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KS4 - personalised curriculum


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What are your experiences of a reduced curriculum at KS4 for those with learning difficulties ? Is a work related curriculum equally valid for the disaffected and if so should these students be taught together ?The dynamics of these groups can differ from one year to another but in my experience most students thrive on a curriculum of three core subjects, additional literacy,ICT and a Young Enterprise business venture. In Yr 11 a minority opt for a week which includes two days of work experience. As we head towards timetabling for the next academic year , I am interested in any creative solutions to enrich the curriculum for these students.

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  • 2 months later...

I have just posted a reply on the Inclusion posting on this very subject! At the school where I am a TA we will be trying this idea out this Sepember. (see the posting for the format) which is a mix of core educational subjects at school, colleg and work placement.Has anyone else out ther got any experience of such a programme? I would be interested to hear how successful it is.

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A reduced curriculum focusing on core subjects - I assume English, Maths and Science are the subjects in question - may be a short-term solution for a minority of students in difficulty, but there are perils in this approach if it is introduced as a blanket response. Considering that English is often the problem subject for these students, followed by Maths, they are being limited to sitting public exams in what are their weakest subjects. Some flexibility needs to be built into any curtailed academic curriculum to ensure that students are also able to demonstrate their strengths, whether in humanities, foreign languages, technology, creative arts etc, all of which may be taken at "entry" level by those with cognitive difficulties. Secondary education should, on the whole, be about a "broad and balanced" curriculum, the entitlement often found in statements of special educational needs. There is the opportunity to specialise post-16.

Let's be careful not to lump together everybody with "learning difficulties" when deciding what is an appropriate curricular provision for such students. This is a multidimensional category of special educational needs. Some students with (specific) learning difficulties are extraordinarily bright and can be taught the full complement of academic subjects so long as a multisensory approach is sensitively implemented. As for general learning difficulties, my local MLD school offers the full National Curriculum. The problem isn't necessarily the academic subject itself, it's the way that it's taught that makes the difference. Is student disaffection a consequence of the former or the latter?

David Wilson

http://www.specialeducationalneeds.com/

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