Throughout the curriculum, we aim to foster independence, empowerment and resilience by developing our pupils’ abilities to communicate effectively. We encourage them to become ambitious and aspirational in all that they do, whether preparing for employment or leaving to specialise in an area of further education.
Sixth Form builds upon individual starting points through our differentiated Pathways programme that is full of challenge and opportunity for all the students. Learning Pathways are specifically designed to prepare our students for adulthood in a way that is appropriate to their needs and aspirations and to enable the highest level of independence for their journey through adulthood.
Our Pathways range from Entry Level qualifications focused around personal progression and life skills, to GCSEs, long term work placements and “light-touch support” for vocational qualifications in main-stream colleges.
Lessons are practical, engaging, rewarding and realistic, providing a wealth of experiences that encompass the ethos of the school values. We create a secure and nurturing environment, where pupils are actively encouraged to reach their full potential in readiness for their future as meaningful and responsible adults within the wider community.
English and Maths are essential areas that we strive to progress throughout our curriculum to improve overall accessibility for learners in adult life. We will challenge individuals but will not be exclusively governed by academic qualifications. We work with the student, parents and carers to decide what types of qualification or course would be most beneficial for the future. We aim to raise functional capability in English and Maths through a broad curriculum that teaches key life skills, as well as widening experiences and outlooks.
Where pupils have capacity to increase their grade at GCSE level for English and Maths, we will work on discrete concepts to facilitate accessing the qualification if this is deemed an appropriate route by the student, parents/carers and practitioners.
Communication is embedded throughout the curriculum. Pupils are encouraged and supported in the use of fluent, fully structured sentences in all areas of life and are exposed to a variety of reading materials including fiction, non-fiction and current affairs. Pupils also develop their communication and reading skills in diverse settings such as at work experience, in social situations, when shopping and during travel.
All pathways benefit from a “Family Day” which comprises of two elements. The first element focuses on money, travel, food preparation and shopping. Students visit areas of our local community, engaging in shopping trips and shopping for the required ingredients. Students then practise health, safety and hygiene within a food preparation environment and become confident in preparing and serving food to others. They develop an understanding that diet is integral in remaining a healthy young adult. The second element is class-based and focuses on RSE topics, the Wheel of Independence and becoming Mental Health Champions.
Where appropriate, learners will be allocated work placements as part of their weekly timetable. These placements are vital in developing employment skills and knowledge of work and the responsibilities involved. We appreciate that learners need varied amounts of support to access work placements and this will be appropriately built in. Placements can be local to a learner’s home if they live out of area however, on occasions, it may be necessary for them to travel.
Our curriculum also strives to ensure that our young people are well-rounded and prepared to lead meaningful, diverse and full lives within society. We ensure this through, amongst others, the delivery of our active leisure sessions, which take place once a week and focus on being healthy. Students can choose to go to a local gym, provide horse care at a local stable, go on wellbeing walks or join our Dance Club. We also ensure we teach a range of leisure and hobbies through our Projects at the end of each year. Projects focus on current affairs, to widen our young peoples' worlds, and the development of creative skills, so they can learn a range of hobbies and artistic skills.
Pathway 1 has been designed to provide a highly structured curriculum for our students who benefit from a high level of intensive support and intervention. Students experience a supportive and nurturing environment and are encouraged to transfer learnt skills from Key Stage 3 and 4 to a variety of real-life activities.
We focus the curriculum around the functional elements of literacy and numeracy skills that students will need as they enter adulthood. They benefit from discreet learning of literacy and numeracy combined with a blended learning approach across the curriculum. Blended learning enables students to overlearn skills and is delivered through a variety of opportunities including technology, practical activities and, where appropriate, written format. Repetition of skills encourages students to apply and develop confidence in their learning in a wide range of life activities.
Pathway 1 students work towards Personal Progress units that will develop skills in relation to a range of topics, such as: rights and responsibilities, communication, independent living, ICT, being healthy and self-awareness.
Students who leave Sixth Form will be fully prepared for an ongoing life of learning and enthused with a desire to be the best version of themselves.
Pathway 2 has been designed for pupils who have a developing sense of independence and would benefit from up to 3 years of nurturing and preparation before taking their next steps to college or employment.
