Introduction

This rationale gives an overview of the Key Stage 4 curriculum and must be read alongside the whole school curriculum policy, with reference to;

  • teaching and learning policy,
  • assessment and recording policy
  • marking policy
  • Autism Handbook
  • Safeguarding policy
  • Communication policy
  • flexibility of thought statement

The KS4 curriculum at The Grove, caters for students with a primary diagnosis of complex or moderate autism with a range of associated learning difficulties, it is person centred and offers pathways for students to learn from personalised programmes that address the needs and difficulties as outlined within the DSM-5;

  • a) Difficulties with social communication and interaction and
  • b) Restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities (sensory behaviours are now included and recognised within this).

The key aim with our curriculum is that our students start to develop independence in both their academic learning and their personal skills and to be recognised for these achievements through external qualifications and accreditation.

We will build on previous learning in KS3 and self-help skills so that each individual becomes more prepared for the transition to post 16 education and beyond. It is our aim that all our students learn to become as independent as possible and acquire the tools to be able to manage the daily challenges of life beyond school. All our work is designed around the ambitions and hopes of the young people, working towards their future destinations as outlined in their Education Health Care plan and their Transition towards Adulthood plan.

We offer different pathways which are flexible to each student’s need. Pathways can be mixed and matched according to what each young person wants, therefore offering flexibility.

Success at KS4 looks different for every student but we aim to decrease the adult support provided to our students in their academic learning and personal skills so that they will be able to function as independently as possible in their day to day life.

Transition Planning

At The Grove we believe that a clear transition path to KS4 and beyond is important for our students, their families and the school. Having an effective system in place allows our students a smooth transition year upon year. For this reason the transition process at The Grove starts at the end of key stage 3 in year 9.

A Transition towards Adulthood plan is created based around five key areas and takes account of the student’s needs. Targets will be set that reflect the outcomes within the EHCP and also long term planning towards adulthood:

  • Academic
  • Employment
  • Independent Living
  • Friends, Community and Relationships
  • Good Health

(For more information visit: https://www.preparingforadulthood.org.uk/)

The planning process takes place as follows;

Year 9 A PCP review is held where the student, family, school and professionals work together to complete the school’s Transition Plan Towards Adulthood. It is during this meeting that we work collaboratively to develop the key targets and milestones for each student taking account of their EHCP outcomes and their aspirations for their future.
Year 10 Review and update planning for KS4 outcomes
Year 11 A PCP review gathers information and this is used to ensure the appropriate pathways are identified for Post 16 and the right transition process is in place.
END OF KS4 Students may transfer to The Grove Post 16, transfer to college or another educational setting. This will be built into the student’s transition plan supported through year 11.

A PCP review is a way we can get information about a young person that they agree with. The meeting is structured so the young person can be as involved in this as possible and their views can be heard. It should be a positive meeting that makes them feel good about themselves, the adults they work with and their school. A PCP meeting includes developing a profile of the individual which lists their aspirations, likes and dislikes, special interests, trigger for anxiety or behaviours, sensory needs, communication needs, things that motivate them etc.

The following people may be invited to a PCP meeting:

  • The young person
  • Parents/carers
  • The team members involved (therapists, teachers, TAs, social workers etc).
  • Friends of the young person.

Curriculum Overviews

The curriculum is divided into two very distinct offers. The first, provides a framework for teaching those students working at significantly lower levels within the national curriculum, there are two pathways within this. The second provides a framework for those students who are accessing the national curriculum at age related expectations or no more than 2 years of attainment below their chronological peers.

The Personalised Curriculum

At KS4, the personalised curriculum remains identified through the Personal Learning Plan (PLP) and focuses on the additional interventions and support that is required by our students to enable them to access their learning and development which includes:

  • Individual learning targets
  • SCERTS targets
  • Pen portraits
  • Educational Health Care Plans (EHCP) targets
  • Positive behaviour support plans and targets
  • Therapeutic interventions including speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, sensory integration, music therapy and psychotherapy.
  • Transition towards Adulthood targets

There is no formalised curriculum that is designed around a student’s individual targets, rather they are designed to steer learning opportunities within the curriculum schemes of work.

PHSCE, SMSC and RSE

SMSC, PSHE and citizenship are delivered through the full curriculum drawing on relevant, real life situations and examples as they arise, discrete sessions are timetabled to tackle relevant subject matter. Assemblies, tutor times, mentoring, leisure times and whole school SEARCH days further embed learning within these areas.

RSE is delivered in blocks and is planned around the needs of each individual student.

At six points during the year, the school runs a SEARCH day which is a drop down curriculum day to allow students to learn in one subject area for an extended period of time.

PE This continues for all students into KS4 with an option to take a GCSE course for those with particular aptitude.

Life Skills and Functional Skills

At KS4 we continue to focus on the development of Life Skills as outlined within the school curriculum policy.

Semi Formal Curriculum

Communication, thinking & problem solving skills and, play and leisure elements from the semi-formal curriculum may continue to provide a framework for learning experiences for individual students who require further support in these areas.

Planning and SOW for English (including communication) and Maths may still provide a framework for learning alongside the Towards Independence modules. Teachers will plan for this within a student’s PLP.

Key Stage 4 Overview for KS4 Complex Learners

Classes are modelled on the primary model of one teacher and learning support assistants. The curriculum will be delivered by the class teacher. In some circumstances, inclusive learning will be planned for and student(s) can be supported to access our mainstream partner Heartlands High School which is part of the Trust.

Year 1 Year 2
Autumn Term English

A) AQA Entry Level English Detectives or

B) ASDAN TI: Developing Communication Skills (TISM61 or TISM62) Writing Focus

English

A) AQA Entry Level English Media Campaign or

B) Developing Communication Skills (TISM61 or TISM62) Writing Focus

Maths

A) OCR Entry Level Maths or

B) ASDAN TI: Developing Numeracy Skills (TISM64 or TISM65) Number Focus

Maths

A) OCR Entry Level Maths or

B) ASDAN TI: Developing Numeracy Skills (TISM64 or TISM65) Time Focus

IT

ASDAN TI Using Computer Technology (TISM63) Knowing Your computer & Running an App

IT

ASDAN TI Using Computer Technology (TISM63) Using the Internet

PHSCE & RSE: School Curriculum PHSCE & RSE : School Curriculum
Food Technology

A) Pearson BTEC Level 1 Award in Home Cooking Skills (QCF) 500/8084/2 or

B) ASDAN TI: Meal Preparation and Cooking (TISM54 or TISM55) Focus: Health and Safety, Food Storage and Using Equipment

Food Technology

A) Pearson BTEC Level 1 Award in Home Cooking Skills (QCF) 500/8084/2 or

B) ASDAN TI: Meal Preparation and Cooking (TISM54 or TISM55) Focus: Serving and Clearing Away, Food from other cultures

PE: School Curriculum PE: School Curriculum
Life Skills Focus

ASDAN TI: Personal Safety (TISM15)

Life Skills Focus

ASDAN TI: Using Leisure Time (TISM50)

Foundation

ASDAN TI: Craft Making (TISM68)

Foundation

ASDAN TI: The Wider World (TISM46)

Spring Term English

A) AQA Entry Level English Travel or

B) Developing Communication Skills (TISM61 or TISM62) Speaking and Listening Focus

English

A) AQA Entry Level English Volunteering or

B) Developing Communication Skills (TISM61 or TISM62) Speaking and Listening Focus

Maths

A) OCR Entry Level Maths or

B) ASDAN TI: Developing Numeracy Skills (TISM64 or TISM65) Measures, Shape & Space Focus

Maths

A) OCR Entry Level Maths or

B) ASDAN TI: Money (TISM57 or TISM58)

IT

ASDAN TI Using Computer Technology (TISM63) Writing

IT

ASDAN TI Using Computer Technology (TISM63) Internet and Shopping

PHSCE & RSE: School Curriculum PHSCE & RSE: School Curriculum
Food Technology

A) Pearson BTEC Level 1 Award in Home Cooking Skills (QCF) 500/8084/2 or

B) ASDAN TI: Meal Preparation and Cooking (TISM54 or TISM55) Focus: Food Labelling & Packaging and Planning a meal

