Our core curriculum is studied by all students in the main school and in the sixth form. Subjects include:
- Communication, language and literacy
- Mathematics and cognition
- Personal, social and health education
Communication, language and literacyTeaching children to be effective communicators
We want all pupils to have the skills they need to access the wider curriculum - and grow in confidence as communicators. That's why communication, language and literacy skills are part of our core curriculum.
As part of our literacy curriculum we teach phonics using aspects of Jolly phonics and Letters and Sounds. Further we have the Oxford Reading tree reading scheme for our younger learners, as well as the Dockside reading scheme for our older learners. Both schemes are used to support reading throughout the school.
At St Piers, we help pupils to communicate effectively by:
- Developing their listening skills
- Allowing them to experience and expect success
- Encouraging them to build relationships
- Giving them the confidence to take risks
- Showing them how to make choices
- Developing their auditory and visual perception skills
- Developing fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination
- Giving them the ability to seek help appropriately.
Where appropriate, we supplement spoken communication with signing, gesture, objects of reference, songs of reference, photos of reference, symbols and augmentative devices.
Mathematics and cognition
Our aim is to enable students as appropraite to their age and ability to:
- Enjoy mathematics and have a positive attitude towards it
- Acquire basic mathematical skills, using mental arithmetic methods, carrying out calculations, solving problems, presenting solutions clearly, checking and interpret results
- Have a willingness to work independently and/or co-operatively as appropriate with staff and peers
- Apply mathematics in other subjects and develop an awareness of the place of math in everyday living
- Acquire concepts through as many experiences as possible including oral, written and practical tasks
- Share and celebrate their progress and achievement with all those involved
At Key Stages 1-4 mathematics and literacy are delivered in discrete sessions in line with the National Numeracy and Literacy strategy.
In the sixth form, application of number and key skills are accredited through the Equals Moving On curriculum units of work, and are delivered through discrete numeracy and literacy sessions.
There is the opportunity for individual, paired and whole class work.
Assessment is ongoing for for all students, taking place throughout every session. This informs B-squared assessments which are transferred in to the Caspa assessment tool, giving a picture of each student's progress towards key stage targets and in comparison with the National Progression guidance.
ScienceWe put a strong emphasis on scientific knowledge and language and aim that all students:
- Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
- Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
- Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses of science, today and for the future.
Key stage 1: practical scientific methods through the following programme of study, plants, animals including humans, everyday materials, seasonal changes, living things and their habitats.
Key stage 2: plants, animals including humans, rocks, light, forces and magnets, living things and their habitat, states of matter, sounds, electricity, properties and changes of materials, earth and space, forces, evolution and inheritance.
Personal, social and health education and citizenship (PSHE)The wellbeing of children here at St Piers has always been important to us, personal, social and health education (PSHE) and Citizenship play a key role in our core curriculum.
We want every pupil to feel a sense of achievement. That’s why all children are given individual education plans with their own set of unique goals to work towards.
In addition to our PSHE & Citizenship curriculum lessons we enrich our curriculum with many other activities related to independence, self-help and wellbeing. These include off-site trips in our local community, whole school events and educational visits from external agencies.
Healthy body, healthy mind
As part of our overall commitment towards wellbeing, we actively encourage:
- Healthy eating: through food education and the availability of healthy foods during break and lunch
- Physical activity: through a wide range of activities, sport and outdoor pursuits. (our pupils take part in activities such as climbing, go karting, trampolining, swimming and cycling activities)
- The ability to communicate: which we believe is key to emotional health and wellbeing. There are many opportunities to develop this, including sensory assessments, play therapy, music and art
Relationships and Sex Education
At St Piers we promote the need to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our young people. Relationships and sex education is a key part in increasing students social safety. As a school we recognise the changes nationally that are being bought into all maintained schools and the mandatory elements that have to be taught from reception. As far as possible we endeavour to follow this guidance as we recognise the statistics for young people with disabilities place them are three times more likely to suffer from sexual abuse then those without disabilities. Therefore keeping in line with our strategies, the more information we can give to our young people and the more often the more likely we are to increase their safety in life.
Our curriculum comprises all elements of relationships, starting with thinking about who they are and where they belong. It encompasses families, friends and other groups of people they come in contact with. Appropriate behaviour within different groups and what is acceptable are key elements. The students learn about and are encouraged to make choices. Other key elements are discussions about public and private, both in terms of spaces and places and the acceptable behaviour in each, and then regarding parts of their body. We use the correct terminology when teaching which ensures consistency.
Consent is a topic that runs through the programme of study teaching our young people that they have a right to say ‘no’ to something that they do not understand or like, but equally that they can say yes as well. All of the above is taught to all our students through their curriculum whether that be sensory based or subject specific. For our most able learners we look in more depth at areas such as their changing bodies and puberty, reproduction, relationships with partners or spouses, as well as topics such as online safety and radicalisation.