Curriculum ‘Intent’ – The rationale of behind our curriculum
What do we want our children to know and be able to do by the time they leave Cherry Oak School?
All pupils learn through their own unique curriculum, some needing time to explore, others starting to make connections. Our curriculum is evolving and developing through the reflective practice of staff and the complexity and variety of Pupils’ special needs. Our priority intent is to ‘prepare them for life’ by developing their physical, social and emotional wellbeing whilst reaching their academic potential.
How does the curriculum design meet the needs of our pupils?
The curriculum is organised and structured to suit the needs of our ten classes, reflecting the key stage but just as importantly, the individual needs and the stage of learning of each pupil. The principles of the Early Years curriculum run throughout the school, emphasising their uniqueness, their need to learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships, enabling environments with strong partnerships between practitioners and parents/carers. All children embrace learning and development in different ways and at different rates. The curriculum is underpinned by a total communication approach with the use of visual timetables, objects of reference, Makaton, circle time.
Assemblies and collective worship are held each day of the week with a different theme for learning. In each assembly pupils have ‘behaviour expectations’ of ‘good sitting, good looking and good listening’.
Early Years children in the foundation stage or Key Stage 1 are new to school and Pupils’ learning objectives reflect their individual assessments and shared goals which aim to break down their barriers to learning. Familiar resources are used to enable them to explore and gain confidence with the concept of making choices. They are enabled to understand the routine of school and to focus for extended periods.
The rest of the classes are either Key Stage 1 Explorers and Connectors or Key Stage 2 Explorers and Connectors. Explorers need time and space to learn through sequencing of lessons and repeated activities such as shopping at a local shop. Connectors are able to make connections in their learning and learn new concepts, record their learning and are ready for a more ‘formal’ curriculum. KS 2 Connectors’ learning is guided but not limited by the National Curriculum to ensure pupils are achieving skills for life and become lifelong learners.
Whole school curriculum elements include breaking down the barriers to ensure Engagement to Learning with Swimming, Modern Foreign Languages, Enrichment and the Arts.
How do we know our pupils are achieving?
A total communication approach is key to a successful curriculum with pupils becoming confident communicators at an appropriate level for their needs. These strategies successfully support their learning and develop their skills.
The 2 learning pathways successfully give pupils different learning opportunities appropriate to their needs. The Cherry Oak environment and curriculum develops confident pupils, with all staff understanding and removing their barriers to learning and life skills.
We have robust assessment processes in place for all our pupils and our staff are very skilled at differentiating lessons to ensure the very best outcomes.
At Cherry oak the curriculum supports the ‘whole child’, enabling them to engage, sit respond and be ready to learn.
For further information on our curriculum please see the documents below.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the normal routines of the pupils who attend Cherry Oak School.
Social distancing measures have curtailed their freedom and some will have found this very difficult and perhaps even traumatic. Careful planning, not only in the delivery of lessons, but in how we configure our learning spaces is going to be very important as we gradually welcome our pupils back to school. This document can be used as a guide for parents and school staff to support our pupils in their recovery as they return to their learning journey pathway. As a way of helping our pupils come back into school life and acknowledging the experiences they have had, we will use the principles of the 5 Levers as outlined in Professor Barry Carpenter’s “Recovery Curriculum”. We want our pupils to be happy, feel safe and able to re-engage in their learning.