Introduction to the Curriculum

Our curriculum reflects the vision, values & aims of our school; it is a flexible, knowledge led and skills engaged framework designed to accommodate the varying and specific learning needs of our young people through clearly designed personalised pathways planned by our teaching team. We believe that at all stages of development, learning should be structured and stimulating, enjoyable and a worthwhile experience in its own right.  Our curriculum provides our learners with opportunities for enjoyment and achievement through a rich, broad, balanced, and personalised curriculum matched to ages, ability, interest, and individual need.

We provide students with an entitlement curriculum which is broadly based around a modified National Curriculum, adapted to meet the needs of the individual young people and groups.  Equality of access and of opportunity underpins our provision and we offer augmented and modified learning opportunities which support personal and social skills including social communication, social interaction, social imagination, emotional understanding and self-awareness, learning and independence, and community participation. These skills are the core of the curriculum and students are encouraged to communicate through listening and expression of speech, they are given time to complete tasks, encouraged to put forward their views, problem solve and to keep safe. Throughout the school our learners engage with their own learning and develop personal and social skills transferable across lessons into wider life. We place a high emphasis upon a varied social, moral, spiritual, and cultural education which is embedded throughout the curriculum and into the ethos of the school.

The curriculum factors a clear progression route for pupils as they advance through the school. At each key stage, students are encouraged to become involved in the community by engaging in well planned and purposeful learning opportunities that take place in a variety of contexts within the community. The aim of this is to equip students with the skills necessary to achieve as much independence as possible; both within the school and moving forward into adult life, as appropriate to their individual needs. They may visit outdoor gyms, cafes, shops, leisure centres and local attractions, either on foot, using school transport or by using public transport.

The curriculum is framed within six key areas of learning, to which the subjects of the National Curriculum have been assigned. Students succeed through personalised and progressive therapeutic, academic and vocational routes.

Key Stage 3 curriculum

Key Stage 3 acts as a bridge between the Primary curriculum and a more academic/vocational curriculum. Whilst students participate in the full complement of national curriculum subjects, we believe that subject knowledge is not learned in isolation. The program is an adapted national curriculum and students learn a combination of curriculum areas linked together by a common topic which draws upon cross curricular links. This is known as a cross-curricula thematic curriculum. The thematic approach enables a more creative curriculum that better meets the needs and interests of students and allows teachers more autonomy to plan for this. Pupils are thus better equipped to use the knowledge, skills and understanding acquired to generalise their learning and development of their problem solving skills.

Key Stage 4 curriculum

The Key Stage 4 curriculum builds upon learning in Key Stage 3 and supports next steps transition with a focus on both academic and vocational elements of the curriculum. The current arrangements allow for a two year rolling programme where students acquire nationally recognised qualifications in line with their peers. Maths and English have an increasingly practical context to support functional life skills and independence and students have the opportunity to gain GCSE and Functional Skills qualifications. Students are able to make options choices in technological (food tech/ design and technology)  humanities, aseptic and vocational areas of the curriculum, whilst continuing to follow curricula in PE and PSHE. Our flexibility offers breadth and supports a bespoke pathway for all students to meet their particular needs, interests, aptitudes and aspirations. Work experience is introduced in key stage 4, with students offered opportunities to participate in work related learning experiences, furthermore each students receives independent careers advice information and guidance form our careers advisor who gives each students an action plan to support them as they move forward in the short and medium term.