Mayfield Curriculum Philosophy
An Individual needs led Curriculum approach to learning and progress:
“One Size Fits One.”
For the children and staff at Mayfield, the curriculum covers every minute of their time with us in school. It is of course also extended through our work with families to every minute of their time at home.
In its truest sense, we operate a team around the child and family approach.
The children and young adults at Mayfield School have a vast range of physical, sensory, learning, emotional, social and medical needs. Their cognitive abilities and capacity cover a huge range, from those who may be learning consistent eye gaze, in a very sensory context, to those who are learning to tell stories, tell the time and manage their own money, through more functional, skills-based learning.
All children and young people with learning difficulties can have unique ways of learning. We see our pupil’s strengths first and work with these to develop other areas.
Different learning needs require different teaching approaches, which often change over time. As a school we actively research new methods to impact on learning and progress for all our pupils absorbing these into current practice in order to enhance provision.
At all times we strive to ensure that teaching fits to the needs of the current groups of students, and is therefore responsive and adaptable. In simple terms we focus on teaching the way students learn best.
There is no one curriculum model which could possibly fit all our pupils. Each student needs a unique curriculum offer and set of learning experiences. We achieve this by investing in staff training at all levels to equip the team with the knowledge, skills and resources needed to work with such complex students. We provide them with the box of tools and they select the best ones for each student!
We pride ourselves on providing a set of learning experiences across a child’s time with us which places the needs and the abilities of the learners at the heart of provision and planning. It is based on outcomes we want the pupils to achieve at each key stage of their learning journey. This next steps learning approach ensures all pupils make the progress they deserve.For every pupil regardless of age or ability we seek to support them to become as independent as possible in all aspects of life and learning.
Above all, we believe everything we do, and everything each learner experiences, must be useful and relevant for each stage of their learning journey and ultimately for their life outside school in their home and wider community.
To achieve this we have developed our very own integrated approach. This is based around a thorough, integrated and ongoing detailed assessment of need in the areas we consider fundamental to developing the whole child. These areas are linked to but expand on the areas linked to each pupils Education Health and Care Plan :
Physical Development , Sensory, Cognition and Learning, Communication and Interaction and Independence. We have also added Creative Art and Design , Mathematical Development and Understanding of the world. We can then find the best teaching methods, interventions and environment for each learner.
This journey is planned in consultation with the people best placed to make decisions supported by the knowledge of expert professionals.
We firmly believe this allows our children to make the progress they are capable of – an approach which focuses therefore on what they can and will do, rather than what they can’t. To us there is no such phrase as ‘ I can’t’ we just say ‘ You can’t yet! ’
We acknowledge the need for an aspirational, cognitively appropriate, ‘broad and balanced curriculum’ and have developed a set of learning experiences that encompass all required areas of learning across the ages in school. This is delivered in a cohesive thematic way covering a range of topics or content that can be adapted to the different age requirements.
We are therefore flexible in using ideas and methodologies and advices from various sources including the early year’s curriculum, national curriculum, and study programmes. From these we empower our expert staff to take what we feel is relevant and appropriate to the developmental needs of each pupil.
As such there is no rigid timetabling or predetermined balance of focus. Each piece of planned learning and progress forms part of a functional and meaningful path for that child taking whatever direction the learner needs. This means we have no pre-conceptions of any learner’s path of progress and do not limit our expectations to allow the learner to lead us in their journey.
Seeing is believing and we invite you all to come and see how it works and how the amazing students we have reward us every day with their successes.