BBAO launches a new curriculum designed to support all of our students
This September, at BBAO, we implemented a new curriculum for our students, however the journey towards this began at the end of 2018 when we developed our school vision to its current form with the emphasis on preparing every child for LIFE (learning, independence, friendship, emotions).
Following our ‘Good’ Ofsted rating, in February, we believed that it was the right time to take the next step on our journey towards ‘Outstanding’ by looking closely at our curriculum offer – what are we doing well, what was not working as well, does it match our school vision and what we wanted for our students.
From the start of the review all staff (teachers, PPs, therapy team, pastoral team) were included in the process as we wished to plan an entire learning experience through not only class lessons but for every moment a child had contact with the school. This development took the rest of the school year to complete due to the fact that both SLT and staff wanted to make sure that we were implementing the correct curriculum for our students.
Using the new Ofsted framework of the three ‘I’s within Quality of Education, our initial step of developing the new curriculum was to come to agreement about our intent: Where did we want our young children to be in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years’ time? These discussions led to our mission statement - to prepare every child for LIFE (learning, independence, friendship, emotions) by ensuring that the curriculum is not solely focused on individual lessons but is an entire planned learning experience with a child centred approach to every aspect of a student’s life including therapeutic provision, SEMH needs, rewards/sanctions and learning. We believed that as far as it is possible that we should make all of these areas individualised to the child and their needs, alongside giving real opportunities, so as to prepare them for their next learning steps and to become a full member of society with as many opportunities open to them as possible.
In our next curriculum CPD we worked on the implementation of the new curriculum - what would support our students in getting to the point that they are ‘full members of society with as many opportunities open to them as possible’? It was decided that we would provide a fully immersive themed learning working on half termly based activities that would include all subjects, were possible, delivering quality first teaching and learning based on pedagogy. Each theme is to start with a launch day and end with a celebration of learning and outcomes with staff, students and parents. As part of the theme we would also include technology as part of everyday learning, at least one academic trip as well as one outside speaker/event – were possible using local people/knowledge/resources.
Whilst many hours have been invested in the new curriculum this is not the end of the journey. A three year plan has been put in place with half termly CPD’s reflect, review and adapt the curriculum during the year.