Curriculum

Horizon School Curriculum Statement
Intent:

Our school provides short-term educational provision for students with a range of Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs. Our aim is to fully meet the needs of each student and enable them to access an inclusive education; this at the heart of our curriculum design. The principles the curriculum is based on are: high expectations of behaviour and achievement and the development of emotional regulation skills and learning skills to enable each student to successfully return to their mainstream school/specialist setting or achieve the qualifications to move on to a post -16 provision of their choice. The 7Cs Learning Portfolio (Judith Carter) form our First Principles and they are embedded in each subject area.

The majority of our routes are fractional, whereby the mainstream school is responsible for providing the educational provision for their student at least one day per week throughout their placement, supporting an inclusive education. A Dual Placement Agreement is in place for each of the routes at Horizon School, which states that areas of the full curriculum not taught at Horizon School must be met by the mainstream school. This facilitates the coverage of a broad and balanced curriculum. At Dragonfly, the Dual Placement Agreement facilitates the completion of GCSE, Functional Skills, Entry Level exams and AQA unit awards, in line with the Horizon School curriculum.

Our curriculum will promote and foster confidence, independence, co-operation and self-esteem throughout the time the children are at Horizon School, which will prepare them for life in 21st Century Britain.

We have made informed choices about what experiences we want to include and how they build over time across the curriculum. We include both off and on-site experiences in our curriculum and make the most of what we have locally including local businesses and charities. The visits and visitors are determined by the coverage of curriculum knowledge and skills.

Each subject has an identified member of the SLT Curriculum Team, who has an overview of planning for that area of learning across the school. They consider how skills and knowledge connect and build over time in their subject.

The primary purpose of our curriculum is to guarantee a successful learning experience for every student, that supports their transition into their next stage of education. With this in mind, we are committed to ensuring that every student is developed to their full potential:

  • Every student will be educated to the highest possible standard.
  • Every student, in every lesson, will be provided with opportunities to: be engaged in, challenged in and process their learning.
  • Every student will be provided with opportunities to increase their self-esteem, motivation and aspirations.

 

Examples of how our curriculum is delivered:

English

The focus is on the teaching of reading and writing, with opportunities for students to listen and speak in many different situations across the curriculum. We also aim to make writing purposeful and interesting in order for students to develop their literacy skills in different areas of the curriculum.

The enjoyment of books and a love of reading are fostered throughout the school. The children have access to a range of books so that reading skills can progress. Where attainment levels are appropriate, students will access the Reader’s For Life scheme. This scheme has been planned to support students gain confidence in their reading ability by using high quality texts that focus on various topics which are relevant to the students. Many of the books covered will be based on themes around social, emotional and mental health issues.

The teaching of phonics is fundamental throughout the school. We use the Read Write Inc. DfE approved systematic synthetic phonics scheme to support the planning, delivery and assessment of phonics. Where appropriate, in Key Stage 2, students will access the Read Write Inc. Fresh Start Intervention scheme to gain confidence in their decoding skills, leading to fluency in reading and comprehension. This scheme gives the children the self-belief to attempt writing of their own and, as they progress through the school, the early strategies to help them develop into fluent and confident readers and writers.

Maths

Our students are encouraged and helped to develop a positive attitude to mathematics. We use the White Rose scheme of work to support the planning, delivery and assessment of maths. This teaches mathematical procedure through a variety of problem-solving contexts, which develop children’s conceptual understanding as well as make maths relevant to the world around them. They are taught to value the importance of mental maths in their mathematical development.

Maths is used in a wide range of contexts to help children appreciate the purpose and relevance of mathematics in the real world.

Science

Science is essentially a practical subject intended to stimulate students’ curiosity about the world around them. Science teaching helps students to develop enquiring minds and equips them with key skills, so that they are increasingly able to research answers to their own questions.

Our Science curriculum is based fundamentally on the principles that Science is good when it:

 

  • is relevant and related to real life, current topics of interest, and means something to us;
  • allows us to ask lots of questions and develop our vocabulary;
  • lets us investigate and explore in a practical, hands on and experimental way;
  • challenges our understanding and encourages us to think about our scientific ideas;
  • encourages us to apply our knowledge, skills and understanding at home and at school;
  • gives us opportunities to work with others.

 

Implementation

Our curriculum is underpinned by our vision:

“to provide the best education and experience to support every child to achieve their full potential.”

The curriculum for each route is carefully designed to ensure coverage and progression across all subject areas; developing depth of knowledge and understanding together with opportunities for retrieval practice.

Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build upon prior learning and provide opportunities for guided and independent practice. Students are supported in school with additional support/resources deployed as necessary to help close the individual learning gaps. The 7Cs strands, such as creativity, co-operation and communication, are embedded across the curriculum to ensure students develop these key skills during their time at Horizon School.

We have a commitment to expanding our pupils’ horizons, whether through learning outside the classroom within the school grounds, activities in the local community, through enterprise projects

or work–related learning. We see great value in working with visiting speakers, specialists and other professionals.

Curriculum schemes and resources overview

We utilise published curriculum materials to support our planning – all based on the National Curriculum (2014). All aspects comply with legislation and national guidance, including the teaching of Sex Relationships Education (SRE).

We use a variety of published schemes to support us in school, these include:

  • Read Write Inc (Phonics)
  • Fresh Start (Phonics)
  • Readers for Life (Reading)
  • White Rose (Mathematics and Science)
  • Get Set 4 PE (PE)
  • ASDAN (Hospitality and Sports and Fitness)
  • EC Publishing (PSHE)
  • Access Art (Art)

 

Impact

We evaluate the knowledge, skills and understanding that the students have gained against the expectations agreed and evaluate our teaching from this. This ensures that we are constantly striving for improvement and ensuring that our curriculum is the best it can be. We will continue to review and evaluate each subject.

How we adapt the curriculum and learning environment for children with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities (SEND)

At Horizon School, all our students are deemed to have SEND, due to their Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs. We strive to improve access to the curriculum for all, while breaking down barriers to learning and providing appropriate challenge so that all students can achieve. Our curriculum includes the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also a range of additional opportunities to enrich the experiences of our students. Our curriculum also includes the social aspects that are essential for life-long learning, personal growth and development of independence.

In addition to this, for SEND children we can provide:

  • a range of teaching strategies;
  • scaffolded learning materials;
  • access to technology;
  • additional in class support;
  • additional out of class support;
  • targeted interventions;
  • flexible groupings;
  • a commitment that all children have access to the school curriculum and all school activities;
  • further investigation into the identification of additional needs (whether these are educational, social, physical or emotional);
  • staff awareness and sensitivity to the needs of all pupils;
  • a strong working partnership with parents/carers, students and relevant external agencies in order to provide for student’s special educational needs and disabilities;
  • opportunities to raise aspirations and self-esteem and celebrate achievements;
  • a Behaviour and Relationships Policy that uses appropriate rewards and consequences.

 

If you have any questions or would like further information on our curriculum, please take a look at our subject pages.