Pathway 2 pupils will have gained qualifications in numeracy and literacy at Key Stage 4 and are now looking to enhance these outcomes to further support college and job applications when they move on from the Sixth Form.
Pathway 2 students work towards Independent Living units that will develop skills in relation to a range of topics, such as: managing money, my role in the community, food and health, problem-solving, safety and hygiene, and self understanding.
The young people in Pathway 2 will be confident young adults who look forward to their next steps in life and are fully prepared to access supported college courses as a stepping stone to job-related learning and employment.
Pathway 3 has been designed for pupils who are continuing to develop their further independence but would still benefit from up to 3 years of nurturing and preparation before taking their next step.
Pathway 3 pupils will also have gained qualifications in numeracy and literacy at Key Stage 4 and will continue to develop and build on these skills in more real-life contexts and scenarios.
Pathway 3 students also work towards Independent Living units, as well as continuing with English, Maths and PSHE.
Students in Pathway 3 will be confident young adults who are able to independently focus on their next steps.
Pathway 4 has been designed for pupils who are becoming more independent and are aiming to attend supported college courses or independently work within the community.
Pathway 4 pupils will have gained qualifications in numeracy and literacy at Key Stage 4 and will continue to develop and build on these skills in real-life scenarios, as well as continuing to try and improve on previous accreditation grades if deemed appropriate.
Pathway 4 students work towards Personal and Social Development units that will develop skills in relation to a range of topics, such as: managing social relationships, preparing for work, environmental awareness, problem-solving, group work and personal safety.
Students in Pathway 4 will be confident young adults who are able to independently focus on their next steps. They will focus on gaining more work experience and possibly apply for jobs outside of Work Experience and the Skills Centre.
This Pathway has been designed to further support and develop our more independent students who are moving towards fully independent living, Level 1 and above “main stream” college courses, or employment, with options for supported internships and apprenticeships.
Pathway 5 pupils will have gained qualifications in numeracy and literacy at Key Stage 4, and possibly a wider range of other qualifications at Level 1, and will continue to develop and build on these skills in real-life scenarios. They may also continue to try and improve on previous accreditation grades.
Pathway 5 students work towards NOCN Preparation for Adulthood Level 1 units that will develop skills in relation to a range of topics, such as: preparing for learning, careers progression, employment, project management, communication skills in the workplace, financial literacy, enterprise, employment rights.
Pathway 5 students will leave Sixth Form as fully prepared young adults, who are eager and ready to pursue the next step in their life journey and are equipped with the knowledge required in order to do this as independently as possible.
Every Pathway has a Family Day once a week. The Pathway is split in two: one half will complete the practical element and the other half will complete the class-based topics.
Students work together to create a menu for lunch for that day. They then create a shopping list and visit a local shop, either by foot or minibus, to gather all the items and ingredients needed. They can practise their money and social skills during these visits, enabling them to become more confident in the local community.
Students then return to Sixth Form and work as a team to prepare the food, set the table and prepare for serving. Lunch is then served to the whole Pathway, who sit down together to eat, again practising their social skills.
After lunch, these students then work together to clean, as well as ensuring all surfaces are wiped and leftover food stored correctly and hygienically.
Students are supported during these days but are very much encouraged to become as independent as possible.
Students complete three lessons during the day: Wheel of Independence, Mental Health Champions and RSE.
Wheel of Independence: Students further develop and gain skills in the following areas: Money, Meal Preparation, Time Management, Leisure, Self-Care, House Keeping, Laundry and Food Shopping. See below for more information about the topics covered.
Mental Health Champions: Students work towards being more confident to manage their own mental health, as well as learning how to support others. To find out more information, visit: https://www.onegoal.co.uk/
RSE: These lessons include key topics, such as: Families, Online Safety, Health, Community Inclusion, Being Part of the Local Community, Independence, Future Living. Online Safety is discussed and revisited every year.
Written English and communication is a vital element of all that we do in the Sixth Form. Students will be given a wide-ranging level of opportunities to practise, explore and develop ther communication skills, both with each other but also out in the community. Students are constantly developing their communication and social skills during every lesson, event and interaction. Staff are dedicated to ensuring our young people are constantly empowered to share their voice and opinions in a safe environment.
