Semi-Formal & Formal

Our Semi-Formal Pathway is designed to meet the needs of learners who are moving into more subject-specific areas of learning. The curriculum is organised into 6 areas which provide a broad and balanced thematic offer which gives the foundations on which to move into a formal curriculum.

Communication, Language and Literacy, Mathematical Understanding, Personal, Social, Emotional Development, Community and the Wider World, Physical Development and Expressive Arts form the basis for a thematic curriculum. The knowledge and skills taught in these areas helps our learners access a variety of new and interesting learning experiences while continuing to work on the core areas of need and outcomes from their EHCP.

Overview

Semi Formal Pathways - Learners who have severe and complex learning difficulties access a curriculum that builds upon their established learning to learn skills and extends their knowledge through subject-specific opportunities, these are meaningful and relevant and enable pupils to continue to develop lifelong functional skills (subject specific learning). Learners will access the themes in a way relevant to theme and teachers ensure that all planned activities are as meaningful and relevant as possible. The progress of learners following the Semi-Formal Pathway will be tracked on an on-going basis via the Newfield Individual Schemes of Work and on Progression Steps (Bsquared).

How the curriculum meets the needs of learners

Very few of our learners progress onto a formal curriculum due to the nature of their complex needs. However, some of our semi-formal learners may develop more advanced skills in a particular area (a ‘spiky’ profile) which means they are able National Curriculum subject specific learning. To ensure these learners are stretched and challenged the Newfield Individual Scheme of Work Frameworks extend to National Curriculum coverage to enable teachers to track and push for progress for the learners whose ability allows this type of progress. If ever any of our learners made progress so they were achieving age-related expectations, we would look to support them in a suitable mainstream environment to enable them to continue their learning in the most appropriate format to them.

The chart below shows how the Areas of Learning mesh together through the progress between pathways and age phases.

Areas of learning

The derivation of the knowledge and skills content of our curriculum is carefully drawn from National Curriculum, EYFS framework, Newfield Skills Framework with support from other recognised schemes such as EQUALS, White Rose Maths and Twinkl Phonics.

Information about how the intentionality of our curriculum delivery develops across the Key Stages can be in Our Curriculum Philosophy.

Our Themes for our Semi-Formal Pathway can be found here: Semi-Formal Theme Map

Communication, Language and Literacy

We want our learners at Newfield School to be:

Effective Communicators

Semi-Formal Pathway

We are passionate about ensuring all of our learners are able to communicate in the means best suited to them. We support a Total Communication approach across the school to ensure every learner has an accessible means of communication and they are understood by those living and working with them.

Communication is at the heart of everything we do and whilst it will be feature of a Literacy lesson communication opportunities permeate all aspects of the curriculum and wider school day.

We are keen for every learner to develop a love of reading and more information can be found about approach to reading in our next section - Newfield’s Approach to Reading.

Learners on the Semi-Formal pathway work towards gaining more independent skills in reading, writing and communicating. Learners on the Semi-Formal pathway will be accessing the Twinkl Phonics systematic, synthetic scheme where they will learn to read and write through explicit phonics lessons. Learners on this pathway will be work towards enhancing their comprehension, spelling, punctuation and grammar and love of reading skills. Our learners will gain the skills that they need to become confident and independent readers through phonics, English and the wider curriculum. Learners are given the opportunity to develop their communication and expressive language skills through social skills lessons and leisure time. Learners within this pathway will work on developing their independent writing skills and letter formation skills. Learners develop their sentence structure through the use of colourful semantics. Learners are encouraged to write for purpose in lessons across the curriculum and encouraged to generalise their skills

Formal Pathway

For learners who are able to develop skills and knowledge within the Formal Pathway they will be given exposure to a wide range of opportunities to develop functional reading and writing and enhance their speaking and listening skills, across the entire curriculum. The Individual Frameworks for reading and writing will ensure their progression is tracked and challenged to make the best progress possible. Our learners will not only learn through explicit teaching in English sessions, but be exposed to, and encouraged to practice these skills across all subject areas and in various contexts. It is important that learners are able to reapply the skills confidently, in various settings, to prepare them for becoming young adults.

More detail about the teaching of Communication Language and Literacy can be found in our English Policy.

Newfield's Approach to Reading

‘Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know’.

The National Curriculum in England, 2013.

