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.