The curriculum provides engaging and relevant learning opportunities and experiences in relation to each child or young person.
The curriculum aims to provide a solid foundation for the younger children which enables them to feel settled in the different environments and social groups at school: in the class, the house and in other areas around the school.
From this settled base, the curriculum then offers a broadening of horizons through opportunities within school and in the local community, with the post-16 Upper School programme curriculum increasingly focusing on the development of functional independence skills, life skills and vocational skills in preparation for adult life and the world of work.
The curriculum, based on the Steiner Waldorf curriculum, is a broad and balanced developmental curriculum which is grounded in the stages and milestones of child development. The Steiner Waldorf curriculum aims to support the individual student’s rounded development – physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual. It includes all the subjects found in the National Curriculum including English, Maths, Science, PHSE&C, Computing, Art & Design and PE.
The main difference to the National Curriculum is when and how certain subjects are taught. Our school curriculum extends beyond formal lessons into the life the children and young people experience in the houses. This enables learning in school to be supported and reinforced outside of class, promoting the generalisation of developing skills.
Targeted therapeutic support also plays a vital role in the curriculum.
Reviews and Assessment
Students’ progress is reviewed through the statutory Annual Review process. This is supported by regular contact and communication with each student’s family and placing authority. The Annual Review takes place at school and is an opportunity to review the support and approaches in place for the student. Placement plans and support levels may be adjusted as and when a student’s needs change.
The school completes detailed and regular assessments in the areas of English, Maths, Science, Humanities, PSHE&C, Computing, Art & Design and Design & Technology.
Although the majority of our students are working below the levels and content of the National Curriculum, our Assessment Framework takes account of the full continuum of ability and assesses both academic achievement but also additional areas key to the development of our students such as social interaction, sensory integration and life skills.
Our assessments link clearly to areas of development within the Education, Health and Care Plan to support our students towards their longer-term goals. Progress is measured through a range of formative assessment methods and detailed feedback provided to parents, Local Authorities and other stakeholders.
We work closely with a range of schools to moderate student work and to ensure assessment judgements are robust.
Other specialist assessments, such as the Engagement Profile, are used to inform our practice and to plan specific support to best enable students to make progress. Connecting Steps and other software is used to maintain the central assessment record and to support the school in identifying trends in student progress.
Lower school KS4 students study and work to achieve accredited units from the ASDAN ‘Transition Challenge Programme’. Upper School post-16 students study and work to gain the ASDAN Personal Progress Diploma at Entry 1 and ASDAN Qualifications in Personal Social Development (PSD) at Entry 2 and 3. Accreditation is also gained through completing EQUALS courses of study and AQA Single Unit Awards.