Sara Cohen School

Individualised Curriculum

All of our Sara Cohen students have an individualised program that is created collaboratively with whanau, teachers, therapists and the student.  We meet regularly to share ideas and successes and to work together for our students.  Goals are created to support students to lead successful, independent and full lives.  Below are the learning areas which we draw our personalised goals from.

Learning Area


Communication is a necessary tool to convey and exchange information. Communication helps us build relationships by allowing us to share our experiences, needs, and helps us connect to others. At Sara Cohen, we support students to communicate effectively whether that be verbally, written, or using specific communication devices. We ensure that communication learning and goals happen both within the school and in the wider community.

Learning Area

Social Skills

Social skills are the skills we use every day to interact and communicate with others. They include verbal and non-verbal communication, such as speech, gesture, facial expression, and body language. Social skills are vital in enabling an individual to have and maintain positive interactions with others. We set goals to support our students to understand the complicated world of social interaction and to navigate relationships and society’s rules’.

Learning Area

Recreation/Leisure & Sport

We support our students to engage in sport and recreation activities that suit their interests and skills with the related goals of improving physical fitness/strength, supporting better health, having fun, and increasing their social involvement. We also foster links to venues and activities outside of school to ensure students can continue their goals in this area beyond school. This could for example be- joining a private gym, using Moana Pool independently, joining a sports club or knowing the local walking tracks.

Learning Area

Functional Literacy

Being able to read and write is an important skill. We support our students to attain the highest level of reading and writing skills for their individual capabilities. But literacy is far more than simple reading and writing. Functional literacy is being able to engage in activities for your own needs. This can be everything from reading a bus timetable, following visual instructions, using talk to text on devices, understanding community signs, or using a communication device to communicate with others.

Learning Area

Functional Maths

Maths is an essential part of everyday life and an important aspect of independence. Maths skills include measuring, sorting, building, patterns, comparisons, counting and shapes. Our goals ensure our students acquire these maths skills to the best of their ability.

Functional Maths involves skills that we use to live independently. This can include understanding money, budgeting, shopping, time, following instructions and recipes, catching the bus, using timetables, measurements for cooking and understanding numbers in your environment e.g. an oven thermometer.

Learning Area

Health and Personal Cares

We support our students to be as independent as possible with their own health and personal cares. This can include washing, dressing, personal hygiene, grooming, hair care and clothes washing. Students are also supported to learn to manage their own health. This can be everything from understanding their medication, fitness, nutrition and mindfulness.

Learning Area

Community Access

At Sara Cohen, we support our students to access their community and explore their own interests as independently as possible. Community access helps to foster relationships, develop interests and to create a sense of belonging. There are 2 sides to community access. One is functional- where students learn to navigate such things as grocery shopping, healthcare and appointments e.g. hairdressers. The other is for personal fulfilment such as gyms, sports/art/games clubs and community events.

Learning Area

Life Skills

Life skills are many and varied. They are skills that help us manage our day and interact with our community. Some of the many skills we can support our students with include reading a schedule/timetable, telling time/time management, emotional regulation, social conversations, cooking, money handling, catching a bus, using cutlery, tying shoe laces, social conversations, toileting independently, and many many more.

Learning Area

Personal Safety

Personal safety is an important focus to support students to avoid injury and harm. This can include learning about road safety, knowing important phone numbers, skills to manage situations that may arise in the community and consent.

Learning Area

Food Preparation

Food preparation is both an essential skill for living but also something that can bring great pleasure. We support our students to have an understanding of nutrition and how to prepare food for all meals of the day. We also enjoy and encourage sharing meals with each other and being able to make drinks for yourself and guests. We also have a focus on safety and the essential element of cleaning up afterwards.