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Our Curriculum

Our holistic curriculum is designed around key elements which underpin our vision for the school… that our young people leave us prepared for their future. Our curriculum offer is flexible and supported by a commitment to inclusion and age-related experiences for all. We know that at any time our students will need varying levels of support and extension depending on their need.

Cognition and Academic Learning

This strand of our curriculum approach is based on the national curriculum and development matters, and targeted so pupils build on key skills and knowledge over time.

Early reading is taught very well using a high-quality programme of systematic phonic and language enrichment as the foundations for learning to read. Children and young people are exposed to a range of stories, sensory stories, and other texts.

Our young people are exposed to a broad and balanced curriculum which is taught through topic or discretely. All students study English, Maths and Science to an appropriate level and will access learning in a broad range of subjects, such as food technology, outdoor education, rural skills and forest school, arts, and humanities.

For a small number of our students who have very high-level complex needs, learning is highly personalised and mainly centred on a life skills, communication and a sensory based curriculum.

Communication and Interaction Learning

Pupils build language, communication and interaction skills through augmented communication strategies and resources, speaking and listening activities and performing arts. Here there is an emphasis on discussion and debate throughout the curriculum especially in English, Beliefs and Values and PSHE.

The speech and language team also support progress in this area and work with whole class, small groups and individualised interventions. Pupils are encouraged to practice their communication and interaction skills frequently. For example, when students apply for prefect roles, they experience a job application process and interviews - with governors - which helps them to practise for real job and college interviews.

Social, Emotional and Wellbeing Learning

Social, Emotional and Wellbeing learning is taught formally through PSHE, SRE, Beliefs and Values, and whole group THRIVE. Pupils also learn to regulate through individualised and group therapies and interventions such as mentoring, counselling, EM4MH, THRIVE and SALT.

Pupils are taught how to keep themselves healthy and well through the formal curriculum and by ensuring that they have plenty of access to the outdoor environment and learning such as Forest School and Outdoor Education.

Pupils learn to manage and regulate their emotions and to build positive relationships in school. Staff offer high quality pastoral support to enable pupil learning in this area. They learn about work and careers, health and hygiene, travel training, home skills and how to manage money.

We work with pupils to build their confidence to apply their learning and interact in the real world. For example, pupils will create shopping lists and then visit a shop to complete their purchases using money or to set up a business. Pupils learn to travel on buses and trains. They explore the word of work-related learning and receive high quality careers advice for our careers advisor.

Physical and Sensory Learning

Pupils experience a range of opportunities to develop physically through PE sessions and swimming lessons. Pupils develop their fine and gross motor skills and develop skills and confidence.

The outdoor learning environment has been developed to include a bike track, a walking track known as the ‘mile’, low ropes assault course and we have an area of the woods used for den building. There are several play areas around the school site which allow pupils to regulate and connect with the outdoor world, leading to a positive impact on pupil wellbeing. Two sensory rooms support pupil wellbeing too. Pupils have further enrichment opportunities such as Food Technology, regular Outdoor Education, Horticulture and Forest School.

A further aspect of our curriculum focusses on sensory elements, including a Sensory Curriculum (Victoria) for our sensory learners. This is further enhanced through accessing the many sensory rooms and range of sensory resources across the school. Staff also collaborate with external Occupational Therapists, delivering specific sensory diets and activities to individual pupils with sensory plans.