At Kestrel House School 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.
- Science and Investigation
- 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 learners 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 learners 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 fully5ccesss 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 learners’ 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 learners at very early developmental levels.
The AQA Unit Award Scheme supports the school ethos of ‘thinking and learning differently’. We introduced the AQA Unit Award Scheme in January 2020. During the 22/23 academic year, the school completed 53 AQA Unit Awards and submitted the paperwork. After being assessed externally all the learners were awarded their AQA Unit Award certificates, which they will receive when they leave Kestrel House School.
|AQA Unit Award||Number of learners entered||Percentage of learners who achieved the award|
|Choice making in shopping||2||100%|
|Sensory stories: Participation with assistance||10||100%|
|Introduction to mindfulness||6||100%|
|Making an everyday journey in a familiar setting with support||6||100%|
|Geometry: 3D shapes||4||100%|
|Recognising the names of colours||2||100%|
|Preparing for leisure: Using transport with support||2||100%|
|Experiencing the community around us with support||5||100%|
|Making a multi-leaf dish out of clay, with support||5||100%|
|Music communication, socialisation and creativity||1||100%|
|Encountering pets with support||13||100%|
|Growing plants from bulbs with assistance||4||100%|
|Place value within 100||5||100%|
|Making a drink of squash||4||100%|
|Awareness of personal hygiene||3||100%|
|Taking part in a farm walk||5||100%|
|Taking part in a woodland walk||3||100%|
|Counting and recognising numbers to 15||2||100%|
|Biology: The human body||3||100%|
|Literacy: simple comprehension||4||100%|
|Choosing food and drinks with support||1||100%|
|Outdoor education: Knots||6||100%|
|Planting seeds with support||4||100%|
|Taking turns in a group||2||100%|
|Using an iPad with prompts||1||100%|
|Functional English: Reading with support||2||100%|
|Numbers in the community||1||100%|
|Outdoor learning: Taking part in a sensory story||4||100%|
|Reading familiar words with support||1||100%|
|Vocational studies: helping to clean and tidy in school||5||100%|
|Literacy: object comprehension||5||100%|
|Pre-writing skills: mark making||4||!00%|
|Stories from around the world||3||100%|
|Appropriate behaviour in the wider community||5||100%|
|Kandinsky: Abstract art||5||100%|
|Using an outdoor gym with support||4||100%|
|Work experience: completing jobs in a school with support||3||100%|
|Developing water confidence||4||100%|
|Road safety with assistance||4||100%|
|Washing own hands||10||100%|
|Using an iPad with prompts||7||100%|
|Introduction to money||3||100%|
|Introduction to using office equipment: using a laminator with support||4||100%|
|Shopping in a local supermarket with support||5||100%|
|Sensory careers: working for the emergency services||5||100%|
|Office skills: using a photocopier with assistance||2||100%|
|Using a telephone||1||100%|
|Planting seed, with support||5||100%|
|Road safety in the community||1||100%|