‘Together anything is possible’
At White Ash Primary School, we aim to meet the needs of the ‘whole child’ through a curriculum which is designed to meet the individual needs of every child. We believe that our curriculum should adapt for our learners, rather than our children adapt to the curriculum.
The curriculum at White Ash Primary School is broad, balanced, creative and has a multisensory approach. It is appropriately challenging and builds upon prior learning which engages and enhances natural curiosity. At White Ash School we view ‘Cultural Capital’ as the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their life. We ensure that all our children are exposed to a wide range of experiences which will develop their cultural capital and give them the skills to continue their lifelong learning journey.
Cultural Capital experiences at White Ash Primary School include:
We believe that outstanding teaching, leads to positive pupil outcomes and an increased love of learning. Inspiring pupils to be their best selves and reach their full potential.
The White Ash Curriculum has 5 pathways for our children.
1. Early Years Foundation Stage
Children in our Early Years Foundation Stage are baselined using the statutory Reception Baseline assessment and EYFS Profile. Many of our children in the early years are working between birth to 3 years in the Development Matters which runs alongside Phases 1 to 3 in the White Ash Progression Document. With our EYFS department the children are given the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and future life.
Our EYFS curriculum places an emphasis on developing…
Communication and Language (Listening, Attention & Understanding and Speaking) focussing on verbal or non-verbal communication such as using concrete objects, gestures, visuals, signs or words. Purposeful and meaningful interactions that enable learners to communicate their wants, needs, thoughts and feelings. Through conversation, story-telling and roleplay children are able to share their ideas and build upon their vocabulary.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Self-regulation, Managing Self and Building Relationships) developing independence, empathy and awareness of their own emotions whilst developing a positive sense of self. Resilience and confidence in their own abilities and the ability to build positive relationships with others. Understanding of how to look after their bodies and lead a healthy life.
Physical Development (Gross Motor Skills and Fine Motor Skills) throughout the environment to improve control, confidence, co-ordination, core-strength, balance and agility whilst developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being.
Literacy (Comprehension, Word Reading and Writing) developing a life-long love of reading. The ability to comprehend language and read simple words. Mark making and early writing skills using a wide range of mediums and tools.
Mathematics (Number and Numerical Patterns) embedding a strong grounding in numbers to ten and the relationship between numbers and the patterns within those numbers. Confident counting, how to organise counting and using maths in the real world. Awareness of early spatial reasoning through shape, space and measure.
Understanding the World (Past and Present, People, Culture and Communities and The Natural World) gaining a sense of their physical world and their community. Understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world.
Expressive Arts and Design (Creating with Materials and Being Imaginative and Expressive) building artistic and cultural awareness which supports imagination and creativity. Engagement with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials.
2. Informal – (linked to the engagement scales)
The Sensory Curriculum and engagement scales give children time and opportunities to experience the world around them. Activities within each area of learning are planned carefully using a multi-sensory approach so that children are able to engage in their learning journey. The focus of the areas of learning are to teach the children the skills they need to be safe, happy, healthy, and able to experience as much of the world as possible around them.
Structure and repetition, facilitated by highly skilled staff form the foundations of our day. We strive to ensure a personalised approach, where advice from therapists and healthcare plans are integrated into children’s Individual Learning Plans, with SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, Time bound) targets, which are informed by the EHC plan.
Our children are learning to learn, and the smallest of steps are celebrated. Activities and sessions are planned carefully through our 3-year Sensory curriculum map to engage the children so that areas of exploration, realisation, anticipation, persistence, and initiation can be observed. The Engagement Model is also used to assess the progress for our Pre-semi-formal learners and those learners who are accessing non-subject specific learning activities. The Engagement Model assesses linear and lateral progress for learners as well as their consolidation and maintenance of knowledge, skills and concepts in the following five areas of:
Our Informal curriculum places an emphasis on developing:
Communication focusing on children’s early development through the initial steps of very early communication skills. The main emphasis for development within this section is on listening and responses to sounds through facial expressions, body gestures etc.
Conception and Cognition giving children opportunities to develop their visual skills within their everyday learning. This also incorporates very early problem-solving and reasoning skills.
