Ours is a community of learning, where secure partnerships create opportunities for students, staff, governors, parents and carers alike to participate and grow to become intellectually, emotionally and socially Fit for Life.
The curriculum at Cedars Academy is broad, balanced, challenging and engaging. It is individualised, responsive and rich; it is focused on the promotion of communication, emotional development, resilience, and the development of personal and social skills. We place a significant emphasis on enrichment activities; promoting self-esteem and developing relationships.
The curriculum drives our school purpose. Ultimately, the curriculum is the yardstick for what our school leaders want our pupils to know and to be able to do by the time they leave school. A successful curriculum includes how well the curriculum is implemented through well-taught and appropriately sequenced content, thoughtfully designed assessment practice and consideration of an appropriate model of progression.
We understand the need to develop knowledge, particularly around what we want our pupils to know and know how to do. However, we recognise and understand that this does not mean that the curriculum should be formed from isolated chunks of knowledge, identified as necessary for passing a test. A rich web of knowledge is what provides the capacity for our pupils to learn even more and develop their understanding further.
This does not preclude the importance of skill. Knowledge and skill are intrinsically linked: skill is a performance built on what a person knows. That performance might be physical or cognitive, but skills matter and they cannot be separated from knowledge. They are, if you like, the ‘know-how’ in applying the ‘known’. Knowledge and the capacity it provides to apply skills and deepen understanding are, therefore, essential ingredients of our curriculum design.
Enabling the acquisition of knowledge and skills requires a whole-school approach for creating a positive, safe and supportive school climate in which students can learn and develop.
Our Behaviour for Learning approach involves the school community working together, where students are empowered to participate in decision-making. We have developed a continuum of support; importantly, students have access to more support when they need it. The continuum provides a therapeutic approach, with consideration to anticipation & preparation, attachment awareness, an emphasis on mindfulness and wellbeing, the use of reflective language; the focus is on early intervention through to targeted and intensive interventions.
We need to consider how we implement the curriculum to reflect the intent behind it that leads to the impact it has on each child. Our curriculum is skill and context based and encourages active engagement in learning; it is based on effective behaviour for learning, with embedded cross-curricular and contextual themes.
Our curriculum focuses on developing the key themes of communication, cognition, personal and social development and physical development; it develops transferable skills that equip children and young people for life beyond the school. It is child-centred and led.
More detailed curriculum information and answers to specific questions can be obtained at any time from class teachers. Further information on the thinking behind our curriculum and how we deliver it can be found by following the links above.