The intent of the Curriculum at Connect is first and foremost about relationships. Our intent is to connect with the young people to engage young people in the learning process. Students accessing Connect often come with a host of SEMH challenges which have led to gaps in learning and a narrative surrounding their behaviour rather than them as individuals. In line with the approach at Connect we seek to change the narrative and “connect the dots” and start to address some of the possible causes of negative patterns of behaviour or source the support required for the young person to realise their potential. Staff and students are future focused and want to help young people to write the next chapter which realises their potential, sees them gain qualifications and be prepared for life beyond school.
The curriculum is flexible in nature and courses covered can vary depending on the needs of the current cohort. All students follow a two-week timetable and the mainstream timings of the day for Year 10 and 11 to allow access to option subjects. Students transitioning back in KS3 will start transitioning back in Periods 1, 3 and 5 initially to minimise disruption to Connect or Mainstream lessons impacted by break and lunchtime staggering.
The Connect approaches have been mapped into appropriate curriculum content to support the development of SEMH skills and understanding. This remains an ongoing process of plan do and review with the needs of the young people. Staff try to achieve curriculum coherence with the mainstream curriculum wherever possible however are acutely aware that the students require an “alternative provision” to mainstream therefore Connect Curriculum also includes “catch up slots” to support young people transitioning back into mainstream and those on blended curriculums. Some departments also provide liaison to support the developing curriculum needs of the cohort.
Personal Development is a major aspect of all the work done in Connect. There are different levels to the personal development curriculum. The first is a standard planned curriculum that is aligned to mainstream curriculum content, the Princes Trust Achieve awards and the Connect termly topic planner. The second level is responsive to the needs of the current cohort, particularly related to Safeguarding issues raised or personal development needs raised during lessons, keywork or the assessment of the cohort.