Whole School Curriculum Intent
Westhaven School is a unique learning environment with high expectations for learners who experience barriers to learning for a range of reasons. We promote a calm environment which enables everyone to learn. The golden thread that permeates our curriculum and our conduct through every school day are the core values that shape our learners to be:
- safely independent
- confident communicators
- respectful citizens
- resilient learners
- inquisitive thinkers
At Westhaven, English is the heart of our curriculum. We are committed to raising the standards in phonics and early reading of our learners through every curriculum subject.
At Westhaven, we follow the approach to phonics teaching as outlined in the DfE-validated program UNLOCKING LETTERS AND SOUNDS.
The learners will develop the computing skills that will set them up for an independent life in our technological world whilst also allowing them the opportunity to demonstrate some creativity.
Computing skills are built upon as learners progress through the school. This allows them to secure the skills so that they can be independent.
Learners learn how to collaborate with teachers and peers through computing
Termly online safety lessons and curriculum topics related to cyberbullying are delivered to learners to enable them to live respectfully in society
Our programming curriculum encourages problem-solving and finding solutions skills
A large number of our computing topics allow for creativity. For example, animation allows learners to think of and develop their own animations.
The National Curriculum for computing is divided into 3 strands, IT, Digital Literacy, and Computer Science:
IT incorporates learning about how forms of technology send, receive, and store information.
Digital Literacy incorporates the skills you need to live, learn, and work in a society where communication and access to information are becoming increasingly important.
Computer Science incorporates learning about computers and computational systems. Designing, using, and debugging algorithms and programming fall under this category.
At Westhaven, we offer the full National Curriculum to learners with a greater depth of understanding of Computing. Our National Curriculum offer follows the Teach Computing scheme of work. Teach Computing is a government-funded provider of Computing for schools.
Alongside offering the National Curriculum, we have worked with the Computing Hub to create a new curriculum strand called the Differentiated National Curriculum. This is an interpretation of the National Curriculum which has a greater emphasis on IT and Digital Literacy skills to develop our learners’ independence skills. Computer Science is covered in an accessible way for our learners, many of whom are working below numeracy and literacy age-related expectations. There is an extensive focus on online safety and life skills due to the reasoning outlined in the research below:
Further information can be found here: https://www.kelsi.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/74576/Online-Safety-for-SEND.pdf
At Westhaven, we pride ourselves on providing a curriculum that is rooted in Bruner’s Spiral Curriculum philosophy. This practice of building on prior learning is one that is offered in Computing.
Below is an example of how the topic of “consent” is delivered in Computing at Westhaven:
Extra Curricular Opportunities
At Westhaven, we offer a Lego + Coding club after-school once a week. This club involves using Lego to fulfil different “missions”. In order to do this, learners must code the Lego so that it can move and meet the requirements of the mission. This is part of the First Lego League competition which we are hoping to enter each year!
Who learns Computing at Westhaven?
Computing is mandatory for all learners from KS1 – KS4. Therefore, all learners at Westhaven will be taught Computing from Year 1 up to and including Year 11. For our learners who stay at Westhaven for KS5, Computing is also taught.
How often is Computing taught?
Computing is delivered by our wonderful team of teachers in KS1, KS2 and KS3. In KS4, the qualification is taught by Mr Burgess.
KS1 – 30 minutes a week.
KS2 Preparing to Learn Classes – 15 minutes a week
KS2 Ready to Learn Classes – 30 minutes a week
KS3 Preparing to Learn Classes – 30 minutes a week
KS3 Ready to Learn Classes – 1 hour a week
KS4 – 2 hours a week.
KS5 – 30 minutes a week.
At Westhaven, we are able to differentiate our curriculums to meet the needs of our learners. Computing is a subject that can be heavily differentiated depending on the learners accessing it. In some classes, our Computing lessons can be very practical and “unplugged” whereas, in other classes, our learners will be on the Chromebooks, producing high-quality digital information.
All classes are equipped with Chromebooks or tablets. This enables our learners to regularly access technology to support their learning in all areas of our curriculum. We also have a range of accessible resources to support learners with greater needs, such as large and coloured keyboards. We also have a large repertoire of word mats linked to each topic in Computing which can support our learners with the key vocabulary.
How is work evidenced?
All work is evidenced primarily on Evidence For Learning. Should learners produce something digitally, it is saved to their Google Drives and shared with teachers who will keep electronic copies.
At Westhaven, we offer the WJEC Pathways Qualification for IT Users to our KS4 learners. This qualification was introduced in the 2022/23 academic year. Should a learner demonstrate a particular level of skill in Computing, there is the possibility to deliver a GCSE.
Prior to introducing the WJEC qualification in IT, our learners were enrolled in a TLM qualification. We have also had some learners achieve a GCSE in Computing.
The table below reflects whether learners fell short of, met or exceeded their predictions in the qualification in the last few years.
How does Computing prepare our learners for life beyond Westhaven?
Our curriculum delves into various skills linked to adulthood and how technology can be used to positively support our needs and lifestyles as we move onto independence.
Learners will learn how to safely online bank, shop and use emails. They will also develop an understanding of how we should treat people via social media and keep ourselves safe, including knowing how not to fall victim to common scams.