Tactile and Motor through sensory and physical skills focussing on the use of increased movement, tactile exploration, investigative and sensory exploration activities.
Personal and Social dedicating skills associated with interactions with people and the environment. For the children working within this level of development these would often include activities that linked with communication such as Intensive Interaction and showing awareness of familiar routines.
Physical and Mobility. Children working at this level will have a have personalised timetables with input from other professionals such as Physiotherapists, P.E. specialists and Occupational Therapists. Developing physical skills will enrich successful learning and physical health and wellbeing.
3. Pre-Semi Formal
Our Pre-semi-formal curriculum is unique to each individual pupil and their needs. Children following this pathway usually have complexed Autism, sensory processing difficulties and challenging behaviours. The Pre semi formal curriculum provides opportunities for these children to develop their Communication and interaction skills, independence and self-help skills and social skills through a life skills-based curriculum. Our Pre-semi-formal learners are still at the very early stages of their learning and development, and they learn best when the curriculum is related to their own experiences which engages and motivates them to want to learn. The children are given plenty of opportunities to experience the same activities and embed skills and knowledge, whilst their sensory and self- regulation needs are met throughout the day. The areas of learning are taught through themes and topics and are designed to enable children to learn about the world around them, through meaningful experiences.
They take part in regular outdoor play which stimulates and encourages the children with sensory sensitivities to explore all of their senses. The outdoor provision will develop both gross and fine motor skills and help the children to improve mobility and coordination, the vestibular system (balance) and proprioception (body awareness and spatial skills). Having a safe environment to climb, balance, move over different levels and surfaces in a fun and playful way, with friends, improves their development.
Our Pre-semi-formal curriculum places an emphasis on developing:
The Engagement Model is also used to assess the progress for our Pre-semi-formal learners and those learners who are accessing non subject specific learning activities. The Engagement Model assesses linear and lateral progress for learners as well as their consolidation and maintenance of knowledge, skills and concepts in the following five areas of:
Children within the semi-formal pathway are still in the early stages of their learning and development. They will be working between Phase 3 and 6 in the White Ash Progression document, using a child-led approach through the principles of EYFS. The areas of learning are taught through themes and topics and are designed to enable children to learn about the world around them. Teaching them the essential skills and concepts required to make progress and achieve greater independence.
Developing the use of functional expressive communication, through a holistic approach is central to learning. Children are encouraged to engage and form secure relationships with adults to support their engagement in adult-led activities, whilst promoting independence. Behaviour for learning is also essential and staff use consistent strategies for each individual learner to support them to be in a sensory and emotionally regulated state ready to learn.
The focus of English in the semi-formal curriculum is to develop early reading and writing skills based on phonics and the construction of simple sentences. Environments will be developed to be reading and writing rich encouraging pupils to develop independent skills and access exploratory learning in order to see themselves as readers and writers.
Mathematics teaching will embody the principles of active and exploratory learning based on concrete materials. Number rhymes and stories will form the basis of early mathematical teaching and will allow pupils to develop number awareness.
Classes use a wide range of strategies, approaches and interventions such as, TEACCH, personal timetables and sensory processing. Each class utilises and develops learner skills to encourage exploration to develop growing independence. All children have Individual Learning Plans informed by their EHC Plans.
Our Semi-formal curriculum places an emphasis on developing:
The Formal curriculum pathway is based on children working between phases 5 and 8 of the White Ash Progression Document. This pathway is aimed at those who can access subject specific learning. It offers a wider variety of subject content and is delivered at a higher cognitive level through delivery of discrete subjects. Although there are elements of a mainstream model, consideration is given to an adapted curriculum which reflects the whole child’s needs.
Children access work at their individual level, and where appropriate, access inclusive links in mainstream schools; ensuring they are progressing within the national curriculum framework and continuing to make good linear progress.
Our Formal curriculum places an emphasis on developing:
At White Ash…
Ongoing continuous and rigorous assessment is at the core of the curriculum as it:
Assessment for Learning is key to success and all teachers ensure appropriate assessment for learning is embedded within their classroom and practice. Personalised ILPs are our main assessment method which are rigorously monitored and shared with parents and carers on a regular basis.