The Hive FAQ’s

The Hive FAQs

The Hive Frequently Asked Questions

What are the current class numbers in The Hive and what is the plan for expansion?

For the academic year 2021-2022, we have 7 children in our EYFS/KS1 class and 8 children in our KS2 class. From September 2023, when we will reach full capacity, we will have 9 children in our EYFS/KS1 class and 12 children in our KS2 class. This equates to three children in each year group from Reception to Year 6, allowing one child per mainstream class

What is the staff to child ratio in The Hive?

There is one class teacher in each class. In addition, we have a Higher Level Teaching Assistant who works across both classes. We also have three Teaching Assistants across the centre and from September 2022 this will be four, allowing two Teaching Assistants in each class.

What is the staff to child ratio in The Hive?

A member of staff from The Hive will go to the mainstream with each year group. Each child is generally in a different mainstream class so the adult splits their time between these classrooms. Children from the centre are not automatically entitled to 1:1 support during their mainstream time.

How long do the children spend in their mainstream class?

Our aim is for each child to spend 50% of their day with their mainstream peers. This includes playtime and the lunch hour. However we are flexible and have provision available for children to eat their lunch in the quieter environment of The Hive if necessary. If a child is really struggling with their mainstream time, we do revisit their timetable in order to break up or reduce their time in mainstream.

What does a typical day look like?

Each child’s timetable varies based on their own individual needs. A general overview of a child’s day based on their year group is as follows:

  Reception Key Stage 1 Key Stage 2
Morning In The Hive covering phonics, English and maths activities as well as working on individual EHCP targets. Lego therapy and Zones of Regulation are also covered. In their mainstream class covering phonics, English and maths. In The Hive covering maths, English and guided reading as well as working on individual EHCP targets. Lego therapy and Zones of Regulation are also covered.
Lunch In The Hive to eat lunch and then join mainstream peers on the playground. In The Hive to eat lunch and then join mainstream peers on the playground. In the dining hall to eat lunch and on the playground with their mainstream peers.
Are the children included in all school activities?

Wherever possible, yes! On a twice-weekly basis the children attend assemblies with their key stage. They also take part in whole school sports days, talks from visitors and school trips. Some of these trips include:

Little Street in Reception
Pizza Express in Year 1
Natural History Museum in Year 2
Butser Farm in Year 3
Hampton Court Palace in Year 4
Residential Trip in Year 5
Guildford Spectrum in Year 6

What is the class set up in mainstream including number of children?

We are a three form entry primary school with a nursery attached. We therefore have approximately 700 children on roll in the whole school. Our mainstream classes have 30 children in and the children who access The Hive go in to these classes as an additional person. There is one class teacher in each class and teaching assistants who work across the year group in most cases.

What subjects are taught in The Hive/mainstream classes?

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum or the National Curriculum dependent on the child’s ability therefore we cover the same subjects in The Hive and mainstream classes. For further information on which subjects are taught where, please see the timetable of a typical day.

What subjects are taught in The Hive/mainstream classes?

Not necessarily. Funding for centre placements works differently to a mainstream placement therefore any hours that your child may have on their EHCP before joining will no longer be honoured when they join us. For further information on adult support, please see questions 2 and 3.

How can the teachers teach across KS1 or KS2 in The Hive effectively?

Although the children are in classes based on their age, they are often grouped in class according to ability. The curriculum is adapted to meet the needs of all children and covers a range of different learning styles. For example, a simple maths lesson on addition might see one child adding single digit numbers together at the same time as a different child is adding two digit numbers together. One child might be adding using a whiteboard pen and a numberline whilst another might be finding and counting different items around the room. The learning styles and abilities of the children are reviewed regularly in order to inform the teacher’s planning.

How differentiated is the work in mainstream?

The Hive teachers work closely with the mainstream teachers during planning sessions to ensure that lessons are adapted to meet the children’s needs. This has included (but is not limited to) providing extra visual supports, making science sessions more practical and pre-teaching new vocabulary.

Can the timetable be flexible if a child can’t access mainstream?

Yes we can be flexible and adapt a child’s individual timetable if they are struggling to access mainstream. However, our intention is that children with us are able to spend 50% of their time in the mainstream setting and benefit from the social aspect of schooling that this provides. Therefore, if a child was having regular difficulties accessing the mainstream learning, we would look to involve other professionals and parents at an annual review to discuss whether a centre placement attached to a mainstream school is the most appropriate.

What therapies are used in the centre?

We have a designated Speech and Language Therapist as well as a Speech and Language Therapy Assistant who both spend a day in the centre each week. They work with the children as well as the centre and mainstream staff in order to provide relevant training to support the children with their target work. Although we don’t have other designated therapists on site regularly, we have welcomed Occupational Therapists, Educational Psychologists and staff from Freemantles and LEAP in to the centre to work with specific children.

How are transitions managed?

We aim to keep transitions to a minimum throughout the day but inevitably, in a school of our size, there are still transitions to be managed. This can take various different forms dependent on the child however the main aim is to keep these transitions at the same time and via the same route each day. Another strategy that we have used to ease anxieties around transition is giving children a job to complete for the teacher at transition times in order to distract them.

Can I have a tour of The Hive?

We do not offer specific tours of The Hive itself as we do not want to disturb the children’s routine and impact on their learning. Once your child is named as coming to The Hive, we will be more than happy to allow you to visit The Hive and see the learning environment that your child will be in. In the meantime, look out for the Bell Farm tours advertised and do sign up to these. It is important for you to see the mainstream environment as your child will be spending 50% of their day here. There will also be an opportunity at the end of these tours to ask the Headteacher any questions.

What support is there for children with a lot of sensory needs?

We are lucky to have an ever-growing bank of sensory resources to support the children, ranging from ear defenders to a black out tent. Some of the children’s particular favourite resources are water beads, the trampoline, the bubble tube with multi-coloured fish and the reflective balls under the fairy lights. We run a sensory circuit each day in Honeybees class and provide opportunities for sensory and movement breaks throughout the day when children need them.

My child is non-verbal, are they a suitable candidate for The Hive?

Our staff have had training in the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) as well as Makaton. We use a lot of visual prompts and aided language boards in the learning environment to support children with their communication. Our Speech and Language team are also on hand to support with the most effective communication methods for the children. It is important to remember though that your child will be spending 50% of their time in the mainstream environment and will not necessarily have 1:1 support available to help them with their communication in this busier environment.

My child’s EHCP says High COIN but they are unable to access mainstream at all in their current setting, how can this be managed?

It is important to think about WHY your child is not accessing mainstream learning in their current environment. We will begin by putting support strategies in place to address any particular difficulties. These could include providing social stories to explain the expectations of the mainstream environment, allowing movement breaks to split mainstream time into more manageable chunks, adapting work to be more practical or providing ear defenders to lessen the volume of the classroom. If necessary, we can reduce the amount of time that your child spends in the mainstream environment however this limits the social opportunities that come with this part of their placement in a centre attached to a mainstream school. When a child joins us, any funding that they have for 1:1 support does not automatically come with them.