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:
Qualification / Level
Discover and Explore
Pearson English Entry Level
Life Skills Challenge
Pupils in English experience a curriculum which develops their key skills in reading, writing and spoken language in a relevant and engaging way. In addition to meeting the statutory requirements for each Key Stage, units of work are tailored to the individual needs of the pupils. Students engage in two Literacy lessons and two topic lessons weekly. This allows them to benefit from a structured synthetic phonics programme (Ruth Miskin or Jolly Phonics) as well as studying a range of books to improve both writing and reading. We have access to online learning programmes such as Bug Club, Lexi. This aims to encourage independence and enables access to material specific to each student’s individual level of learning. In KS4, students will have the opportunity to study for AQA Entry Level Certificate in English and Cambridge iGCSE English, where appropriate. Pupils have access to a wide range of reading materials in school. Reading is promoted and encouraged both recreationally and interleaved throughout our curriculum. All styles of reading take place in a range of environments throughout the school including designated areas.
To access Bug's Club please click here.
To access LexiaCore5 please click here.
To access Lexia Strategies please click here.
Please could parents of pupils who are using Lexia Strategies contact school direct for access information
Pupils in key stage three follow a three year programme. In each term they will study a different scheme of work and complete associated tasks and activities. This includes topics such as ‘Dracula and spooky poetry’, ‘Spy missions’, ‘Michael Morpurgo’ and ‘Roald Dahl’. We also study literature including ‘Treasure Island’, ‘Holes’ and ‘Macbeth’. A range of different teaching strategies and techniques will be used and tailored to the needs of students, who will learn to expand and develop their writing, reading and spoken language skills.
Pupils in KS4 follow a two year programme. This includes studies of ‘Animal Farm’, ‘Of Mice and Men’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’, ‘The Hobbit’ and selected pieces of war poetry. Through these topics we will complete coursework and aim towards achieving an Entry Level Qualification in English following the Pearson specification. Pupils aiming for an iGCSE will follow the Cambridge scheme.
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 who are in the semi-formal and formal pathways, are taught topics relating to the KS3 National Curriculum, over the course of three years. The topics are a mixture of biology, chemistry and physics, although scientific enquiry is linked into all topics to help promote fundamental skills such as independence, teamwork, problem solving and communication (including reading, writing and spoken language). All topics and activities are differentiated to suit a range of abilities. We believe this is the right approach so that our pupils receive a broad range of topics, resulting in them being able to communicate with their peers in school and their communities. Coordinated planning ensures that key skills and knowledge is sequenced, ensuring that gaps in knowledge are identified and built upon to enable pupils to consolidate information and skills. Science lessons are taught in a specialist lab at John Jamieson. Pupils have access to science labs at Temple Moor and the Jamieson Site, although not for all lessons. Pupils use a variety of resources and strategies to help access the curriculum.Pupils who are working around Progression Step 3 or higher in science at KS4 have the chance to achieve an Entry Level Certificate in Science. Over the course of two years, pupils complete six components: two biology, two chemistry and two physics. Depending on their work, pupils can either achieve a Single Award or a Double Award.
PSHE 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 five year programme of study and dedicate sessions that address 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 RSE in KS3 and KS4 and Platform (Drugs service for young people in Leeds) have also supported the delivery of our Drugs Education Curriculum.
Citizenship will be taught through three termly focus weeks which will encompass aspects of learning including British Values, fundraising and charity events.
We consider Pupil Voice to be vital to everything that we do in school and this is captured as part of our Citizenship curriculum when pupils are elected to represent the school as members on the School Council and the SILC Parliament and as Food Ambassadors.
Pupils take part in Food Technology lessons every week following the National Curriculum guidelines. Food Technology focuses on learning practical skills using fresh and healthy ingredients everything is cooked from scratch.
We learn about diversity, cultures, food and cooking techniques from different countries as part of individual topics. Pupils plan their own practical activities where possible and evaluate practicals after cooking. Pupils on the sensory pathway use a sensory approach to exploring food and interact through a range of resources various themes relating to food and nutrition.
Pupils who are in Key Stage 4 work on ASDAN units which are practically centred food preparation topics.
National Curriculum Physical Education (PE) 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.
