The Curriculum Offer
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School Ethos and the Broader Curriculum:
The school curriculum is broader than the sum of the subjects taught. The whole ethos of the school is intended to promote the values that we seek to instil in our pupils. We therefore aim to provide a caring environment that recognises the importance of each individual member of the school – whether they are pupil or staff. People are treated with tolerance and respect and are encouraged to treat others in the same way. Mutual support is encouraged to create an atmosphere of trust and understanding.
School does not end when lessons finish for many pupils. A programme of activities and experiences are provided through extended day and residence. This makes up our 24-hour curriculum where learning takes place both in and beyond the classroom.
The Behavioural Curriculum:
Holly House is committed to creating an environment where exemplary behaviour is at the heart of productive learning and reflects our vision of a community of learners who value and respect one another.
We follow a whole-school approach to maintaining high standards of behaviour that reflect our core values of:
To build a community of learners who values kindness, care, good humour, good temper and empathy for others.
Many of the school’s pupils have high levels of anxiety and low self-esteem. Pupils have a range of diagnoses including ADHD, ASD, ODD, PDA, PTSD Early Years Trauma and Attachment, all of which will impact their behaviours.
The curriculum is designed to try and take this into account with 30-to-40-minute lessons; consistent approach by staff; keeping movement to a minimum; availability of safe spaces and calm places to go when feeling stressed and availability of key staff with whom pupils form strong, trusting relationships.
The concept of Unconditional Positive Regard underpins the ethos of this school: ‘This is the belief that it is the behaviour of the child that may be deemed wrong or inappropriate, not the child. At no point should the child be criticised or made to feel shame about themselves. We recognise that behaviour is a form of communication. Pupils at Holly House communicate their anxieties, feelings and emotions through their behaviour. By establishing positive relationships between pupils and staff and through the operation of safe routines, pupils will learn to reduce negative behaviours through self-regulation
The school council are involved in shaping and promoting our ethos. They have been active in developing and implementing the school’s behaviour for learning policy, by approving the written statement of behaviour principles, and created the pupils’ behaviour principles with the involvement of all pupils.