Every one of us is unique, with our own strengths and weaknesses, passions and desires. With this in mind, Sandymoor aims to provide a personalised curriculum for every student. This is achieved in a number of different ways:
Enhanced diagnostic testing
Using the most up to date findings from educational and psychological research, every student takes a number of tests to enable us to understand how they, as an individual, learn and grow. These effectively help us gain an insight into how the brain interprets the world around it and how it then extends itself out onto the world. We also test every student for a wide range of identifiable 'learning support' conditions; all modern educationalists now recognise that things such as dyslexia & dyspraxia are conditions that exist across wide degrees of severity. Rather than diagnosing and labelling only students who exhibit moderate to severe signs, all students are tested. This way we can support all students needs.
Individual Development Plans
These tests are carried out during the Flying Start / induction week, along with a number of one-to-one interviews with members of staff. These interviews are designed to enable us and the student to fully understand what the results of these tests mean, but they do more than that. If we were car mechanics, diagnostic tests would tell us all we needed to know about the car, but with people, it's never that simple! We talk with each student to find out their desires and passions, but also try to help them to understand themselves as learned more. What their barriers to learning are. All of this is then written up into the student's IDP (Individual Learning Plan), a document that grows with the student. This plan replaces the more traditional school report and is added to throughout the school year by every teacher involved in the student's development.
Where possible (& where needed), students will engage in activities working with students from different age groups. The traditional school model, where children are taught in rigid age-related groups, is based on the assumption that all students learn and develop at the same time. Or, to quote Sir Ken Robinson, as if the most important thing about a young person is their 'date of manufacture'! Families and workplaces are made up of people of different ages, working alongside each other and learning off each other & at Sandymoor, there will be opportunities for all students to work together too.