Curriculum

The ultimate aim of our curriculum is that all Cedar children are able to:

  • Communicate
  • Be empowered
  • Discover new learning, skills and opportunities
  • Aspire for ever-better possibilities
  • Be resilient in the face of huge life challenges, both personal and those that face the world

From these ultimate aims come our five CEDAR Hopes of:

  • Communication
  • Empowerment
  • Discovery
  • Aspiration
  • Resilience

Independence is another key feature of all of our work at Cedar.  Children are encouraged, and taught, to be as independent as possible in their learning and daily routines.  This is supported by creating accessible environments, using specific equipment and enabling all learners to achieve in a way which is personal to them.

Targets from pupils’ Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) are integrated and are a key part of the curriculum for all children.  Staff build in opportunities to practise these key objectives throughout the school day.  There are also three sessions per week as dedicated time to work on EHCP targets.

For every Cedar child, the curriculum is personalised to meet their individual needs but there are two main curriculum pathways which children follow.  These pathways are:

  • A Formal/Semi-Formal Curriculum
  • A Pre-Formal Sensory Curriculum

For all children, the curriculum is created around an intertwined combination of knowledge and skills.  For Cedar children, both learning and gaining skills represent significant knowledge development. 

All learning is very deliberately revisited and placed in different contexts for children because we understand that learning is a journey and not a ‘one off event’.

The document below is a summary of our Curriculum Intent (what we teach) and of our Curriculum Implementation (how our Intent is delivered).

Formal/Semi-Formal Curriculum

Children on the formal/semi-formal curriculum pathway follow a curriculum which is centred on ‘knowledge and skills-based’ progression, encompassing all subjects of the National Curriculum and Religious Education.

We have a sequence of skills/knowledge through which children progress in:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Computing
  • Humanities (History and Geography)
  • Religious Education
  • Science
  • Creative Arts (Art, Design Technology and Music)
  • PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education)

Our progression of knowledge and skills for each of these subjects is detailed in the booklets below. 

The context in which children experience the skills/knowledge varies depending on the child’s Key Stage.  Teaching staff design curriculum implementation based on the needs of the children in their class.  Every week there is a ‘Discovery Day’ when skills/knowledge are applied in exciting and creative contexts.  Across the week, curriculum implementation is, where applicable, linked to a text/piece of art which has been deliberately chosen to inspire and extend the learning of that class of children.  The curriculum in some subjects will be subject-specific but, at all times, children will be learning, applying and reapplying skills/knowledge from our progression of skills/knowledge booklets.

Pre-Formal Sensory Curriculum

The Cedar pre-formal sensory curriculum has been created for our children with PMLD (profound and multiple learning difficulties) and those with complex needs who access and experience the world in a primarily sensory way. This multi-sensory, skills-based curriculum pathway has been designed to ensure that learning is appropriate, meaningful and meets our children exactly where they are in their development.

Learning within this curriculum pathway is based around 5 key areas:

  • My Communication - Communication and interaction
  • My Cognition - Developing attention, contextualising engagement skills and affecting change in their environment
  • My Body and Senses - Fine and gross motor development
  • My Care and Independence - Independence and self-care skills
  • My Community - Experiencing being a member of the school and wider community

Our curriculum is creative and bespoke because skills from these 5 key areas are selected for each child on an individual basis.  These skills are taught, practised and embedded in different lessons adapted from the National Curriculum subject areas and Religious Education.  They are delivered in a way which is as engaging, stimulating and immersive as possible, in order to hook our children into their learning. Learning is not only found during lesson times though; we also see and embrace the learning opportunities in the care-based times of our day too!  This all forms our curriculum.

An overview of our curriculum areas and our curriculum intent for the learners on the pre-formal sensory curriculum pathway is detailed below: