The Star Centre is a Milestone Academy satellite provision, located within the grounds of Dartford Primary Academy. It was formally adopted in September 2016, with the support of the governors of both schools, the LA Trust, the local authority and the regional Schools Commissioner. All pupils at the Centre have a Statement of SEN or an EHCP, and are subject to Milestone Academy’s admissions criteria. Their needs are identified as severe communication and interaction and learning difficulties and/or pupils with cognition and learning difficulties resulting from profound, severe and complex needs. The pupils based at the Star are those pupils who are able to access and benefit from inclusion opportunities with Dartford Primary Academy.
The Star Centre offers the opportunity for pupils to be educated in a specialist provision, with the same personalised approach to learning as is provided at the main site in New Ash Green. Our ethos is underpinned by our ‘Core Moral Purpose’ which guides our daily practice as we strive to provide first-class opportunities for academic and personal achievement. We offer a highly differentiated National Curriculum to meet pupil needs. We use maths and English curricula devised by the Kent Association of Special Schools (KASS) and are working in partnership with Phase 1 & 2 at Milestone Academy main site to further develop multi-sensory opportunities in our delivery of the foundation subjects. Pupils have access to a broad range of engaging and stimulating resources to help them learn, and have recently had a substantial investment of brand new maths and English equipment, chosen specifically to meet pupil need by our whole school subject leaders.
In addition, we have the capacity to offer pupils inclusion with Dartford Primary Academy, allowing them access to the social and educational benefits of a mainstream environment. Inclusion opportunities are tailor-made to match each individual pupil’s needs at the Star Centre; with all pupils sharing PE lessons, assemblies, dinner and/or playtimes with their mainstream peers. Some of our pupils access further inclusion within mainstream classes for maths, science and ICT to provide further challenge where this is appropriate and beneficial to their learning.
There are three classes in the Star Centre; a Key Stage 1 class and an upper and a lower Key Stage 2 class. Pupils are supported by a class teacher and usually three other members of staff, depending on class numbers and pupil need. We work closely with families and believe that collaborative working between home and school always leads to the best outcomes for students.
Staff have access to the same training as their main site colleagues, and take part in whole-school activities such as training and moderation to ensure consistency across the settings. We have a well-resourced outdoor area, including a playground and a pond. We are very excited about further developing our outdoor area with new play and learning resources, and are especially looking forward to our complete Star Centre rebuild which will be beginning in 2017. This will give us a more purpose-built space, with the capacity for a SMILE (Sensory-Motor Integration Learning Experience) Time space, and areas where pupils can work in small groups or with 1:1 support.
If you have any queries about the The Star Centre, or would like to arrange a visit, we can be contacted using the main school telephone number.