Our Curriculum

At KHS children can access the curriculum through three different personalised approaches, these are:

Expose, Explore and Enquire. Children learning through the ‘expose’ approach are supported to access the engagement model which covers the following five areas; exploration, realisation, anticipation, persistence and initiation.

Children who are learning through the ‘explore’ approach are supported to develop their attention and listening skills, developing play skills with adults and peers and expanding their understanding and use of language.  Sensory and self-regulation, understanding their feelings. 

We expect children who are learning through the ‘enquire’ approach will be able to demonstrate much greater independence at school. These learners will access individualised and universal learning and therapeutic experiences. They may be more readily able to offer greater awareness, autonomy when interacting with their learning or therapy. They will also be working on developing their repertoire of social and leisure-based interests as well as honing important self-directed learning and organisational skills.

There is complete flexibility between the model and we know that as their learning needs change the curriculum will also need to adjust to those changes.

  • Numeracy
  • Literacy
  • Science and Investigation
  • PSHE/SMSC
  • Creative and Expressive Arts – My Creativity
  • Communication and Regulation– Having My Say (SCERTS)
  • Physical and Sensory – Myself and My Body (OT)
  • Life Skills and Independence (OT)

Our Wellbeing Team has been key to the creation of the curriculum. The school recognizes that in order for our children and young people to make progress then there needs to be more emphasis on therapeutic intervention. Our curriculum responds to this need and hold the curriculum delivery whilst driving impact.

At Kestrel House School, we base our teaching philosophy on the belief that learning is not just the acquisition of skills, but rather that true learning affects the way a child thinks and understands the world and operates within it.

The SCERTS approach is therefore our schoolwide investment. It holds the EHCP and drives the delivery foci.

We recognize that pupils in our autism-specific classes need a wider reaching curriculum that enables them to work on the skills, connected to a clearer understanding of non-verbal and verbal communication, social understanding and social behaviour, understanding and controlling their own emotions and thinking and behaving flexibly. Our aim is to use SCERTS to help provide the best possible provision for pupils who are taught in the autism-specific classrooms.  SCERTS is to be used as a framework which enables a range of interventions to be used in a holistic approach to autism (e.g. PECS, Intensive Interaction, Sensory Diets etc.)  SCERTS will be delivered within aspects of the Kestrel Nest Curriculum as identified by our Core Curriculum Leaders.  As our learners begin to take their flight successfully through the curriculum, they will be able to more fully access other curriculum areas. Joining the learners on their journey will be their families and carer community. The SCERTS programme will be used in cooperation with our families, SaLT, Occupational Therapist and our wider community to enrich the learning and give them meaningful learning opportunities.

The learners define the curriculum and this is why it is constantly being reshaped, redefined and refined to meet their needs. It feels right, that now is the time to introduce something new to Kestrel House which I believe will give a wealth of learning opportunities and new experiences for every learner. The school ethos of ‘Thinking and Learning Differently’ will challenge every member of the Kestrel House Community to have different attitudes and values around Special Needs Education. We want our learners to be curious, adventurous, confident, and reflective and use their communication skills to develop their independence. We want them to have a voice and to be heard.

Our curriculum is key to strengthening the work that we do with our families and the communities in which they live. We endeavour to educate the learners and school community so that they will develop transferrable skills and nurture the whole child. Developing communication is fundamental to our pupils’ futures, and our specialism in Communication and Interaction reflects this and underpins every aspect of our curriculum. The curriculum embraces all communication development strategies with a particular emphasis on Intensive Interaction for those pupils at very early developmental levels.