Latest News

23 January 2020

National SEND Assessment Conference held in London on 4th Feb, hosted by

Optimus Education

OnwardsandUpwards is referenced in the keynote speech below. See bio's below keynote.

Keynote Address

Reforming the curriculum: a holistic approach to learning and assessment

With changes to the Ofsted Inspection Framework, the session will focus on the wider long-term outcomes for pupils with special educational needs, and the importance of developing an engaging curriculum that acknowledges the child's starting point through appropriate baseline assessment and supports the identification of what they need to achieve ​overall.

Jacqui and Bea will describe the journey of developing the core curriculum around the needs of the children and with their futures in mind. The curriculum incorporates ‘skills ladders’ comprising: curiosity, exploration & interests, problem solving and generalisation, self-regulation, collaboration and choice making, alongside the national curriculum subjects.

This session will explain the development of this curriculum content in relation to intent, implementation and impact as well as demonstrating the use of‘OnwardsandUpwards’ (O&U) as a curriculum and assessment tool. The O&U assessment software has enabled us to create different pathways that capture all aspects of a child’s learning and development both in their core curricular attainment but also, and perhaps more importantly, in the wider learning of children in their everyday lives.

Dr Jacqui Shepherd is a lecturer and researcher in inclusive education and is also a governor and parent at Downs View special school.
Beatriz Freeborn is Deputy Head of Downs View Link College (the post-16 provision) and curriculum manager.

Bea Freeborn

Deputy Head - Downs View Link College Lead Teacher for Curriculum and Assessment

Bea has been Lead Teacher for Curriculum and Assessment at Downs View Special School in Brighton since January 2018. In addition, she has over 15 years’ experience working with young people with autism, severe learning difficulties and other comorbid conditions.

She has taught in Primary and Secondary schools, as part of this work she has mentored NQT teachers, been the Lead Teacher for Communication including being the Makaton tutor for the organisation. She is also a successful educational consultant and has worked extensively with staff in residential homes and families and young people in their own homes. This work involves planning waking day curriculum, support and guidance for managing complex enduring behavior that challenges and leading on the implementation of consistent communication systems.

Her role as a Lead Teacher for Curriculum and Assessment involves supporting staff across the organization to ensure that our Curriculum and Assessment is relevant and engaging for our population in order to ensure that provision continues to meet the needs of our students judgments and is aligned with our current Ofsted judgment of Outstanding.

Jacqui Shepherd

Lecturer in Education, autism and inclusion researcher, University of Sussex

Jacqui is a lecturer in education and contributes to teaching and research on inclusive education, special educational needs and disability and autism at the University of Sussex. She supports trainee teachers (across primary and secondary schools) to work with children with autism and other special educational needs and how to develop inclusive environments that work for all pupils.

She also supervises postgraduate and doctoral students with interests in autism, inclusion and special educational needs. Her research has explored transitions for autistic pupils, in particular the transition from special schools to mainstream colleges at the age of 16 and strategies for improving that experience. She has also completed projects on dental anxiety and autism, improving the participation of disabled children in education in Jordan and is working to develop inclusive education training for trainee teachers in Uganda.

Jacqui is a governor at a special school and also has an autistic son.

Top