Our Semi-Formal Curriculum is subtitled ‘A Life-Skills-Based Curriculum’. This is because the teaching of skills for independent living happens throughout all aspects of it. Rather than have ‘Life Skills’ as a separate subject (as it is in the Formal Curriculum), each curriculum area within our semi-formal curriculum addresses real-world contexts. A lesson in ‘My Communication’ for example, could be about recognising different signage when using public transport. A lesson in ‘How My World Works’ could involve being supported to use a washing machine.
The definitive feature of our Semi-Formal Curriculum is its own seven alternative curriculum areas, which address the priority needs for young people with SLD and/or ASD:
How My World Works
Me and My Community
National Curriculum Subjects and their relation to the Semi-Formal Curriculum:
The following areas are not curriculum areas in their own right,
but are taught and assessed across the curriculum:
Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL)
Social, Moral, Spiritual, Cultural Aspects of Learning (SMSC)
Informational Technology (IT)
There are overlaps between our Semi-Formal Curriculum areas and subjects on the UK National Curriculum. However, our Semi-Formal curriculum areas are designed to offer something totally distinct, to directly address SLD learning need, rather than an adaption of the national curriculum in any form. It is as a response to the small amount of available research into SLD and our own reflections on teaching pupils with these needs.