Curriculum

Our three curriculum pathways are designed to ensure that every young person in our care has the opportunity access learning which is tailored to their needs and abilities.

Informal (Nurture) Curriculum

Our Nurture Curriculum is a process based, sensory and developmental curriculum designed for learners who have complex learning difficulties. Many also have physical disabilities alongside other difficulties such as cognitive processing, sensory and/or complex health needs. These learners require experiences and opportunities which promote the development of functional skills, communication, emotional wellbeing, confidence and independence. It is important for them that achievable aspirations for transitioning to their adult lives remain at the heart of our curriculum and time is dedicated to ensuring a progression of skills throughout school.

The intention of the curriculum is for students to become confident communicators who effectively self-advocate to shape their own lives by being able to think and problem solve as independently as they possibly can. As young people, our students will gain group or individual voluntary sector work within their local communities. These young people will be able to make choices about their day-to-day lives and work towards supported living in the long term.

The Nurture Pathway delivers steps of progression guided by both child development and personal aspirations. Our pupils learn differently and therefore our approach starts with each student’s specific needs, highlighting strengths, and identifying areas to develop. Teaching is adapted and play-based, and significant milestones are celebrated such as the progression through the key stages. Classrooms are set up to provide continuous provision and sensory exploration activities throughout the day with therapies integrated as part of the curriculum and not seen as an addition.

The curriculum focuses on four broad learning areas which are Communication (Physical Well-being &Outdoor School) Independence (Art & Drama), Thinking & Problem Solving (Relationship and Sex Education & The World Abot Me) Play & Leisure (Music & Dance). However, within the curriculum we are further able to take a personalised approach for each student focusing on developing each individual students’ specific needs.

Semi Formal Curriculum

The Semi Formal Curriculum is designed for learners with a range of moderate to severe learning difficulties. These learners can sometimes access subject specific learning but are consistently and over time working at levels below age related expectations. The curriculum is therefore developmental in nature, and open to personalisation. It is a blended offer for pupils that we feel should not be limited to a nurture offer, yet realistic to the fact that a formal curriculum can be too challenging all the time across the week. It is individualised so that learners work according to their own abilities. Our aim is always to transition pupils from Nurture to Semi formal or even Formal as they progress through the school, depending on their individual progress.

Our curriculum intention for learners who follow this pathway is that they develop as confident independent individuals, who can access, work and thrive within their local communities. We support these young people to develop a core foundation of skills and knowledge that will prepare them for further study, training and employment and aim for them to attain the highest level of recognized qualifications appropriate to them. Our Semi Formal pathway is absolutely driven by a commitment to develop an outstanding provision with a focus on high expectations, supporting pupils to achieve and aspire to succeed.

The curriculum is designed thematically to focus on the following areas: English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, DT, PE, Play and Leisure, Sex and Relationship Education, Independence, Outdoor schooling, Physical wellbeing and The World Around Us. This is achieved alongside the development of early literacy and numeracy skills using Accelerated Reader and STAR Maths Program.

The secondary phase consists of key stage 3, key stage 4 and Post 16. In the secondary phase we ensure that the work of the primary phase is built upon and extended through a broad and balanced curriculum that can meet the holistic needs of each pupil. Classes at Key Stage 3 retain a primary model to support transition. At different points in their educational journey students will work towards accreditations and qualifications that recognise their achievements within individual subjects.

By the end of key stages 3 where appropriate, students will be able to complete ASDAN qualification and take entry level qualifications in a range of subjects depending on their ability and interests, and by the end of Key Stage 4, we expect them to achieve ASDAN qualifications, Entry Level 3 and/or Level 1 qualifications in at least five subjects including English and Maths. By the time students leave us at the end of Post 16, we expect them to have achieved a range of ASDAN, Entry Levels 3, Level 1 and/or Level 2 qualifications including English and Maths.

Formal Curriculum

Our Formal Curriculum is designed for learners who are able to access the National Curriculum in a broadly age-appropriate way but adapted to meet their individual. The curriculum is designed organically to develop each pupil at an individual level to provide an offer that is bespoke to them and challenges them from their own individual starting point. In doing so, pupils have every opportunity to make progress at Bronze, Silver, or Gold Standards in their overall Key Stage Curriculum towards our Socio-Education Model.

Learners complete our Set-Sail Award which delivers a minimum of 5 E3/L1 qualification including in English and Maths by the end of KS3 and our Serenity Baccalaureate which delivers a minimum of 5 L1/2 and/or GCSE qualifications including in English and Maths by the end of KS4.

At Post-16, our curriculum offer ensures that every pupil excels during their time with us. The curriculum ensures a seamless transition from KS4 with an emphasis on preparing all our students for adult life so that they can lead full and productive lives as independent members of their own community. Learners follow our Post 16 Vocational Baccalaureate Award which challenges pupils to develop themselves into a complete all-round person,

The school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences that each school plans for its pupils. The national curriculum forms one part of the school curriculum however we do this in a local way that recognises the required personalization to ensure SEND pupils excel at our school.

We aim to publish information in relation to each academic year, relating to the content of the school’s curriculum for each subject and details about how additional information relating to the curriculum may be obtained and how we meet the Independent Schools Commission Education Standards.

Like all schools we make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice. This curriculum is also embedded across all subject SOL to reinforce SMSC and British Values.

