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Learning & Cognition Specialist Resource Base (SRB)

What makes us special?

Welcome to the Supernova Specialist Resource Base. We are a Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Learning and Cognition unit based in Hillcrest school, in Downham Market. 

We provide placements to children from schools in the west of the county who are experiencing difficulties with their learning in the classroom.

Hillcrest’s Supernova SRB can currently provide provision for ten KS1 and ten KS2 students in our brand-new building; the children spend four full days working in the SRB, and Fridays in their home school. Placements generally last for two terms, after which time the children are supported in their return to their home school classrooms. The SRB gives the children opportunities to develop independent learning skills by offering an adapted curriculum designed to enhance confidence and self-esteem alongside building basic skills. 

This is part of Norfolk’s Local Offer for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Further information relating to the programme can be found at

Our excellent educational provision has been acknowledged by Norfolk County Council, resulting in the school being identified as the site for a new SRB. The new Specialist Resource Base in the west of the county will act as a hub for pupils requiring specialist educational support for pupils with Learning and Cognition Needs.

This is an exciting opportunity to build upon the excellent work that our staff already undertake by sharing our combined skills, experience and enthusiasm to the benefit of pupils from beyond our traditional catchment area.


Who are our SRB staff?

The KS1 lead teacher for Peake class is Miss Stretton, an experienced SEND teacher, Music and drama specialist and Sign-a-long tutor. She is supported by Mrs Drake, an experienced HLTA in early years and KS1 and Mrs Pryor, an experienced TA.

Miss Stretton
Mrs Drake








Mrs Pryor


The KS2 lead teacher for Sharman class from September will be Mrs Freeman, an experienced mainstream teacher. She is supported by Mrs Gyton and Miss Skinner, two extremely experienced Teaching Assistants from Hillcrest.

Mrs Gyton
Mrs Freeman





Miss Skinner

What are our aims?

The staff in the supernova SRB are committed to finding out how we can best support the students in our classes and support the home schools to implement new strategies and ideas. We create a bespoke holistic curriculum that is target driven and based on overlearning skills to mastery. Students have the opportunity to get 1:1 and small group support throughout the day and the opportunity to experience different ways of learning.

When arriving, students will be assessed in Maths, English and Phonics on entry to the Supernova SRB.

They will then be given bi-weekly targets based on gaps in their knowledge identified by the tests.

Lessons will be based around the students' targets linked to a central book theme.

Learning will be tailored to the student’s emerging needs using a variety of different strategies. The aim is to find the way your children learn best and apply that to their home school.

Current strategies we use include, Sign supported English, Visual organisers, symbols, Colourful semantics, Repetitive word work, Daily phonics, Target specific independent tasks, continuous provision and small group interventions.


Below is an example of a day in The Supernova SRB.

Morning welcome and morning chat with a soft start fine motor activity. This helps promote teamwork and speaking and listening skills.

Phonics lesson. Starting off with a short direct instruction using actions and signing to help build words. Following this an opportunity to build words and sentences through a variety of activities and strategies.

English lesson. An extension of our phonics lessons we introduce the key concept or target area and then have an opportunity to practice and develop those writing skills. Our English lessons are based around a book.

Brain break

Maths: Hands-on maths activities with small groups for targeted support.

Play time. We have our own playground with a variety of toys and sensory play opportunities. Sand, water, bubbles and building. The students are deciding what we need to put in next.

Focus 40: This is a focused target based session where we can work on student’s specific targets and reteach any misconceptions.

Colourful semantics: A variety of comprehension and sentence building activities linked to colourful semantics. Who? What doing? What? And when?

Lunch: Students will go to the dining hall with a teaching assistant and eat their lunch with members of hillcrest school. This will be followed by a outdoor play session in out outside area.

Task time: The students will be given a challenge or a task to complete in a group or with a partner to develop different working skills.

Topic Time: Each week we will do a cross curricular learning covering all aspects of the curriculum. Including, Music, art, drama, Design technology and outdoor learning based on our topic book.



If you would like your child to be considered for a place at Hillcrest's SRB please speak to the SENDCo at your child's school. 

Visits to the SRB can be organised by contacting the school office.