Food Technology

A) Pearson BTEC Level 1 Award in Home Cooking Skills (QCF) 500/8084/2 or

B) ASDAN TI: Meal Preparation and Cooking (TISM54 or TISM55) Focus: Planning a Menu

PE School Curriculum PE School Curriculum
Life Skills Focus

ASDAN TI: Using Transport (TISM28)

Life Skills Focus

ASDAN TI: Self Advocacy (TISM23)

Foundation

ASDAN TI: Geography (TISM70)

Foundation

ASDAN TI: History (TISM71)

Summer Term English

A) AQA Entry Level English Sport or

B) Developing Communication Skills (TISM61 or TISM62) Reading Focus

English

A) AQA Entry Level English Exploring or

B) Developing Communication Skills (TISM61 or TISM62) Reading Focus

Maths

A) OCR Entry Level Maths or

B) ASDAN TI: Developing Numeracy Skills (TISM64 or TISM65) Position, Pattern & Sorting Focus

Maths

A) OCR Entry Level Maths or

B) ASDAN TI: Developing Numeracy Skills (TISM64 or TISM65) Handling Data Focus

IT

ASDAN TI Using Computer Technology (TISM63) Photo Editing

IT

ASDAN TI Using Computer Technology (TISM63) Internet TV and Radio

PHSCE & RSE: School Curriculum PHSCE & RSE: School Curriculum
Food Technology:

A) Pearson BTEC Level 1 Award in Home Cooking Skills (QCF) 500/8084/2 or

B) ASDAN TI: Meal Preparation and Cooking (TISM54 or TISM55) Focus: Cooking a Meal

Food Technology:

A) Pearson BTEC Level 1 Award in Home Cooking Skills (QCF) 500/8084/2 or

B) ASDAN TI: Meal Preparation and Cooking (TISM54 or TISM55) Focus: Entertaining

PE: School Curriculum PE: School Curriculum
Life Skills Focus:

ASDAN TI: Out in the Community (TISM13)

Life Skills Focus:

ASDAN TI: Work Awareness (TISM30)

Foundation: ASDAN TI: The Environment (TISM39) Foundation: Sport Studies

Academically Able Students Curriculum

All students access a curriculum that focuses on core skills of English, Maths and Science while developing their own skills to manage their autism effectively. Staff working with our academically able students are specialists in these curriculum areas and will have the ability to work expertly with young people with autism. The school provides specialist teaching drawn from the wider staff who may work across the school. The school has access to the specialist facilities and resources of the Trust’s mainstream secondary school with subject expertise to widen and deepen learning in these specialist subject areas. At all times possible, students will access learning at the mainstream school alongside their peers to ensure inclusive learning whilst developing key social skills and building resilience and problem solving. Support will be provided with a view to fading support slowly in line with the student’s progress and capability. The academic curriculum offer therefore mirrors that in place at Heartlands High School.

Classes are organised within tutor groups. depending on the student’s timetable, students may spend their time at The Grove or at Heartlands High School (the Trust’s secondary school) or both. Classes are small and staffing is high to enable the high levels of support required to ensure student success.

PHSE and SMSC

Students in KS4 start the day with tutor time. They take part in a range of activities throughout the week which is outlined within the SMSC framework whilst also preparing for the day ahead, all of which work on a range of key skills. Form teachers are responsible for coordinating these activities and ensuring that all students are happy and ready for their day. At the end of each day, time is set aside for students to reflect on how their day went. This is the time to celebrate their successes and address any difficulties that may have arisen.

