At Yewstock School, we are committed to providing a curriculum which prepares our children and young people for a happy, productive and fulfilled adult life. We have high aspirations and encourage every person, pupil or staff member, to strive for excellence. Our curriculum promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepares them for life in modern Britain. We nurture independence and endeavour to provide skills which can transfer into all areas of pupils’ lives, now and in the future. These are the things we hold dear.
Our curriculum is designed to cater for the needs of all learners. It is progressive, beginning from the very earliest personal and physical skills and exploratory learning to more formal subject-specific learning. Pupils have opportunities to learn across the curriculum but, for those with more complex needs, the focus is on developing their communication, physical skills, awareness of themselves and others, and their independence skills.
The curriculum is divided into the following areas:
Learning for Life: The goal of this area is early exploration and developing thinking and learning skills, a wide range of independence skills (including personal care, shopping and cooking, looking after a home, and ICT skills), careers and financial education.
Communication, Language & Literacy: This area aims to develop pupils’ ability to use and understand language, their social communication, the reading, writing, spelling and grammar skills they will need in adult life, as well as a love of literature.
Mathematics: This area’s objective is to build a firm foundation of understanding fundamental number concepts before developing the range of mathematical skills that will allow them to tell the time, weigh and measure, use money, and solve real-life problems involving numbers.
Personal, Social & Health Education: The purpose of this area is to help pupils develop self-awareness and self-confidence, be able to form and maintain healthy relationships of all sorts, recognise and manage their emotions, understand and cope with the changes of growing up, and keep themselves healthy and safe (including online).
Physical Development: The focus of this area is fine motor skills (e.g., for manipulating objects, cutting with scissors, colouring and writing), gross motor skills (coordination, balance, agility and strength), as well as sports-specific skills and the ability to follow rules and work as part of a team.
Understanding the World: This area covers learning in science, RE, history and geography and aims to develop an appreciation of the natural world as well as an understanding of themselves, other people and different places.
Creative & Expressive Arts: In this area, lessons in Art, DT and Music as well as drama activities nurture pupils’ creativity, develop their fine motor skills, give them enjoyable and positive ways to express themselves and foster an appreciation of artistic culture.
Some pupils follow a semi-formal learning route and are with one teacher for the majority of lessons. Their teachers deliver a range of subjects, with guidance from subject leads. Pupils also engage in learning through topic work. Learners’ sensory and communication needs are taken into account and visual cues, concrete resources and practical activities and experiences are used to support pupils. Other pupils follow a more formal learning route and have a range of subject specialist teachers in addition to a form tutor. Post-16 pupils work with teachers and TAs on a personalised curriculum with a focus on preparation for adulthood. Some lessons are taught by subject specialists across the school.
At Yewstock, we believe that every interaction is an intervention. We provide a graduated approach to supporting our pupils. Universal strategies involve input, guidance or training from relevant professionals which empower staff to facilitate a range of support techniques within the classroom on a daily basis. Where needed, we offer Targeted interventions through our Learning Resource Centre to support a range of needs including functional skills, motor skills, physical and emotional therapies and social skills. Specialist support from other professionals is available for a small number of pupils whose needs cannot be met through Universal or Targeted approaches.
At Yewstock, we take a whole-school strategic approach to our curriculum to ensure that the design is current, based on evidence-backed research, and that it is able to respond to the ever-changing needs of our pupils. It has been developed through a collaborative process, gathering the views of pupils, parents and carers, and staff. However, we see our curriculum as an evolving, rich and broad plan on which to build learning. We future-proof it by keeping it in the forefront of staff discussions and Pupil Voice, and inviting other stakeholders to share views, so that we maintain a curriculum fit for our pupils’ futures.
For further information, please see our Curriculum Brochure here.