Kestrel House School Curriculum 2020/21 – Thinking and Learning Differently

 

Our Curriculum Implementation will stem from shared thinking with the Wellbeing Team and class community collaboration combined with each learners EHCP defines the beginning of the process. The process is a reflective and challenges our leadership and management, the quality of teaching and learning, dialogues across the phases and most importantly the entitlement of every child. All learners will follow the same curriculum theme to create a whole school learning identity, however the personalized learning maps shape what the learning will look like for each child.

Their personalised targets ensure every child is working towards achieving the outcomes in their personalised Education Health and Care Plan.  Their targets are developed through a curriculum that reflects the learner’s age, developmental readiness and individual needs. Whatever their uniqueness we want to nurture their personalities, support them in developing positive relationships, deliver quality education in engaging and stimulating environments and plan rigorously for their learning and development.

It ensures that at all points, the learning will always dovetail from the EHCP outcomes and learning targets. It will also mean that as a school, we can begin to quality assure the additional Wellbeing Therapy and family resource input, to identify, moderate and evaluate what the learning should look like and how progress and achievement can be maximized. The Wellbeing Team support is inclusive of Speech and Language, Occupational and Music therapy and now Thrive practice. As a team they collaborate with class community leads to create personalized learning targets and next steps at the start of each term. As a community they begin to connect their input to class-based learning through shared medium term curriculum planning.

Educational visits, immersion days and outdoor learning are at the heart of our thematic, enriched curriculum, we believe these first hand experiences equip our children with lifelong memories that enhance and embed their learning and real life meaningful experiences.

Informal and Semi-formal Pathways:

IP: Learners who are attaining at the lower Pre Key Stage levels – Former P2-5. This pathway would be most suited to learners in Angel, Westminster and Hampstead class.

SP: Learners who achieving at Pre Key Stage levels to National Curriculum Yr 1. This pathway would be for learners in our more able classes who are working towards AQA Pre -Entry Level Awards (Paddington, Pimlico and Waterloo class.)

Structure of the day:

 

Class time tables are constructed around the principle, that learning is about transferrable skills and therefore every moment is a learning opportunity and that these opportunities have a sharper focus on the 4 areas of need:

  • Cognition and learning
  • Physical and Sensory
  • Social Emotional and Mental Health
  • Communication and Interaction

Deeper Learning:             

Our learners learn through exploration and sensory interaction. Throughout the day they develop their communication skills using PECs, Makaton, within the classroom. The learning themes take on different guises across the school and as a community we see transferable skills shared throughout the day. As a community we plan together, we revise our plans together and celebrate the small steps of success.  Learners begin to engage in and understand themes at a deeper level as themes become fully embedded through learning opportunities beyond the classroom through community learning.

With there being a real focus on British Values underpinning what we deliver to our learners, and whilst embedding learning into meaningful contexts that will build upon each other as children progress through school, we are able to ensure that:

The curriculum is enriched. The learning comes to life and as a school we begin to ‘Think and Learn Differently’.

 

We are all on a learning journey together and because of this, our staff continually reflect on the ‘Impact’ of our teaching through the progress over time of our learners, school surveys, school community professional dialogues, learning walks and data scrutiny. If we need to adapt our teaching, we will, because the most important thing is that our learners are challenged, prepared and happy learners.

 

 

Curriculum Impact

Teaching

The greatest resource we have is our body of teaching and associate staff, with their expertise, experience, creativity and enthusiasm. Staff have a wide range of expertise in all aspects of Special Educational Needs, this knowledge is used to impact on our curriculum design and implementation.  For example: several staff are trained in the use of Intensive Interaction,  PECS , TEACCH and SCERTS which support the development of our provision for our pupils with complex communication needs and those with a diagnosis of autism. Staff are also trained in behaviour management strategies to support or children with social, emotional and mental health issues.

Reinforcement and consolidation of skills and concepts is a vital component of the learning process, this is particularly important for pupils with learning difficulties.

At Kestrel House we prioritise the reinforcement and consolidation of key skills within reading, writing, speaking and listening, number recognition and basic mathematical understanding within dedicated Key Skills sessions within the timetable. The key skills session aims to give the child a short dedicated session with an adult to guide their key skills work and offer opportunities to practice and revisit aspects of learning from the teaching given previously.

We design and deliver lessons that are highly engaging and responsive to the individual interests and responses of pupils who need more time to assimilate their experiences along with highly skilled, familiar staff who are able to observe and interpret their responses with a positive impact.

 

Planning for Personalisation:

Our curriculum has great scope to be adapted and developed to provide successful and suitably challenging lessons for all our pupils. Each learner’s Education, Health and Care Plan is key to our strategic learning plans. Our Wellbeing Team plan with our experienced class community teams to ensure there is a consistent approach, underpinning the curriculum, to effective learning and progress. This is done by identifying each learner’s communication style, sensory and emotional needs and creating Wellbeing Support Plans that will meet each learner’s individual needs in order to be “ready to learn”. These plans are implemented throughout the course of a school day and reviewed as progress or challenges are met.

 

Short term planning requires curriculum leads to plan in detail for the learners in their class, defining clearly the individual learning outcomes intended within a lesson or sequence of lessons. Differentiation is an important aspect of the planning and teaching process.

 

Differentiation can be described in several ways, all of which will be in evidence here at kestrel House School:

  • Differentiation by task
  • Differentiation by outcome
  • Differentiation by support given
  • Differentiation by resource

 

Our Learning Environments

Our classrooms and teaching areas are attractive, sensory, engaging, interactive and use high quality resources and are well maintained. It is of equal importance that learning environments take account of the learning needs of the specific learning disabilities.

There is a distinct rationale for classrooms catering for those with an autistic spectrum condition (ASC) and this is based on the good practice guidelines from the National Autistic Society (NAS) and EYFS ‘Guidance for Good Autism Practice’. Well-designed and produced visual support materials are used. These are effective for the developing the learner’s communication skills, interaction and independence.