Formal Pathway

Learners at St Giles School follow one of three learning pathways – Pre-Formal, Semi-Formal or Formal. The Formal pathway is for those who have complex physical, sensory or medical needs, but who are cognitively able to access National Curriculum subjects, modified in the light of their developmental level and special educational needs. Pupils learning to read use the Read, Write, Inc phonics scheme.

Learners following a formal curriculum may require some adult support, both for their learning needs, communication and possibly their care needs. This means that every pupil will have highly differentiated lessons, delivered by skilled staff. Formal pupils complete a range of accreditation appropriate to the level at which they are working.

The St Giles Formal Curriculum pathway is underpinned by four pillars;

  • Total Communication
  • Access
  • Positive Behaviour Support
  • Ambition – Be the best you can be!

All our Formal pupils follow timetables that include the following five areas:

  • Cognition and Challenge – including maths, science, IT and humanities
  • Communication and Literacy
  • Physical and Sensory
  • Personal and Emotional Well-Being
  • Creative – including art, drama, music

Intent – What are we trying to achieve through our Formal Curriculum?

The Formal Learning Pathway aims to provide a curriculum that:

  • Is primarily accessible to those young people in the school with moderate learning difficulties.
  • Supports learners to develop their interests as well as their skills and knowledge
  • Is a planned programme of objectives, content, learning experiences, resources and assessment based on but not exclusive to the National Curriculum 2014.
  • Includes Life skills and independence skills
  • Ensures that learning is linked to practical activities and consolidated and applied in practical sessions.
  • Provides a combination of integrated approaches as well as discrete skills and subject specific content.
  • Is interconnected to encourage the transference of skills and knowledge across the learning pathway, whilst allowing for specific subject knowledge and understanding to be embedded.
  • Recognises that some of our learners may not be physically able to complete practical processes without full support, but that they should be involved in choice and decision making about the process;
  • Through collaboration with a range of other professional is accessible to all learners as part of a bespoke provision of supported access and personalised approaches e.g. SaLT input in supporting non-verbal pupils to use AAC devices to communicate about their learning
  • Enables older pupils working at the formal level to pursue accreditation pathways (e.g. Entry Level awards and exams);

Impact – What difference is our curriculum making?

Progress for learners following the Formal curriculum pathway from Middle School onwards is currently assessed using descriptors from our school’s Bridging and Milestone levels and through formative assessment of progress towards individual EHCP outcomes. This progress is recorded on learner’s timelines.

In the Upper School, pupils following the semi-formal pathway have their achievements rewarded and recognised with accredited awards usually at Entry Level. These include Arts Award, AQA , WJEC and ASDAN Entry Levels and Awards.