Launching Curious-city with a specialist setting
Launching the development of the Venturers' Curiosity Curriculum was both exciting and nerve-wracking for us, as I am sure it was for staff. We know that the pedagogical approach to Curious-city works, and that it is well received in many mainstream schools across the South West, but our nervousness stemmed from not knowing how it might work within a specialist ASC (Autistic Spectrum Conditions) setting.
Of course, as teachers and Headteachers, we have experience of working with learners with ASC but not the far greater complexity of need that a specialist setting brings. From speech therapists to Early Years leaders, very experienced teachers to learning mentors, the excitement and enthusiasm for the pedagogy was palpable. The understanding, as the morning went on, that this is not an off-the-shelf package but a bespoke set of principles that we, as a team, will craft alongside staff and learners in the classroom, was well received.
Most notably, the fact that Curious-city is underpinned by Bronfenbrenner's cognitive development theory, with parallels to speech and language acquisition and attachment theory, two strong pillars of the school, sparked intense conversations. 'At last...' an experienced teacher shared with the group '... a curriculum focused on stage and not age'. Additionally, the placing of a member of the Curious-city team within the school for two-days per week assured everyone of the dedication and focus on getting it right thanks to the insight of inspiring Headteacher, Trystan Williams.
So, the foundations have been laid and we are keen to start the new academic year exploring, planning and refining the Venturers' Curiosity Curriculum, ready for a final draft in February 2019. Watch this space!