The Primary curriculum at The Forest School is planned and organised to promote engagement, learning and personal development, whilst also ensuring it is accessible and fun and provides an appropriate level of challenge for all.
Our curriculum is taught in a variety of ways; whole class teaching, small group teaching and one to one teaching. The teaching of the curriculum may take place in the classroom, the playground, the dining hall, at home, or in the local community – pupils learn skills for life that they can apply across lots of different situations.
Our pupils have access to a range of National Curriculum subjects, modified and differentiated to suit their diverse needs and differences; including developmental levels, SEN, learning styles, personalities and interests. Literacy and Numeracy form the foundations of our primary curriculum, alongside Me in the World, which incorporates RE, RSE and British Values. Topic areas are carefully chosen to provide the pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum that is engaging, relevant and meaningful and aim to extend pupils’ knowledge and understanding, whilst also developing skills in communication and interaction and independence. Information regarding the primary curriculum, including topics, themes, specific skills and ideas for parents to work on at home, are sent home at the start of each term as a ‘topic cloud’.
Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are central to every child’s learning journey and experiences. Personal targets are set at the start of every term, embedded into daily planning and reviewed and assessed regularly to ensure pupils make progress towards the outcomes set out in their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Progress towards these outcomes is communicated via a termly report to parents and as part of the annual review process.
Teachers work closely with other agencies, for example the speech and language team, the community nursing team, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. This ensures progress, in all areas of development, is promoted and supported through personalised learning programmes, the implementation of specific interventions and resources tailored for individual needs and opportunities to develop functional and transferable skills for life.
Our pupils are given many opportunities to develop their personal and social skills and functional skills and alongside these gain a greater understanding of fundamental British values and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Weekly assemblies, Friday Café, educational visits to The Donkey Sanctuary, the RDA and Knaresborough Swimming Pool all enable our pupils to apply their knowledge and skills within the community, as well as bringing the curriculum to life. We also ensure our pupils have opportunities to partake in a variety of competitive and non-competitive sporting events, residential visits and other educational visits which all enhance the curriculum offer and allow opportunities for pupils to transfer the skills they’ve learned to ‘outside the classroom.’
In order to provide our primary pupils with lessons that are relevant, exciting, age-appropriate and challenging, as well as allowing for positive relationships and friendships to be formed and maintained, the four primary classes are based loosely on age and learning style, with a high level of differentiation to ensure every pupil has the opportunity to reach their full potential.