In order to provide pupils at Dysart with sessions that are relevant, exciting and challenging, as well as being able to identify opportunities for progression, we have adopted a curriculum structure with 3 broad levels: pre-formal, semi-formal and formal. These levels are not defined by age but by need and achievement; pupils may therefore move from one level to the next at any point in their school career. Each level covers skills, knowledge and understanding across a variety of areas of learning.
Pre formal – Pupils at early levels of development access a curriculum that enables them to establish positive relationships with familiar adults, to explore the world around them using their sensory and physical capabilities to the full and to establish ways through which they can communicate with other people. The teaching approach reflects the age and learning style of the pupils.
Semi-formal – Pupils following our semi-formal curriculum learn best when learning is related to their own experience. Some may learn through structured play others will learn more effectively through functional activities, and yet others will respond well to a topic-based approach. The teaching approach reflects the age and learning style of the pupils.
Formal – Pupils following our formal curriculum access a range of National Curriculum subjects modified to suit their developmental level and SEN. Areas of learning are taught in discrete lessons and as the term ‘formal’ implies, there is a high level of structure but this is also mixed with practical activities which are consolidated and applied in practical sessions.