September 2021 starters – please click here

Key Stage 3

EQUALS Curriculum

We use the EQUALS curriculum as the core framework for our teaching at Addington Valley Academy. The EQUALS program is a curriculum designed specifically for SLD and ASD pupils. It acknowledges that progress for our pupils is often lateral rather than linear and enables teachers to plan teaching around what the pupils are able to do as much as what they can’t. It provides an approach that ensures that a learning journey at Addington Valley can be thought of as a map with different paths to reach the required outcomes and achievements that best suit the child, rather than a ladder that can only reach certain heights in one way.

It enables a highly individualised approach without losing the breadth of experience that is so important for our pupils.

Our core curriculum:

  • My Communication
  • My Independence
  • My Physical Wellbeing
  • My Creativity

Additional areas:

  • My Outdoor School
  • My Sensory Play
  • Attention Autism

Pathway 1 – Pre-informal/Informal curriculum

This is for our most complex and vulnerable pupils. They are primarily non-verbal with complexities around processing, memory retention, personal care and forms of communication that can be expressed through behaviour. The adult to student ratio is high, generally 1:1, so that we can best support our young people. These pupils follow individualised timetables with an emphasis on EHCP outcomes including speech and language and occupational therapy targets that best suit their particular needs. 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.

The curriculum approach is a primary model and topic based so as to ensure all our pupils are part of the greater whole. However, the individual curriculums, work set and the structure of the day is highly differentiated to ensure that good progress is made by every student. Most academic work is done with 1:1 support and group sessions are kept small so as to help the pupils regulate effectively.

With this cohort, a highly structured school day is of paramount importance, however we also recognise that in a child led environment, learning can take place at anytime and anywhere.

Our pupils may not be ready to, or willing to abide by an external structure so learning opportunities can also be grasped at any point during the day, with flexible materials and lessons that can take place anywhere necessary.

Pathway 2 – Semi-formal Pathway

Our core curriculum:

  • My Communication
  • My Independence
  • My Thinking and Problem solving
  • My Physical Wellbeing

Additional areas:

  • My Citizenship – RSE
  • My Outdoor School
  • My Art/Dance/Drama/Music
  • The World About Me
  • Attention Autism

This is for our pupils who are a little more independent. They may have limited speech with complexities around processing and memory retention. Personal care and forms of communication that can be expressed through behaviour are skills that are being developed by this cohort. They will require some support but are working towards independence. The student to adult ratio is high, generally 2:1 or 3:1. These pupils follow individualised timetables with an emphasis on speech and language and occupational therapy targets that best suit their particular needs. They work from a more traditional classroom, with easy access to an outdoor space. Transitions are kept short and part of a highly structured day. Teaching approaches are tailored to suit their needs.

The curriculum approach is a broadly primary model and is topic based, so as to ensure all our pupils are part of the greater whole. However, the individual curriculums, the work set and the structure of the day is very highly differentiated to ensure that good progress is made by every student. Most academic work is done within small groups or 1:1 support, some independent work is possible. Group work can be classed based or small group.

With this cohort, a highly structured school day is of paramount importance, we encourage these pupils to work mainly within the classroom and other learning areas.

Pathway 3 – Formal Pathway

Our core curriculum:

  • My Communication
  • My Independence
  • English / Literacy
  • Mathematics / Numeracy
  • My Physical Wellbeing

Additional areas:

  • Adapted National Curriculum
  • My Citizenship – RSE
  • My Outdoor School
  • My Art/Dance/Drama/Music
  • The World About us
  • Attention Autism

This is for our most independent learners. They may present with more developed communication skills but with complexities around processing and memory retention. Personal care and forms of communication that can be expressed through behaviour are more developed in this cohort. They will require some support but are working towards independence. The adult to student ratio is high, generally 2:1 or 3:1. These pupils follow a class timetable with opportunities for individualised and targeted work. They work from a traditional classroom, with easy access to an outdoor space. Transitions are manageable and part of a highly structured day. Teaching approaches are tailored to suit their needs.

The curriculum approach is a primary model and is topic based, so as to ensure all our pupils are part of the greater whole. The work set and the structure of the day is differentiated to ensure that good progress is made by every student. Academic work is taught as a class and then pupils do independent work. High levels of support are always at hand.

With this cohort, a highly structured school day is of paramount importance, these pupils work mainly within the classroom and other learning areas.

Click here to view our topics of study

Approaches we may use:

  • Intensive Interaction
  • PECs
  • Interpretation of body language, gesture, facial expressions and vocalisations
  • Phonics
  • Play
  • Signing
  • Objects of reference
  • Choice making
  • Games (1:1 turn taking)
  • Reading
  • Theatre of Possibilities
  • Dance Interaction
  • Body Awareness
  • Symbols including eye pointing and exchanging
  • Call and response
  • Music (live & recorded)
  • Music Interaction
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Storytelling
  • ICT (switches, eye gaze, iPad)
  • Sounds
  • Listening
  • Drama
  • Switch On Reading
  • Massage Stories
  • Scanning book
  • Sensory exploration with a wide range of stimuli
  • Mathematics
  • Snack time
  • Personal development/ self-help
  • Play
  • ICT
  • Science
  • Cause & Effect (both ICT & non ICT)
  • Choice making
  • Multi-sensory environments
  • Community visits
  • PE
  • Physical Challenge
  • Problem solving by sabotaging a regular routine, activity, event etc.
  • Cooking
  • Art

Wellbeing and Therapy:

Many of our pupils have sensory processing disorders (SPD) and they need adult intervention to help them manage these difficulties. If they are not comfortable or they are dysregulated, they will disengage with the world around them and this in turn will have an impact on their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Sensory processing disorders can present themselves in many different ways:

  • overly or under sensitive to touch, movement, sights or sounds
  • motor coordination difficulties
  • activity level unusually high or low
  • poor organisation of behaviour
  • delays in speech and language development
  • poor self-concept
  • difficulties in activities of daily living
  • difficulties in learning
  • challenging behaviours
  • unable to express emotions
  • anxieties
  • poor self-confidence and self-esteem
  • avoiding eye contact
  • overly affectionate
  • unable to read body language
  • frustration
  • difficulties coping with changes in routine
  • cries easily

We know our pupils’ very well and know when they need our help to promote their wellbeing. We use different approaches tailored to the pupil’s individual need dependent on who they are.

Some approaches we may use:

  • Sensory Diet
  • Walking
  • Weighted backpacks
  • Weighted blankets
  • Gym balls
  • Scooter boards
  • Brain gym
  • Sensory Circuits
  • Running
  • Weighted jackets
  • Wobble cushion
  • Peanut rolls
  • Trampoline
  • Chewy tubes
  • Differentiated learning activities
  • Calm classroom
  • Routines
  • Visual supports
  • Rolling on the floor
  • Oral motor activities
  • Low arousal classroom
  • Ear defenders
  • Ordered classroom environment
  • Hard foods at snack
  • Deep pressure

 

 

I think your school and staff are amazing – you have wowed me!

Parent November 2020

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