Intent

Our priority is both the teaching of reading skills and the enjoyment of Literature, enabling children to become lifelong readers, in line with their individual needs. We know that for all out children to become readers and writers, phonics must be taught through a systematic and structured phonics programme.

At Newfield we use the DfE approved Twinkl Phonics programme to plan and deliver daily phonics lessons, ensuring a cohesive, whole school approach to phonics. The Twinkl Phonics Programme offers a coherently planned sequence of lessons that supports the effective teaching of phonics across school. Level 1 Twinkl Phonics provides themed teaching packs to deliver each of the DfE’s Phase 1 phonics aspects. Throughout Level 1, learners develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to discriminate between and use auditory, environmental and instrumental sounds. Level 1 is taught first and then embedded throughout the teaching of phonics Levels 2-6. In Levels 2-4 learners are introduced to phonemes/sounds and graphemes/letters systematically. They also learn to develop and apply blending and segmenting skills for reading and writing.

Learners ready to progress will access Levels 5 and 6. The coherently planned sequence of lessons within Level 5 allows opportunities for children to apply their phonics knowledge and skills as the prime approach to reading and spelling. It focuses on phonetically decodable two-syllable and three-syllable words and the alternative ways of pronouncing and representing the long vowel phonemes. Furthermore, children will develop their ability to attempt to read and spell increasingly complex words. By Level 6, children explore spelling patterns and grammar while also developing a breadth of knowledge, skills and understanding in the recognition and spelling of common exception words.

The Twinkl Phonics Programme intends to not only provide children with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding essential for reading and writing, but also, to develop each child’s confidence, resilience and engagement in phonics lessons and a love for reading and writing.

Implementation

The Twinkl Phonics Progression Map sets clear expectations for pupil’s progress within the Twinkl Phonics Programme. Due to the nature of learners at Newfield School, age related expectations have not been set, allowing pupils to develop their phonics knowledge in line with their individual needs and at their own pace. Teachers complete Twinkl Phonics tracking documents, allowing headteachers, senior leaders, teachers and practitioners to track pupil’s progress. It provides opportunities for data analysis and encourages discussions around pupil progress, group progress, future learning and misconceptions, enabling schools to respond and adapt teaching within the programme to provide additional support and challenge to pupils. The dynamic and engaging materials delivered in the daily planning packs within Levels 2-6 ensure a clearly defined structure to the teaching of phonics. The direct teacher-led lessons enable all learners to develop and apply new skills while also providing opportunities to further apply these skills within fun and engaging activities and through continuous provision. The teaching PowerPoints, stories, games, additional texts and toolkits are meticulously planned to allow children to apply and practise phonics skills. They also offer opportunities to challenge learners and provide support to teachers and parents. Teacher guides for each stage are provided to allow teachers and adults working with children to feel confident in their own subject knowledge, knowing they are fulfilling the national phonics criteria and enabling each child to achieve their potential

Impact

The impact of using the complete Twinkl Phonics Programme (including lesson packs, display photos, weekly planning and parents notes) as the basis of our phonics teaching, will be for children to develop their phonics skills and knowledge through a systematic, synthetic approach, while covering the statutory requirements outlined in the 2014 National Curriculum. The programme will prepare children who are ready and able to access the year 1 phonics screening check and can complement the DfE’s Letters and Sounds document, for other learners it is used as a stand-alone programme. Following the programme gives Newfield School a consistent approach to phonics, which are clear to teaching staff and learners. Parental engagement can also be improved through the use of the parent guidance sheets.

Specialist Reading Strategies

Many of our learners have communication needs including Autism which can present barriers to learning when accessing phonics lessons. As such, alongside a synthetic systematic phonics programme, pupils are supported to develop reading through regular shared reading, non-verbal interactive reading opportunities, discussing stories using assisted communication, reading and writing with communication aids, and practicing literacy across the curriculum to embed skills. Alongside fluency, comprehension skills are also a main area of focus within reading- looking at skills such as handling and accessing books appropriately, finding the beginning and end of a book, re-telling stories and prediction. We believe that high-quality literature is key to motivating children to read and instilling in children a love of literature. Children are ready to regularly in school through library and in class sessions.

read

What does reading look like at Newfield?

