Curriculum Intent & Implementation

We aim to provide the highest quality care and education for all our children, thereby giving them a strong foundation for their future life and learning. We create a safe and happy environment with motivating and enjoyable learning experiences that support children to become confident and more independent. We value the individual child and work alongside parents and other professionals to meet their needs and help every child to reach their full potential. 

The curriculum is all that we do, say, teach and learn in our school both in class and out, both formally and informally.  It defines the experience of our children and the environment in which they learn.  As a special school we have a duty to provide a truly unique curriculum which supports all to build bridges over barriers and overcome difficulties in learning.  We teach our children in unique ways, using skill, empathy, encouragement and ambition; looking outwards to the therapeutic community and the expertise that lies both within and outside our school. Our learning community is designed to provide high levels of both nurture and structure to ensure that the children have the best possible chance to make progress in an environment they feel comfortable and safe in.  

Each child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is at the heart of their individual curriculum offer and we ensure that dedicated time within our structure allows for the children to develop the outcomes stated within their EHCP.  

Our intention is to support and teach our children to become successful young adults by ensuring that they are; 

  • Independent and curious learners who demonstrate ability to explore and take safe risks 

  • Happy and confident individuals 

  • Respectful and tolerant of others 

  • Able to reach their potential 

  • Have an awareness of theirs and others needs  

  • Celebrate their individuality and be proud of who they are and express themselves through their own means. 

We implement this by; 

  • Ensuring our children develop reading, writing and communication skills.  

  • Ensuring our children can develop numeracy skills. 

  • Ensuring that our curriculum is purposeful and personalised. 

  • Ensuring that learning is focused on real life-functional skills, providing opportunities for children to learn in a meaningful, enjoyable way and focuses on skills rather than content. 

  • Providing learning opportunities that support, motivate and encourage our children to enable them to make progress in line with their ability and developmental age rather than their peers. 

  • Ensuring our learning is focused on developing the whole child, providing opportunities that develop children’s mental and physical wellbeing 

The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that “in order to help their pupils succeed; schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy”.  There is good evidence to support this assertion and Ofsted has highlighted that children and young people themselves say that they want to learn more about how to keep themselves emotionally healthy. 

At Courtlands Special School we believe that the children’s wellbeing is crucial for their physical and emotional health and for them to be able to learn. We have therefore developed our curriculum to develop and promote emotional wellbeing. 

Along with our academic curriculum of English and maths we have identified six key areas that are designed to support healthy wellbeing and promote good mental health. Our work and curriculum design is rooted in the PACE approach by Dan Hughes. 

Six key areas of Courtlands Wellbeing Curriculum.