Rowden House School Curriculum Policy

RHS Curriculum Policy 701RHS


Policy Section Number


Date Ratified

March 2023

Version Number


Next Review Date

March 2024

Related Policies and Guidance Documents

Senad Curriculum Policy 701

Related Regulations

Annexes and Supplementary Info

Policy Owner

Ruth Nolan

Policy Owner Signature

Rowden House School – Curriculum Policy


This local policy is linked to the aims of the school for all students to • Engage in learning • Develop communication skills • Learn to self-manage behaviours • Form positive relationships Students attending the school may present with complex and severe learning difficulties with co-occurring diagnosis which include: Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Retts syndrome, challenging behaviour, mental health needs, OCD, communication difficulties, physical and sensory needs.

The principles of the curriculum are based on the following:

• Each student is unique, with the potential to learn and become a resilient, capable, confident and self-assured individual • Each student can learn through positive relationships with others • Students will learn and develop when provided with an enabling environment which responds to their needs. • Students learn and develop in different way

Curriculum intent

All students need to develop the key skills of engagement, motivation and thinking before they can effectively engage in active learning through specific curriculum targets The curriculum intends for all students to enjoy learning, make progress and achieve. To become confident individuals living safe, healthy and fulfilling lives who make a positive contribution to society.

The curriculum supports students’ learning and development by closely matching what is provided to the needs of the individual by considering the following, ensuring meaningful progress is made

The rate of learning The barriers to learning Individual motivations

• • •

All of the students admitted to the school have a diagnosis of either severe or moderate learning difficulties. It is therefore integral to the development of the

Policy 706.1RHS SENAD Group Education V3 MAR 23


curriculum that the appropriate developmental and engagement levels are incorporated into the learning opportunities and personalised curriculum access.

The curriculum enables learning to take place in a variety of settings with students being encouraged to engage in activities in and out of the classroom, in the home setting or the community. Through the initial stages of exploration of an activity the students then develop to expressing a preferred experience which then promotes meaningful engagement and transferable skills. The curriculum includes access to a work experience programme for students in Post 16. The suitability for the work experience programme is identified through discussion with the class teacher and work experience co coordinator. Individualised or small group sessions are created for both off-site and on-site experiences to promote the transference of learnt skills and social interaction. On-going formative assessment ensures the learning is challenged and extended. Through understanding and observing each student’s development and learning, teachers are able to assess progress and plan for the next steps, linking targets to long term outcomes and supporting future transitions. The majority of students leaving the school transition onto adult social care provision with access to daily activities, or day college courses. They will be living in with others either sharing a group home or accessing group communal areas and therefore the curriculum needs to ensure they are equipped with the skills necessary to enable them have the greatest possible degree of autonomy and ability to form relationships with others.

Curriculum implementation

• All of the students at the school follow a curriculum which incorporates their cognition and learning, communication and interaction, social emotional and health and sensory/physical needs. All classes have the facilities and staffing to meet these needs. The criteria for class grouping are therefore based on student compatibility and peer/ staff relationships. • Each student has an Individual Learning Plan linked to their EHCP outcomes which incorporates targets in the following areas: communication, literacy, numeracy, independence & personal care, social skills & behaviour, health and wellbeing as well as therapy targets following on from SALT and OT assessments. • Each student has an engagement profile to encompass the five areas of engagement which reflects the both the individual motivations and barriers to learning so that all students at whatever level can be engaged to learn and achieve.

Policy 706.1RHS SENAD Group Education V3 MAR 23


• As the majority of students are supported on a 1:1 staffing ratio. Classes have been created to ensure students are in small class groups, with a maximum of 5 students dependent on compatibility and behaviours.

• The developmental stages of the individual students are reflected within the curriculum planning and at all times their entitlement to age appropriate activities and resources are acknowledged. • Learning opportunities are created within the students’ day to enable all students to build on what they already know and what they need to make progress in, in order to overcome barriers to their learning. • A consistent approach to the management of behaviours following NAPPi guidelines ensures expectations and standards of behaviour within the school are conducive to a safe and productive learning environment. • Planned activities and class trips encourage students to be active members of their community increasing their understanding and awareness of their community and the wider world. • The curriculum enables students to be self-determining by promoting their ability to express preferences, communicate needs, make decisions and be either self-advocating and/or able to make use of an advocate. • Students receive input from Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy on a regular basis; as well as Educational Psychology and Clinical Psychotherapy where appropriate. This enables individual needs to be assessed and addressed through specifically designed programmes which are followed throughout the school and residential settings and incorporated into Individual Learning Plans. • All students are provided with opportunities to be able to learn and achieve in ways that are relevant, meaningful and realistic to their individual circumstances. • Themes and topics within the curriculum and programmes of study ensure each individual student has access to experiences which promotes British Values and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. • The school actively encourages parents/carers, families and the wider community to play an active part in the life of the school and in the provision for their child where appropriate. • PSHE/RSHE teaching incorporates the principles of So Safe into specific learning targets for all students linked to their developmental needs and social awareness. • The school is committed to e-safety and procedures are in place to ensure students have appropriately managed access to the internet as well as specific teaching to ensure the skills are taught to enable students to be aware of their own safety. More information is available in the ICT policy.

