Curriculum intent

Our values and context

At The Avenue School, we:

  • believe that every learner should access a curriculum that meets their unique profile of strengths and needs
  • live by our Trust’s motto ‘Love, Learn, Laugh’; this underpins our approach to everything we do
  • know that, within the context of SEND, personalisation of the curriculum is key so that each individual’s priorities can be considered in order to prepare them adequately for adulthood with the best possible quality of life
  • adhere to the SEND Code of Practice, offering a broad and balanced curriculum, maintaining high expectations through appropriate assessment, ambitious target setting, and the removal of barriers to learning

Our aims

We want our curriculum to:

  • focus on the core skills of Communication, PSHE, Literacy, and Numeracy
  • develop pupils’ pre-requisite skills for learning in all areas at a level that is appropriate to their individual profile of strengths and needs
  • be aspirational for all pupils by offering the opportunity to work towards gaining subject-specific knowledge and skills in areas including Reading, Writing, Phonics, Maths, Financial Education, Computing and Science, at an appropriate level
  • incorporate meaningful and relevant aspects of History and Geography teaching, at an appropriate level
  • explore and develop pupils’ skills and interests across a diverse subject base (e.g. Music; Art, Craft, Design; Food Technology; Sports, Exercise; Information Technology, Media; Science)
  • ensure each pupil is enriched by their time at school and challenged to fulfil their unique potential
  • enable each pupil to develop a functional mode of communication which they’re able to use confidently at school, home, and when accessing the community.
  • support young people to be as independent as possible in their self-care, including dressing, food preparation and eating, shopping, hygiene, etc., respecting their dignity at all times
  • equip pupils with the skills and knowledge required to keep themselves safe and healthy
  • allow pupils to develop skills they need to actively contribute to their community, and safely access a range of indoor and outdoor environments/settings
  • support pupils to develop resilience, confidence, and strong self-advocacy skills
  • actively promote pupils’ Spiritual, Moral, Social, and Cultural (SMSC) development
  • Offer qualifications awarded by nationally recognised bodies where this is appropriate for the pupil’s levels, for example asdan
  • promote British Values throughout, supporting all pupils to experience these concepts at a level that is meaningful for them, for example:
    • Democracy – teaching functional requesting and appropriate refusal/rejection; respecting choices and using our understanding of pupils’ individual differences to personalise their offer
    • The rule of law – class rules; clear boundaries and expectations; supporting pupils to self-regulate and maintain positive behaviour
    • Individual liberty – personalised reinforcement schedules and constant assessment of motivation; teaching functional communication (e.g. no, stop)
    • Mutual respect – modelling empathy and compassion; teaching functional communication, including requesting for attention politely and accepting no; honouring communicative attempts
    • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs – celebrating special events relating to the diverse backgrounds of our pupils, families and staff, through assemblies, parades, stories, arts and craft, music, costume, bring and share buffets, etc., making these accessible and meaningful for all pupils

Our plan for implementation

To achieve our aims, we:

  • use Themes (mapped across the Key Stages) to enrich activities and resources offered in teaching sessions, the creative curriculum subjects, and community visits
  • take into account the pupils’ chronological and developmental age when progressing through the Themes
  • ensure that teaching always builds on previous learning and is informed by the sequence of child development where appropriate
  • Utilise the Verbal Behaviour – Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) and Essential for Living to ensure that Themes are delivered at an appropriate level and allow pupils opportunities to develop relevant skills and knowledge
  • place strong emphasis on multi-disciplinary working, in particular with Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Behaviour Analysts
  • ensure there is consistency in practice across school, for example, with regards to the teaching of Phonics or the delivery of Attention Autism
  • train all staff to ensure they are equipped to take ownership of curriculum delivery for individual pupils; SLT and teachers lead and oversee this in collaboration with support staff whose contributions are equally integral to the process
  • use 1:1 or small group interventions where appropriate, to increase pupils’ skills and understanding in the core areas of Maths and Literacy, PSHE and communication
  • provide all pupils with regular opportunities to develop independence by maintaining high expectations and keenly promoting a wide range of roles and responsibilities (or ‘jobs’) for pupils
  • actively promote pupil voice through a range of initiatives including: promoting choice making, turn taking, the ability to initiate interaction and expression of own wants and needs
  • implement effective and relevant systems for target setting (Personal Intervention Plans) and assessment (Small Steps – Milestones Assessment and Placement Program ‘VB-MAPP’, Essentials for Living, ASDAN)