Pre-formal and Semi-formal

Our curriculum runs on two clear curriculum pathways; a pre formal curriculum and a semi-formal curriculum, both delivered through a personalised approach built upon our four foundations. These pathways are underpinned by the Early Years Foundation Stage principles and unique tailored opportunities and experiences focused on each individual.

Within these pathways all learners will still have access to a focus on Thinking Skills and Engagement, and all the additional therapies and interventions that have been in place previously. These pathways are underpinned by the principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage, with a focus on the “Unique Child”, “Positive Relationships” and “Enabling Environments”.

This leads to an emphasis on learning through play, as through our research, we have found that this is a fantastic way to engage our children and provide learning that naturally develops a wide range of skills, key for their progression.

All children will access one of the curriculum pathways and associated areas of learning. Teachers may decide that a child needs a combination of both pathways. E.g., a child that cognitively can access the Semi-formal areas of learning but needs it to be delivered in a pre-formal way. The content of each pathway can also be delivered through a personalised approach, e.g., through TEACCH.

Pre-formal Curriculum -> LM 1 to LM 3B

Pupils are at the very early stages of development and are to have access to a curriculum that enables them to develop a sense of security in the school environment, which is meaningful to them. The focus is upon enabling them to establish positive interactive relationships with others, and to be supported to proactively explore, and extend the world around them. 

Pre-formal learners require a higher level of adult support and are likely to need sensory stimulation with their curriculum broken down into very small steps.

This is provided following a station-based learning approach, that repeats activities for a 2/3-week block to secure learning. Learning experiences are based on the following areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

  • Communication
  • Sensory and Physical
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Experiencing and understanding the world

Pupils experience a wide range of activities that allow them a number of opportunities to secure their learning and skills. Staff continuously reflect how activities can be adapted to challenge all pupils and maximise progress.

Semi-formal Curriculum -> LM4 onwards

Pupils at this level learn through play, functional activities, and a topic-based approach. The curriculum content echoes the ground covered by the Early Years Foundation Stage. The teaching approach reflects the age and learning style of the pupils concerned. Following this child-initiated approach allows students to learn more effectively using ways that better suits them whether that be structured play or practical experimentations and there are opportunities for everyone.

This supports learners to develop independence and confidence whilst building resilience.

This curriculum is implemented following a play-based learning approach, that repeats activities for a 2/3-week block to secure learning. Learning experiences are based on the following areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Communication and Language

Literacy

Mathematics

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

Physical Development

Understanding the World

Expressive Arts & Design

 

 

We know that pupils learn best when their learning relates to their own experiences and the Semi-Formal curriculum, alongside engagement profiles is based on this.

Pupils experience a wide range of activities that allow them multiple opportunities to secure their learning and skills. Staff continuously reflect how activities can be adapted to challenge all pupils and maximise progress.