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Oxclose Road, Washington, Tyne And Wear, NE38 7NY

0191 219 3860

columbia.grange@schools.sunderland.gov.uk

Columbia Grange School

Little Steps, Big Aspirations For All

Curriculum

School Curriculum


We believe that it is important that the curriculum meets the individual needs of pupils whilst protecting their entitlement to a full range of educational experiences.
Columbia Grange actively seeks to deliver the curriculum to each pupil in a way, which meets his or her individual needs. As the majority of pupils in the school have speech and language difficulties or communication difficulties associated with autism, an emphasis is placed throughout the curriculum, on Language and Literacy skills. The SCERTS approach is central to the way in which we deliver the curriculum.

In designing the curriculum we wanted to create a curriculum which recognises that:-
• All behaviours are purposeful, whether it be for communication, emotional regulation or engagement in adaptive skills, and should be fostered to develop self-confidence and successfully deal with significant changes and challenges
• Fostering spontaneous functional communication is the key to accessing learning
• Learning experiences should be developmentally appropriate, meaningful, functional and embedded in opportunities for encouraging participation in everyday social experiences and routines
• An environment which takes account of pupils sensory and emotional needs will be conducive to learning
• Pupils' wellbeing is / must be at the core of all we do


The school has focused on what we believe to be the key areas of learning for our pupils. We know that pupils with ASD have areas of strength and difficulty that are different from other pupils and it is because of this that we have created a curriculum in order to meet those needs.
Foundations for Learning
• Communication and Language (Listening and attention, Speaking and Understanding, Functional communication)
• Physical Development (Self Regulation, Health and self care)
• Personal, Social and Emotional Development (self-confidence and self- awareness, making relationships, managing feelings and behaviour, self-care, sense of community)
• Information and Communication Technology (Finding things out, developing ideas and making things happen, exchanging and sharing information)
• Mathematics (Numbers, Shape, Space and Measures, Using and Applying)
• Knowledge and Understanding of the World (people and communities, the world)
• Creative Development (Exploring and using media and materials, being imaginative)
• Literacy (Reading and writing)


As a number of our pupils progress beyond the P levels, an additional curriculum is provided to enable pupils to experience subject specific lessons e.g. Science
For Phonics teaching we follow the 'Letters and Sounds' Programme and work pupils in ability groups dependent on the letters and sounds phase they are currently working at. For those pupils working below phase 1 the emphasis is on 'intensive interaction' and the development of early communication skills – e.g. initiating and responding to bids for interactions


Our curriculum is designed to be flexible in order to build on pupils' interests and motivations. It actively seeks out opportunities for practical and functional learning as well as opportunities for theme-based learning.
In designing the curriculum our intention was to create a curriculum that:-
• Recognises that pupils with autism have particular difficulties transferring skills and knowledge and thus embeds opportunities for functional learning so that skills are learned within a meaningful and 'real-life' situation whenever possible and not in isolation.
• Puts children's experiences first, finds the skills within them and adapts them into planning to ensure child-centred learning experiences form the basis of learning
• Recognises success at all levels of the learning process and builds success criteria into planning
• Fosters an engrained culture of discovery among staff who are given the opportunity to explore different learning styles and confidently use the curriculum as a secure base from which to experiment
• Uses assessment and children's starting points to plan effectively to ensure progress