Curriculum, Assessment & Accreditation
We provide a holistic curriculum which embraces pupil’s own individual learning needs to ensure that each pupil will meet their full potential academically, physically, socially and emotionally.
The SEND School Curriculum
Newfield aims to provide a broad and balanced curriculum which is tailored to suit the learning style of individuals.
All pupils have individual targets relating to their EHCP and these are taught through 1-1 and small group and whole class teaching opportunities. In addition, pupils may access developmental curriculums or specific interventions to enhance learning. For example; MOVE programme or sensory diets.
We are committed to providing activities which actively support the development of the cultural, social and mental well being of all our pupils.
We are a Rights Respecting School and this ethos encompasses all of what we do.
Pupils in the school for SEND follow their own pathways, based on the following Curriculum Pathways:
- Pre-Formal Pathway – for learners previously working at levels P1i to P4
- Semi-Formal Pathway - for learners previously working at levels P4 to P8
The School Environment - SEND
Various environments in school are equipped to deliver specialist subject/areas of learning. We have a 4D sensory studio where learners engage in multimedia, sensory experiences. We also have this 4D immersive sound and lighting system in the Blackburn hall and hydrotherapy pool.
The school benefits from having a food technology room, communication and assessment room, vision room, physical therapy room, nurse’s rooms, and an additional hall which doubles as a dining room.
Each classroom has outdoor access and we have a sensory garden, with raised beds, a bridge, living willow walkway, small wildlife pond and outdoor story corner.
We are fortunate to have two mini buses, enabling learners to go on visits out of school to enrich their learning potential. These visits encompass cafe visits, shopping, work experience on a farm, sessions in community sports and leisure venues and additional enrichment opportunities, which include various activities including school links.
Newfield Pre-Formal Curriculum
Our pre-formal curriculum takes a holistic view of learners by focussing on how they best learn through acknowledging and celebrating the different abilities and achievements of those learners with the most complex needs.
Our pre-formal curriculum is designed to provide a stimulating education for learners who have: ‘Profound and multiple learning difficulties as well as complex learning needs. In addition to very severe learning difficulties, pupils have other significant difficulties, such as physical disabilities, sensory impairment or a severe medical condition. Pupils require a high level of adult support, both for their learning needs and also for their personal care. They are likely to need sensory stimulation and a curriculum broken down into very small steps. Some pupils communicate by gesture (including body language, facial expression), eye pointing or symbols, others by very simple language.’ The Salt Review 2010.
Learners not yet engaged in subject specific learning engage with the pre-formal curriculum. This focuses on the early communication, physical, personal & social and sensory & cognitive skills that are the foundation of learning.
It is a curriculum that recognises the importance of play in a learner’s development and the need for sensory and multi-sensory approaches to learning.
It is a curriculum that supports the learner’s development by employing appropriate approaches that take account of their emotional wellbeing. It recognises how our learners learn, by supporting and developing their strengths and abilities and focuses on developing the learner’s understanding of the world around him/her, and of social interactions and relationships. It is delivered in an integrated manner, incorporating learning, therapies and health needs and many opportunities to practice and achieve these learning goals are offered continuously in a wide range of settings. We recognise and understand that factors such as the time of day, comfort or choice of positioning may affect a person’s ability to concentrate and therefore learn. We understand the importance of the environment to our learners.
For those with a PMLD, we should view every moment and situation as a learning opportunity – therefore the vital ‘routine’ activities such as postural changes, toileting and assisted eating/feeding are integral areas of learning within this curriculum.
This is illustrated in our pre-formal curriculum map.
- Sensory & Cognitive Skills
- Physical Development
- Personal & Social Skills
The pre-formal (for learners previously working at levels P1i to P4) curriculum delineates these four Core Areas of Learning, which are both highly interrelated and dependent on each other.
These core areas will be taught through a range of approaches & activities and linked, where appropriate, to each half termly theme, in order to integrate into the semi-formal curriculum and provide breadth, balance and enrichment opportunities.
There is not a definitive list of activities and teachers are free to choose which activities they want to teach and how they want to teach them based on each learners’ individual strengths, needs and preferences.