The teaching of reading in EYFS

  • Twinkl phonics- daily. Initially phase 1. The focus is initially on sounds in the environment
  • Sharing high quality stories and rhymes
  • Reading continuous provision in class
  • Teachers and EHCAs to read with pupils regularly- at least once per week
  • Regular trips to the school library
  • Working towards the Early Learning Goals for English
  • Use of Rhino Readers texts from school library to apply and practice phonics learning
  • Reading skills and knowledge to be accessed in context of age appropriate themes and texts as identified on the theme map (see separate document).

The teaching of reading in KS1

  • Twinkl phonics- daily. Taught in phonics groups in line with pupil phonics trackers. Pupils needing additional support to be identified and interventions put in place.
  • Sharing high quality stories and rhymes
  • Reading continuous provision in class
  • Teachers and EHCAs to read with pupils regularly- at least once per week
  • Regular trips to the school library
  • Working towards the National Curriculum through reading scheme of work
  • Use of Rhino Readers texts from school library to apply and practice phonics learning
  • Reading skills and knowledge to be accessed in context of age appropriate themes and texts as identified on the theme map (see separate document).

The teaching of reading in KS2

  • Twinkl phonics- daily. Taught in phonics groups in line with pupil phonics trackers. Pupils needing additional support to be identified and interventions put in place.
  • Sharing high quality stories and rhymes
  • The children take a reading book home to share with the family and enjoy with adult support.
  • Reading corner in class
  • Teachers and EHCAs to continue to monitor children’s reading progress through a combination of individual and group reading.
  • Regular trips to the school library
  • Working towards the National Curriculum through reading scheme of work
  • Use of Rhino Readers texts from school library to apply and practice phonics learning
  • Reading skills and knowledge to be accessed in context of age appropriate themes and texts as identified on the theme map.
  • Opportunities to develop reading through play

The teaching of reading in KS3

  • Twinkl phonics- daily. Taught in phonics groups in line with pupil phonics trackers. Pupils needing additional support to be identified and interventions put in place.
  • The children take a reading book home to share with the family and enjoy with adult support
  • Teachers and EHCAs to continue to monitor children’s reading progress through a combination of individual and group reading.
  • Opportunities for independent reading to encourage children to develop reading stamina and reading for pleasure.
  • Regular trips to the school and community library
  • Working towards the National Curriculum through reading scheme of work
  • Use of HiLo Catch Up texts from school library to apply and practice phonics learning
  • Reading skills and knowledge to be accessed in context of age appropriate themes and texts as identified on the theme map

The teaching of reading in KS4

  • Functional reading focus, phonics strategies continue to be referred to when reading and writing. Pupils needing additional support to be identified and interventions put in place.
  • The children take a reading book home to share with the family and enjoy with adult support
  • Teachers and EHCAs to continue to monitor children’s reading progress through a combination of individual and group reading.
  • Opportunities for independent reading to encourage children to develop reading stamina and reading for pleasure.
  • Regular trips to the school and community library
  • Use of HiLo Catch Up texts from school library to apply and practice phonics learning
  • Reading skills and knowledge to be accessed in context of age appropriate themes and texts as identified on the theme map.

Text in italics above shows differences in teaching from previous key stage - indicating how teaching progresses across school.

For more information please see our English Policy

click here to view or download
reading

Developing a love of reading

To ensure learners leave us with a life-long love of books, reading for pleasure is prioritised across the school and books are central in our libraries, classrooms and teaching.

  • Storytelling forms a key part in our teaching- classes will bring stories to life through sensory activities in props to ensure books are meaningful and engaging for our learners
  • We have dedicated reading/ book corner in each classroom where diverse books are readily available (in the form of continuous provision in EYFS & KS1)
  • We have two school libraries which are currently being redesigned. They contain a range of high-quality texts based on recommended texts from Books for Topics. Our libraries are organised to have a primary and secondary section to ensure books pupils are accessing are age appropriate and engaging
  • We have an annual school Book Fair and always celebrate World Book Day
  • Books are sent home with children and updated regularly, along with access to eBook access, to promote reading both at school and home
Mathematical Understanding

We want our learners at Newfield School to be:

Empowered and challenged to reach their individual potential

The teaching of Maths at Newfield School is therefore designed to be engaging and accessible to all our semi-formal learners from EYFS to key stage 4. We aim to build on skills and knowledge guided by the National Curriculum and use resources from the White Rose Maths scheme, visual supports and practical activities to capture our learners’ attention and aid their understanding.

