Explore Pathway & Avenue

Some pupils at Stanton Vale School access an informal curriculum which supports those pupils who have significant sensory and communication needs and who require an ongoing sensory-based pedagogical approach. Informal learners are in the moment and learn by doing. Therefore, Informal teaching needs to be hands-on, practical and engaging. The informal curriculum provides pupils with complex needs with a personalised curriculum that exploits opportunities to engage with their environment to the best of their ability. It considers the holistic needs of the child and acknowledges progress in the context of significant complex needs. It provides a breadth of challenging experiences that celebrate all achievements. Pupils experience a wide range of activities that allow them a number of opportunities to extend their learning and skills. Staff continuously reflect how activities can be adapted to stretch and challenge all pupils. This curriculum does not rely on linear progress but allows staff the flexibility to identify achievements in a number of areas simultaneously. This is the most appropriate curriculum model to meet the needs of learners operating at early stages of cognitive and physical development. We are aiming towards optimum interaction and independence given their individual needs. As a result of this Pathway and Avenue, learners will progress to either the Nurture Pathway or Avenue or the Explore Avenue. However, it is important to acknowledge that some pupils will remain on this informal pathway throughout their education

Progression for our informal learners comes from a real understanding of their interests, needs and experiences. For some students, engagement is about finding things that are highly motivating and meaningful to them.

We use a variety of teaching styles to deliver the curriculum, consisting of some adult-led teaching and some facilitative activities, closely observing our pupils, responding to them and getting connected with them. The day will include pupil-led play or practical learning with thoughtful activities and a physical environment that reflects this. It will also involve small group activities and lessons that are delivered by staff using the Nurture Pathway as an aspirational curriculum. 

 The informal curriculum is taught through the following areas:

  • Communication
  • Play
  • Physical wellbeing
  • Independence
  • Outdoors
  • Creativity