Silverwood School is passionate about delivering a creative and diverse curriculum that meets the needs of all pupils ensuring they are successful in their lives, both in the school community and beyond. Our ambitious curriculum is under-pinned by a fundamental belief in our Silverwood values; it ensures that all pupils reach their full potential and develop into the most independent and successful young adults that they can be. Silverwood School is a strong, nurturing community, which creates a sense of belonging and celebrates individual success at every opportunity.
Provision, which is based on strong positive relationships, identifies the needs of each individual pupil to develop communication, independence and their own sense of self. The school believes that working within communities and fully utilising all aspects of Learning Outside the Classroom are central to supporting well-being and preparation for adulthood. Providing different pathways through a holistic approach allows pupils to progress on personalised learning journeys. The curriculum is reflective of pupil need, regardless of cognitive level, and seeks to build progress in a bespoke manner. It is not limited by an age-specific approach, but instead pathways are shaped by needs identified within EHCPs, including as appropriate, access to a range of qualifications and accreditations. The curriculum at Silverwood School is designed to develop transferable skills that equip children and young people for life beyond school.
At Silverwood, assessment is an ongoing process, which enables us to celebrate the wide range of successes of our pupils. Regular assessment and monitoring enables the smallest steps of progress to be captured and celebrated with the pupils themselves and their families, which is an important part of their development.
The main aim of our assessment system is to enhance learning, and inform both pupils and staff of next steps for groups of pupils and individuals. We have developed an assessment system that builds on skills, strengths and interests of our pupils. As well as highlighting what a pupil is able to do, we are able to identify gaps within knowledge and understanding, to guide planning and enable those gaps to be filled. The regular use of good quality assessment also helps identify any barriers to learning and ensure the necessary support is put in place in a timely manner to encourage pupils to achieve their best.
We use different types of assessment depending on the needs of the learner and stages of development.
Pupils in Early Years are assessed using the EYFS framework, adapted to suit our pupils, through the assessment tool Evidence for Learning.
Pupils following the pre-formal and semi-formal pathway are assessed against Silverwood Branches (our bespoke assessment system), also via Evidence for Learning. There are five Branches, one for each curriculum area, allowing achievements to be captured at a range of levels as pupils do not always progress in a linear manner.
Pupils following the formal pathway are assessed in subject areas, using Progression Steps within the BSquared assessment package. Alongside Progression Steps, pupils in Key Stage 4 access nationally recognised qualifications and awards at Entry Level.
Pupils following the Preparing for Adulthood pathway through the Post-16 curriculum continue to work on key literacy, numeracy and life skills. They also access nationally recognised qualifications and awards at Entry Level.
All pupils at Silverwood School have an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP). Progress towards the outcomes in the EHCP are monitored, discussed and reported at the annual review. In order to inform this process, each pupil has up to 8 targets across the four areas of the EHCP which are reviewed 3 times a year. These are targets which are personalised to each pupil and may also link to the curriculum if this is deemed appropriate. These targets will be assessed using Evidence for Learning; a tool which will also enable us to gather evidence towards the targets.
The Pre-formal Curriculum is for pupils who have profound and complex needs. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of pupils through a personalised and adapted approach, valuing the process as much as the achievement and offering flexibility in order to be responsive to the needs of the individual learner.
It focuses on the early communication, social, emotional and cognitive skills that are the foundation of learning. It is a curriculum that recognises the importance of play in a child’s development and the need for sensory and multi-sensory approaches to learning. It acknowledges what learners can do by supporting and developing their strengths and abilities and it is designed to be delivered in an integrated way, incorporating learning, therapy and health needs.
The Semi-formal curriculum is delivered through a thematic based approach. It recognises that many of our pupils have a range of complex needs as well as learning difficulties. We meet each pupil’s needs through a personalised and adapted approach delivered through a bespoke curriculum.
For some pupils a social communication, emotional regulation and transactional support focus provides pupils with the skills and tools to be able to manage their own feelings, anxieties and behaviour, as well as understand and utilise effective and appropriate methods of communication. This equips our learners with the ability to meaningfully interact with, and convey needs to, familiar people; as well as those who help to support us in the wider community.
The curriculum is designed to be ambitious, fun, engaging, practical and meaningful and match to pupils learning and developmental needs. It aims to promote life skills, independence, communication and sensory integration activities to prepare children for learning. Regardless of physical, emotional and learning challenges, teaching through the Semi-formal curriculum captures the interest and imagination of our pupils.
The formal curriculum consists of adapted National Curriculum subjects, combining life skills, Learning outside the Classroom and creative subjects. The Formal curriculum is for those pupils who may have a range of needs, but who are cognitively able to access many aspects of a more formal curriculum framework, modified in line with pupil’s developmental level and additional needs. Pupils experience the formal curriculum in both a discrete and theme based approach that aims to develop thinking and independent learning skills enabling us to build learning capacity and lifelong skills. At Silverwood we have adapted subjects and topics to reflect the needs of our pupils, whilst ensuring they provide ambition, challenge and progress.