Policy 706.1RHS SENAD Group Education V3 MAR 23


Structure of the curriculum

Due to the personalisation of the curriculum the allocated time to specific subject areas is determined by the needs of the students. Literacy and Numeracy are delivered through a functional context whenever possible to enable practical understanding and transferable life skills to be embedded. There are also specific teaching times within the daily timetable to ensure skills are taught through 1:1 and group learning sessions The inclusion of a vocational and life skills focusses to the curriculum ensure opportunities for learning are maximised and the skills learnt are transferable, with appropriate planning and support, into the home, the local community and future placements. The curriculum aims to promote and encourage engagement in learning through all Key Stages, in line with the developmental levels of each individual. The subject focus for the curriculum is on three key areas:




Expressive communication





Receptive communication

Using and applying






Personal development




The teaching of reading and language comprehension focuses on the way in which students are enabled to make sense of the objects, images, words and sentences that they see or hear throughout their day. This can include using objects of reference to access a swimming session; sharing a group interactive story session, matching symbols on a recipe sequence to the items in the food cupboard or identifying the bus photograph on their personal timetable to prepare for a trip.

The teaching of numeracy focusses on the development of mathematical awareness in relation to developing functional life skills. Students are taught through the use of practical sessions to make sense of the world around them and promote independence.

Policy 706.1RHS SENAD Group Education V3 MAR 23


This can be achieved through activities such as gardening, cookery, shopping trips, water play.

The curriculum life skills focus, which incorporates: Communication Behaviour





Personal care/life skills Work experience


Sensory profile


Community involvement


Social skills


Social interaction

The key stage 3/4 curriculum delivers learning through a 3-year rolling programme with the subject and life skills pathways incorporated into the half termly topics. The students who start the school in Key stage 3 may revisit the topics in year 1 & 2 which are then extended to meet their individual needs




1 st

Year 1

My School Christmas/mini enterprise

Healthy lifestyles Community/cultures

Plants Water

2 nd

1 st

Year 2

My day Planning a party

Space Hot/cold Materials Sound

Sport Making a journey Living creatures World of work

2 nd

1 st

Year 3

Climate Festivals

2 nd

The Post 16 curriculum is a 3-year rolling programme, which includes academic, vocational, life skills, and life choices pathways, incorporated into schemes of work and linked to the Preparation for Adulthood (PfA) outcomes of:

1. Employment/Higher Education 2. Independent living 3. Participation in society 4. Being as health as possible in adult life.

Policy 706.1RHS SENAD Group Education V3 MAR 23





1 st

Year 1

Community Mini-enterprise Healthy living Taking part

Homes Culture

Plants Leisure

2 nd

1 st

Year 2

Discovery British Values Self- awareness Creativity

Horticulture Habitats Lifestyles Transition

2 nd

1 st

Year 3

Community access Taking part

2 nd

The students in Key Stage 4 and Post 16 are given the opportunity to gain accreditation in the form of a certificate, award or diploma through the NOCN Entry Level Personal Progress, or Employability Skills linked to their individual learning targets.

Impact: Responsibilities for delivery, monitoring and evaluation The Head of Service and Head of Learning of Rowden House School are responsible for • Monitoring the quality of provision across the school and managing the day-to- day delivery of the agreed curriculum. • Monitoring and evaluating standards of teaching and learning and putting into place action to bring about any improvements that are necessary, ensuring all teachers are able to teach to an Ofsted rating of at least good. • Ensuring equality of opportunity for all students. • Preparing a School Development Plan for presentation to, and approval by, SENAD on an annual basis, in order to ensure that all provision is either excellent or improving and ensuring a successful Ofsted Inspection at the appropriate time. • Development, review and evaluation of the curriculum policy. • Ensuring continuity and progression by having oversight of long term and medium-term planning and monitoring teachers’ short term planning and daily lesson planning. • Liaising with the registered manager to ensure the waking curriculum within the residential setting is reflected in the practice and targets of the Individual Learning Plans. • Ensuring that appropriate resources are available to support curriculum access for all students, including those with English as an Additional Language needs and disabilities. • Working with the SENAD SIP to monitor progress and identify areas for improvement. • Assessment data is used formatively in teaching and therapy sessions and students are able to build on and/or consolidate what they already know and are able to do. • The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of students is being promoted. • The schools safeguarding procedures are incorporated into all aspects of the planning and delivery of the curriculum following the guidelines within Keeping Children Safe including the Prevent agenda.

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Class teachers are responsible for:

• Planning and delivery of an appropriate curriculum for individual students within their class drawing upon the developmental stages of students and the design principles of this policy. • Promoting high expectations of student learning and achievement. • Managing their classroom environment to offer support for developing independent learning and curriculum access for all. • The delivery of relevant and appropriately differentiated learning experiences to all the students in their class, taking account of each student’s preferred learning style, prior learning and any known disability. • Assessing ea ch student’s progress on a regular basis and using this assessment to further differentiate their teaching. • Setting appropriate targets for each student and ensuring that the student understands his/her targets and how to achieve them. • Recording and repo rting regularly on each student’s progress and highlighting any underachievement. • Liaising with key workers to set targets for Individual Learning Plans.

The senior management team, working with all staff and parents will monitor the implementation and impact of this curriculum policy and provide an annual report to SENAD.

The success of the policy will be judged by:

• Data dashboard evidence collating progress against attainment/behaviour/attendance, informing next stage. • ILP termly evaluations using engagement criteria to evidence level of involvement in learning • Feedback from and discussion with parents • Feedback from and discussion with outside agencies • Monitoring of the success of next transition placement

Policy 706.1RHS SENAD Group Education V3 MAR 23


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