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.
The school has developed a Curriculum Framework, which guarantees that all children have access to schemes of work and/or experiences that are appropriate to their level of development.
Access / Organisation to the curriculum
Access is ensured for all our pupils, by teachers devising imaginative and innovative learning programmes, so that all pupils, whatever their level of difficulty, can access to the curriculum. Where possible, technology is used to ensure the curricular access of pupils who would otherwise have difficulty accessing particular areas of work.
The policy of the school is to organise pupils, wherever possible, into ability groups within a chronological year. There may be occasions, however where because of numbers, or in order to fully meet the needs of a child, they may be placed in mixed age groups. At Columbia Grange we promote an eclectic approach in the strategies we use to educate our pupils.
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
It is an important principle at Columbia Grange that pupils have the right to equal access to the curriculum whatever their gender, race or disability. The equal opportunities policy details ways in which this equality of opportunity is ensured and monitored. Teachers ensure that all pupils have equal access to special opportunities in school and visits.
Religious Education is taught according to the school's agreed policy. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of the religious education programme. Individual arrangements will then be made in consultation with parents and, where appropriate, the pupil. If you want to withdraw your child from these parts of school life please see the Headteacher.
Integration / Inclusion
This is very important to Columbia Grange School and we are continually, actively seeking experiences for our pupils in appropriate mainstream environments. The aims of this integration are to provide our pupils with age appropriate role models, to allow them to learn to work within larger groups than is normally possible and enable them to develop their social and communication skills in an integrated setting. Integration programmes commence following discussion with parents and other relevant bodies, it is always well planned and monitored closely.
Pupils from mainstream schools also benefit from access to specialist teaching and resources within Columbia Grange and are accommodated by the school for varying periods of time.
Our curriculum also provides for development in swimming
Children within year 1- year 5 will be given swimming lessons unless there are medical grounds for exemption. The regularity of these sessions depends on availability of the pool and transport. During the year all these pupils will be given the opportunity to attend a course of swimming lessons at George Washington School.
For more information, long and medium term plans see the Curriculum section on this site