Our curriculum can be visually represented by two, upwardly expanding, interlocking spirals. One spiral represents our individualized Programmes of Study – bespoke learning intentions, opportunities and experiences that ensure that each child focuses on building those skills which are most important for his or her development now and in the long-term. The other spiral represents the class programmes upon which an individual’s learning intentions are hung. These ensure that there is breadth of study and opportunity for all.
In each phase, all learners, regardless of age and stage, access the same topic, (although they may do this in different ways). This is deliberate; it recognises that all pupils have unique learner profiles with strengths and skills in different areas and shouldn’t be limited by approaches or content of one particular pathway or another. It also creates important opportunities for collaborative learning across age and stage, which provides opportunities for developing skills and aptitudes which form part of a child’s broader education, such as team-work, resilience, confidence and self-esteem.
The circular motion of the spiral signifies the need for our learners to revisit skills many times before they are embedded. The upward motion represents the varied and increasingly diverse opportunities they are given to transfer these skills to different contexts as they move up the school.
The delivery of our curriculum uses the skill, judgement and expertise of the teacher to combine the different spirals in ways that suit each learner.
Delivering a rich and complex curriculum to such a wide variety of learners has its rewards but also its challenges and strong teamwork is essential. Class teams united by their commitment and cooperation, and a well-established, fully integrated multi-professional partnership with therapists, social care and other professional bodies, plays a key role in its success.