Essentials for Living (EfL)

INTENT

Our Essentials for Living (EfL) teaches functional life skills focussing on increasing communication to reduce behaviours that challenge and put a child at risk. EFL is a child initiated curriculum where the immediate needs of the child are met to increase well- being and communication. The sequence of skills is not ordered in relation to a typical child’s developmental milestones but start from the most favoured, motivational and relevant objects and experiences that are important to the young person.

Our intention is for all EfL learners to;

  • Have an effective method of communication,
  •  Be taught functional skills that commonly occur in daily living to independence, providing them with the dignity that they rightly deserve,
  •  Have opportunities to generalise their learned skills with other people and in other settings, with the intention for all skills to be applicable to the outside community.
  • Show a decrease in behaviours that challenge.
  • Learn skills that provide access to preferred items, people, places and opportunities, and therefore a better quality of life both now and throughout adulthood.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

The curriculum begins with Essential 8 skills, also called the ‘must have’ skills.

The Essential 8

  1. Making requests
  2. Waiting
  3. Accepting removals, making transitions, sharing and turn taking
  4. Completing 10, consecutive, brief previously acquired tasks
  5. Accepting ‘no’
  6. Following directions related to health and safety
  7. Completing daily living skills related to health and safety
  8. Tolerating situations related to health and safety

 

Precise teaching and instruction involving protocols and procedures such as ‘errorless teaching’, ‘prompt fading’ and ‘positive reinforcement’ are used to ensure that pupils have a very positive experience when learning. The transfer of skills between people and different settings both in and outside school is essential to ensure learning improves both individual and their family’s lives. We work with parents and families, so that life skills are transferred to home and community settings and parents are supported in how to manage behaviours at home.

Highly trained staff, and supervision from staff trained in assessing functions of behaviour are required to plan for appropriate learning leading to positive changes in communication

The learning environment is highly adapted to provide natural environment teaching and resources are required in line with pupil’s interests and motivators. Continuous practise and rehearsal of skills that are being learned, and those that are previously learned, is necessary for pupils to make and maintain progress.

Rigidity of teaching around the essential skills must take place so that pupils can master what is necessary for a life that is not restricted by what a young person currently cannot do.

Multi-disciplinary work from therapy teams, behaviour specialists and behaviour technicians within school support the intent and implementation of the EfL curriculum.

Our Family Services Team support families who are facing the daily challenges of managing the demands of family life and ensuring all their needs are met.

IMPACT

As pupils progress through the EfL curriculum, wider tolerances are learned and pupils are able to develop communication and follow instructions to keep themselves safe.

Challenging behaviours are seen to decrease and general well-being and happiness improve. Parents report increased opportunity to manage group and community engagement and improved mental well-being for their child and their whole family.

When they are ready, some pupils go on to access the wider demands of our Foundations for Life Curriculum, increasing their range of skills further and embedding further lifelong learning and independence.

See below for our Essentials for Living Curriculum Maps, Timetables and Case Studies

INTENT

Our Essentials for Living (EfL) teaches functional life skills focussing on increasing communication to reduce behaviours that challenge and put a child at risk. EFL is a child initiated curriculum where the immediate needs of the child are met to increase well- being and communication. The sequence of skills is not ordered in relation to a typical child’s developmental milestones but start from the most favoured, motivational and relevant objects and experiences that are important to the young person.

Our intention is for all EfL learners to;

  • Have an effective method of communication,
  •  Be taught functional skills that commonly occur in daily living to independence, providing them with the dignity that they rightly deserve,
  •  Have opportunities to generalise their learned skills with other people and in other settings, with the intention for all skills to be applicable to the outside community.
  • Show a decrease in behaviours that challenge.
  • Learn skills that provide access to preferred items, people, places and opportunities, and therefore a better quality of life both now and throughout adulthood.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

The curriculum begins with Essential 8 skills, also called the ‘must have’ skills.

The Essential 8

  1. Making requests
  2. Waiting
  3. Accepting removals, making transitions, sharing and turn taking
  4. Completing 10, consecutive, brief previously acquired tasks
  5. Accepting ‘no’
  6. Following directions related to health and safety
  7. Completing daily living skills related to health and safety
  8. Tolerating situations related to health and safety

 

Precise teaching and instruction involving protocols and procedures such as ‘errorless teaching’, ‘prompt fading’ and ‘positive reinforcement’ are used to ensure that pupils have a very positive experience when learning. The transfer of skills between people and different settings both in and outside school is essential to ensure learning improves both individual and their family’s lives. We work with parents and families, so that life skills are transferred to home and community settings and parents are supported in how to manage behaviours at home.

Highly trained staff, and supervision from staff trained in assessing functions of behaviour are required to plan for appropriate learning leading to positive changes in communication

The learning environment is highly adapted to provide natural environment teaching and resources are required in line with pupil’s interests and motivators. Continuous practise and rehearsal of skills that are being learned, and those that are previously learned, is necessary for pupils to make and maintain progress.

Rigidity of teaching around the essential skills must take place so that pupils can master what is necessary for a life that is not restricted by what a young person currently cannot do.

Multi-disciplinary work from therapy teams, behaviour specialists and behaviour technicians within school support the intent and implementation of the EfL curriculum.

Our Family Services Team support families who are facing the daily challenges of managing the demands of family life and ensuring all their needs are met.

IMPACT

As pupils progress through the EfL curriculum, wider tolerances are learned and pupils are able to develop communication and follow instructions to keep themselves safe.

Challenging behaviours are seen to decrease and general well-being and happiness improve. Parents report increased opportunity to manage group and community engagement and improved mental well-being for their child and their whole family.

When they are ready, some pupils go on to access the wider demands of our Foundations for Life Curriculum, increasing their range of skills further and embedding further lifelong learning and independence.

See below for our Essentials for Living Curriculum Maps, Timetables and Case Studies

Contact Us

If you would like to find out more about Hedgewood School please do not hesitate in contacting us.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Hedgewood School
Weymouth Road, Hayes
Middlesex, UB4 8NF

Phone: 0208 8456756

Email: office@hedgewood.org

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