Curriculum Offer: Birch Wood Vale and Ashton House

Pupils at Birch Wood Vale and Ashton House have 25 lessons a week. Each lesson is 45minutes long.

In addition, all pupils have a 30 minute reading session every day.

Key Stage 3

  • 5 English
  • 4 Maths
  • 3 Science
  • 2 PSHE
  • 2 Food/Art/DT (on rotation)
  • 2 Physical Education (PE)
  • 1 Humanities
  • 1 ICT
  • 1 Religious Education (RE)
  • 1 Drama
  • 1 Dance
  • 1 Food for Life
  • 1 Music

Key stage 4

In Key stage 4, alongside core subjects, pupils are able to options from the following subjects:

  • Art
  • Home Cooking
  • Design
  • Drama
  • Sport and Leisure
  • Photography
  • Dance

Post 16

With an increased focus on preparation for adulthood, Post 16 students can choose options from the following:

  • Duke of Edinburgh
  • Hospitality and Catering
  • Photography

Curriculum Offer: Grange Drive

The curriculum offer at our Grange Drive site is typically personalised to the needs of the individual. In order to give every pupil the best opportunity to succeed to prescribe the following guidelines for the frequency of core subjects, per week. Sessions would typically be around 40minutes, however this is dependent on the needs of the class and the individual.

Aspire Pathway Core Subject Expectations:

  • 5 x Phonics/Reading
  • 3 x English
  • 4 x Maths
  • 2 x Science
  • 2 x PSHE

Independence Pathway Core Subject Expectations:

  • 5 x Phonics/Reading
  • 2 x English
  • 3 x Maths
  • 1 x Science
  • 1 x PSHE

Foundation Subjects

We place great importance on the foundation subjects at Birch Wood. We acknowledge the importance of these subjects in developing an understanding of the world, preparation for adulthood and opportunities for joy and success.

These subjects may be taught as discreet sessions or woven into the fabric of a thematic curriculum. Some subjects may be taught on rotation.

  • DT, Art and Design
  • History, Geography and RE (Might be taught on a rotation under ‘Humanities’)
  • Music
  • PE
  • Computing

Some pupils on the independence pathway may not access some foundation subjects or access them in a manner which looks ‘different’ from the typical expectations.

Curriculum Offer: Engagement Pathway

The Engagement Pathway is an extremely pupil centred and individualised curriculum focusing on five key areas, incorporating essential therapies. The five key areas of the Engagement Curriculum are:

  • My Communication
  • My Thinking
  • My Movement
  • Myself
  • My Enrichment
My Communication
This area of the curriculum focuses on developing the ability of our pupils to be able to communicate, interact and to make their needs known. Whilst everything we do on a daily basis feeds into this, there are specific therapies and sessions which help us to develop these key communication skills. Our classrooms are a total communication environment where we use Makaton signing, body signing, personalised objects or reference, communication switches and photos/symbols to help make choices. We carry out communication sessions on a daily basis such as intensive interaction, story massage, sensory stories, sensory drama, Tac-Pac, Dance Massage, Write Dance and communication games.  
My Thinking
This area of the curriculum focuses on developing our pupils’ attention and anticipation skills and awareness of cause and effect in their environment. It also promotes problem solving skills and making choices. Daily sessions within class include Sensology (Hello Senses), Eye Gaze technology, sensory cooking, resonance board work, switch toy work, latch switch control sessions, cause and effect games on the interactive whiteboard and in our immersive room.  
My Movement
On a daily basis we follow our pupil’s physiotherapy and positioning programmes, incorporating these into daily activities. Pupils are likely to have a hydrotherapy programme and will access the hydro pool. We also have access to Rebound Therapy sessions utilising the trampoline in school. In PE, pupil’s MATP (motor activity training programme) targets are worked on and developed. These targets focus on developing pupil’s movement.
This area of the curriculum focuses on empowering our pupils, giving them every opportunity to make progress towards fulfilment and independence. We incorporate opportunities to work on independence skills throughout the school day in areas such as eating and drinking, dressing and personal care needs e.g. toileting and washing. This will look different for each pupil, but the goal is to give every opportunity to increase independence and to make choices about their daily routines. Part of this curriculum also focuses on pupils exploring their own preferences and having a greater awareness of their own bodies and the space around them.   As a part of our RSE curriculum, we use sensory sessions based on the themes of personal care, friendships and relationships and body awareness. We also have an overarching focus on consent, ensuring that our young people understand that they always have a choice to opt in or out of touch-based activities. We also seek to give pupils greater independence with their personal care, from pupils choosing who carries out their personal care to independent toileting.  
My Enrichment
This area encompasses lots of different motivating therapies and activities, many carried out by therapist, which help our pupils to develop in all of the other areas of the Engagement curriculum.  Some pupils will have access to Music Therapy, Pet Therapy and Horse Riding in accordance with their EHCPs. In class, we will have sensory cooking and art activities as well as music and movement sessions. Throughout the year we usually have educational trips linked to our class topics as well as visiting theatre groups such as Bamboozle Theatre Company, who specialise in PMLD sensory drama experiences.