Pupils access humanities in a range of different ways according to their pathway and learning needs. In discreet Humanities lessons, pupils access a range of key historical and geographical skills adapted from the National Curriculum. This is delivered through a highly differentiated curriculum which follows pupils Individual Learning Pathway Plans (ILPPs) and is responsive to individuals learning needs and ongoing assessment for learning throughout lessons.
Key historical skills and knowledge include;
- Knowing and understanding the history of Britain and how it has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
- Knowing and understanding significant aspects of the history of the wider world
- Gaining and deploying key historical terminology
- Understanding key historical concepts such as continuity and change, chronological understanding, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and using them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
- Understanding methods of historical enquiry, evaluation, interpretation and analysis
Key geographical skills include;
- Developing contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places
- Understanding the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world
- Collecting, analysing and communicating with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen understanding of geographical processes
- Interpreting a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems
- Communicating geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing
In the Sensory Pathway, humanities skills are delivered through a topic based curriculum which is highly personalised based on Sensory Profile Curriculum targets. See ‘Pathways to Learning and Curriculum Webs’ for more information on the Sensory Pathway.
Art and Design
Pupils are encouraged and supported to explore different art forms, including historical and cultural art. Creating art work with the use of different mediums is very much encouraged. Pupils are encouraged to explore many ways to create their individual artworks. Pupils are also encouraged to look at different art forms to develop their abilities to evaluate and analyse creative pieces of work.
A differentiated version of National Curriculum music is delivered to all pupils in Key Stage 3. This exposes our pupils to an array of music experiences through the following topics:
- Popular Music through the twentieth century
- Carnivals around the world
- Rhythms and patterns
- Carnival of the animals
- Popular music
Music is the fully immersive, universal language that is accessible for all our pupils. Being exposed to music is beneficial to the development and progression on our pupils whether it is listened to, played or experienced in other ways.
The East SILC offers many musical extra-curricular learning opportunities for pupils including Guitar Club, YAMSEN projects and student bands.
Music is a potential gateway to a lifelong passion for the performing arts for many of our pupils due to the experiences they are exposed to. This can be continued into Key Stage 4 with the Arts Award accreditation.
Elements of the KS3 and KS4 computing National Curriculum are used and adaptations are made to differentiate the curriculum offered to match pupil’s needs.
Pupils on the Working Towards and Independent Pathway have a formal dedicated weekly computing lesson in the ICT Suite, whereas pupils following the Sensory Pathway have informal discrete computing opportunities linked to the topic focus.
Formal computing opportunities involve lessons focused on a particular computing skill or piece of technology, such as: programming; word processing; editing and taking photographs, sound clips or videos; E-Safety; exploring types of technology used in every life and electronic communications.
Less formal computing opportunities focus more on the cause and effect aspect of technology through the use of switch toys, Sensory Room equipment, Beamz and a floor projector.
Computing is also an integral part of other curriculum areas as the skills are used in a cross-curricular way, for example, creating a bar chart on data collection programs in maths lessons; creating a PowerPoint document to present research about a particular historical figure in history lessons or using an iPad app to access a spelling activity in English lessons.
The Speech and Language Therapy Team promote and enhance the use of assistive technology to support pupils to communicate their needs with equipment such as an iPad based communication aids and Eye Gaze.
National Curriculum Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) is delivered to pupils in KS3 on the towards independence and independent pathway, have the opportunity to develop their understanding of another language, our chosen language is French. We follow a broad and ambitious curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils, building on knowledge and skills that pupils will have developed in KS2. The curriculum focuses on communication by developing four key language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing where appropriate. This allows pupils the opportunity to express their ideas and thoughts in another language.
Pupils on all pathways take part in French Café themed days, which allows pupils to have a deeper understanding of French culture.
Each week pupils will take part in Religious Education (RE) lessons which follow Believing and Belonging in West Yorkshire, the locally agreed syllabus. RE offers pupils the opportunity to explore a range of issues from both religious and non-religious viewpoints. All pupils will have the opportunity to express their beliefs and opinions in a safe environment underpinned by the British Values of respect and tolerance. RE promotes the Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) development of children, and helps them to find their place in today's diverse society.