The Department’s aim is to continue the East SILC Pathways to Learning established in primary; the sensory, towards independence, and the independent curriculum. These are underpinned by a fully differentiated approach to the National Curriculum. Through their learning, pupils are encouraged to fulfil their potential and develop confidence, self-esteem and a wide range of key skills. Alongside this, strategies to enhance and develop communication skills are delivered through a range of interventions and much of this work is carried out in collaboration with our own Speech and Language Therapist and commissioned Occupational Therapy team.
At Key Stage 4, the students embark upon externally accredited courses in many subject areas, which are commensurate with individual ability. These include GCSE, Entry Level Certificates, AQA units, ASDAN Arts Award and Duke of Edinburgh.
Pupils have a phonics or reading age assessment, where appropriate, twice a year. Pupils will study English topics following the Governments statutory requirements for their Key Stage. They will also receive Literacy Intervention lessons twice a week, or a more intensive approach if it is appropriate for their needs. During Literacy Intervention lessons, pupils will follow a structured, synthetic phonics programme (Ruth Miskin or Jolly Phonics) alongside whole word work and the use of multi-sensory resources. We also use Bug’s Club and other online resources. In KS4, students will have the opportunity to study for AQA Entry Level Certificate in English and WJEC GCSE English, where appropriate. Pupils have access to a reading area and mobile reading library in school and can access Bug’s Club reading material at home.
This academic year, KS3 will be covering Scary Tales, Poetry and Dracula in Term 1. In Term 2 KS3 will explore non-fiction texts through the exciting project of Spy Missions. In Term 3 pupils study some of the works of Michael Morpurgo, including Private Peaceful and War Horse.
KS4 will be developing writing skills through the study of Sports Literature and ‘Fever Pitch’ by Nick Hornby, showing understanding of the themes of ‘power and control’ and ‘commitment’ through the study of Armed Forces literature and Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet, and using a study of Social Media to explore our non-fiction reading and writing skills.
Pupils follow the National Curriculum at a level appropriate to their level of attainment. We encourage pupils to learn through an approach which is practical and for some a sensory experience.
Pupils will cover work in Number, Measurement, Geometry and where appropriate Statistics.
pupils working towards the Entry Level Certificate will work on Number, Shape and Space, Calendars and Time, Handling Data, Money and Measures. Pupils taking GCSE are following the AQA Specification.
Pupils in Key Stage 3 cover all the new National Curriculum through various topics over the course of three years. This inlcudes all three elements Biology, Chemistry and Physics with a great emphasis on investigative work. A multi-sensory approach is used to ensure learning is enhanced.
This year topics include:
- Acids and Alkalis
- Healthy Living and Digestion
- Chemical Reactions
Students in Key Stage 4 work towards the AQA Entry Level Science qualification. This course expands on a lot of the topics covered at Key Stage 3, whilst introducing new topics and concepts. The AQA Entry Level Science qualification covers similar content to the AQA GCSE Science qualification. This year, the students will cover “Keeping Healthy” (Biology), “Materials from the Earth” (Chemistry) and “Energy Transfer and Efficiency” (Physics). Next year, pupils will cover a different three topics and the course will be run on a two-year cycle.
Personal Social and Health Education and Citizenship
‘Personal, Social, Health and Emotional Education (PSHE) is a planned programme of learning through which children and young people acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives. It develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as responsible, tolerant well-rounded citizens in the community’. (PSHE Association) PSHE is a whole school approach which contributes to the personal development of our pupils helping them to build their own personal identities, confidence and self-esteem and make choices.
PSHE is central to the school’s overall values and aims. In High School we follow a 5 year programme of study and dedicate a session each week to PSHE, Citizenship and Coaching. Our weekly assemblies also support the teaching of all aspects of PSHE. We celebrate pupil achievement and success through Star of the Week and Good Citizen Award.
PSHE in High School is delivered through Carousel - Investors in Pupils, Careers, Sex and Relationship Education, Drugs Education, Emotional Health and Wellbeing, Diversity and Multicultural Studies. Leeds health and wellbeing children’s services have supported the delivery of SRE in KS3 and KS4 and Platform (Drugs service for young people in Leeds) have also supported the delivery of our Drugs Education Curriculum.
In Citizenship we promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepare them for opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life so they can play a full and active part in society. Within Citizenship lessons pupils cover the following topics:
- Law and justice
- Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
- British values
- Human rights
In pastoral time pupils have the opportunity to develop their social, emotional, independence and communication skills through circle time, reward time and communication focus time.
National curriculum P.E is delivered to all pupils in KS3 and KS4, assessments are carried out on a half termly basis. A wide range of activities are on offer for pupils to participate in including:
- Invasion games ( Basketball, football, uni hoc)
- Parachute games and sensory based activities
- Gymnastics and Dance
Pupils have regular opportunities to participate in various competitions out of school facilitated by Disability Sports Leeds. This helps pupils to develop their social skills, taking turns and working together as part of a team.
Complementing the activities facilitated through the PE curriculum we use a series of recognised programmes to enhance physical development and emotional well-being. These include Wake up Shake up, sensory circuits and individual sensory integration programmes.
We work closely with physiotherapists and occupational therapists to ensure the physical and sensory needs of our pupils are met.