Valley School Curriculum Statement
At Valley School, we are committed to support and challenge every child to reach their potential. Every day, we celebrate the small steps that our children make, confident that these achievements will make a long term difference in their education beyond Valley School. Our motto ‘Small Steps, Giant Strides’ is central to our approach.
Our curriculum has evolved over many years and is based on our collective experience of working with unique children with a diverse range of needs. It is tried and tested yet continues to be adapted to meet the changing needs of the children as well as taking on board developments in special education teaching. It is influenced by aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage, the National Curriculum and the Curriculum for Children with Learning Difficulties.
Through our nurturing environment and curriculum, we endeavour to ensure that our children are confident, motivated and happy learners. The well-being of every child is central to our work. We use play as a vehicle to deliver our curriculum as we believe that it is the best way to provide engaging learning for each child. The teaching of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development including British Values is embedded in all our teaching and learning.
Our curriculum starts with each individual child. Each pupil has a carefully constructed IEP based on their annual review targets and parental priorities and multi-disciplinary team targets are written into them. They are updated three times a year or more frequently if needed. IEP targets are worked across the school day and in particular in sessions such as Ready to Learn, Communication and Play, Work Baskets, Snack Time, Dinner Time, Look and Listen, VAMP (Valley Aided Movement Programme), outside play as well as transitioning around school. This may be in 1:1 or small group settings.
In addition to this very personalised learning, we also teach a topic based approach whereby the areas of learning of Literacy – reading, Mathematics, Understanding the World (UW), Personal, Social and Emotional Education (PSED), RHE (Relationships and Health Education), RE, Expressive Arts and Design (EAD) and Physical Development (including Funky Fingers our fine motor control, writing and gross motor teaching) are taught across the week. Curriculum maps detail the coverage. These provide ensure our curriculum is broad and balanced. The teaching of Communication and Interaction runs across all our curriculum.
We believe that by combining a personalised approach with a topic based structure, we can ensure our curriculum remains broad and balanced as well as providing a varying and motivating vehicle for the delivery of key personalised skills.
Repetition is a key part of our approach and we deliver repeated sessions. By providing a structure including similar activities for a number of weeks over a half term, the children gain confidence in the session and the small steps of progress that each child makes, can be more easily built upon.
Our school is divided into three phases – Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3. Each has distinct characteristics and each follows a different and carefully constructed 2-year topic cycle with associated schemes of work. The schemes of work support a systematic, progressive and ambitious curriculum and ensures that as each unique child moves through school they have progression of experiences and prior knowledge can be built on and extended.
We ensure that our curriculum is enriching through using our wide range of indoor and outdoor facilities as well as accessing the wider community for teaching and learning. We provide Forest School, an innovative, annual, Enrichment Week based on an engaging theme as well as delivering whole school themed days.
At Valley School, we take a broad and encompassing approach to the teaching of Communication, Language and Literacy. We emphasise the development of communication, language attention and comprehension so that our pupils have the opportunity to develop these vital skills before we begin the more formal teaching of reading.
We want all our children to enjoy reading and they participate regularly in shared books, sensory stories, book exploration, songs including rhythm and rhyme, ‘Look and Listen sessions’ (based on Attention Autism) as well as small group and personalised 1:1 communication sessions.
When appropriate we follow Letters and Sounds as our phonics scheme. See and Learn and/or Oxford Reading Tree are our reading schemes.
For further information about our curriculum please contact firstname.lastname@example.org