Thematic Learning

Our focus within the semi-formal department is to develop pupils personal communication skills, independence (both educationally and personal), and social skills. A semi-formal curriculum approach enables all pupils to take part in activities that are engaging, meaningful to them, and provides relevant and challenging goals. It is a curriculum for pupils and students who learn best when learning is related to their own experiences. Some pupils may learn through structured play whilst others will learn more effectively through functional activities or through topic-based approaches. Classes are arranged with a number of key considerations including appropriate communication partners, individual personality, age, individual targets and areas of challenge as indicated by pupils’ EHCPs. Pupils will predominantly work with their class teacher but will have opportunity to work with all teachers in the department through targeted activity sessions, visits out of school and during unstructured play times.

Within the semi-formal department we adopt a thematic approach to teaching and learning. This means that pupils are engaged in cross-curricular learning opportunities rather than subject specific lessons. Pupils participate in a combination of specifically targeted learning activities, adult led group teaching and continuous provision style open ended activity. Activities are largely practical in nature and enable all pupils to take part in activities which provide motivation to develop their communication skills and practical application of mathematics.

Working across a theme provides opportunities for pupils to make links within their own learning, follow their own lines of enquiry, and develop their own independence as learners.


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Ravenshall School
Ravensthorpe Road
Thornhill Lees
WF12 9EE

Tel: 01924 456811