Guardian Curriculum

At The Observatory School, we recognise that not all students are able to access the main curriculum or indeed even achieve personal growth and academic progress within the busy school environment due to their individual SEND needs. We have therefore developed the Guardian Curriculum, designed to support those students in accessing key areas of the curriculum, to feel safe and confident to promote their creative side and to tackle wider barriers to learning such as low attendance and exclusion rates. 

Overall, The Observatory School’s Guardian Curriculum aims to implement a unique and comprehensive curricula initiative that seeks to provide a supportive and adaptive educational environment for students with diverse needs. 

The thought process and driver behind this is that for some pupils, working solely towards formal qualifications will naturally end in failure and for many this will go on to define their view of themselves, damage self-confidence and further diminish what little resilience they already had. Instead, by providing them regular opportunities to achieve tangible and visible awards in areas of creative development, we at The Observatory School believe in looking to build the confidence and self-belief that can alternatively lay the foundations for their future successes. 

There are three distinct levels within the Guardian Curriculum:

  1. The Vulnerable Pupil Unit (Leasowe Campus) (VPU)
  2. Personal School Programme(PSP) / Specialist Alternative Provision (AP)
  3. Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA) Cohort

All pupils at The Observatory School will essentially sit within the below matrix. This will inform and indicate the curricula offer that they are most suited to.

Following the flow chart below, pupils entering the Guardian Curriculum structure will then be enrolled within one of the three levels dependant on their presenting needs. 

Creating an individualised approach

The curriculum is tailored to address the specific needs of each pupil or group, acknowledging that traditional settings might not be conducive to their growth and progress. This personalised approach is crucial for students with diverse learning requirements.

Offsite Flexible Settings

The provision of an offsite strand for pupils who may not thrive within the main school setting demonstrates a commitment to finding alternative environments that better suit their needs. This approach acknowledges that a one-size-fits-all model may not be effective for every student and offers unique programs, adjusted timetables, or hybrid experiences. This flexibility ensures that the curriculum can adapt to the diverse needs of the students it serves.

Holistic Development and Relationship Based Practice

The emphasis on building positive relationships, focusing on individual strengths, and addressing social, emotional, and behavioural needs contributes to the holistic development of students. This approach recognises that academic success is closely linked to emotional well-being a key school development area.

Focus on Wellbeing

The inclusion of dedicated mentors for students at Level 3 of the Guardian Curriculum, particularly those struggling with school refusal, emphasises the importance of well-being and safeguarding. This approach recognises the need for enhanced support in challenging circumstances.

Alternative Recognition of Achievement

The curriculum’s approach to recognising achievement beyond formal qualifications, especially in areas of creative development, aims to build confidence and self-belief. This acknowledges that success can take various forms and helps to redefine the students’ views of themselves.

Preventing Negative Self-Perception

By avoiding a sole focus on formal qualifications, The Observatory School aims to prevent potential failures from defining students’ self-perception. This approach aligns with the goal of nurturing confidence and resilience, laying the groundwork for future successes.