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Combining Foundation Stage & National Curriculum. Single subject or cross curricular?

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by jumpingstar, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. jumpingstar

    jumpingstar New commenter

    Hello! Happy late August to everyone. It's coming up to that time - PLANNING.

    I am getting a head start as Special is new to me.

    I have 5 children on the Foundation stage and 4 children in Years 2 - 6 in my class. (I am keeping my Year 1's at Foundation stage until Christmas as I feel more relevant). In my previous post in mainstream we didn't teach the "afternoon" subjects separately but had a combined cross curricular approach which lent itself well to transition from the foundation stage.

    My new school teaches in single subject slots (hoping this makes sense). It is up to me how I deliver the curriculum as long as I show progress - there is no rule. I would very much like to carry on as I have been doing but just wondered if other people in Special Needs work in this way and whether it works??

    Just an example - I would plan in fortnightly Slots combining activities and objectives from all the subjects which would lend itself to child initiated and guided activities throughout the two weeks. Then I would plan to build on that with new objectives and focus in the next two weeks.
  2. Jo3Grace

    Jo3Grace New commenter

    I imagine there is a way of doing both, if your planned activities fit with the subjects listed for the afternoon.

    What you may find is that your new students need more help to initiate activities, and they may get lost in a sea of time and need the structure that individual lessons provide. However every class is different and the unfortunate position you face in the summer holidays is that you won't really know until you try.

    It would probably be prudent to plan for the start of term but not spend lots of time and effort making detailed plans for later on as you are likely to be changing things as you go.

    Best wishes in your new position.

    Kind regards

    Jo Grace
  3. jumpingstar

    jumpingstar New commenter

    Thanks Jo

    That was the concern I had - making it too open might be detrimental. I think I will keep the structure tight but rather than plan a whole term of science, history, etc etc if I plan the first two weeks for all the subjects and combine all into a fortnightly plan that allows for adaptation more as time goes on.
  4. dzil

    dzil Occasional commenter

    Hi Jess,

    Some great advice there from Jo as usual.

    Do plan in lots of time for your students to get to know you and your expectations. You may need to actively teach them the basic way you want them to behave in your room and to spend far longer on it than you ever thought possible. I've actually had lesson objectives along the lines of "to learn where Ms Dzil keeps the pencils". It pays off in the end though. I often don't get around to any real subject teaching until after half term (although I will have covered a lot) - but by then the children are developing independent learning skills - most know where to get the basic equipment, what they can get for themselves and what they need to ask / wait for and where to put it away. They are beginning to think for themselves (eg I need to draw a picture so I need a pencil and paper- I can get them from the blue drawer myself; I need to sit in a chair now because that music means it's circle time) Once they have got this, as I'm sure you'll know from mainstream, life for all of us gets easier and learning is really enhanced.

    You may also find that you need to think more in terms of the level of ability of your individual children rather than just their school year. In special schools it is not uncommon to have children in the foundation stage and year 1 who are far more able than children in year 4 or 5. You'll need to become very aware of the P levels / routes for learning or what ever assessments your school uses and less aware of what the children "should" be doing because they are in year x.

    Students usually have individual targets rather than having targets for the whole class or group. For example you may have a broad objective for your lessons such as "to develop the use of sentences". Within that Johnny may be learning to point to the correct object from a choice of 6 familiar objects when you ask him to "show me the xxx". Jane may be learning to use the prepositions in, on or under correctly and Sam could be using a word bank to write short sentences in response to clear pictures.

    I usually take the subject matter from the school year (so the children aren't doing the same topic, books, stories, activities over and over every year) and then adapt it to make it accessible for all of the abilities in the class.

    Hope that makes at least a little bit of sense!

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