Curriculum & Outcomes
Student achievement is recognised at many levels at Gretton. Our curriculum is broad (in terms of subject areas covered), balanced (in terms of skills and competencies) and delivered at a range of different levels across all year groups, to enable any learner - regardless of their starting point at Gretton - to achieve and progress.
The curriculum is made up of four key layers and these are defined below:
We aim to deliver our range of subjects at National Curriculum level, but for those working either above or below, we look to identify clearly differentiated pathways so that students can achieve according to their individual abilities and potential.
The Support curriculum underpins our Integrated Therapeutic Approach. These elements of our curriculum are guided and planned by our Multidisciplinary Team (made up of Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Arts Therapy and our Behaviour and Welfare and Specific Learning Difficulty Teams) and delivery is integrated into the classroom through class staff that know our learners well and work with them on a daily basis. We aim to work within school at Universal, Targeted and Specialist levels, depending on the needs of individual learners.
This part of our curriculum is fundamental to enabling young people to learn and it works on the principles defined by Maslow’s hierarchy; namely, if students aren’t engaged and feeling safe and happy, they cannot learn. As such, a learner may have the core curriculum demands reduced for a period of time whilst we are looking at ways in which the support curriculum might develop elements such as sensory integration, emotional regulation, learning and study skills and communication.
When the young person is safe and secure in their learning, and they are ready to be challenged, our timetables start to incorporate additional elements including field and class trips, independent travel training, Independence skills and, further up the school, work experience placements. Many of these timetabled sessions are underpinned by ASDAN qualifications, which are flexible in their delivery, but which gather the evidence for qualifications against the skills these learners need to develop. It is our aim that the Extension Curriculum will give learners skills beyond simply the academic, to include physical, emotional, social and self-help development.
Learning isn’t just about the classroom and we will actively seek ways in which to support learners to access not only enrichment activities within school, but out in the local community too. Learners have opportunities across their school years to access swimming, horse-riding, visits to local amenities, Forest School and cross- and inter-school competitive sports. The sporting opportunities at Gretton are abundant and are underpinned by the support curriculum to ensure that Occupational Therapy principles define ways in which we work with learners to develop their physical skills and aptitudes.
Gretton School has been nominated and shortlisted for the Living Sports awards as a result of the extensive sporting activities made available to the young people at Gretton. Additionally, the enrichment timetable at school provide learners with a range of clubs and activities in which to participate, ensuring that we are providing regular and consistent social opportunities in which to develop positive relationships with staff and other learners.
"I can't thank you enough for helping me raise the man he is today."
Our curriculum is designed so that all learners, regardless of when they join Gretton and at what stage of their learning, will have a range of subject opportunities at a level that is suitable for their age and stage and differentiated according to their learning levels.
We aim to include a range of different assessment methods to accommodate our learners’ needs and abilities, whilst enabling them wherever possible to achieve an equivalent standard to their chronological mainstream peers.
We have clear pathways for learner progress and the subjects thread through the school from primary through to Key Stage 5, with clear progression from one year to the next.
Finally, we aim to provide a curriculum which recognises our learners’ Autism, plays to their strengths, supports them to develop those skills which may not come naturally to them and prepares them for a full, independent and successful life, in line with CEIAG (Careers, Education, Information and Guidance) and PfA (Preparation for Adulthood) themes.
Our curriculum - across all subjects - is differentiated to meet the individual needs of the learners and to draw on their strengths, interests and abilities. We have high expectations of our students and work hard to enable them to achieve their potential.
The curriculum, underpinned by therapeutic principles, is delivered using phenomenon-based teaching, enquiry-led learning and clearly defined structures of learning. This is to support learners to understand the relevance of topics and be able to ‘place’ their learning within real life and familiar contexts. It also promotes opportunities for creativity and collaborative work with peers.
Our teachers are all regularly trained and understand Autism, its individual presentations and its impact on learning; as such, they deliver their lessons with a unique style to engage, challenge and progress learners within school.
Learning is delivered in small groups with a high level of support staffing; our approach to learning is underpinned, not only by therapeutic principles, but within the context of positive behaviour management, to minimise disruption and maximise focus.
The curriculum across all subject areas is designed to enable learners to learn, relearn and revisit topics across different year groups, adding layer upon layer of learning to reinforce and develop subject knowledge.
Ultimately, it is our goal that learners will leave Gretton with:
As many qualifications as they have been able to achieve within the context of their Autism
An understanding of emotional regulation and the strategies needed to achieve this
An understanding of their social/relationship needs and appropriate behaviours within these
A positive self-esteem and an understanding of how uniquely wonderful they are
A range of self-help and independence skills
A developed sense of sensory integration and physical development
A clear pathway into adulthood and an understanding of their next steps
An ability to express themselves appropriately, positively and with maturity
Student Case Study - October 2021
Presley started at Gretton 7 years ago on his 10th birthday. He had previously struggled at a mainstream school with loud noises in class and a large number of students; he hadn't made any friendships whatsoever.
We looked at several other schools, but none of them met Gretton's standards. Since Presley has joined, he has flourished academically and his confidence has risen. He is now socializing with his peers and staff, as there are less students in class. The excellent support from his teachers and TAs has proven that any child can accomplish their goal with Gretton's helpful and understanding staff.
In the summer term of 2021 Presley won the Bronze 'BTEC Music Learner of the Year' Award, across the country. Staff who have watched him grow and develop from a boy to a man were thrilled to celebrate this success with him.