An overview of our curriculum
At Old Park School we aim to provide a personalised curriculum that prepares our pupils to find their place in our society. It is led by pupil need linked to their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) targets. Our curriculum includes a range of enrichment opportunities to support developing their physical, artistic and creative skills.
Through each Key Stage we aim to provide a safe, stimulating and caring environment in which our pupils grow in confidence, learn and thrive.
At the heart of all that we do we believe in developing the following principles:
- Promoting independence at every opportunity
- Promoting their emotional health and well being including supporting pupils to keep themselves safe.
- Developing Communication skills through speaking, listening, reading and writing, making choices, signing, using Picture Exchange Communication and Objects of Reference.
- Preparing for the future through developing life skills and transition activities
- Working with others, developing relationships and social skills
- Citizenship, knowing their place in the community in which they live
EYFS and Key Stage 1
Pupils start their Learning Journeys in Lower Phase. They receive an EYFS curriculum as they enter the school. During this important phase of their development, the foundations are laid for their progress through the rest of the school. Pupils experience a wide range of child-initiated and adult-led activities through a multi- sensory approach. To ensure that pupils are ready for future learning, independence is developed through choice making, communication and social interaction with their peers.
Key Stage 2
Old Park School offers a balanced and broadly-based curriculum by following the National Curriculum. For the majority of pupils the learning that takes place is linked to themes which incorporate the key strands of the national curriculum. Some subjects are taught as part of a theme, whilst others are taught discretely. When Foundation Subjects are taught as part of a scheme, coverage of individual Subjects is ensured through reference to their Schemes of Work. We use Letters and Sounds phonics scheme and a combination of symbol supported Reading schemes.
Key Stage 3
Pupils apply the skills that they have developed to further their learning and give broader access to the key stage 3 national curriculum. The curriculum continues to be highly personalised and closely linked to their EHCP's. There are increased opportunities for learning in the community.
Students within this phase of the school start to put all that they have learned into realistic and everyday situations moving from the predominantly academic to the practical and functional ways of learning.
Work is delivered using Accreditation from ASDAN Personal Progress and Welsh Board. This ensures challenge for all pupils who follow a personalised pathway throughout their time within this phase.
Students cover skills that develop their personal level of independence: Cooking, Shopping, Personal Care and Hygiene, Travel training (at appropriate levels), Leisure, Work Related Learning, Sensory, Therapies, Swimming, Out and About in the Community, How to look after the home, Money and other skills relevant to their needs.
Enrichment opportunities in this phase include residentials and relevant work experience.
A key focus throughout this phase is transition, exploring options and getting prepared for their future destination.
Organisation of the School
Old Park School teaches pupils from Reception until Year 14. The school is organised into the following Phases: Lower, Middle, Upper and 14 – 19. Pupils are mainly taught within their Key Stages and these are reflected by the phases: Lower (EYFS and KS1), Middle Phase (KS2), Upper Phase (KS3), 14 – 19 Phase (KS4 and Post 16).
Individual needs of pupils and variations in year group sizes mean that some pupils may be taught out of their Key Stage. Where this occurs, Phase Leaders liaise with Subject Leaders to ensure that pupils have full access to their curriculum entitlement.
A Sense of Self
Pupils have a positive self-image, well-being and engagement and are able to relate well to members of the school community. They take pride in themselves, their learning and the school environment. Pupils recognise that they have a 'voice', can make choices and influence the world around them.
Learning to Learn
Pupils are active participants in their learning and are keen to take part and work with others. The have developed a ‘have a go’ attitude and are able to draw on previous experiences in order to solve new problems. Pupils demonstrate resilience.
Knowledge and Skills
Pupils demonstrate incremental progress in their subject knowledge and skills. They are able to retain and apply this over time and in different contexts. Pupils require reduced levels of support to access their leaning and their fluency and accuracy is improved.
Experience and Enrichment
Pupils are engaged in their learning and talk with enthusiasm about experiences they have taken part in. They access their learning in a variety of environments and are able to apply their knowledge and skills accordingly.