The curriculum offered to each student is based on their own specific needs. The lessons planned throughout the school day are based on the National Curriculum but modified and differentiated to meet pupil's needs. Specific teaching programmes are also incorporated into the day based on individual need. These might include specific therapeutic programmes, PECS, Intensive Interaction sessions, music therapy sessions, sensory integration, TEACCH, and 1:1 teaching sessions.
The teaching approaches used and the focus on the curriculum changes throughout the child's school life. When they first start school there is a focus on early learning skills, however in Key Stage 4 and Post 16 there is an increased focus on preparing for independence and life after school.
Pupils are disapplied from SATS, however, where appropriate they will be entered for external qualifications in their latter years at school. These will primarily be qualifications which are based on portfolios of evidence and experience, however for those students who are capable we will enter them for appropriate examination based qualifications.
EYFS & Key Stage 1
Our EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) class delivers the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 curriculum to our pupils aged 4-7 years. We know that children learn best through play, so our EYFS pupils are given every opportunity to engage, explore and interact in planned developmental play based activities. These play based activities cover the six strands of the Foundation Stage curriculum; Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World, Expressive Arts and Design, Personal Social Emotional and Physical Development. We also cover the Key Stage 1 curriculum through our topic based theme afternoon activities. As well as play based learning, over the week pupils may experience various work situations. These include Individual sessions with the teacher or teaching assistants working on individual targets, small group work with two or three children where turn taking and sharing can be supported and teaching groups of 5-8 children with a support team.
All of our children are unique and as such they learn and develop in very different ways. We plan all of our play activities and sessions around the pupil’s individual needs and learning styles. We adopt a multi-sensory approach to all aspects of our children’s learning, incorporating sessions such as Dance Massage, Tac-Pac, aromatherapy and Write- Dance into our daily timetable.
We also know how important outdoor learning is to our pupils. Our motto is ‘Outdoors Whatever the Weather’! Our children are given constant access to our outdoors area, with opportunities to access water play, ride on toys, garden areas as well as our newly developed mud kitchen.
The Lower School curriculum is enhanced through a range of enrichment opportunities and specialist interventions. Some of these include:
· Music sessions
· Music therapy
· Play therapy
· Educational visits
· Sports events and competitions
· Outdoor and adventurous activities
· Horse riding
· Charity and fundraising events
· Creative theme weeks
· Inclusion projects with local mainstream primary schools
Reading Schemes and Phonics
The reading corner is in place for EYFS students and access is evaluated and encouraged.
The reading scheme followed by keys stages one and two is that of Oxford Reading Tree. This scheme is widely known, supports phonics skills and is enjoyed by the children. We also support the teaching of our Read Write Inc Phonics scheme with the use of the Read Write Inc accompanying books.