What is the curriculum and how is my child taught?
At Eagle House School (Sutton), we provide a general academic education befitting each learner’s talents using a combination of nationally recognised award schemes including ASDAN, Functional Skills, BTEC and GCSEs. As learners grow older, we work to find a balance between best educational outcomes and their ability to manage exams. We have found that not every learner finds the rigours of end of year examinations manageable, so we will talk to you about whether you feel an equivalent course offering continuous assessment is more appropriate.
Our learners are taught in small groups of between 5 and 8 in a class depending on that group’s 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, IT and a broad range of other subjects, is planned, delivered and recorded around a 2 to 3 year cycle of half termly topics, ensuring a good breadth and balance.
In order to meet all of our learner’s educational needs, we design a curriculum to suit your child 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 first time.
How will the curriculum be adapted to meet the needs of my child?
We recognise that our learners experience the curriculum in different ways. We also recognise that learners have different starting points so we make the necessary adjustments for them in the classroom based on their statement or Educational Health Care Plan and their 6 week baseline assessment.
Curriculum planning is carried out at 4 levels of ability for each topic the class covers (the Programme of study). Your child’s profile will inform us as to which level will be most suitable for them with each topic.
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 social skills, their behaviour, independence, communication, thinking and their learning. Through this approach they will learn to start managing their anxiety and to begin to understand how to cope with the confusing world they live in.
How flexible can teachers be in meeting the needs of my child?
Our teams are flexible in meeting your child’s needs through the following:
- Each class has a fully qualified teacher, many of whom have a Masters degree or other post graduate qualifications in special educational needs or autism
- Each class has a high staff to pupil ratio with at least 2 learning support assistants
- The CA Team, who embed the Eagle House Approach in to the curriculum
- Individual or small group sessions for those learners who need a different or specific approach, particularly for reading and writing
This combination allows maximum flexibility within the classroom.
Each teacher plans lessons meticulously ensuring that your child’s individual targets are central to their learning. All learning outcomes are then assessed and evaluated by staff on a daily basis and this keeps their learning on track.
Many of our learners 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 personalised to develop each learner’s language, social communication, independence and self help skills. This flexibility is essential in order for the curriculum to remain relevant and exciting for learners through the different stages of their school career.
Is there any additional support available to help my child reach his/her expected outcomes?
Additional support is available for learners throughout the school day both in and out of the classroom. In the classroom, there is a high staff to student ratio to ensure that your child receives the support they need to achieve their learning outcomes.
The in-house CA Team underpin 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), which is an alternative augmentative communication (AAC). This ensures that your child’s additional needs are supported and their learning outcomes are on track.
The use of 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 learners in the school but if your child’s statement or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) stipulates a greater level of support is needed, then they will work with them accordingly. We have 3 different levels of therapeutic engagement with learners adjusted according to the requirements of their statement/ EHCP and their individual needs at any given time.
We hold weekly meetings to discuss learners 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 parents and carers.