There is a fluidity about this model which both allows for and encourages a personalised (or individualised) approach, whilst still recognising that core elements of each curriculum will broadly fit the learning needs of all learners within the PMLD and SLD spectrums. The logic behind this approach comes from the sure and certain knowledge that our learners can make progress within curricula specifically designed for them, but will struggle to do so within curricula that is not (Imray and Hinchcliffe, 2014). 

The base of the multi-tiered curriculum is the Equals Semi-Formal Curriculum (Equals, 2018). All areas of learning are carefully considered and individualised to fit each of our learners in their main areas of need in their EHCPs.

OfSTEd Report 2017:

Teaching enables pupils to make good progress from their different starting points. This is because staff have a good knowledge of pupils’ needs and provide appropriate support to each individual. Staff across the school know the targets set out in pupils’ individual learning plans and maximise opportunities to help them to take their next steps.

Assessment of progress at MacIntyre School

At MacIntyre School we aim to give each student the richest and most appropriate education. It is very important to us to ensure each student is assessed accurately and to know exactly where they are in their learning at any given time. This enables us to develop targeted strategies and learning programmes so they can achieve the best outcomes possible.

We use a basket of assessments to ensure our judgements are accurate and agreed in a multidisciplinary way. This enables us to report on the aspects of learning that are relevant and meaningful for each learner.

The assessment model enables the possibility to tailor the learning intentions to the individual’s needs and his or hers unique profile, taking into account the stage the learner is in his or hers cognitive development and learning. This model is based on ipsative assessment. This means that performance is assessed against the starting point of each learner and taking into consideration his or hers very unique journey, rather than judging against external criteria and standards. This makes the assessment process a lot more flexible as any changes in performance and needs are taken into consideration when assessing a learner. It also enables teachers to better assess smaller changes over time, for example looking at fluency or maintenance of a skill over time.

In order to collect data accurately, consistently and ensure the data and evidence collected is monitored on a regular basis, we follow the Macintyre School assessment cycle.

Our core belief is that if the input to each learner’s learning is the very best it can be, then the progress made by that learner, whatever that is, will be the very best that the learner could have made. It is therefore essential that teachers fully understand each learner’s needs and are able to collect data and robust evidence to be able to build a narrative of progress and be able to accurately judge the progress made by each learner.

We do not use any system of measurement of progress to compare any one learner with other learners and the numerical data we collect is only used to see the progress being shown within each learning intention. This data can only be understood directly related to the context, learner and learning intention.

The learning intentions set are broad to enable students to show additional lateral progress so the progress can be seen as a whole rather than as very specific measurable steps. This also enables to better see any emergent skills and to set up further learning intentions based on the previous learning and the learners’ interests and talents.

All students who have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or a Statement of Special Educational Needs must, by law, have an Annual Review. Every internal and external specialist that works with the student (Social Workers, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Music Therapist, etc.) provides a report and input to the review as appropriate. The review highlights the achievements made during the year by the child and this forms the basis of the projection of the next year’s curricular aims and objectives.

Exam results

We are required to show exam results for our pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 and 5.

We are a school for children and young people with severe learning difficulties, autism and complex needs; currently, all of our pupils are working below the levels required to be able to achieve GCSE or other formal qualifications.

Pupils in the sixth form of our school do follow accredited ASDAN programmes of study. This year students in the sixth form achieved at least 2 accredited ASDAN modules. Across the school 18 students achieved a total of 42 modules between them.