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Curriculum, teaching and learning

Expectation 1

The curriculum is successfully adapted, designed or developed to be ambitious and meet the needs of children and young people Children and young people’s skills, knowledge and abilities are developed so that they can apply what they know and can do so with increasing fluency and independence.

Staff are aware of children and young people with SEND, from groups with protected characteristics including children from minority ethnic groups and those with from disadvantaged groups. Staff understand the nature and impact of these factors and how to respond to them. Planning incorporates more detailed specialist advice.

Examples of good practice

› Curriculum planning carefully considers the needs of all children and young people. Staff assess children and young people’s understanding, strengths and interests and identify any misconceptions or gaps in knowledge and skilfully adapt teaching accordingly.

› Additional resources and teaching are used according to individual needs. Consistent approaches and routines are in place.

› Staff should use appropriate methods of communication and ensure that all children and young people have understood what is being communicated with them.

› Children and young people are given time to process information before being invited to respond in a communication style that is accessible to them.

› Learning experiences are made accessible and are engaging. Experiences can be broken down into small, manageable and logical steps. These steps are demonstrated explicitly. In early years, staff plan open ended activities based on their observations of children’s interests and skills.

› The pace and order of experiences and activities is stimulating in order to maintain interest and attention of all children and young people, including those who are above expectations for their chronological age.

› The environment, availability and use of resources are regularly reviewed and adapted to meet the needs of children and young people. This is embedded as part of positive setting practice.

› Staff are committed to developing their expertise, skills and understanding of individual children and young people and undertake relevant professional development.

› Preparation for adulthood is built into the curriculum from the earliest opportunity. Over time children and young people develop the skills, knowledge and experience they need to be independent and ready for their adult life.

Expectation 2

Staff adapt learning approaches to provide suitable learning challenges. Staff cater for different learning needs and styles, with individualised and/or small group planning and programmes where appropriate.

Every practitioner is a teacher of SEND.

Examples of good practice

› Learning is carefully adapted, taking into account individual children and young people’s previously acquired knowledge, skills and experiences. Flexible and personalised approaches to learning are used effectively.

›Learning is carefully planned and sequenced (broken down and visually supported) so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught and experienced, using the child’s interests as a starting point. All children and young people have identified next steps for learning.

› Staff effectively interact with children and young people to scaffold learning and provide positive feedback. Staff evaluate the child or young person’s engagement in the experiences, the learning environment and progress made. They use this information skilfully to plan the child’s next steps in learning and make adaptations as required.

›School and settings use ‘steps-to success’ or similar, to promote independence, scaffold and support children and young people.

›Reading and communication are at the heart of the curriculum because staff understand the paramount importance of these skills for future learning and independence. In early years settings communication and language, including talk, stories, rhyme and songs, is the basis of the curriculum.

›Staff are skilled in adjusting the pace and order of activities to maintain interest and attention.

›Multi-sensory teaching approaches (auditory, visual, kinaesthetic) are used. Children and young people have lots of opportunity to move as they engage in play and learning activities.

›Modelling is used to aid understanding e.g. use of appropriate language and movement.

› Visual/ audio demonstrations, strategies and visual cues/ audio cues and commentary are used when appropriate.

› Key vocabulary is displayed with visuals and pre-taught if appropriate.

› Alternatives to written records are used routinely.

› In schools, study skills are explicitly taught.

› School homework/home learning is adapted appropriately for children and young people and they have access to homework clubs, or additional support with homework, where relevant.

› Teachers’ handwriting is clear and legible, modelling the school’s handwriting style. Visual strategies are used well and when appropriate.

› Where applicable, interactive whiteboards are used to effectively promote engagement and scaffold learning. Where children and young people are not able to access information on the whiteboard, alternatives are provided.

› Planning and schemes work should highlight the use of the above approaches and appropriate resources to support children and young people’s engagement and learning.

Resources are within easy reach of all children and young people to promote learning, independence, respect and reduced stigma.

Expectation 3

Staff ensure that children and young people have opportunities to work in different ways e.g. independently, in a variety of small groups and/or in pairs.

Examples of good practice

› Strategies are used to actively promote independent learning e.g. through pre-teaching, overlearning, appropriately adapted resources. In early years, it is recognised that recognised that repetition can be important to a child’s development. Adults scaffold learning, carefully observing and taking the lead from the child to identify where repetition is appropriate and where they need to be supported to move on in their learning.

› Strategies are carefully selected for a specific purpose, linked to assessed needs and working towards agreed next steps.

› Seating plans and groupings of children and young people take account of individual needs.  They routinely provide opportunities for access to role models, mixed ability groups, structured opportunities for conversation/ sharing of ideas and access to additional adults where they are available.

› Use of additional adults is planned to maximise their impact on learning, bearing in mind the need to promote independence where possible.

› Adults are clear about their role and how they are contributing to the child or young person’s learning.

Expectation 4

Staff provide regular opportunities for collaborative learning and peer support.

Examples of good practice

› Strategies are used to build, maintain and restore positive relationships (including peer and staff) across the whole school / setting community e.g. consistent use of restorative approaches. These are regularly reviewed and evaluated.

› There are opportunities to develop peer awareness/ sensitivity and support for different needs both in and out of the classroom / learning environment.

The school / setting promotes a culture of peer support and challenge providing opportunities for peer observations and providing constructive feedback.

Last updated 25 August 2021

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