Our main aim is to improve the long-term outcomes for our pupils by developing self-confidence, aspiration and lifelong learning and social skills.
All young people have a unique set of abilities and skills which if harnessed and celebrated can lead through improved self-confidence to increased resilience and positive futures. We wish to create a climate of aspiration with a blended curriculum offer that includes a range of therapies and interventions that enables access for all to opportunities for learning. Our curriculum is designed to engage and motivate young people in learning through challenging yet achievable activities in a climate of aspiration and trusting relationships based upon strong partnership working with families and carers.
Our Key Stage 3 curriculum model is in a nurture group setting and is based on themed, project-based modules. All themes lend themselves to developing social and emotional skills while providing a framework for mapping the national curriculum and progression to KS4. This model also supports transition from KS2 as pupils will understand and be familiar with project-based learning. All themes begin with a visit to an offsite environment to inspire and motivate while providing the opportunity for pupils to experience a new environment under ‘safe’ conditions.
The theme based curriculum also provides the flexibility to differentiate according to individual need; for some pupils functional English and Maths in small groups will be the priority while the more able pupils will benefit from additional challenge to achieve their potential across the curriculum and aim for GSCEs in KS4. English is a priority and is underpinned by a whole school literacy strategy. All staff are trained in specific interventions to enhance the teaching of literacy across the curriculum. Maths is also a priority and each theme provides the opportunity to develop key numeracy skills. The curriculum also includes a carousel of enrichment options, PSD, sport, mentoring and appropriate therapies.
In Year 9 subjects are taught separately to prepare pupils for Key Stage 4.
Our flexible pathways model for KS4 is highly successful as it allows us to personalise learning for a broad range of need and ability and leads to sustainable long term outcomes in terms of progression to the next stage of education or employment.
Pupils who achieve Level 4 or 5 at the end of KS3 are likely to follow Pathway 1 (GCSE). However, the curriculum has built in flexibility to enable students to follow a personalised curriculum with core GCSE subjects (English, Maths Science) and vocational elements.
A key feature of our curriculum offer is the vocational pathway leading to industry recognised qualifications with linked work experience opportunities that prepare young people for the world of work and independent living. All vocational options have progression routes to further Education, training or employment and refelect local employment opportunities. Each vocational course includes functional literacy and numeracy and linked Work Skills. Once again, there is the flexibility to enable a personalised curriculum that includes GCSEs in core subjects.
All KS4 students will have common elements in the curriculum such as the Wellbeing and Therapeutic Curriculum (Sport, Personal and Social Development, Mentoring, Therapies, Emotional Literacy), Work Skills plus enrichment options. Personal and Social Development (ASDAN) is accredited at ELC, Level 1 and Level 2; it is a modular course with a broad choice of modules including life skills such as personal finance, domestic skills, active citizenship etc., each presenting a challenge, that allows us to personalise the curriculum to meet individual needs. This curriculum area also includes the study of fundamental British values which underpins the work of the School Council.
Work Skills prepares pupils for the world of work with its many challenges for this particular group, it includes the development of key employability skills such as time-keeping, social skills, working to deadlines and managing workload, team working and health and safety. The course also includes career planning, CV writing and interview skills. Students undertake work experience in the wider community. Alongside Work Skills, our Information, Advice and Guidance Adviser works with individuals to identify career pathways and provide focused support to achieve it
Pupils study the three core subjects of English Maths and Science and may opt for additional subjects such Humanities, Art, Music or MFL or a vocational course leading to a BTEC or City & Guilds qualification. English and Maths will also include Functional Literacy and Numeracy.
All vocational courses are the vehicle for the core skills of literacy, numeracy and employability which are taught through the vocational specialism rather than as separate subjects. Pupils develop these skills by doing the key tasks of any business, for example catering students might cost a menu and then calculate the price to the public with a 30% profit margin and then use persuasive writing skills to prepare an advertising flyer. Employability skills development is embedded in all courses and will include focused work experience
Most pupils follow two vocational options to allow for emerging interests and are encouraged to spend additional time aiming for GCSEs in English and Maths alongside their vocational course.
The school provides experience of a professional work environment where pupils will have the opportunity to work with the public (cafes, care homes, hair salons etc) to build their skills and confidence in order to prepare them for employment, independent living and active citizenship.