“… meeting the needs of pupils of all ages and abilities …”
Children learn best when they are enthused and interested. Opportunities for child initiated learning should be maximised at every opportunity. The characteristics of effective learning are a key element in the early year’s foundation stage in many schools. They detail the ways in which children should be learning from their environment, experiences and activities. At St Giles we believe that all children should all be displaying the characteristics of effective learning every day.
Pre-Formal Level (P1-P4)
Learning to Learn
Pupils at very early levels of development (typically assessed at P1 to P3) access a curriculum that enables them to develop a sense of security in the school environment, which is comprehensible and meaningful to them. The focus is upon enabling them to establish positive interactive relationships with others, to proactively explore the world around them, gaining environment control skills. All pupils will be given maximum opportunities to achieve the highest level of independence possible. The characteristics of effective leaning will also form a key part of the pre-formal curriculum. Personalised learning must include targets from EHCP.
Semi-Formal Level (P4-End of year 1 expectations)
A Life Skills Based Programme
Pupils following our semi-formal curriculum learn best when learning is related to their own experience. Some may learn through play; others will learn more effectively through functional activities, and yet others will respond well to a topic-based approach. The curriculum content echoes the ground covered by the Early Years Foundation Stage (2013) since this framework is not confined to those below the age 5, but rather, extends right across the school where pupils are functioning at P Levels 4 to P9. However, the teaching approach reflects the age and learning style of the pupils concerned. The characteristics of effective leaning will also form a key part of the semi-formal curriculum. Personalised learning must include targets from EHCP.
Formal Level (Year 1 expectation +)
An Adapted National Curriculum, Emphasising Life Need
Pupils experiencing our formal curriculum from P9 and (those operating within the National Curriculum) access the range of National Curriculum subjects to their Key Stage, modified in the light of their developmental level and special educational needs. Specialist areas (the ‘additional curriculum’) are covered both within National Curriculum subjects and in discrete lessons (e.g. a pupil may be withdrawn to work on visual perceptual skills or independent mobility). Life skills and independence skills will also form a large part of the curriculum. As the term ‘formal’ implies, there is a high level of structure. We nevertheless avoid making the formal curriculum too abstract; teachers ensure that learning is linked to practical activities and consolidated and applied in practical sessions. Older pupils working at the formal level may pursue accreditation (pathways (e.g. Entry Level and Level 1 courses and exams); they follow the appropriate syllabus in each exam subject. The characteristics of effective leaning will also form a key part of the formal curriculum. Personalised learning must include targets from EHCP.