At the very centre of The Dysart Curriculum are fundamental “essentials” for learning, these have been categorised into 5 areas:
- My Environment
- My Wellbeing
- My Communication
- My Engagement
- My Daily living skills
For our pupils to be successful, we know that they need to be able to communicate, regulate themselves and engage with the world around them. These essential areas are focused on ensuring that pupils are ready to learn and so that we know how best to support them in their learning.
- The structure and ethos of the classroom are important tools for helping our pupils to understand expectations and access the curriculum. All learning environments should provide a positive influence and clear structure for our pupils, this encourages independence and helps reduce anxiety. Each pupil will learn within a well organised, calm, supportive classroom with clear structures and routines, class teams will ensure that the environment is a predictable and accessible place, reducing anxiety, distraction and confusion.
- A pupil learns best when they feel safe and secure, fundamental to this are the relationships with the adults around them and with their peers. Time needs to be invested in building these relationships and understanding how our young people need us to be in different situations.
- To ensure pupils are ready to learn, we need to know how best to engage them. We do this by understanding what motivates them so that we can develop lessons that are engaging and stimulating. By understanding what motivates a pupil, we can use this to address any barriers to learning they have so that they are able to participate and thrive.
- From a communication point of view, the goal is to understand how a pupil communicates (Symbol use) and look at how we can develop a functional communication system to support and broaden their ability to communicate (Joint Attention).
- To support a pupil’s ability to Emotionally regulate, we use SCERTS which is a multidisciplinary framework that directly addresses the core challenges our pupils face. When assessing pupils we are looking at their Social Communication needs and how they are able to Emotionally Regulate in order to put in place the physical supports (Learning Supports) and the personal approach (Interpersonal support) that they need to develop these skills.
- Developing the skills to carry out activities of daily living are crucial to a person’s independence and their ability to take part in the wider world, .
All pupils at Dysart will have an ‘Essentials Toolkit’ which will be co produced by everyone who knows them! The toolkits will be informed by their EHCP and a period of inquiry (which is ongoing) this information is to ensure that the team around each pupil has a clear understanding of who they are, their strengths, what they like/dislike how they need us to be, how they learn and how we can build on this.
For new pupils who join Dysart, the ‘Essentials’ are the focus of inquiry for the first term. The class teacher and the team around the pupil (including the pupil themselves, the pupils family, Teacher, class team, SALT, OT, nurse, MHWB team) use the Essentials assessment pack to begin to develop an understanding of the pupil within the 5 Essential areas.
There may be points during a pupil’s time at Dysart where it may be necessary for us to exclusively focus for a period of time on the Essential areas ie: pause pathway progression in order to identify significant changes in each of the 5 essential areas.