The Lower School's curriculum focus is on developing classroom readiness, as many pupils come to school having been on a reduced timetable or only having attended a pre-school. Communication and language form the basis of their curriculum either through language, or communication supports such as PECS. Many of the pupils have significant sensory needs and time is built into planning to facilitate their sensory diet, including working towards O.T targets. Younger children often struggle to rationalise their emotions and as such, the curriculum has an emphasis on developing emotional regulation.
The curriculum in Lower School is delivered through a carefully considered programme of topics that are chosen to provide coverage of the three Areas of Learning while avoiding unnecessary repetition. There begins a focus on understanding number such as counting and one to one correspondence so that the basic blocks are set up. Lessons around phonics and spelling strategies occur daily, which develop an understanding of the text and an excitement and love for reading. For many of our pupils, the art of writing begins with the ability to mark make, form letters and then basic sentences. Writing is cross curricula as repetition of skills is the key to progress. CAPPS ensures there is a progression in skills. As with the other departments in the school, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and values such as friendship, kindness, respect, happiness and respecting each other remain high on the agenda.
An Example of a Lower School Timetable