The formal curriculum, which includes a rich diet of both core subjects and more diverse subjects, works to ensure that the experience of learning is smooth, and that cyclical learning topics support learners in embedding skills and knowledge into long term memory through ‘over learning’ as well as contextualised opportunities for application. Subjects taught underpin the core values through explicit references; practical subjects are designed to support fine and gross motor skills as well as providing pupils with very real opportunities to develop skills for independent living and work beyond school. All subjects are designed to develops pupil’s ability to communicate effectively, and to learn about other communities, countries and cultures; an important part of British Values for Silverwood School.
We support pupils to consider different learning opportunities and apply them to real life situations. If pupils require a more bespoke curriculum, we adapt and tailor it to the needs of the individual. Where pupils show an aptitude in a particular area, they are encouraged to develop this to the highest level.
The formal curriculum at Silverwood goes beyond the academic and focuses on developing skills for life. Pupils at Silverwood will have the opportunity to practice and rehearse these skills in different contexts. Everything we do is there to support every child towards an independent as adulthood. We recognise that for each pupil, this will present different challenges and opportunities, therefore thorough preparation and practice is essential in every subject area as well as ad hoc learning opportunities. We pride ourselves on the responsive and adaptive curriculum we offer every pupil at Silverwood.
Many pupils go onto gain nationally recognised accreditations during key stage 4 and 5.
The Wider World
This curriculum area will engender a sense of awe and wonder for all pupils.
Pupils are supported to develop a strong recognition of themselves, their self-identity and culture. This celebrates their importance and interdependence in the local and wider community. Pupils will develop practical, transferable and repeatable skills in a wide variety of contexts both in and out of school. All key stages will focus on developing life skills and preparation for adulthood. Diversity, equality and respect will be taught to ensure that pupils know themselves and the importance of celebrating difference.
The wider world will form the context from which pupils can learn from the past, in the present, for their futures.
Expressive and Creative Arts
We support pupils to experience, appreciate, explore and enhance knowledge of the culture of our World. We empower and challenge all pupils to create something that expresses and communicates a part of their emotional self. We enable pupils to communicate in new ways, share their ideas, and commit them to record through a variety and breadth of experiences celebrating and recognising diversity. We believe in the value of the creative process, which is proven to create feelings of wellbeing. All pupils know that their work is valued and recognise that success is built on the freedom to experiment and make mistakes. Pupils learn that their work is appreciated and the joy it contains is shared.
‘Creativity is contagious, pass it on.’ (Einstein)
Maths and Science
Numeracy skills are needed throughout life. ‘Understanding the World’ encourages curiosity through exploration and problem solving. Through opportunities and experiential learning students gain functional life skills and engage in practical, fun activities to develop their knowledge of the wider world. Lessons incorporate values-based learning, Learning Outside the Classroom and the wider community, making experiences more meaningful, contextual and memorable. Learning how the world works, builds independence, increases students’ fine and gross motor skills and builds a sense of achievement.
Physical and Personal Development
We promote physical activity, emotional and social well-being and healthy lifestyles using an individualised approach that meets the holistic needs of the learner.
Pupils are provided with rich and varied opportunities that develop skills as well as foster independence, self-esteem and emotional health. They are also helped to manage risks within a safe and supportive environment.
Pupils learn to interact positively and safely, developing themselves as individuals and as part of a team or group, enabling skills such as collaboration and communication. Success is achieved, recognised and celebrated across the school community and beyond.
Learning is meaningful and enjoyable, developing real life skills that are transferable, increasing knowledge and experience. Pupils make healthy life choices with their diet, safety and positive relationships and know how to ask for help and voice opinions.
The positive values and attitudes nurtured are the vital foundations for pupil’s life-long and life-wide learning, empowering their citizenship and preparing them for adulthood.
Communication and Literacy
All pupils are readers, writers and communicators.
Pupils gain the necessary functional skills to be successful and confident communicators, readers and writers at a developmentally appropriate level. This provides them with the best opportunities to be valued and active members of society now and in the future. Teaching is engaging and pupil-centred, offering experiential learning in order to foster independent enquiry and curiosity. Communication and Literacy is a key life skill that enables pupils to engage with and access the world around them in a safe and meaningful way. All pupils are unique and have different ways of communicating. We use a Total Communication approach to ensure that every child’s voice is heard; we ensure they develop the appropriate skills to use it safely and effectively.
Reading is a crucial life skill and embedded across the curriculum; we foster a love of reading. Pupils journey towards meaningful and functional marks as well as accessing spelling, punctuation and grammar sessions where appropriate. They use the written form as well as technology to support successful outcomes.
Post 16 Curriculum
We seek to ensure our students are fully prepared for their adult lives and are ready to take an active and purposeful role within society as independently as possible. The Silverwood Post 16 curriculum is adapted to need and pupil interest. It also ensures links with different provisions wherever possible.
Our Post 16 curriculum aims to;
The curriculum is based on the four Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) outcomes outlined by the Department for Education; Employment, Health, Independent living and Community Participation.
Each young person follows a personalised learning programme, which is built up of a range of qualifications, vocational learning, work experience opportunities and therapeutic/sensory input.
We develop employability skills through vocational learning experiences within the local community, dedicated work experience and supported internships where appropriate.
