Key Areas of Learning Below is a summary of the nine key areas of learning with an example scheme of work, medium and long term plans available to download. Example downloads: Medium term plan - art Scheme of work - reading Teaching of reading policy Scheme of work - number 1. English language and literacy curriculum aims to enable individual pupils to access learning in a meaningful way. a) Writing: Pupils to develop hand eye co-ordination leading to the emergence of mark making – writing skills Pupils to develop an understanding that the written word represents the spoken word and therefore carries meaning and that writing is a means of remembering, developing, organising and communicating ideas b) Reading and Visual Awareness: Pupils to develop an ability to look and interpret visual messages, including the recognition and discrimination of signs and symbols Pupils should be encouraged to read with fluency, accuracy, understanding and enjoyment from a range of sources including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, labels, lists and print in the environment Pupils should be introduced to, and recognise the importance of, alternative sources of information such as ICT based reference materials, signs and symbols, pictured, newspapers and other media Understand and interpret the environment Develop listening skills Build relationships Communicate as effectively as possible Make choices Understand that the written word carries meaning Develop auditory and visual perception skills Develop fine motor skills and hand eye co-ordination Develop joint attention skills Develop turn taking skills c) Speaking and Listening: The school aims to promote improvements in communication skills and communication environments to enhance each student's quality of life. We also aim to provide students with opportunities to develop their receptive and expressive communication skills to their full potential in order that they will be better equipped to express personal preferences and respond appropriately to others. To enable every student to have a method of communication To encourage students to use their communicative potential to gain attention; refuse, protest, reject; make requests; affirm; comment and share ideas. To enable students to understand what is being communicated to them and to respond to directions. To enable teaching and learning to occur. To support independence. 2. Problem-solving, reasoning and numeracy This is an important part of day to day learning, observed and taught in all areas of the students’ lives: The ability to understand that concepts of numeracy enable individuals to make sense of their environment and operate successfully in it. The ability to understand and make use of the concepts of number and space to enable us to make sense of and control our environment. The acquisition and development of skills that affect our ability to function effectively in the world we live in. 3. Creative development including arts, food technology and music: a) Art: To develop pupils' creativity and imagination by exploring the visual, tactile and sensory qualities of materials and processes. Pupils learn about the role of arts in their environment. Pupils begin to understand the colour, shape and space, and pattern and texture and use them to represent their ideas and feelings. b) Food Technology: To develop pupils' confidence, independence and creative thinking when designing and making food, encouraging them to take risks and explore the visual, tactile and sensory qualities of the ingredients used in cooking. Pupils develop an understanding of basic life skills and nutritional needs. Pupils begin to understand how to select appropriate tools and and techniques for making a product and become more skilled in using these tools. Pupils are supported to understand the need for health and safety rules when using a variety of equipment. c) Music: To have opportunities to express ideas and communicate feelings through musical instruments and other media. To develop individual listening skills. To encourage spontaneous responses to musical activities To develop experiences and familiarity with different instruments and music genres. 4. Knowledge and understanding of the world: Work within this area will enable students to develop and master essential daily living and decision making skills and develop self-knowledge, self esteem and self confidence enabling them to become more independent and have greater access to their environment. Pupils are given the opportunity to explore their immediate environment and to develop a growing awareness of their place within it. This awareness is extended beyond the familiar to the consideration of worldwide issues. Work in this area is consistent with each pupil's needs and abilities. 5. Physical development including swimming: Physical education is an important part of the curriculum for students with autism. It enables them to diffuse energy effectively and as a result establish appropriate sleep patterns and form a natural rhythm of life. Characteristics of autism, including hyperactivity, the inability to play, problems adjusting to groups and an imbalance between physical and emotional development may be addressed through physical education. Physical education should be seen as being part of the whole process of human development as physical and intellectual development is inextricably linked. Activities such as swimming, running, cycling and skating enable students to develop an awareness of their own bodies, develop self esteem, develop team work and build co-operation as well as providing personal challenge, stimulation, life long education information and physical fitness. 6. PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education) PSHCE is applied in a variety of learning experiences throughout the school day within a calm and supportive environment. We nurture the physical, social and psychological well-being of the individual, whilst recognizing that learning is a developmental process which has to be appropriate to the age of the pupil and to the stage that he/she has reached. This curriculum facilitates their personal, cultural and spiritual development and prepares them for adult life. Through PSHCE we aim to provide experiences for pupils to: Help to develop a positive self image, self-awareness and a high esteem Encourage self respect and respect for other members of society as well as the environment in which they live. Encourage the development of daily life skills and independence. Explore, be aware of and/or understand their feelings, attitudes as well as those of others. Promote self knowledge to be able to express preferences. 7. Computing: The study of Computing enables our students to expand their knowledge and understanding of the world and the values of British society by being actively involved in experiencing, investigating, manipulating and using information in a variety of forms including: text, symbols, sound, graphics, photographs, music, video, newspapers, magazines, radio controlled toys and electrical equipment. Through computing, pupils gain confidence, social skills, independence, communication skills, gross and fine motor skills, problem solving skills and a wide range of abilities and knowledge needed to enable them to participate respectfully within democratic society. 8. Science: Pupils should observe and experience the world through a multi sensory approach. To develop understanding and awareness of key concepts and make connections with different experiences. Pupils should have the opportunities to use existing practical skills and develop these. To have opportunities to ask questions, make predictions and draw own conclusions. To experience a range of situations which encourage pupils to generalise their knowledge and understanding. Develop an awareness of and respect for living things and their environment. Be aware of their own health and safety needs. 9. SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development): Spiritual development - to ensure pupils develop into self assured, confident, happy, positive young people. Moral development - enabling pupils to build a framework of moral values, aligned with the civil and criminal law, which regulates their personal behaviour. It is also about the development of pupils' understanding of society's shared and agreed values. Social development - young people work effectively with each other and participate successfully in the community as a whole. It is about the development of the skills and personal qualities necessary for living and working together in harmony and making a positive contribution to the school, community and wider society. Cultural development - helping pupils to develop an understanding of their own culture and other cultures in their town, region and in the country as a whole.