At Waverley school we have four curricula
* Pre-formal curriculum
*Subject specific curriculum
Our Pre-formal curriculum, has been designed for learners with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD). Although some consideration has been given to overlaps and links with mainstream school subjects, it has been developed around the starting point of PMLD need, rather than from a forced attempt to make what is traditionally offered by schools “accessible”. Four key areas of learning are “taught” via a vast array of opportunities. The fundamental structure underpinning the Pre-formal curriculum are the twin pillars of communication and cognition (Dr Penny Lacey [in preparation], Educational Provision for Pupils with Severe and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (Research Report for Mencap). All pupils are learning to communicate and to think and learn. At the Pre-formal stage, “communication” and “cognition” form half of the curriculum. The other half consists of “physical development”, and “personal development” (including self care and independence). There is no mention of National Curriculum subjects, although pupils use some subject areas, such as the arts, physical education and the humanities, to provide the contexts for their learning. These subjects are part of a thematic approach to the curriculum adopted by the whole school or whole department.
We recognise this group of learners are working in the “here and now” and as such need repeated opportunities to practice and revise their learning. It is expected that this group of learners will require a multi-sensory approach.
The content of the curriculum for pupils with PMLD was developed through studying the historical perspective on curriculum design, typical child development textbooks, published curriculum materials and curriculum documents from other schools.
Our Cross-curricular curriculum, has been designed with our learners who are have Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD). This group of learners also require repetition and a consistent approach. They may be able to demonstrate learning over time and some understanding that symbolic representation carries meaning. This curriculum builds on prior learning which has enabled the learner to demonstrate skills which allow developing relationships with others, effective engagement and understanding of cause and effect. This curriculum teaches through six subject areas (Communication, Language and Literacy, Cognition, KUW, Personal development, physical development, and creative development). It is expected that there will be regular overlapping of teaching which will enable generalisation of the skills and knowledge taught. This curriculum is designed to address the “gap” often found between learners who are not presenting as children and young people with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, but who are not yet able to access subject specific learning.
Our Subject specific curriculum, has been designed for our learners who have more moderate learning difficulties. Some of these learners may have a spiky profile which means they need a cross-curricular curriculum but have specific skills in one area. This curriculum allows these learners to straddle curricula and/or use the curriculum in its totality. There are eleven subject headings (see table below) which are taught in a more traditional stand alone sessions. These learners continue require real objects, modelling and a carefully differentiated approach.
Our Adapted national curriculum, has been designed with learners who are awaiting a more appropriate environment. It is expected that this curriculum is only used for a very small number of learners who have been able to demonstrate the ability to work independently in sessions with less adult input. There are twelve subject headings (see table below) which are taught in discreet sessions which stretch and challenge the learners knowledge and understanding.
Across the school these four curricula are further split into Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Post 16. Each phase is expected to deliver sessions which recognise the age of the learners whilst using key motivators for our learners.