Formal Curriculum


The Langley Formal Curriculum is delivered to the majority of our pupils.  Delivery begins in KS1 for those pupils who are assessed as demonstrating developmental and academic readiness to transition to learning that is not wholly 'play based' in at least two curriculum and holistic areas. For example, the pupil may be making good progress in phonics and number work and is able to attend to tasks and activities for a sustained period of time.  The pupils will be fully supported in accessing more formal styles of learning during this transition and staff take a gradual approach to enable success in their pupils.  The curriculum will be adapted to suit our pupils and will be structured to provide National Curriculum coverage but at an appropriate level for the pupils.  As a school for children with moderate learning difficulties (including those who also have a diagnosis of ASC), the pupils have either global developmental delay or delay in specific areas.  The Formal curriculum provides content and coverage that is accessible for pupils operating approximately a half to a full key stage behind their mainstream peers.  To accommodate those pupils who have developmental delay and learning difficulties in specific areas, the curriculum is reviewed annually to ensure there is coverage for any pupils working either just below or in line with National expectations.  When appropriate, these pupils may also access lessons at the mainstream school which Langley is co-located with.  

A key element of our curriculum is to provide our pupils with opportunities to revisit previously taught content to ensure children are able to retain knowledge and skills and to provide opportunities for deeper learning.  Subjects are delivered in both a discrete and theme based way.    As with our Semi-Formal Curriculum, schemes of work will include teaching and learning which is based on ‘real-life’ application and is meaningful to our pupils lived experiences.  Teacher’s planning will take this into account.  They will also be delivered in a multi-sensory way based on the needs of individual learning styles in each class.  Although a more formal structure, the delivery will still ensure that it does not become too abstract and that the pupils have concrete learning opportunities

Under the revised Formal Curriculum, we will engage our pupils and to help them make meaningful connections across subjects and topics, new half termly themes that will be introduced with a ‘Wow Day’. While making considerations to these leaners with sensory processing disorder and pupils with ASC, classrooms will also be designed to immerse the learners in the key theme.  Some topics may also include a focus week where pupils will be given the opportunity to delve deeper into the curriculum content and apply skills and knowledge they have built up over the term/half term.  These will include a day of them sharing their learning through presentations, assemblies, galleries or through video. 

All schools should provide a Broad and Balanced Curriculum (DfE, 2014), and so hose pupils accessing the Formal Curriculum will also access content which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society; and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.”  In additional to the required subject coverage, the pupils may also access personalised Occupational therapy programmes, in class Speech and language sessions, physiotherapy and personal independence skills.  These will be delivered either as discrete sessions and/or integrated into teaching and learning.  

KS1 Overview

In years 1 and 2, they will transition from the EYFS curriculum to National Curriculum Programme of study.  Play based learning is still thoroughly integrated at the start of the year, with phonics, literacy and numeracy being taught in discrete lessons as well as communication being embedded throughout the day.  As the pupils approach the end of the academic year, and providing they are developmentally ready, then some of the other lessons, Computing etc., will being to be delivered in more structured ways.  Play and social skills will still remain within the time table.   

KS2 Overview

Our KS2 department is structured as Lower Key stage 2/LKS2 (years 3 and 4) and Upper Key Stage 2/UKS2 (years 5 and 6). The curriculum is delivered using a two year planning cycle for each phase of KS2.  Medium term plans ensure that regardless of when a child joins a phase, they will not have missed any key skills/knowledge from the previous year. Planning includes opportunities to revisit and teach previous learning as well as pupils being taught the next steps of progression in any given subject.  Teachers will further differentiate any curriculum content as necessary.

New schemes of work and progressions guidance are being developed to deliver more holistic and developmental areas of our curriculum. 

What it looks like 2020-2021

The Formal Curriculum currently under review across the Federation and the revised programme of study, which allows more fully for recall, progression and deeper learning, will be fully implemented from September 2021.  In the interim period, teachers will include the following elements:

  • Multi-sensory teaching and learning activities
  • Time tabled holistic and academic interventions
  • Brain breaks within lessons
  • Target ‘Catch up’ lessons for missed learning due to COVID-19 in maths and literacy (Including EHCP targets)
  • Full access to the National Curriculum through discrete teaching and Thematic curriculum topics
  • Planning which reflects the interests and motivations for their pupils
  • Metacognition (Thinking skills/learning Behaviour)