By building on prior knowledge and skills each year we aim to develop skills in fluency across all areas of Maths and via cross-curricular links. Our aim is that over time our learners will become confident with their ability to apply reasoning skills and problem solve to complete Functional Skills Examinations and solve problems in everyday situations as they prepare for adulthood.

Semi-Formal Pathway

The teaching of Mathematical Understanding is important in helping our learners play an active role in the world around them. We strive for all learners to have a deep understanding of their mathematical knowledge and be able to use this in a range of situations as they move into adulthood.

The Mathematical Understanding element of the curriculum is delivered discretely though teachers will make connections with themes where meaningful ones exist. Learning opportunities to embed mathematical skills are capitalised on through all aspects of the curriculum to give learners various contexts through which to practice their skills, where suitable EHCP outcomes are incorporated into the teaching of Mathematical Understanding.

Focused Maths lessons with a focus on coverage of number, time, money and measure support the development of functional skills and long- term coverage planning ensures all strands of Maths are covered and re-visited to ensure retention of learning. Real-life and day-to-day learning features consolidation of mathematical skills

maths

Formal Pathway

As learners move on and begin to develop Mathematical Understanding within the Formal Pathway our Newfield Individual Scheme Framework ensures learners continue to make targeted and tracked progress within the subject. Maths lessons may feature starter activities to embed number skills, e.g. number bonds, times tables or learners may access interventions to develop their understanding or prepare them for Entry Level examinations. Extension activities are available via White Rose Maths to enhance independent learning and functional skills and learners are given opportunities to learn and practice new skills and then apply the skills into different contexts.

You can find more information about the Teaching of Maths at Newfield here.

Personal Social and Emotional Development

We want our learners at Newfield School to be:

As independent as possible

Happy, engaged and included members of their community

The Personal, Social and Emotional Development of our learners is at the core of all aspects of our curriculum and school life. We are committed to ensuring each learner is taught the knowledge and equipped with the skills to keep themselves safe, healthy and happy in as independent a way as they are able.

All of our learners have EHCP outcomes linked to their Personal, Social and Emotional Development and the progress learners make towards achieving these are tracked termly via our Evidence for Learning app. In addition to this the PSHE Assocation Planning Framework for Pupils with SEND is mapped across our thematic delivery to ensure all aspects are covered for both Semi-Formal and Formal Pathways.

The Planning Framework is organised into six sections:

  1. Self-Awareness (Me, who I am, my likes, dislikes, strengths and interests)
  2. Self-care, Support and Safety (Looking after myself and keeping safe; aspects of Relationships and Sex Education.)
  3. Managing Feelings (Understanding feelings, and that how I feel and how others feel affects choices and behaviour; aspects of Relationships and Sex Education)
  4. Changing and Growing (How I and others are changing; new opportunities and responsibilities; aspects of Relationships and Sex Education)
  5. Healthy Lifestyles (Being and keeping healthy, physically and mentally)
  6. The World I Live In (Living confidently in the wider world)

These areas are further broken down by Key Stage and then included into the thematic delivery across the planning cycle and adapted to the needs and understanding of individual learners as appropriate.

The PSHE Association PSHE Education Planning Framework for pupils with SEND can be found here.

Physical Development

We want our learners at Newfield School to be:

As independent as possible

Healthy in mind and body

For learners at Newfield School physical development can be integral to becoming healthier but also more independent in all aspects of their everyday life. In this area of learning we also consider the sensory development and needs of learning whether that be a sensory impairment or the impact of their sensory processing on their emotional regulation.

Children with physical development needs have programmes devised by Physiotherapists. Goals and targets are set at Annual Reviews with teachers, parents and the children where possible, taking into account the specialist physio advice. Many children have weekly session in our school pool and may also have a planned MOVE session with a trained MOVE leader or class staff.

Throughout the week during class sessions children will use their equipment and opportunities are created for all children to work on their physical goals, for example during a class art session some children will be seated on benches to work while others using standing frames, class chairs or even lie out on the mats to complete work.

All of our learners have an outcome related to their Physical and Sensory Development as part of their EHCP and the progress they make towards achieving this is monitored and evaluated on a termly basis.

The PE aspect of this Area of Learning for the Semi-Formal Pathway, and for learners accessing Formal aspects of the curriculum are taught from the PE Scheme of Work which ensures a broad range of skills are taught across the Key Stages.

The PE Scheme of Work can be found here.

Movement Opportunities Via Education (MOVE)

Newfield School is a MOVE accredited school.

