Pupils would be broadly classified as formal and semi-formal learners (based on the work by Fountaindale School with Richard Hirstwood on the “Semi-Formal Curriculum”).
Our semi-formal learners are the pupils who need highly personalised and specialist approaches due to their specific learning difficulties that need to be addressed as well as strategies for their autism. The semi–formal curriculum will be topic based to link learning and activities will be both visual and multi-sensory and follow a familiar structure. Most teaching will occur in small groups, pairs or individually in well-structured rotation of linked activities. Semi-formal learners are typically our primary aged learners and some older pupils, who will work towards Personal Progress accreditation.
Whilst all our learners will benefit from specialist teaching approaches, catering to their strengths and learning style, due to their autism, our formal learners are learners who can learn by more conventional teaching methods. With adaptations to approach to provide structure and strategies, they can access learning as part of a group and with their peers. Their curriculum will follow more discrete subjects and be both knowledge and skills based. They may access standard national assessments for their age, follow programmes of study, and achieve Entry 2 and 3, and Level 1 accreditation. They may access supported mainstream inclusion to study a subject or for social reasons.
We will equip pupils with secure functional skills in literacy, numeracy and ICT. Curriculum delivery will be highly engaging, using audio, visual, kinaesthetic and multi-sensory teaching approaches as appropriate to sustain attention, reinforce learning, and capitalise on the strengths and learning style of pupils with autism and more complex learning needs.
For all pupils, appropriate accreditation pathways will be offered.