At Orbis Education and Care we offer a curriculum that is broad, relevant and purposeful, which allows students to become:
- Ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives
- Enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work
- Ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world, ready to be citizens of Wales and the world
- Healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society
In Dan Y Coed school, we follow a skills-based curriculum, focused on the individual needs of each pupil. We use the Autism Progression Framework for specific areas of need such as sensory processing, managing emotions and relationships, coping with change, independence in life skills, motivation and engagement in learning and accessing the community. Both our staff and our families feel that these skills are very important to enable our young people to thrive in adult life.
Learning is delivered through topics and projects, which are chosen by pupil voice to ensure that students are engaged and invested in their own learning.
We have five Areas of Learning:
Health and Wellbeing
We want to give our students the skills to build healthy relationships. Playing is a hugely important part of everyone’s life. It is, simply, fun. But actually, play is how people, and especially children, are designed to learn and interact. We learn best when we are enjoying ourselves. We promote play through a range of activities including a whole school Attention Engagement programme and an Intensive Interaction approach used to build the necessary social and communication skills to enjoy sharing experiences with others.
We want our students to know how to make positive choices to promote their own physical health and wellbeing. We give them opportunities to experience a wide range of activities in school and community such as: swimming, cycling, football club, dance classes, yoga classes, sensory circuits, massage, meditation, aromatherapy, TACPAC, Sensology, Sensory play. We run Wellbeing Events to give our students the opportunities to share these activities with their families and the wider community.
This includes numeracy, digital competency, reading, writing and communication goals. We want our students to use these skills effectively in different contexts and their day to day lives. We teach these skills across all our curriculum. Additionally, students may have personalised interventions such as Makaton, PECS, TalkAbout and ReadWrite Inc.
Science and Humanities
We want our students to have an understanding of themselves and other people, their own locality, Wales and the world in a range of times, places and circumstances. Science and Technology are closely linked, each depending upon the other. Science involves acquiring knowledge through observation and experimentation, and technology applies scientific knowledge in practical ways. This area of learning and experience encourages curiosity about the natural, physical world and universe through investigating, understanding, and explaining. Pupil-led learning is inspired by a choice of projects, whilst ensuring a broad coverage of themes over the school year. Individuals are also encouraged to explore their special interests.
We want our students to experience engaging their thinking, imagination and senses creatively. We encourage an integrated use of art, drama, music, dance, film and digital media, which is often linked to our school topics.
Skills for Life and Work
Our pupils aged 5-13 start to the build foundations for managing school and work expectations and personal independence. Our pupils aged 14+ are given opportunities to further develop work skills, employment and independent living in preparation for their future pathways into adulthood.
Students have the opportunity to access “The Orb” a sector leading resource which allows pupils to access work experience. The Orb is a charity shop, café, life skills centre, and office space specifically designed to provide life skills and work skills for pupils. Students complete an application form and specify their areas of interest and then work to an individualised timetable, building on skills week by week. We have also appointed a Job Coach in Dan Y Coed school whose role is to create further opportunities for work experience in school and the community.
Students achieve external qualifications through a range of external accreditation courses including a range of ASDAN courses and SWEET. This again is based on their learning interests, is chosen to compliment the curriculum and help develop the skills that the pupils need to learn.
Our curriculum is currently being re-developed, with staff working together to create a whole school system of tracking skills in all areas of learning that ensures all our students can progress along a continuum of achievement.
SLT roles and responsibilities for Pupil Voice & Wellbeing, ICT and Curriculum & Assessment ensure that we can reflect on how the curriculum needs to be developed, share good practise and make next steps. All staff are involved through regular questionnaires and meetings to address specific aspects of the curriculum. We are committed to professional learning through our Training Tuesdays. We will continue to involve staff, families and other professionals to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our learners as fully as possible.