Our English curriculum was designed to continue to teach and develop communication skills through a range of topics, genres, texts and mediums. The curriculum is wide-ranging, varied and exciting, and includes the reading of novels, poetry and plays, as well as allowing students to create their own texts in a range of formats and genres. Through every topic, students are able to practise their written and verbal communication skills, as well as learning about different countries, cultures, religions and ways of life, opening their world up to more varied perspectives.
We aim to develop a love of literature, writing and reading through our English curriculum, as well as in our Reading sessions, which take place every day for 30 minutes.
Students are taught in sets for English, based on previous accreditations gained and communication needs. Every student is given the opportunity to gain higher qualifications in English if this is deemed appropriate by the student, parents/carers and staff.
Maths in the Sixth Form offers pupils a broad and purposeful curriculum that will show the relevance of Maths in real-life contexts.
Numeracy is embedded throughout focused independent life skills work in the Sixth Form. Pupils learn and apply mathematical skills both within school and the wider community. Some key themes are: managing money and economic wellbeing, cooking for themselves and others, home and plant care, reading and using train timetables, and paying in shops.
As well as individual work, our pupils work in pairs or small groups to complete Maths activities. Pupils develop the social and collaborative skills that enable them to express choices, make decisions and provide reasons their opinions.
All pupils are given the opportunity to work towards their next accreditation step, from Entry Level to GCSE. This decision, however, is only made with the agreement of the student, parents/carers and teachers if it is deemed as appropriate for their future.
It is our aim that all pupils learn to love Maths, appreciate its usefulness and understand its relevance in real-life situations.
PSHE and RSE
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education, and Relationships and Sex Education are both incredibly important subjects at Sixth Form. Our aim is to ensure every young person is developed into an independent and responsible member of society. Our young people need to be given the guidance and support that will enable them to deal with any issues they meet in adulthood with confidence and the knowledge to make appropriate choices and decisions. These decisions may need to be made in their homes, personal relationships or in the workplace. Our curriculum ensures our Sixth Formers leave feeling confident to deal with each scenario.
The curriculum develops our students' vocabulary, knowledge, understanding, confidence and resilience. We also ensure that our young people know how to seek support and advice if they need it.
PSHE and RSE lessons will continue to develop communication skills. Lesson activities include the opportunity to discuss and debate, and share opinions and knowledge.
All students will work in the Skills Centre once a week. Students choose two skills from a range of options:
Cafe - The Wooden Spoon
Students learn about food hygiene, health and safety and customer service. In the cafe, students work as a team to produce menus, create orders and provide food and drinks to staff and students. Students also learn how to effectively use a till and manage money.
Students work in a shop on-site. Staff are able to buy key items, such as: cleaning products, celebration cards, stamps, and toiletries. Students are able to develop their customer service skills, as well as using a till, managing money and stock taking. The shop also creates and provides all rewards for the main school students, including gift bags that can be ordered once they have received a certain amount of merits.
Hair and Beauty Salon
Students work alongside and learn from a qualified and experienced hairdresser. They learn how to care for hair, blow-dry and shampoo, and create hairstyles. Later in the year, salon students also learn how to care for skin and nails. Staff members are able to book appointments, meaning pupils can practise their skills and also develop their communication and customer service skills. Students also manage the bookings.
Students can work with the Premises team on site to ensure all maintenance needs are met. Students complete checks on equipment and minibuses, as well as completing general maintenance tasks throughout the day. They learn to follow a checklist and instructions, as well as developing their problem-solving skills.
Students work with an experienced horticulturist to develop key horticultural skills. They are taught plant types, as well as developing skills in planting, cultivating and producing. They also develop their teamwork and communication skills.
Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme is a nationally recognised award which offers high quality learning outside the classroom. Students develop essential life skills, increase their employability and foster their creativity and innovation. They also learn and develop new skills and interests, as well as a range of leadership skills.
Students learn about and use a design software programme called "Cricut" to create and import designs. They are also trained to use a vinyl cutting machine to cut all their creations out onto materials like paper, vinyl, card stock and iron-on transfers. These designs are then used to decorate, upcycle or personalise almost any surface.