The National Curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said, and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.

The National Curriculum is just one element in the education of every child. There is time and space in the school day and in each week, term and year to range beyond the national curriculum specifications. The National Curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum.

The curriculum at Serenity School is designed to ensure it meets the needs of the individual child first and foremost and therefore students’ timetable and curriculum offer will be be-spoke and differentiated across the school community.

Adapted and Differentiated

Meeting the needs of pupils within a richly imaginative, creative, exciting, inspiring, challenging, fun & dynamic curriculum

Formal Curriculum Academic Including Vocational Curriculum
We have very high expectations of our pupils and as such our schools offer a wide range of nationally accredited courses including GCSEs, Entry Levels, and Functional Skills in Literacy and Numeracy through NCFE, IFS & Sports Leaders. In doing so our learners achieve national qualifications at the end of Year 9 and Year 11.
Enhanced Curriculum Creative & Nurture Curriculum –

Our pupils benefit from participating in a variety of activities designed to enrich and enhance the school experience. Our enhanced Curriculum is intrinsically linked to elements of social, moral, spiritual and cultural (SMSC) education as well as Community Cohesion, Britishness, Public institutions and Every Child Matters. The added element of our enhanced curriculum is the school’s aim to nurture the often-hidden talents of each pupil. The enhanced curriculum responds to the interests and aspirations expressed by our pupils and include charitable endeavours and community-based service as well as daily afternoon programmes to develop social and emotional enhancement such as Sports Leaders Award and Duke of Edinburgh.

Furthermore, nurture work focuses on raising self- esteem and reducing anxieties within a calm and low-stress environment. Strategies used for individuals and small groups include ‘Volcano in my Tummy’ for anger management, ‘Drawing Therapy’ for anxiety and ‘Special Person’ books for raising self- esteem.

ASC/SEND Specific By addressing individual needs in relation to a pupil having an ASC or a SEND issue, we create learning environments and take informed approaches to ensure the development of each pupil’s capacity to learn. Although we offer core subjects within each of our services, we also can adapt our curriculum to cater for the needs and interests of our pupils to ensure they are engaged and excited to learn and this can be unique learning experiences availing of AP settings such as Fire and Rescue, Animal Care Centres and Landscaping Providers to name but a few.
Engagement Curriculum Some of our pupils may require individualised support to enable them to flourish in full time education. This engagement support is delivered through our school teams internally.
Therapeutic Curriculum  

We underpin our academic offer with a wide range of therapeutic interventions including CBT, REBT, speech and language therapy, drama therapy, art therapy, play therapy, nurture group, counselling for pupils, and an experience of music. Our therapeutic provision is managed, supported, and quality assured by our lead clinical psychologist.

The curriculum at our school is complex, however despite its complex structure; our curriculum ensures that all our pupils have the very best opportunities, as is appropriate to their age, ability and entitlement. We have high expectations – we believe that all pupils can achieve, and through our creative curriculum we ensure they have opportunities to achieve by promoting our core values of positive attitudes, supportive relationships and respect for everyone. Our curriculum is carefully planned and structured to enable all pupils to develop their personal characteristics, attitudes and values, to their fullest potential.

Our curriculum is based on:
  • The National Curriculum
  • A Creative Curriculum
  • Accreditation at an appropriate level at Key Stage 3 and 4

We are totally committed to the development of our pupils, to offer them the best start to their formal education – an education that is rich in opportunities & experiences; one that positively influences & ensures lifelong learning, broadening the aspirations, values & opportunities for every child as they grow & develop with us through key stages of learning into adulthood and a chosen career pathway after their post 16 education.

The curriculum forms the basis for the learning & experiences our pupils enjoy during their time at school. To us, our school curriculum goes far beyond the required elements of the National Curriculum, its strategies & frameworks, & involves richly imaginative, creative, exciting, inspiring, challenging, fun & dynamic opportunities, with the development of communication skills at the core. As a specialist school for SEND this enables teachers and therapists to work collaboratively – bringing the two disciplines together in new and innovative ways. This significantly impacts on their communication skills, pupil voice, and the development of personal autonomy promoting improved self-worth and stronger relationships built on mutual respect.

Our curriculum uses the national frameworks to ensure that every child has opportunities to develop the key learning steps defined within that documentation, but our curriculum provides a much more expansive approach to its delivery that ensures pupils receive experiences & opportunities to develop their knowledge, acquire new skills & attributes in ways that will guarantee that learning is relevant with respect to SEND needs. Our curriculum effectively promotes pupils’ holistic development, enhances their self-esteem, & enables them to celebrate & feel pride in achievement gained from the acquisition of new skills, & a desire to succeed.

At Serenity School, we recognise that there are pupils of widely different abilities in all classes and we provide suitable learning opportunities for all pupils by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the pupil. We achieve this by:

  • Setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;
  • Setting tasks with a varying degree of challenge, some children not completing all tasks;
  • Grouping children by ability and setting different tasks to each ability group;
  • Providing resources of different complexity;
  • Using Progress Partners to support the work of individual pupils or small

Pupils of all abilities have the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding, through planned progression throughout their school career, and by offering them an increasing challenge as they move up through each key stage.

  • first-hand experiences
  • practical activities
  • creative opportunities
  • pupil independence and choice
  • opportunities to work in depth
  • visits and visitors
  • fun and enjoyment