‘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 multisensory, it is appropriately challenging and builds upon prior learning, it engages and enhances natural curiosity. It has been developed to provide our children with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their life.
We believe that outstanding teaching, leads to an enjoyment of learning and happy and rewarding lives.
The White Ash Curriculum has 4 pathways for our children
Early Years Foundation Stage Profile
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.
The Curriculum Map (Pre-formal, Semi Formal and Formal)
Pre- formal – (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 and begin 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.
Children within the semi-formal phase 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. Independence is always encouraged. 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
Teaching and learning are strengthened because staff know children very well and they know what motivates individual learners. Staff take the children motivators into account to promote learner engagement.
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
The Formal curriculum is based on phases 7 and 8 of the White Ash Progression Document. It offers the same subject range as the Semi-Formal Curriculum but 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.