Curriculum and Teaching

Woodbury creates an individualised education plan for each and every student who attends the school. The program’s focus depends very much on each individual student’s needs and current learning style and is adapted and updated as the student progresses. To develop this program a variety of research based curriculums are utilised and drawn upon.

The Verbal Behaviour Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) is a criterion-referenced assessment tool, curriculum guide, and skill tracking system that is designed for children with autism, and other individuals who demonstrate language delays. The VB-MAPP is based on B.F. Skinner’s (1957) analysis of verbal behaviour, established developmental milestones, and research from the field of behaviour analysis.

There are five components of the VB-MAPP, and collectively they provide:

  • a baseline level of performance,
  • a direction for intervention,
  • a system for tracking skill acquisition,
  • a tool for outcome measures and other language research projects,
  • and a framework for curriculum planning.

Each of the skills in the VB-MAPP is not only measurable and developmentally balanced, but they are balanced across verbal operants and other related skills.

Skills are assessed in the areas of:

  • requesting, labelling, responding as a listener, motor imitation, visual perceptual skills, social skills and independent play capabilities.

Essential for Living (EFL) is a communication, behaviour and functional skills curriculum and assessment for children and adults with moderate-to-severe disabilities.

The EFL is designed to complement the VBMAPP providing explicit assessment on functional skills and problem behaviours helping the teaching team develop meaningful goals and objectives.

The PEAK Relational Training System is an evaluation and curriculum guide for teaching basic and advanced language skills from a contemporary behaviour analytic approach. PEAK is a novel approach to Verbal Behavior Therapy, which embraces traditional verbal behaviour accounts of basic language while also incorporating contemporary behaviour analytic strategies. These latter items promote relational responding (a broad repertoire of learning regarding the relations between stimuli) which is responsible for our ability to understand and use abstract language. PEAK provides a logical next step for students who have met all or most of the skills set out within the VBMAPP and allows the teaching team to select appropriate skills to bridge the gap between intensive discrete trial training and more traditional teaching methods.

SkillsStreaming is a social curriculum which employs a four-part training approach—modelling, role-playing, performance feedback, and generalisation—to teach essential prosocial skills to children and adolescents.  The Skillstreaming curriculum supplements the VBMAPP, EFL and PEAK allowing the teaching team to specifically focus on the area of social interaction which can some learners can find more difficult.

Group Skills curriculum: in absence of a comprehensive group skills curriculum for individuals with developmental disabilities, the highly qualified team at Woodbury have developed their own curriculum. Development of the curriculum involved extensive research and review of current literature and resources resulting in a detailed task analysis of skills required to participate in a group.

Group instruction is systematically taught starting with the basic skills required to sit and attend as part of a group (such as following gestures, waiting during set up and completing independent tasks) and moving towards the ability to learn within a group environment (such as choral responding, conditional discrimination and observational learning).