5. The Curriculum Model

In developing a relevant curriculum model, the school explored several curricular theories. Professor Wragg’s ‘Cubic Curriculum: A Curriculum for the Twenty-First Century’ placed the reform of curriculum in a very broad context.  He believed that the curriculum is not only school curriculum but that it ought to reflect seismic shifts in lifestyles, lifespan, aspirations and technologies.  Professor Wragg suggested that a sort of three-dimensional Rubik’s cube was a useful metaphor, or image, for thinking productively about the curriculum of the twenty-first century. Wragg’s ‘cubic curriculum’ has three dimensions: subject matter; cross-curricular themes and issues that influence children’s general development; and the different methods of teaching and learning that can be employed.

Keir Bloomer has a similar perspective: ‘Curriculum for Excellence is a multi-faceted programme addressing simultaneously almost every aspect of the educational process – organisation, teaching and learning, assessment and content.’

This school’s curriculum therefore is much more than a collection of teaching content. It is an all-encompassing approach to meet significant and complex needs.  The school has taken account of Professor Wragg’s thinking and has built the curriculum around the following criteria which are in accord with CfE:

  • What is to be learned (CfE outcomes)
  • How it is to be learned (CfE experiences, active learning and thematic approaches,   taking account of each child’s needs).
  • The context in which it is to be learned (in and around the school, in the community and at home).
  • The positive ethos of the school and the permeating ‘I can’ attitude which develops personal and social development and promotes achievement.

Importantly, staff recognise that their curriculum model needs to recognise the stage of development of each child – in some cases a developmental age of 6 months – and construct a personalised curriculum in harmony with each child’s ‘real’ interests, needs and learning patterns, whilst also providing small group learning opportunities. The result is that this school’s curriculum model is much more than a mere collection of subjects and activities. The totality of experiences provided for children and young people hang together and make sense to children and young people as well as to adults – professionals and parents.

Prompts For Reflection
How well do you understand the legislative and philosophical background to Additional Support Needs?

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