Pathway 1 – Informal Learners
This is for our most complex and vulnerable students.
- Students are primarily non-verbal with complexities around processing, memory retention, personal care and forms of communication that can be expressed through behaviour. They do not yet have a preferred form of communication.
- The adult to student ratio is higher
- These students follow individualised timetables with an emphasis on EHCP outcomes, including speech and language and occupational therapy targets
- They work from a low arousal classroom, with easy access to an outdoor space. Transitions are kept to a minimum and teaching approaches are tailored to suit their needs.
- Learning engagement is promoted through high interest activities and resources
Sensory-based tasks form a key part of the learning process.
The Equals curriculum for Pre-formal/Informal learners has need specifically designed for students with learning difficulties and complex needs.
‘…this Informal Curriculum rejects behaviourism as an over-arching philosophy and instead urges a ‘learning to be’ approach. This takes as its fundamental basic principle that children with complex learning difficulties must learn how to be (themselves) as a necessary precursor to learning how to do…’ (Equals curriculum www.Equals.co.uk.)
This means that learners must:
- be allowed (and indeed, be positively encouraged) to be comfortable with activities and states of being that are important to them, as part of the process of being given opportunities to discover other activities and states of being that may become important to them;
- be free to like who and what they wish and be encouraged to learn how to express such preferences positively;
- be free to reject experiences and people not liked and encouraged to learn how to express such preferences positively;
- be positively encouraged to take total control of their own behaviour so that self-regulation (rather than being regulated by others) becomes a major part of their learning;
- be given constant opportunities to communicate positively and to have both voice and agency (that is, be always listened to with preferences always acted upon) within the confines of a safe and secure environment. There may be occasional times when voice and agency are denied, but these will only be in exceptional circumstances when the safety of the learner or those around the learner is in question.
Students are always working towards EHCP long term outcomes and we are using the 5 areas of engagement to monitor pupil engagement in learning. EHCP outcomes are split into 7 – 9 yearly targets across the 4 areas of need and these are broken down to termly targets; students are baselined and progress is monitored towards these targets.