupils with a primary need relating to social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) and another Hub for those with a primary need of speech, language and communication (SLCN). There are a maximum of 8 learners in a class who are supported by a teacher and at least one learning facilitator (LF), usually two LFs, which enables us to differentiate academically.

Staff receive specialist training to meet individual needs and enable pupils to access learning. All staff are trained in trauma-responsive and restorative approaches. We are also trained to deliver play-based interventions and we are working towards becoming an Elklan accredited communication-friendly setting. Soundwell staff also receive training in helping pupils develop their sensory and emotional regulation skills.