Formal Learning Pathway

The Formal Curriculum Pathway

Learners at St Giles School follow one of three learning pathways – Pre-Formal, Semi-Formal or Formal. The Formal pathway is for those who have complex physical, sensory or medical needs, but who are cognitively able to access National Curriculum subjects, modified in the light of their developmental level and special educational needs.

Learners following a formal curriculum may require some adult support, both for their learning needs, communication and possibly their care needs. This means that every pupil will have highly differentiated lessons, delivered by skilled staff. Formal pupils complete a range of accreditation appropriate to the level at which they are working.

All our Formal pupils follow timetables that include the following six areas:

  • Cognition and Challenge – including maths, science, IT and humanities
  • Communication and Literacy
  • Physical and Sensory
  • Independence
  • Personal and Emotional Well-Being
  • Creative – including art, drama, music

Intent – What are we trying to achieve through our Formal Curriculum?

  • The formal curriculum is a planned programme of objectives, content, learning experiences, resources and assessment based on but not exclusive to the National Curriculum 2014. It is primarily accessible to those young people in the school with moderate learning difficulties.
  • Life skills and independence skills will also form a large part of the curriculum.
  • Older pupils working at the formal level may pursue accreditation pathways (e.g. Entry Level awards and exams); they follow the appropriate syllabus in each subject.
  • teachers ensure that learning is linked to topics, practical activities and consolidated and applied in practical sessions.
  • Pupils benefit from a combination of an integrated approach as well as separate skills and subject areas. All the parts of the curriculum are interconnected, whilst allowing for specific knowledge and understanding.
  • We consider not only the content of the curriculum but the ways to make it accessible to pupils with moderate learning difficulties. This may require a bespoke approach to recording, communication, interests, timetabling etc.
  • This may requires working collaboratively with a range of other professionals to consider the holistic needs of the student.

Impact – What difference is our curriculum making?

Progress for learners following the Formal curriculum pathway from Middle School onwards is currently assessed using descriptors from our school’s Bridging and Milestone levels and through formative assessment of progress towards individual EHCP outcomes. This progress is recorded on learner’s timelines.

In the Upper School, pupils following the semi-formal pathway have their achievements rewarded and recognised with accredited awards usually at Entry Level. These include Arts Award, AQA , WJEC and ASDAN Entry Levels and Awards.