Who’s Who for the Primary Department

  • Siân Davey – Head of Primary
  • Caroline Williams – Assistant Head
  • Beth Lye – Primary Department Lead
  • Stuart Masterton – Primary Department Lead

Primary Teachers Responsible for Areas of Learning and Experience

  • Sophie Conway – Mathematics and Numeracy
  • Rebecca Jones – Language, Literacy and Communication
  • Christine Wells – Expressive Arts
  • Carys Baker – Science and Technology
  • Emily Price – Humanities
  • Frankie Ingall – Health and Wellbeing
  • Claire Thain – Sensory Lead
  • Arwyn Jones – Digital Lead
  • Lisa Rees-Renshaw – Assistive Technology Advisory Teacher

  • Claire Morgan – Welsh Lead

General Overview of Primary

In the Primary Department at Ysgol y Deri, we support our learners in becoming ready to learn. We foster a safe, nurturing and warm environment to help our pupils thrive with a staff team who promote playfulness, curiosity, acceptance and empathy.

We start with the fundamentals of school life; teaching routine and structure, supporting the development of our pupil’s physical, emotional and sensory needs, and beginning our pupils’ journey with functional communication. Pupils are encouraged to develop attention and focus, and a curiosity about the world around them. We believe in a multi-sensory approach, and we often come home messy after an active day of learning!

Pupil-centred practice is at the heart of our department, and we encourage pupils to take risks, express their likes and dislikes, and develop knowledge and skills that are of interest to them – all of this with a view that our pupils become:

  • Ambitious, capable learners who are ready to learn throughout their lives.
  • Enterprising, creative contributors who are ready to play a full part in life and work.
  • Ethical, informed citizens who are ready to be citizens of Wales and the world.
  • Healthy confident individuals who are ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.

Through a thematic curriculum, we offer a wide range of cross-curricular learning experiences across the 6 areas of learning in line with the New Curriculum:

  • Languages, Literacy and Communication
  • Mathematics and Numeracy
  • Humanities
  • Expressive Arts
  • Science and Technology
  • Health and Wellbeing

As a department, we work closely with multidisciplinary teams (e.g. SaLT, OT) and ensure communication and regulation strategies are fully embedded within the curriculum.

Pupils also have access to a wide range of specialist opportunities including Forest Schools, Sensory Studio and Touch Therapy…to name a few.

Many of the pupils who attend Ysgol y Deri experience sensory impairments or difficulties with sensory processing. We also have pupils who have severe and profound learning difficulties who require access to a sensory curriculum in order to develop early learning skills. Therefore, a sensory approach to learning is fundamental for many of our pupils in order to help them make sense of the world around them and to develop their sensory skills. We are committed to providing each pupil with the specialist sensory provision required to best meet their needs.

Our sensory curriculum is not subject specific and can be incorporated throughout a pupil’s day. We work in a multi-disciplinary way involving teachers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists in the planning of appropriate sensory provision for pupils.


  • To help pupils to develop in all sensory areas in order to become aware of, respond to and begin to understand their world
  • To recognise and work with individual strengths and needs
  • To stimulate interest and enjoyment in learning
  • To provide all our pupils with a wider curriculum that incorporates a range of motivating activities and experiences that meet their sensory needs
  • To promote a multi-disciplinary approach for assessment and intervention
  • To work towards all our pupils achieving a ‘calm, alert state’ and ‘readiness to learn’.

Primary pupils will explore work related opportunities through a variety of meaningful experiences in learning, work, and entrepreneurship, delivered through timetabled sessions. Skills including teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, planning and organising will be implemented through the curriculum. Pupils will be encouraged to develop the attitudes and behaviours required to overcome barriers to employability, career management and lifelong learning.  These skills will be learnt through real life contexts, including role play, pupil jobs and themed activities around the world of work, including workshops, off site visits and guest speakers.

At Ysgol y Deri, we will thrive to deliver equality of access and provision for all learners. We are committed to supporting excellence and high achievement in a creative, exciting and technologically rich environment – delivering success, valuing diversity, raising self-esteem and promoting lifelong learning skills and attitudes. We are a school that caters for a wide and diverse range of differently able pupils which provides us with an exciting opportunity to explore, develop and implement a wide range of digital learning opportunities for our pupils. Digital technology has powerful implications for learning; it opens opportunities to simplify existing tasks while revolutionising others. We will provide all learners with regular opportunities to develop as capable, ambitious and responsible digital citizens who will flourish in an ever-changing digital landscape.

In the Primary Department, the ‘Digital Competence Framework (DCF)’ is embedded in teachers planning across a 4-year thematic approach where each theme focuses on a different aspect of the DCF. The pupils at Ysgol y Deri have access to a range of technologies and online learning platforms to support their digital learning across all areas of the curriculum and which provides accessibility for all. We pride ourselves on providing opportunities for all at Ysgol y Deri and our assistive technology leader works with several other professionals, such as teachers, SALT and physiotherapy, to identify pupils that require the use of assistive technology such as the use of switches to allow them to access the curriculum. A number of pupils at Ysgol y Deri have been identified as requiring personalised communication devices that are maintained by our assistive technology leader and speech and language therapists.

Through collaborating with teachers, the Pupil Support Team identify and assess pupils that are facing academic, behavioural or emotional challenges. Through regular communication and collaboration with the class team, other professionals and parents, the Pupil Support Team can offer valuable support tailored to individual pupils needs. As well as supporting pupils in their classroom environment, the PST offers opportunities for pupils to check-in throughout the day and participate in interventions for both individuals and groups; these support the pupils wellbeing needs.

Within the Primary Department, we have trained ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants) who deliver individualised support programmes to meet the emotional needs of pupils that have been identified by teachers as needing additional emotional support. ELSAs support in a variety of specific areas such as loss and bereavement, Emotional Literacy, self-esteem, social skills, friendship issues, relationships, managing strong feelings, anxiety and worries, bullying, conflict, emotional regulation, growth mindset, social and therapeutic stories and problem solving. It has been recognised that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are addressed.

Communication with parents is central to the provision we offer our pupils.  Staff teams have regular communication with parents via Class Dojo, where you will receive daily updates via class stories and be able to message the staff team or members of the Primary Leadership Team.

We hold termly events such as Coffee Mornings, ‘Stay and Play’ Sessions and Lessons Live where you can meet other parents and the teams who are central to your child’s development.

Class Dojo

Eating a healthy balanced diet and hydration is key to ensuring our pupils are ready to learn. As part of the daily routine, classes offer breakfast and snack promoting healthy options. We request a small, weekly contribution towards this provision.