Our curriculum and how it is taught
Academically, we provide a general education befitting each learner’s talents and follows the National Curriculum or the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and, where appropriate, ‘P’ Levels.
Our learners are taught in small groups of up to 5 or 6 pupils to a class depending on need. All learners follow the National Curriculum, delivered at their level of ability and personalised to their needs and interests. The curriculum, which includes maths, English, science, computing and a broad range of other subjects, is planned, delivered and recorded around a 3-year cycle of half termly topics, ensuring pupils receive a good breadth and balance.
In order to meet all of our pupil’s educational needs, we design a curriculum to suit every individual ensuring an exciting and meaningful experience, which we deliver through practical and visual learning. Our aim is to encourage your child to participate in class and enjoy learning, perhaps for the very first time.
How we adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of your child
We recognise that our pupils experience the curriculum in different ways and have different starting points. We make careful adjustments for your child in their classroom based on their statement or Educational, Health & Care plan and their baseline assessment, which happens within the first 6 weeks of them being here with us at school.
Curriculum planning is carried out at 4 different levels of ability for each class topic and your child’s profile will help us to find the most suitable level for them. Our teachers develop Schemes of work for all subject areas within each of the 4 levels for each topic and incorporate the special interests of your child to ensure that the lessons are relevant and motivating for them.
In order for your child to learn, they will need to have the ‘tools’ to effectively manage their autism. We do this using the Eagle House Approach with the support of the Curriculum Access Team (CA Team), who work together with every teaching team. This approach uses strategies and therapies that will support your child’s precise needs. These strategies focus on their academic and personal development looking at their communication and their behaviour, as well as their independence, social skills and their thinking and learning. Through this approach they will learn to start managing their anxiety and understanding how to cope with the confusing world they live in.
Our teachers are flexible in meeting the needs of your child
Teaching teams are fully flexible in meeting your child’s individual needs through:
- every class having a fully qualified teacher; many of whom have a Masters degree or other post graduate qualifications in special educational needs or autism
- every class having a high staff to pupil ratio (2 to 4 learning support assistants per class)
- collaborative working with the Curriculum Access Team (CA Team), who embed the Eagle House Approach in to the curriculum
- supporting your child individually or in small group sessions depending on need for a different or specific approach (particularly for reading and writing)
This combination allows for maximum flexibility within the classroom.
Each teacher plans and records lessons meticulously, detailing every activity and outcome in order to ensure that your child’s individual targets and learning objectives are central to their learning. Your child’s learning outcomes are assessed and evaluated by staff on a daily basis and this keeps their learning on track.
Many of our pupils benefit from the real life experience of going out in to the community and leaving the classroom behind. This offers fresh opportunities to practise new skills and different activities. We ensure that they are personalised to develop each pupil’s language, social communication, independence and self help skills. This flexibility is essential in order for the curriculum to remain relevant and exciting for each pupil through the different stages of their school career.
Additional support available to help your child reach their expected outcomes
Additional support is available for pupils throughout the school day both in and out of the classroom. In the classroom, there is a high staff to pupil ratio to ensure that your child receives the support they need to achieve their learning outcomes.
Our in-house CA Team also underpins every class team embedding a range of therapeutic approaches, teaching methods, techniques and styles within a ‘total communication’ environment to support your child’s learning. This includes visual strategies and communication aids such as PODD (Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display, an alternative augmentative communication). This ensures that your child’s additional needs are supported and their learning outcomes remain on track.
The use of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) approaches such as PODD is now widely accepted and used as a means for facilitating language and communication for individuals with autism. We use a wide range of visual support across the whole school, which benefits the understanding and expression of language for those with difficulties in these areas.
The CA team works with all pupils in the school but if your child’s statement or Education, Health & Care plan stipulates a greater level of support is needed, then they will work with them accordingly and dependent on their individual needs at any given time.
We hold weekly meetings to discuss pupils who may be struggling and will look at raising the level of support for as long as necessary. This will always be discussed in partnership with you.