Cultural Awareness Curriculum Intent Statement
To be read in line with our Curriculum Intent statement and Curriculum Policy. The vast majority of pupils at Longcause school have Autism with their primary need being Communication and Interaction difficulties, which is closely followed by cognition and learning and/or social and emotional difficulties. This impacts how our pupils perceive the world and also their desire and ability to interact with others. It is this impact on our pupils' understanding that can lead to them being additionally vulnerable in a range of contexts and this therefore drives the priorities of our Cultural Awareness curriculum.
What will our pupils experience throughout their Cultural awareness curriculum at Longcause?
- Our cultural awareness curriculum has an emphasis on building wider cultural experiences, starting with our own culture rather than a language based approach.
- They will experience an understanding of their own culture and others: more specifically, how they have their own home language and others have their home language.
- They will experience their own home cultural food and the food from the other culture.
- Where they live on the map and where the other country is on a map.
- They will learn that within every country there is still a diversity of language and culture.
- They will learn that we share things in common with other cultures, having similarities and differences.
- They will listen to music from their country and the other country.
- They will learn about the flag from their country and others.
- They will experience dance, sport, food and expressive arts from a range of countries.
Why do we want this?
The pupils in our school predominantly have autism and or a cognitive delay and often have co-morbid conditions and complex needs.
We want our children, especially with autism to have even more opportunities to develop flexible thinking outside of their current experience.
In addition to their needs they also live in one of the less diverse places in the UK and have less opportunities to encounter different ways of life because of this.
We want our pupils to understand how the world is wider than themselves and their own family.
We want them to make sense of their world, starting with themselves, their own family culture and community, their local culture and community, and then the wider culture nationally and internationally.
We want them to understand where they currently belong and opportunities to belong elsewhere at other times in their life.
We want them to understand that others have many similarities as well as differences in their lives.
We want them to be tolerant and respectful of others who have different lives.
How will we deliver this?
We will have a whole school cultural awareness week each term (6 times per year). This week will be based on a country, starting with our own within the United Kingdom. We will recap each time in the UK, and make comparisons as to where we are in relation to the other new culture. We will grow our 'bank' of cultures and gradually extend the pupil's knowledge. The lead for cultural awareness will provide this recap as a start to each new culture. The curriculum will be adapted but not the timetable. This will enable us to still deliver all subjects with a theme of a certain culture. Geography, Art, PE, Catering, Music will all be delivered with this theme. This will allow all children to be exposed to a range of cultures throughout their Longcause school life.
In order for this theme of the week to be embedded, subject leaders will allow for this in their planning as well as the canteen offering this theme throughout the week’s meals.
What is our expected impact?
- Be better prepared to experience differences in language and culture locally, at school and when they leave Longcause; in education, socially or in the workplace.
- Be better prepared to respond to the differences they experience appropriately and positively.
- Be better equipped for potential travel and horizon widening experiences.
- Be more confident and competent in unfamiliar situations.