In practice much of the teaching (especially 1:1 teaching) will be carried out by our support staff and all references to ‘teachers’ encompasses all those who ‘teach’ learners i.e., teachers, higher level teaching assistants and education, health & care assistants.
Newfield Pre formal curriculum philosophy, activities and approachesclick to download
Newfield Semi-Formal Curriculum
Our semi-formal curriculum offers a ‘person centred curriculum’, engaging learners in a broad range of areas which are very carefully planned for and then developed through supporting learners to access cross-curricular activities, resources and environments within the classroom, wider school and the local community, taking into account their own unique talents and interests.
The curriculum is organised into themes, which ensure a balance of both a rich breadth of exciting topics and concepts whilst taking into account the learners’ individual interests and learning preferences- our aim is to motivate all learners to learn!
Each theme begins with a WOW event to engage and support learners to ‘tune-in’ to the new start, and ends with a celebratory event where learners can demonstrate the new skills, confidence or application of knowledge acquired.
This curriculum is delivered under the areas of Communication, Language & Literacy, Physical & Sensory Development, Personal, Social & Emotional Development, Community & the Wider World and Creativity & Expressive Arts.
How the curriculum meets the needs of our learners
Communication, Language & Literacy Cognitive and physical impairments are barriers to learners communicating, whether this means verbally, or physically accessing tools to enable non-verbal communication and expression. It forms a core element of our curriculum as we work on developing communication skills in every aspect of the school day.
Personal, Social & Emotional Development Sensory, physical and communication impairments are all barriers to developing independence. Building relationships and routines to support and overcome these barriers is vital to all learners developing their skills in this area across all aspects of the school day.
Community & the Wider World Physical disabilities, sensory impairments and communication difficulties may inhibit access to learning opportunities within school and their local community. In order to live a full, active and happy life learners need to develop a solid understanding of their place in the world through a meaningful, relevant and purposeful curriculum.
Physical & Sensory Development Physical and sensory impairments impact greatly on the independence, communication, health and learning experiences of learners. Many learners have physical development needs; some learners have issues with sensory processing, all of which can affect their independence, access to learning and emotional wellbeing. In order to keep healthy, therapies and exercise are essential as part of a daily curriculum offer.
Creativity & Expressive Arts Sensory processing and difficulties with understanding mean that access to the expressive arts can be a challenge. It is our aim that by developing understanding and appreciation of expressive arts that our learners will be able to continue enjoying and participating actively in the arts and expressing themselves into their adult lives.
Semi Formal Curriculum Progression Overviewclick to download
Early Years Foundation Stage - EYFS
In the Early Years, pupils follow a creative curriculum with the focus on learning through play. Fun and exciting practical activities are planned within the continuous provision which encourage pupils to explore their environment and express their interests / needs.
Students in the Post 16 department, apply the skills and knowledge that they have learned to real life situations in preparation for adulthood.
Students are provided with opportunities to develop their independence through practical life skills such as shopping, travelling in the community and preparing their own meals. They also have the opportunity to participate in work experience if appropriate.
The curriculum is designed around individual needs and their aspirations for the future.
Curriculum Enrichment Opportunities
We also offer a varied programme of special events to enrich the learning opportunities for all of our pupils.
These include :-
- Themed Days eg Languages Day
- Charity events eg Children in Need, Jeans for Genes Day
- Educational Visits eg farm, seaside
- School performances
- Lunchtime clubs eg choir
- Arts Award
- Duke of Edinburgh Award
- Links with other schools and colleges.
The Whole Curriculum
The school offers a curriculum which covers the National Curriculum (see school curriculum pages) and a programme of enrichment to ensure each learner has a rich, varied and interesting school experience.
For our learners at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 there are a variety of accreditation routes open to them (see accreditation)
At Newfield School each learner has an assessment profile made up of a range of assessment tools that are relevant to their needs and abilities.
This is carefully matched to each individual learners long term outcomes on their Education Health and Care Plan and is tracked on a termly basis by their teachers to monitor progress.
The personalised nature of assessment means that each learner can then access a curriculum which has been developed according to their specific needs and abilities. Teachers strive to incorporate the specific interests of learners into lessons and individual activities to capture the attention and interest of that learner. Parents are invited to discuss their child’s progress on a termly basis.