Life Skills

KS4 students follow an Independent life skills passport programme which lends itself to a cross-curricular approach. For some students, particularly those on a combination of GCSE and entry level courses, an Entry Level award or certificate can be achieved. Students with a full GCSE timetable may continue to achieve the Life Skills passport through target setting within the PLP. Independent life skills are taught through various channels, including shopping trips, planning public travel arrangements, organising class trips to places of interest, organising and running events, amongst others. The focus is to develop core skills in order that students can operate confidently and successfully in school, college, university, work and life in general. The independent life skills programme also promotes social skills, organisational skills, responsibility, self-esteem and independence.

Work Experience

Students will have an opportunity to take part in our Young Enterprise projects and also a block of work experience towards the end of year 11 to help develop skills for the world of work.

Exam Courses

The KS4 programmes prepares students depending on their ability, to undertake external exams. We follow a range of exam courses including, Edexcel, OCR, AQA and ASDAN.

GCSEs are offered to students in areas where they are able to tackle the exams confidently. Students who are studying for GCSE examinations have small group or individual tuition in order to cover the full syllabus.

Students can also follow Entry Level courses in the core subject areas. It is our expectation that every student leaving the school will have attained at least entry level qualifications in each of the core areas.

Some students may take a combined approach, and follow a GCSE course and an entry level course, depending on their abilities, interests and their probable spiky profiles.

At all times, emphasis is on positive achievements and enabling students to aspire to their potential, whilst boosting confidence, motivation and resilience.

Range of courses and qualifications available at Key Stage 4

Subject Area Qualification Suitable for Time
English Asdan Towards Independence Developing Literacy Skills

AQA Entry Level English

Step up to English helps Entry Level students build basic and relevant literacy skills and is suitable for students of all ages. It offers two ‘Steps’: Silver Step (Entry Level 1 and 2) and Gold Step (Entry Level 3) so you can tailor the specification to the needs of your students. The course focuses on spoken language, presenting and responding to questions and feedback. Reading tasks focusing on 3 key texts and writing skills.

GCSE English

Learners achieving P8 and below in the subject area

 

NC Levels 1–4

Grades E/2 and above

2 years

2 years

2 years

Maths Asdan Towards Independence Developing Numeracy Skills

OCR Entry Level Maths

Students will work towards OCR qualification in Entry Level Functional Skills Maths, which relates broadly to the NC under the curriculum areas of Number, Data Handling and Shape, Space and Measures. The emphasis of the course is upon the students’ developing ability to use their maths skills functionally and with independence. This is further supported through enrichment activities such as shopping, running the cafe and planning trips in the community.

GCSE Maths

Learners achieving P8 and below in the subject area

NC Levels 1-3

Grades E /2 and above

2 years

2 years

2 years

Food Tech BTEC Award in Home Cooking Skills – Level 1 & 2

Students will work towards a BTEC Level 1 Award in Home Cooking Skills to develop learner’s knowledge, skills and confidence to cook meals at home, understanding of how to economise when cooking a meal and transfer skills to different recipes.

Learners achieving P8 and above in the subject area 2 years
Life Skills Asdan Towards Independence Life Skills

Entry Level or Level 1 AQA Awards

Learners who are Pre-Entry or Entry Levels

For Learners on GCSE Courses

2 years
Credits
GCSE Courses (Available through the Heartlands Community Trust) Current Examination Boards and Courses within the Trust

GCSE English AQA Language AQA Literature
GCSE Maths Edexcel
GCSE Double Science OCR
GCSE ICT OCR
GCSE Art & Design Edexcel
GCSE PE Edexcel
GCSE Music AQA
GCSE Humanities OCR
GCSE Languages AQA

For Learners achieving Grades E/2 or above 2 years

Extra Provision and Interventions

While the desired outcome for all students is ‘greater student independence’, targeted support remains in place to help the students achieve this. This support includes:

  • Enrichment activities to support the curriculum development
  • Academic interventions (where required)
  • Community Access to enhance the delivery of the curriculum, particularly the Life skills elements
  • Access to school clubs (or clubs offered at HHS through the Trust)
  • Integrated OT support – Through the teaching of practical lessons, the OT supports students in acquiring functional life skills.
  • Communication skills with SALT – The SALT continues to support student progress in social communication skills.
  • Support for well being through a range of therapies such as music therapy.