The Sunshine Strand consists of eight classes:-
Sunshine 1 – EYFS
Sunshine 2, 3 & 4 – Lower School
Sunshine 5, 6 & 7 – Middle School
Sunshine 8 – College
In Sunshine Classes the curriculum is topic based ensuring links to national curriculum for English, Maths and Science are implemented as well as catering for the individual needs of the students. Our curriculum is based on a combination of knowledge and skills. We want our students to develop meaningful and functional knowledge and skills that will support their adult life. Cookery, gardening, art, phonics, reading, PSHE and RSE also form part of the weekly timetable with the work differentiated according to the needs of the student. For each student their next step will be based on their assessed previous skills and knowledge rather than for their age or year group, it will be highly personalised.
The curriculum is also enriched with community visits that are either linked to the topic being taught, focused on the student’s key objectives or to provide opportunities for new experiences and skills. These are a key part of the week enabling students to socialise and communicate with their peers and the community in environments outside of the school.
We want all students to have a successful transition into and out of our setting.
A bespoke curriculum for students with severe learning difficulties.
The students in Sunshine Strand are at the very core of everything that we do. We recognise each student as a unique individual and provide the flexibility and programmes to suit individual requirements, so that all students have an equal opportunity to receive an education that is appropriate to their needs. To achieve this, topics are planned under the areas of the EHCP: -
- Communication and Interaction
- Cognition and Learning
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health
- Sensory and/or Physical
- Self-help & Independence
Alongside this, teachers identify the strategies that each student needs to access the curriculum and engage to achieve and make progress. This is individual to each student. Strategies include, structured visual support, PECS and coreboards, multi-sensory delivery, repetition and differentiated learning. English and maths are taught through functional skills sessions and timetabled lessons based on careful assessment of students abilities and needs and their progressive next step of learning. Students are also supported through the whole curriculum where communication and understanding, early literacy and maths skills and knowledge and personal development are integrated into all learning as appropriate. The sequence of learning as it is in all subjects is personal to students based on their prior learning and engagement in learning is central to all. The topics enable key skills and knowledge to be worked on in an exciting and motivating context. Each subject has skill and knowledge progression mapped out but each student will work on their next steps and teachers will break down into further smaller steps or widen, due to the unique nature of each student and how they engage and access the curriculum.
Their progression is not necessarily about movement up a ladder of skills and knowledge but more importantly lateral progression. Students need to be able to apply the skills and knowledge they have learned eg to different contexts, situations, with less scaffolding and support, with different people and in different environments. Retention of the foundation fundamental skills and knowledge to embed into long term memory is also important – to know more, do more, remember more.
It is therefore paramount for us to ensure that students at all key stages have the very best education and care and that each student engages, achieves and makes the most personal progress they can over time to enable them to have the most fulfilling, enjoyable and independent life possible beyond Shorefields.
A vital part of our curriculum is to prepare our students for the world beyond. This will look very different depending on the student and why great emphasis is made on getting to know the individual students ensuring they have the skills and knowledge they require to be comfortable, happy and enriched. We are ambitious for all our pupils and strive to challenge them at all opportunities so that they can access learning and make progress. Our students inevitably face barriers other children do not have to and we want to help them realise, manage and overcome those with as much independence as possible. At each stage of their learning and development we prepare students for new experiences, new responsibilities, new independence and new risks of the next stage. The curriculum and other planned activities across the school all contribute to building these essential skills.
Reading in Sunshine
Sunshine Classes currently follow the Badger Book Scheme. Children progress through the banded colours as they gain confidence, and because of the breadth of choice available in each colour band, they should be able to find books that appeal to them at each stage. This allows teachers to provide the opportunity for children to read for pleasure even at an early stage in their reading journey. We also have decodable phonics books in the early stages and move onto book bands when children's reading is more fluent. Ongoing reading assessments will establish which level children are reading at and whether they need to move up to the next level to maintain the right level of challenge.
To encourage higher order thinking when reading with the students we use Blank’s Levels of Questioning. Using this method promotes deeper understanding. It is a questioning framework developed by Marion Blank, a renowned psychologist. There are four levels of questioning which move from simple, concrete questions to more difficult, abstract questions. Blank’s questions encourage development of general language and vocabulary as well as skills in comprehension, reasoning, inferencing, predicting and problem solving (Blank, 2000).
Phonics is embedded through the weekly timetable and at least three discreet lessons are also delivered. Bug Club Phonics is the accredited scheme that the school has adopted. Bug Club Phonics is a synthetic phonics program based on Letters and Sounds phonic phases and sets that provides everything needed to help students succeed in early reading. This also allows access from home for our students.
Students Learning Journey
Sunshine 1- EYFS
Please see our EYFS page to learn more about our EYFS curriculum and our EYFS policy,
Sunshine 2, 3 & 4- Curriculum- 2023-2024
Sunshine 5, 6 & 7 Curriculum- 2023-2024
Sunshine 8- Curriculum- 2022-2023