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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 (CYP). This includes (CYP) with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), additional needs and from disadvantaged groups. CYP’s skills, knowledge and abilities are developed so that CYP can apply what they know and can do so with increasing fluency and independence.

Staff are aware of CYP with SEND, with additional needs or who are from disadvantaged groups. Staff understand the nature and impact of these and how to respond to them. Planning incorporates more detailed specialist advice.

Examples of good practice

› Curriculum planning carefully considers the needs of all CYP. 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 e.g. visual timetables, clear concise instructions which are adapted to the child’s language level and reinforced with visual prompts (e.g. now and next cards), particularly during transitions. 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 ie 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 CYP, including those who are above expectations for their chronological age.

› The environment, availability and use of resources are 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 CYP and undertake relevant professional development.

› Preparation for adulthood is built into the curriculum from the earliest opportunity. Over time CYP 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 CYP’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 CYP’s next steps in learning and make adaptations as requried.

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

›Reading and communication are at the heart of the school 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 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 CYP and they have access to homework clubs, or additional support with homework, where relevant.

› Teachers’ handwriting on the board and in CYP’s books is clear and legible. Visual strategies are used well and when appropriate.

› Where applicable, interactive whiteboards are used to effectively promote engagement and scaffold learning. Where CYP 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’s engagement and learning.

Expectation 3

Staff ensure that CYP 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 children 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 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 CYP’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 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.

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

Last updated 8 December 2020

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