EYFS Curriculum Map Example: An Encounter and Discover Curriculum
We plan a curriculum based on children’s development, predictable interests and their own interests. Through careful observation of the children, we are able to find out their interests and what motivates them and promotes their engagement. We also look at world around us and how it is changing, and we follow current national and international events such as sporting events, Royal events and a range of festivals.
Here is a link for an Early Years Activity Library
Here is a link for the Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage
Characteristics of effective learning
Transition into Early Years
Open information sessions at Silverwood School (3 x per year)
Pupils issued with EHCP (Education Health Care Plan)
Consultation of school placements
School place offered
TISMs (Transition into School Meetings) (Term 5)
Visits to existing settings (Term 6)
New starter session – Information sessions, including other professionals (for example Learning Disability Team, Wiltshire Parent and Carer Council), support with information sharing paperwork. (Term 6)
Stay and Play sessions (Term 6)
Home visits and outreach work (Beginning of Term 1)
Stay and Play sessions/Phased Inductions (Beginning of Term 1)
Planning meetings with Speech and Language Therapist and other Professionals (Term 1)
Annual Reviews of EHCP (By end of Term 2)
A Day in the Life of an EYFS Class at Silverwood…
Satellite Provisions - Trowbridge
Phonics at Silverwood School
At Silverwood School, we aim for all pupils to develop a love of stories, books and reading. Books are an integral part of our curriculum and our classroom environment. We see all of our pupils as readers and we ensure that phonics and spelling is taught across all Key Stages.
What is Phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching pupils how to read and write. It helps pupils to hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another. Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of individual letters and how those letters sound when they are combined will help pupils to decode words as they read. Understanding Phonics will also help pupils know which letters to use when they are writing words. Learning this skill is often the beginning of a pupil’s journey to learning to read.
Phonics in Key Stage 1 and 2
From EYFS to Year 6, pupils are taught using the DfE Approved Twinkl Phonics Scheme.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, discrete Phonics sessions are taught daily across all three curriculum pathways. Pupils are grouped according to their current need and assessed termly, which allows for timely challenge or support.
Phonics Instruction in Key Stage 3 and 4
Within the Pre and Semi Formal Pathway, pupils continue to receive daily Phonics teaching using Twinkl Phonics.
Within the Formal Pathway pupils receive discrete spelling and Phonics sessions 3 times per week in addition to their English lessons. They will be offered Twinkl Phonics, That Spelling Thing and/or Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) sessions, dependent on need.
In addition to Phonics lessons, all students across the school have access to:
Each pupil will be baseline assessed and their phonic knowledge will be assessed and monitored termly. This data will be used to inform provision. Groupings are flexible and pupils are able to move between groups to allow for timely challenge and support.
At Silverwood, we recognise that assessment data will demonstrate the progression of pupils’ reading and spelling skills. The impact of our Phonics provision will also be demonstrated by pupil’s engagement with stories, their enthusiasm for sharing books and their growing independence in engaging with texts at home and school.
Silverwood School offers a wide range of opportunities for pupils to develop their talents and interests, whilst promoting independence
and interpersonal links with pupils in other areas of the school.
SILVERWOOD CREATES MUSIC
is a brand new song-writing and music making programme that will be running across all Silverwood campuses during the 2022/23 academic year.
The programme will be facilitated by Will Lawton from ‘The Rhythm Practice’, a music therapist and song-writer who has been working at the Trowbridge campus for several years.
The aim of this project is to offer music opportunities to small groups of pupils, encouraging creative experimentation and improvisation.
At the heart of the sessions will be an emphasis on free expression and collaboration with a strong therapeutic approach.
As ideas and songs emerge over time, some will be recorded with the aim of producing a Silverwood album and live performances towards the end of the school year.
Will Lawton will dedicate one day a week to delivering this project and will be on-site every Tuesday at each campus as follows:
For any questions about this project, please get in touch with:
(Assistant Head of Learning, Silverwood School)
(Music Therapist, The Rhythm Practice)
Additional enrichment activities will be online soon
At Silverwood School We Value All Forms Of Communication
We respect how all of our pupils communicate and recognise that communication underpins every child’s social, emotional and educational development.
Silverwood Communication Team
Angela Fairgrieve – HCRG Speech, Language and Communication Therapist
Hannah Simkins – HCRG Speech, Language and Communication Therapist
Becky Nottingham – AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) Co-ordinator
Nicky Caslin – Lead SENCO and Assistant Headteacher
Lucy Hannaford – Communication and Literacy Lead, Formal Curriculum
Rachel Humphrey – Communication and Literacy Lead, Pre and Semi-Formal Curriculum.
The Total Communication Approach
Our team aims to support the school community of teachers, TA’s support staff, pupils and their parents and carers, with a ‘Total Communication Approach’ using a variety of strategies in combination to promote understanding and expression for meaningful and enjoyable interactions. The total communication approach is about finding and using the right combination of communication methods for each person. This approach helps our pupils to form connections, ensures successful interactions and supports information exchanges and conversations. A combination of methods are used, which reinforce each other and strengthen meaning for the individual pupil.
Total Communication includes:
Our School Useful Links