The MOVE therapy programme provides a framework to support the functional development of independent mobility and physical skills to the best of their ability. MOVE is a practical mobility programme based on the philosophy that movement is the foundation for learning. It uses a collaborative approach with families, carers, education and therapy staff working together to set purposeful, individualised targets for each child.

MOVE is appropriate for all ages and abilities to increase independent mobility, develop communication skills and improve health.

At Newfield School, 20 staff are trained as Senior MOVE practitioners. The MOVE programme is delivered throughout the day and regular opportunities are created throughout the child’s normal daily routine for increased practice and progression of skills required to reach aspirational goals.

Parents are invited into MOVE sessions to work alongside their child and learn ways to support their child at home.

MOVE targets are discussed and set with parents during Annual Reviews and Parent Consultation meetings. Progress is recorded through the Evidence for Learning App.

Community and the Wider World

We want our learners at Newfield School to be:

Happy, engaged and included members of their community

Empowered and challenged to reach their individual potential

Community and the Wider World is the Area of Learning which our thematic delivery is mainly based around. It focuses on developing the knowledge, skills and experience learners need to understand the world around them and their place in it. In thematic study learners will cover aspects of the environment (immediate, local, global), understand how things work or how they are made, they will also develop cultural understanding as well as gaining an awareness of past and present. If they move into a Formal Pathway Community and the Wider World teaching will become more focused in delivery as Science, Geography, History, aspects of Design Technology and Computing.

learning in the community and wider world

Community and The Wider World coverage is broadly based upon the EYFS Understanding of the World with early National Curriculum Science, Geography, DT, History. When delivering Community and the Wider World (CWW) teachers will incorporate opportunities for learners to work on their EHCP outcome where possible. The cyclical nature of the coverage ensures retention of skills and opportunity to generalise skills.

Learner progress in CWW is captured via their progress on BSquared and via the tracking of their EHCP outcomes.

The thematic nature of the delivery nurtures curiosity and allows learners to ask questions and develop the skills they need to answer those questions. We aim to facilitate this curiosity with learning experiences which are both child led and adult led and the WOW events at the start and end of each theme are intended to capture learner interest and maximise engagement in the theme.

Learners are encouraged to develop their communication skills and consolidate cross curricular learning throughout the theme delivery.

Ultimately, we aim to prepare our learners for adulthood through an inclusive thematic curriculum to build confidence, social and cultural capital and raise aspirations, equipping pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of future life

Expressive Arts

We want our learners at Newfield School to be:

Confident and committed to lifelong learning

Expressive Arts is important is allowing learners to access enjoyable and enriched experiences throughout their lives and into adulthood. Many of our learners respond positively to music and can actively engage in the sensory experiences art-based learning activities provide for them. Expressive Arts coverage in thematic linked to the termly theme and learners will participate in performance, create 2D and 3D art work, use a range of media and listen to and play music. The coverage is derived from National Curriculum Art and Music and differentiated to meet the needs of our learners.

As learners progress through the age-phases they have the opportunity to have their art work accredited via the Arts Award process. Skills worked on in Expressive Arts may be linked to a learners EHCP and are recorded and tracked termly where they do.

Art work is celebrated annually via our Art Exhibition where parents and carers are invited to celebrate the achievement, joy and creativity of the expressive arts.

art exhibition

‘Leaders ensure that most pupils make strong progress in how well they communicate their opinions and wishes’. Ofsted, 2021

Newfield School
Shadsworth Road
Blackburn
Lancashire
BB1 2HR

01254 588 600

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Safeguarding

Newfield School is committed to safeguarding and protecting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults as its number one priority.

Full copies of Policies and Procedures related to all aspects of Safeguarding, and the Complaints Policy, are available on request from Rachel Kay, Head Teacher and Designated Senior Lead for Safeguarding and Child Protection.

Equality Duty

Newfield School complies with the general and specific duties of the Equality Act (2010). In accordance with the duty we publish information that demonstrates that we have due regard to the need to;

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination
  • Advance equality of opportunity
  • Foster good relations

These specific duties have been considered in relation to all our policies and procedures in school. Our objectives will be reported on and published as part of the Governance public documents available for inspection under the Freedom of Information Regulations and Data Protection duties and in the school newsletter to parents.

Our Equality Objectives are set, reviewed and published annually in our School Development Plan.

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