Sunningdale school offers a ‘person centred curriculum’. Pupils next steps of learning in a broad range of areas are very carefully planned for and then developed through supporting children to access cross-curricular activities, resources and environments within the classroom, broader school and the local community.
The curriculum and assessment at Sunningdale School is delivered under the areas of Cognition and Learning, Communication and Language, Social, Emotional and Mental Health and Physical Development.
The classroom is set out to promote independence and facilitate continuous provision; providing access to a variety of activities to support individual targets and to develop independent learners.
Where appropriate an emphasis is placed on contextual learning that can be applied to ‘real world’ situations.
Where possible staff work with the pupils interest, so that they follow the child’s lead in where they choose to play and learn. Staff work creatively to fit scaffold the next steps of learning for a child through their chosen activity. To give a very straight forward example, if the child is playing in the sand the member of staff supports the child to develop their mark making skills or encourage them to fill and empty containers or find hidden objects to count to support their English, Maths or other academic, physical or social targets.
Observations, Evaluations and Next Steps to Learning are recorded with photographic evidence, which is then used to plan future learning and is filed in the individual child’s electronic learning journey files which are shared with parents via email or at parents evenings..
Focused Group work also takes place within the classroom with a small group of children and a member of staff. The outdoor environment and therapies are also incorporated within the classroom planning to provide "hands on learning” whilst encouraging the child to transfer their learning around different areas of the school.
The school use a variety of approaches to reading including elements of Letters and Sounds, Jolly Phonics and sight reading.
The national curriculum subject areas are still covered under Cognition and Learning at Sunningdale School and staff have worked hard to break down the skills and knowledge we would expect a child at Sunningdale School to experience at each key stage into developmentally appropriate steps and skills. Staff use these ‘coverage’ documents to ensure a broad range of academic opportunities are accessed by all pupils. This is taught through the school’s creative curriculum rather than as discrete subjects.
By providing early intervention regarding problem solving, independent, creative learning we believe that children with Severe Learning Difficulties will have a better foundation to apply the discrete subject based skills that we are teaching them through their child centred play and activity.
A small proportion of children that attend Sunningdale school are engaged in National Curriculum level learning and do this formally but still through cross-curricular opportunities and activities.