Our aim is to plan and provide activities and experiences that help children to make progress in their development and learn in a stimulating, fun, positive and supportive environment. We currently deliver a topic based curriculum based on the Early Years Foundation Stage framework and tailor it to the needs of our children. Engagement, motivation and thinking skills are at the heart of our curriculum in lower school and children are provided with opportunities for play and exploration, being active in their learning along with tasks which will develop creative and critical thinking. The EYFS framework now incorporates Prime and Specific areas.
The Prime Areas are: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development. The Specific areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society and these include: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
We also have a particular focus on communication, access to the curriculum and mobility, and continue to work towards the children becoming as independent as possible. We aim to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum through a termly topic that is matched to the children's individual abilities. Physiotherapy, occupational and speech and language therapies are also integrated throughout the school day.
We recognise the importance of Early Years education in preparing children for future learning and life experiences and in building on what children already know and can do. Each child is unique and all staff have high aspirations for each child’s development. We offer a curriculum that is ambitious, that ensures no child is excluded or disadvantaged. It is based on the EYFS framework and the four themes of the EYFS inform practice – A Unique Child, Positive Relationships, Enabling Environments and Learning and Development.
We have a strong focus on learning and developing through play and playfulness. We provide opportunities for children to take part in activities that build on and extend their interests and develop their social, intellectual and emotional abilities. We provide opportunities for learning in different environments, both indoors and outdoors, using a wide range of resources and equipment including specialised equipment to support children’s complex needs.
Children in Early Years achieve the best possible outcomes. The opportunities that are provided to develop their knowledge and skills are carefully tailored to individual needs. Each child is therefore able to achieve excellence in their own learning and is well prepared to move on to the next stage of education.
For our Semi Formal learners, we provide a curriculum which reflects the needs of the whole child. This includes independence skills, functional literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills and also opportunities to feel part of and understand the wider community and world.
Our pupils have access to a breadth of experiences which support a holistic approach to learning. The pupils’ physical, health, social/emotional and communication needs are incorporated into the school day. A typical week incorporates the following curriculum areas
As with the Formal learners, the pupils are set targets for the four areas of the EHC to include Communication, Cognitive, Physical and Sensory and Social and Emotional, on a termly basis, in conjunction with parents and other professionals. We measure the outcomes for functional literacy and numeracy through our onwards and upwards system.
Our Pre-Formal Curriculum at St Francis School is designed to support the engagement and learning of pupils’ working between P1-P4. The curriculum has been created to enable an individualised approach that allows practitioners to draw on pupils’ individual interests and strengths. Although the curriculum is based around the areas of Communication, Cognitive, Physical and Sensory and Social and Emotional we adopt a cross curricular approach throughout the school day.
The pupils’ learning and experiences are based around a termly theme but also consider the pupils own interests. The timetable offers a rich and varied curriculum which includes:
The pupils have access to multi-sensory learning environments throughout their week.
The pupils are set termly learning intentions which are measured using the MAPP scale which is a continuum of skill development. There is close liaison with parents/carers and other professionals.
St Francis Special School, Wickenby Crescent, Lincoln, LN1 3TJ
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