The aims of our curriculum, for now and for life after Ash Lea can be illustrated through our school motto and values:
‘Working together to be our best’
For learning, health, wellbeing, life, our community, and world
‘Do the best that you can, all of the time - Our best efforts, for the best reasons, to make a difference.’
...so that pupils become happy, healthy and safe and live a purposeful and enriched life.
‘Listen carefully to what others have to say – Everyone has a voice; we listen, accept difference, enable expression and respond.’
…so that pupils have a voice, can make meaningful choices, express opinions and direct and drive their own learning and aspirations.
‘Help each other whenever you can – We face challenges together. We support each other to be bold and make a positive change.’
…so that pupils are confident and resilient; able to take risks and overcome challenges.
‘Always be polite and friendly - Everyone is accepted, everyone matters’
…so that pupils are proud of who they are, contribute and be part of their community, through functional knowledge that they can apply in life as an adult, as independently as possible.
All pupils at Ash Lea have an education, health, and care plan. Pupils have a wide range of learning, health, physical, social and emotional needs. Many of our pupils are challenged by a blend of all these needs. What we work towards for ALL our pupils is the same; we want our pupils to learn to be their very best for now and for life after Ash Lea. Our curriculum is designed to meet our pupils’ unique needs and aspirations and to give a rich life experience and to live a contented and purposeful life.
The foundation for learning for all pupils is being ready to learn. We support pupils to be and to know how to become contented, regulated and curious. The school uses interventions, specialist equipment and professionals to support this as well as its well-considered environment and skilled staff team. The school has a forest school provision, horse riding, music therapy, rebound therapy, sensory occupational therapist, hydrotherapy and emotional literacy support assistants as interventions to support regulation, specific learning needs, health and wellbeing. Individualised learning (through individual education plan targets) can also be worked on within these interventions as pupils are often more regulated at these times, or they may be part of the provision that supports IEP targets.
Our curriculum is designed for pupils from very early developmental levels, up to those who may access aspects of national curriculum and entry level qualifications. We structure our curriculum so that knowledge is sequenced in a way that allows pupils to apply and repeat what they know, through a variety of experiences. It is balanced and purposeful so that key concepts are learnt, revisited, and applied to secure knowledge and relevant subject specific qualifications. Learning is also meaningful to each pupil, taking time to consider each learner’s aspirations. We seek to motivate and engage so that pupils are curious, enquiring, that they persevere and show resilience.
Our pupils need a curricular offer that is flexible to meet their needs and aspirations. Whilst academic progress can be important, being ready to learn or mental or physical health needs (for example) may, at many points be the priority. There may also be a sharper focus on specific aspirations, especially around vocations or interests towards the end of a pupil’s time at school. This is guided by the school’s transition process.
We also know that our curricular offer should never be seen as ‘enough’, ‘complete’; our pupils’ complexities demand constant innovation, research and reflection on what works best and what makes a difference. We also respond to talents, special interests as well as individuals’ aspirations.
Our pupils have many needs, but we see them as learners first and foremost and make sure that their learning time is protected and respected. We expect everyone working in our school to respect this and support what may be a complex, challenging but exciting journey towards meeting aspirations.