Mossbrook School is a special school in Sheffield, which provides a high quality education for pupils aged four to eleven. Pupils who attend our school experience a wide range of needs including Autism and severe learning difficulties. The curriculum at Mossbrook school consists of all the learning experiences that we organise and facilitate, in order to maximise learning potential and to ensure that pupils work towards ultimatey achieving the outcomes defined in their Education, Health and Care(EHC) Plans.
Our curriculum aims are to:
- make sure that pupils reach their true potentials during their time at Mossbrook school, whatever they may be
- offer a curriculum which is broad, balanced and differentiated in recognition of pupil’s individual learning style
- provide a safe, caring and exciting environment where pupils and staff are motivated to learn
- remove or reduce barriers to learning, whatever these may be
- ensure that all pupils have an effective communication system that enables them to communicate their views and wishes
- make sure that our pupils have learned the appropriate skills to continue to be successful in their adult lives
- prepare pupils for life in modern Britain by upholding and teaching them about ‘British Values’
- make sure that the curriculum at Mossbrook school continually evolves to make sure that it is appropriate for all the pupils who attend.
The curriculum consists of the wide range of activities and experiences that the school organises, in order to promote learning and is far more extensive than the lessons that are taught each day. Potential to learn starts as soon as pupils arrive at school each morning - our curriculum concerns itself not only with what is to be taught but how it is to be taught. Staff at Mossbrook recognise and value the holistic needs of our pupils and strive to work in partnership with parents and other professionals to ensure that the wider needs of both pupils and their families are addressed. Staff recognise the importance of building positive relationships with parents and regular, two way communication is encouraged through a range of means including telephone calls, home/school books and meetings both informal and formal.
Preparing pupils for learning
Pupils need to be given the ‘best possible chance’ to learn. Adults in school devote time to ensuring that barriers to learning are reduced for pupils as far as they can be. Activities to ‘remove/reduce barriers’ and maximise learning, form part of the curriculum and may involve;
- sensory processing activities – supporting pupils to be calm
- ensuring that the environment is appropriate
- ensuring that teaching strategies match learning styles
- making sure that pupils are physically comfortable and not hungry or thirsty
- reassuring pupils about issues that are worrying them
- revising expectations during periods of illness or pain and after long term absences.
- Respect for each other
One of our aims is to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain by upholding and teaching them about ‘British Values’. These values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE) lessons and Religious Education (RE). We also teach the British Values through our curriculum. They are presented in ways that directly reflect the learning styles, special needs and the ability of individual pupils.
Actively promoting British Values also means challenging pupils, expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values. We teach our pupils to make good choices, to respect the views and contribution of others, to recognize and celebrate achievement in others and to appreciate other cultures.
Creating a culture where pupils know that they are valued is key to delivering an effective curriculum. Pupils learn from:
- how others respect and care for them, each other and the environment
- how others listen to and consider what they and others have to say
- how others interact with them and each other
- the expectations that others have of them and each other
- the aspirations that others have for them and each other
- how others celebrate their success and those of others
- how others support them when they are experiencing challenges and barriers to learning
- Because of this, where appropriate, our pupils learn how to:
- respect and care for themselves, others and the environment
- listen to and consider what others have to say
- interact with others in a polite and respectful manner
- have high expectations of themselves and others
- celebrate and feel proud of their own successes and those of others
- support others who may be feeling sad or worried Reception teachers use the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to plan the curriculum The curriculum is organised into three prime areas: Communication; Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED); and Physical Development. Four additional areas, Literacy; Maths; Understanding the World; and Expressive Arts and Design are also taught to ensure that foundation skills are developed in all key areas of learning.
For pupils of statutory primary school age who attend a school that is maintained by the Local Authority, some National Curriculum subjects must be taught. These are:
- Design and Technology
- Art and Design
- Physical Education (PE), including Swimming
- Ancient and Modern Foreign Languages (at key stage 2)
At Mossbrook subjects are divided into EHCP areas:
Communication incorprates English
Cognition and Learning incorporates Maths, Science, Design and Technology, History, Geography, Art and Design, Music and Computing.
MFL is not taught explicitly but where appropriate elements will be covered when countries are studied in Geography
Swimming and PE form our Physical Education curriculum
PSHE lessons cover learning in the area of SEMH
All our pupils access the statutory national curriculum which is adapted to ensure that the learning needs of all pupils are met, regardless of their ability. Some pupils acquire subject specific knowledge and others develop priority skills whilst experiencing national curriclum subjects. We have two distinct groups of learners at Mossbrook School:
Our adventurers are our most able pupils. Their progress is assessed through the progression steps of B Squared. Lessons are developed which enable pupils to acquire a deeper knoweldge of subjects. They study the whole range of subjects that are statutory for primary learners.
Our Explorers have more complex needs and require a different curriculum and approach to learning. Their progress is assessed through the engagement steps of B squared. Lessons are developed which enable pupils to acquire and build on knowledge in the four areas of communication, cognition, Physical Education and SEMH. Pupils access a wide range of subjects and activities which act as exciting experiences through which relevant skills can be learned.
Assessment is an integral part of teaching and lies at the heart of promoting learning. Assessment provides a framework within which educational objectives are set and pupil progress recorded. It forms the basis for planning the next educational steps in response to a pupil’s needs.
Assessment at MossBrook School has three main functions:
- To identify what a pupil has achieved at the end of a specified time period (Formative assessment);
- To identify what a pupil is learning during the specified time period (Summative assessment);
- To facilitate realistic but challenging target setting.
At Mossbrook we currently use B-squared as our main assessment and recording package. This is a commercially produced software system that allows us to record pupil progress against targets. Each half term, Key stage leaders and teachers discuss progress towards IEP targets and record if progress has been expected, less that expected or better than expected
To plan next steps, teachers use their subject knowledge, knowledge of child development and pupils previous patterns of learning.
The leadership team at Mossbrook school collect and analyse data to monitor and evaluate the progress of pupils.
The senior leadership team at Mossbrook school conduct lesson observations. Teachers are observed on a termly basis and in addition senior staff will conduct ‘learning walks’ on a regular basis. Work scrutiny is also carried out and judgments about learning levels are moderated. The purpose of each monitoring strategy is expliained below:
The purpose of a lesson observation is:
- To observe actual teaching and learning in order to raise quality of both
- To enhance the learning experiences of pupils
- To provide evidence for performance management reviews
- To provide a system of identifying, sharing, improving and developing good practice
The purpose of a learning walk is to obtain a brief snapshot of the school, department or classroom. A specific focus is usually agreed before the walk and evidence is collected on the basis of this. Focuses may include:
- Provision and use of resources
- Pupil’s work
- Deployment of teaching assistants
- Use of technology
- Assessment practices
- The physical environment
The Headteacher and Deputy Headteachers are responsible for the day to day organisation of the curriculum. The senior and extended leadership team moderate EHCP outcomes, annual targets and lesson objectives. In addition they scrutinise long and medium term plans to ensure breadth and balance of delivery.
Through regular monitoring and evaluation, staff and governors at Mossbrook seek to:
- establish how well pupils are learning
- identify the learning strengths of our pupils and the challenges they are facing
- celebrate the achievements of our pupils
- ensure that learning challenges are addressed in future planning
The curriculum at Mossbrook school is constantly being reviewed and amended in response to both national and local initiative. This policy will be reviewed on a bi-annual basis.