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Larch & Blossom Unit (Hilltop @ Redwood)

The Larch and Blossom Unit, is a joint initiative between Hilltop School and Redwood Academy; aimed at developing and supporting inclusive practice.

Blossom inclusion room allows children from both Redwood Academy and Hilltop School to share their learning experiences. We believe that education should develop positive dispositions and attitudes to learning in all of our young people regardless of their needs or abilities. Key aspects of this are helping each child to develop a positive sense of self, develop their communication and interaction skills, and thus build a child’s confidence by providing motivating activities and encouraging learning and independence. Children therefore need to feel valued, welcome and accepted and this in turn will underpin each child’s attainment.

Our children need support and practice to become sociable; and thus we believe that each adult plays a vital role in creating a positive ethos that promotes inclusion. This in turn will help each child to feel valued, happy and accepted in a holistic way. It is therefore vitally important that children’s barriers to learning are not seen as insurmountable obstacles, but rather as challenges that can be overcome through a positive ethos, parental support, the involvement of staff and a flexible approach to learning.

In Blossom and Larch Rooms, we encourage all forms of communication and interaction between all children and staff; and we therefore use flexible, holistic and multisensory approaches to teaching and learning. To achieve this, staff and children are encouraged to gain some understanding of difference and are encouraged to wholeheartedly accept difference and embrace diversity

We strongly believe that it is vital that we provide personalised learning that builds on the strengths and interests of each child. This in turn, should thus help each child develop a love of learning, as they grow into a more confident and independent citizen. Evidence suggests that children with additional needs (SEND) demonstrate greater participation, communication and more positive dispositions and attitudes through their interaction with ‘typically developing’ peers. It is however, always important to remember that no matter what condition a child has; children with additional needs (SEND) are children first and are concerned about the same things as their mainstream peers, in that they want to be accepted and respected as equal and active citizens.

We believe that if we are to ensure that we live in an inclusive society we should be transmitting desired values and outcomes to our children in the early years; as this could lead to a future society where difference and diversity are valued and celebrated.