The Jeremiah School curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students on the autism spectrum. To meet these needs, Jeremiah School has adopted a thematic approach to the curriculum. This ensures that the curriculum is meaningful and relevant to the world around our students. Each theme has a particular subject focus, but includes work across all curriculum areas. The exception is math; it is incorporated where possible, but is primarily taught as a more discrete subject.
Jeremiah School believes that the essential elements for creating a successful program are:
- Consistency of approach
- Work that is meaningful and relevant
- Developmentally modified academics
- Physical activity
- High interest projects
- Connection to the community
- Social pragmatic language training
- Functional living skills
Themes are carefully planned to ensure relevant academic standards are met. A strong aspect of each theme is literacy. There is an extended text for each theme which allows reading skills to be developed, as well as providing the context for many different writing genres.
Curriculum enrichment and community visits on Fridays are linked to the theme whenever possible. This reinforces the ‘real world’ application of the students’ learning.
A range of teaching methods and resources are used during each theme. Technology plays an important role, with use of an interactive whiteboard, iPads, and desktop computers. Software is carefully chosen to both teach new skills and assess progress. Teachers work with the whole class, small groups, and individuals; students also have the opportunity to work in pairs and groups to develop their ability to cooperate and use their social skills.