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Oakwood Junior School

"Every child is a learner and can achieve"

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SEND and the Curriculum

'Good teaching for pupils with SEND is good teaching for all' 


At Oakwood Junior School we strongly believe that the composite goals of any curriculum should be the same for all pupils. For those who require additional support, they will take several smaller steps towards these. The goals only change when children experience cognitive impairment which makes the content inaccessible even with scaffolding. Truly ambitious inclusive practice starts with taking consideration of the needs of the most vulnerable learners through quality first teaching.


A curriculum which is knowledge-rich, which has clearly identifiable cumulative learning and vocabulary instruction and which is built on the principles of cognitive and neuroscience enables teachers to be ambitious about making learning accessible for all. The ambition in our curriculum doesn’t change for the first 20% - we simply offer more scaffolding and support to ensure that every pupil succeeds within it. The single most important factor in this is the carefully chosen language which frames the concepts that we want to teach and this should be rich, coherent and systematically revisited.


This along with the practical scaffolds built into the CUSP curriculum for teachers such as editable knowledge notes, dual coding and clearly identified connections, are supportive of our inclusive ambition for all pupils to thrive and become a little more expert! In addition, the clear lesson structures, routines and predictability which underpin the CUSP approach are supportive of all vulnerable learners, including the neurodiverse and those with SEMH needs.


As a school, we strongly agree that any additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching: 


'High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN.' (Department of Education 2015 Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice) 


At Oakwood Junior School, high quality teaching consists of:


Universal Quality First Teaching 

(embedded within all classrooms) 


Teacher / Subject Leads / Curriculum / TA/s 


Structured, pre-planned and prepared sequence of lessons


Positive, high expectations and aspirations for all

Explicit vocabulary teaching and choice of language


Explicit modelling and demonstration




Clear chunked instructions supported with visuals / actions

Multi-sensory activities




Review, repeat, recall, retrieve



Frequent checking of understanding




Flexible groupings





Accurate and continued assessment


CUSP resources and learning questions


Knowledge organisers, vocabulary strips and dual coding

My turn, our turn, your turn


Working Wall





Do Now

Retrieval practice, cumulative quizzing

Talk partners, TA or teacher working with specific groups

Constructive and instant feedback at the point of learning