Personalisation and choice runs throughout both the Broad General Education (BGE) and the Senior Phase as this is as much about approaches to learning and choices within individual subject areas as choice of subjects. The school needs to be flexible and adaptable in its approach to personalisation and choice and it can look very different for each young person.
Focussed work also takes place during the school day and this may be access to play therapy, art therapy, additional literacy support or work centred on developing very specific areas of understanding and awareness, for example managing emotions, relaxation sessions, self-regulation, autism awareness etc. This can continue throughout a young person’s placement in the school.
Young people are also offered opportunities to develop interests and hobbies as it is well documented that such interest can be beneficial not only in offering a different experiences but also building skills required for future employment.
“Young people are respected and valued as unique individuals at Starley Hall. They enjoy having a say about their learning activities and influencing future learning. All teachers design learning experiences around personalisation and choice, and timetables are highly individualised to take into account learners’ strengths and interests.
Aafternoon activities include choices of sensory play, relaxation, massage and health and wellbeing activities. Young people also contribute effectively to the life of the school.”
Education Scotland and Care Inspectorate Report – March 2020
Some young people need a range of approaches to enable them to access learning and the school utilises the skills of a range of staff, both internal and external. The school also links with local businesses and other schools to ensure that each young person accesses an appropriate curriculum.
Starley Hall School is highly staffed and this is essential if we are to offer the highly individualised approaches required. The staff team access a range of training opportunities to build their understanding of the holistic needs of each child – this ‘training’ is specific to the children we work with rather than ‘generic’ training.
Dependent on the young person option choices may take place at S2 or S3 and a young people can choose from a range of different subjects. Science is offered from the primary stage through to S6 however young people can choose discrete sciences within this. The school can offer a wide range of subjects at National 2 through to National 5, and a number of subjects at Higher level. Other professionals enhance the curriculum by offering specific experiences and skills.