In the school’s Explore Pathway we are keen to develop independence and agency. We utilise a low-demand informal curriculum approach supported by a range of recognised communication, regulation and teaching strategies to develop the ability of pupils in this pathway to self-initiate, communicate, tolerate others and tolerate uncertainty.
‘Allowing children to choose their activities and providing opportunities for self direction may be especially important in promoting the development of independence for children with disabilities and social interaction among children with disabilities and their peers’ (Rezka et al. 2012: 53).
In the Semi-formal Explore Pathway children will be beginning to develop some subject specific skills such as shape, number, reading and writing.
Semi-formal Play Pathway
The Semi-Formal Play Pathway at Sunningdale School has been designed to meet the needs of pupils with Severe Learning Disabilities (SLD) who are autonomous across a range of contexts, have a more developed ability to engage with their environment effectively but are still continuing to develop their ‘realisation’ (The Engagement Model, 2020) as well as their ability to apply their learning to varying contexts and functional situations.
The teaching approach in this pathway is aimed at developing creativity and thinking critically through an active learning approach based in play and exploration.
In the Semi-formal Play Pathway children will be beginning to develop some subject specific skills such as shape, number, reading and writing. Pupils progressing along our Semi-formal Play Pathway will be taught to apply these to a range of contexts.
The Formal National Curriculum sub-pathway is for pupils accessing the sequential content of year 1 of the National Curriculum. These pupils will still have a Personalised Learning Plan supporting their progress across all areas of their development.
Due to the complexity of the current pupil cohort at Sunningdale School there are no pupils accessing the Formal Pathway in 2022-23.
Cross- pathway hybrid classes will be considered where children’s learning characteristics require elements of two or more pathways.
A number of videos with examples of our curriculum pathways can be found in the News Videos and Curriculum sections of our YouTube channel here.
Pupils in ALL pathways recieve appropriate therapeutic input to support their holistic development. Pupils at Sunningdale School receive individualised therapeutic input including Speeach and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and other more bespoke therapies such as Music Therapy, Hydrotherapy and Rebound Therapy.
Reszka, S.S., Odom, S.L. and Hume, K.A. (2012) Ecological features of preschools and the social engagement of children with autism, Journal of Early Intervention, 34(1): 40-56.