Our curriculum is designed around age related expectations with the understanding that each pupil will have unique starting and destination points. It is split into three separate curriculums, those being the experience curriculum (for pupils working at the level of the Engagement Model), the explore curriculum for pupils working at the level of pre-key stage standards and the investigate curriculum (Wilson Stuart P step 9 and above, as well as Pre Key Stage 5 and 6 and the National Curriculum Yearly/Key Stage objectives). Within these curricula there are seven areas of learning which encompass all National Curriculum Subjects, those being;
- Communication and Language,
- Cognition and Thinking,
- Knowledge and Understanding of the World,
- Expressive Arts,
- Orientation, Motor and Mobility,
- Social and Emotional and
- Working towards Adulthood
Our curriculum is reviewed annually to ensure it meets the needs of our students, as we aim to ensure that we create opportunities for everyone to achieve success and reach their potential, and ultimately be as independent as possible, so that they are as well prepared as possible for the next stage of their life.
The Experience Curriculum
The experience curriculum is for students with profound and complex needs who need a very special multi-sensory approach to their learning, and one which will take into account the interaction between sensory impairments, motor disabilities and medical problems. The experience curriculum is one that takes a more holistic view of learners and focuses on how they learn, it is ultimately a curriculum that:
- Is designed to meet the needs of students through a personalised approach
- Focusses on the early communication, social and emotional, and cognitive skills that are the foundation of learning
- Recognises the importance of movement and social interaction in a student’s development and the need for sensory and multi-sensory approaches to learning
- Recognises the importance of development the five areas of engagement which are pre-requisites to subject specific learning and
- Identifies and supports emerging skills, knowledge and understanding
- Is statutorily assessed using the engagement model at KS1 and KS2.
The Explore Curriculum
The structure and underlying principles of the explore curriculum support the progress and development of students across the school where students are functioning at a level below the requirements of the National Curriculum, but above the requirements of an experience curriculum. These are the students that will be assessed against the pre-key stage standards at the end of Year 2 and 6 in Reading, Writing and Maths.
This approach encompasses the development of thinking skills, creative learning and movement and is designed to be developmentally appropriate. It enables all students to take part in activities that are engaging and meaningful to them, whilst providing them with relevant and challenging goals. This curriculum also acknowledges that there will be a need for specialist provision such as hydrotherapy, rebound therapy and sensory approaches to learning.
The Investigate Curriculum
The structure and underlying principles of the investigate curriculum support the progress and development of students across the school where students are functioning at, at least Year 1 objectives. The investigate curriculum is delivered through the National Curriculum, which sets out Programmes of Study that detail the content that should be taught in each subject. Once students reach KS4 and KS5 these subjects are then offered at accreditation level.
A careers programme has been developed in Secondary to cover The Gatsby Benchmarks to support access to work related learning and practical work experience. This is linked into the wider enterprising work and Talentino’s curriculum we also utilise following staff training.
Key Stage 4 & 5 Accreditation Options
In Key Stage 4 and 5 pupils are given the opportunity to gain accreditation, this can be in the form of AQA unit Award, ASDAN Transition Challenge, AIM Functional Skills and the Arts Award for example. Also Key Stage 4 and 5 students are given the opportunity to gain accreditation in AQA, GCSE Art.
Teaching British Values
We promote ‘British Values’ through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education which permeates through the school’s curriculum and supports the development of the ‘whole child’.
We recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide a model of behaviour for our pupils.
The curriculum in all phases offers broad and balanced opportunities. Cultural appreciation and development forms part of our curriculum. We place great emphasis on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all pupils ‘experiences and awareness of others’.
Our assemblies help all pupils to find out about themselves and others linking their lives to the communities in which they belong. Our Safeguarding Policy entrusts a duty of core on all our staff to actively protect and promote the welfare of children at all times.
Pupils are encouraged to experience British Culture through our curriculum themes. For example, pupils have visited local places e.g. the library, Hardwick Hall and Bolsover Council. As a school, we take part in sporting activities which helps to instil ‘fair play’ and engender a ‘team spirit’. Although some of our pupils may find it difficult to articulate their feelings and concerns; staff are attuned to changes in demeanour and wellbeing that may indicate anxiety. Alternative communication systems such as Makaton, signs and symbols are used where appropriate to support students to communicate effectively with others.
Teaching Sex & Relationships Education (SRE)
SRE involves learning about relationships, sexual health, sexuality, healthy lifestyles, diversity and personal identity. It also provides input to support with the emotional, social and cultural development of the students as well as preparing them for the changes that occur to their bodies, minds and emotions as a consequence of growth from childhood to adulthood. It is lifelong learning about moral and emotional development. It is also about the importance of a stable and loving relationship for family life, respect, love and care. It is not about the promotion of sexual orientation or sexual activity - this would be inappropriate.
We have a duty under the Equality Act, 2010 to ensure our teaching is accessible to all our children and young people, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+).
Our inclusive sex and relationship education fosters good relationships between students, tackles all kinds of prejudice - including homophobia - and promotes understanding and respect.
Sex and relationship education is delivered within the aims and philosophy of the Trust and the agreed framework for the overall pastoral care of the students. Our Policy is available to read in the Policies & Statements section of this website.
These have a broad Christian basis and always include an act of worship. As well as the spiritual content, emphasis is also placed on teaching about moral, social and cultural issues relevant to our pupils.
Each department has an assembly once a week. The assemblies have a structured routine where 'good work' is celebrated through certificates, pupils in Primary are sung to if it is their birthday and then a short assembly activity/story by either classes or visitors is provided. There is a prayer and a song at the end followed by music relating to the theme of the assembly.
There are also whole school assemblies which take place at Christmas, Easter and at the end of the school year.
Please note that parents have the right to withdraw their child from Religious Education or Collective Worship, or both. Please contact the Principal to discuss the provision of alternative arrangements.
Our Curriculum Intent
To have prepared our students for the future and their career aspirations by helping them to develop a range of employability skills as well as resilience and perseverance in an ever-changing world
How the curriculum is delivered
The curriculum is taught using a number of different methods including immersive environments, exploring and investigating, play, teacher/pupil led activities, role play, trips and visits, discussion, question and answer activities, written tasks, the use of intensive interaction, the use of PECs, TEACCH, review of learning sessions, theme events and weeks, intervention sessions, daily phonics sessions, Active Maths & English sessions and reading for pleasure sessions.
As a result of the curriculum we deliver, our students continue to develop academically, personally and holistically.