The Planned Curriculum
Curriculum design principles: the Beech Curriculum has been designed based on educational research and is underpinned by the principles below:
- Research on cognitive and schema development theory underpins our design with regular opportunities for knowledge revisits and retrieval;
- Knowledge and the capacity it provides to apply skills is a priority;
- Progression of content and concepts is clearly thought out, with clearly defined expectations for the end of each milestone;
- Reading is a priority as it is the key to unlocking the rest of the curriculum;
- It has breadth because narrowing the curriculum damages the life chances of all children but particularly the most disadvantaged.
Pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 study a curriculum that is broad and balanced. Subjects studied include: English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, Creative Arts (Art, Design and Technology, Food Technology), Computing, Music, and PSHE (Including Sex and Relationships Education).English and Maths are taught daily with the remainder of the subjects being taught across the week. Each year group benefits from a literacy and numeracy lesson each week.
Drop-down and enrichment days contribute to the delivery of the curriculum.
At Beech we prioritise the inclusion of Forest Schools, swimming and Physical Education within our curriculum.
Curriculum Implementation – Teaching & Learning
At Beech Academy, we aim to create inclusive learning environments that support the individual special educational needs of our learners. This involves working closely with parents/carers to identify and remove any barriers to learning previously faced by their child in mainstream or previous learning environments and minimising the impact that trauma and ongoing SEMH needs may have on each pupil’s ability to learn. To support this, two Learning Assistants are assigned to each teaching group.
Effective teaching for pupils who have ASD, SEMH needs or who suffer trauma includes:
- Careful planning
- An awareness of the SEND needs of individual pupils
- An awareness of potential trauma triggers and sensory stimulus in the curriculum
- A trauma aware environment that offers comfort to hypervigilant learners.
- An awareness of each pupil’s sensory needs/diet
- An ASD aware environment with reduced sensory stimulus
- Planned sensory breaks where required
- Organised classroom management
- Effective partnership with Learning Assistants and pastoral support colleagues
- A teaching style that can respond effectively to changing pupil needs
- Short and simple instructions
- Allowing pupils thinking time to process information, especially verbal instruction
- Being literal in saying what you mean
- Use of visual cues & ‘now and next’ task prompts
- Tasks that are well structured with shared success criteria and a clear purpose
- Assessment for learning (check and correct)
- On-going feedback
- Monitored progress
- Regular evaluation and review
The range of teaching and learning methodologies used at Beech Academy is extensive and always reflects the needs of pupils.