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Curriculum

Combined Reception/Year 1 class

We have one combined Reception/Year 1 class: Apple.

Apple class is a combined Reception and Year One class.

Teaching is delivered in a variety of ways, including formal structured and visual, sensory, kinaesthetic and play-based approaches. 

The 7 areas of the early years foundation stage (EYFS) are covered through activities to develop skills in these areas. The three prime areas (Communication and Language, Physical Development, and Personal, Social and Emotional Development) are focused on throughout all activities, supporting pupils to communicate their needs and wants, and to build upon their early play and exploratory skills. Phonics, Literacy and Mathematics are delivered through focus tasks where children work one-to-one or in small groups with staff. Sensory learners access a sensory curriculum consisting of sessions in intensive interaction, Write Dance and dance massage.  All children have access to sensory circuits, swimming, Forest School, light room sessions and soft play. 

The children access continuous provision daily, whereby they are led to acquire and refine skills through choosing something of interest to do / to play with.  They are supported and scaffolded by staff as required and then develop their own independence and play skills. 

Read Write Inc. is used to develop synthetic phonics. 

Apple use home school communication sheets to share and communicate with parents and carers.


Key Stage 1 & 2

Key Stage 1 & 2 has six classes: Pear, Maple, Hazel, Cherry, Chestnut and Beech.

Pear: Pear is a sensory class for semi-formal learners following the EQUALS Informal Curriculum. The curriculum allows pupils to access their learning in a more relaxed and informal manner, which encourages sensory regulation opportunities and cognitive breaks – this as a result allows sensory barriers to learning be reduced. The learning environment supports this as it reduces sensory overload, promotes opportunities to access activities at TEACCH stations, and gives pupils a sensory break area to re-regulate and prepare for learning. Children’s learning is mapped out against the four strands of their Education and Health Care plans. These strands are: Communication and Interaction; Cognition and Learning; Social, Emotional and Mental Health; and Sensory and/or Physical.

A Total Communication approach is used within the classroom to support all learners, but there is an emphasis on Makaton and PEC communication strategies, to encourage pupils to make requests and intentional choices. Children’s learning is supported through a variety of creative and motivating activities such as Attention Autism, Intensive Interaction, Massage, outdoor learning, music, drama, art and TEACCH station activities that are individualised for each learner. All pupils have access to a variety of sensory and physical development sessions including swimming, PE, sensory diet programmes and Rebound Therapy. Pupils also have the opportunity to explore and go out into the community to develop their independence and life skills.


Maple: Maple is a sensory class for pre-formal learners. It follows an EQUALS curriculum. Children’s learning is mapped out against four strands: Communication and Interaction; Cognition and Learning; Social, Emotional and Mental Health, and Sensory and/or Physical. The learning environment promotes opportunities and activities for learners to develop skills from these strands in a personalised order, whilst also giving a sensory break area to re-regulate and prepare for learning. High emphasis is placed on the development of language and communication sessions which we engage in daily and throughout our daily routine. A Total Communication approach is used to help support all learners. Children’s learning is supported through a variety of creative and motivating activities including TAC PAC, Write Dance, Intensive Interaction and Massage. Some children also access phonics and reading, delivered through Read, Write, Inc. Learning and physical development is enriched through PE, Swimming, Music, Outdoor Learning and ICT sessions.


Hazel: Hazel is a sensory class for semi-formal learners. It follows an EQUALS curriculum with children’s learning mapped out against four strands: Communication and Interaction; Cognition and Learning; Social, Emotional and Mental Health, and Sensory and/or Physical. The learning environment promotes opportunities and activities for learners to develop skills from these strands in a personalised order. Within our timetable we focus on Communication sessions and Thinking and Problem Solving sessions. We use a Total Communication approach which ensures that activities are delivered in a holistic and multi-sensory manner. Children’s learning is supported through a variety of creative and motivating activities including Narrative Therapy, See and Learn, Colourful Semantics and Numicon. All children have access to phonics or the See and Learn programme through streamed groups. Learning and physical development is enriched through PE, swimming, rebound therapy, sensory circuits, music, cookery, outdoor learning and ICT sessions. Children also have an opportunity to develop their language, communication, and social skills through play-based activities.


Cherry: Cherry class is made up of semi-formal learners following the EQUALS curriculum. They access Communication sessions and Thinking and Problem Solving sessions, with additional sessions of phonics and reading delivered through the Read Write Inc. and See and Learn approaches. To develop social skills, the children access Narrative Therapy sessions once weekly and Circle Time daily. The children learn holistically through topic sessions where they learn about the world around them. Learning is further enriched through PE, Swimming, Music, Art, Outdoor Learning, and Independence sessions. There is also a Zones of Regulation session and a Physical Wellbeing session each week.

Sensory needs are supported through a sensory diet area within the classroom and, on a needs basis, sensory circuits and a nurture hut. A Total Communication approach is used where children are encouraged to communicate verbally and are supported by Makaton. Visual support is used and PECS is used to make requests if appropriate. There are further opportunities to develop language, communication, and social skills through play and leisure activities. Children have access to Bucket Therapy once weekly and access a variety of morning activities and skills sessions that focus on sensory regulation, fine motor skills, social skills and play skills.

Parents are encouraged to use their child’s visual timetable to prompt communication about their school day. Speech and language therapy programmes are encompassed into daily activities and the children are seen regularly by the Speech and Language therapist.


Chestnut: Chestnut is a class for children who are at the semi-formal stage of learning. They follow an EQUALS curriculum, with the acquiring of independence skills a main priority. They access Communication sessions and Thinking and Problem Solving sessions, with additional sessions of phonics and reading delivered through the Read Write Inc. and See and Learn approaches. The non-core subjects are delivered holistically through topics mostly in the afternoon. Children’s learning is enriched through PE, Swimming, Music, Outdoor Learning and ICT sessions. Children also have opportunities to develop their language, communication and social skills through play-based activities.


Beech: Beech class is made up of semi-formal and formal style learners. They follow a combined curriculum, using elements of the EQUALS semi-formal and EQUALS formal curriculum approaches. The focus around Maths is on developing functional skills alongside thinking and problem solving. The focus around English is also on developing functional skills, with lessons dedicated to developing essential communication skills. Additional, daily sessions for reading skills are delivered through the Read Write Inc. approach, See and Learn or through guided reading.

The class curriculum also has a large focus on developing life skills, with learners having dedicated Independence lessons that focus on self-care, keeping safe, shopping and cooking.

Other subjects are delivered through a topic-based curriculum, mostly delivered in the afternoon. Through this thematic curriculum we cover Creativity (art and drama) and World about Me (humanities), as well as discrete lessons in RE, Science, IT and PSHCE. Learning is also enhanced through outdoor learning, PE and swimming.

Enrichment

All pupils take part in Enrichment sessions once per week. Enrichment sessions are designed so that pupils are offered activities and concepts to engage them that are out of the constraints of the conventional curriculum. We believe that our pupils have the right to a diverse, rich and exciting curriculum. Enrichment sessions allow us to be creative in our approach to pupils’ learning and in the use of our many resources.

*In addition to traditional Literacy lessons, all pupils have a 20-minute Literacy slot Mon-Fri. This initiative is to give extra focus to Literacy across the school and is directed by the Literacy subject leader.


Residentials

Residential experiences are offered on a rota basis.