Communication underpins all areas of the curriculum. At Woodlands we ensure that all pupils are fully included in learning activities by utilising a wide range of styles of communication. Spoken communication is supported through the use of signing, visual cues such as photographs and symbols as well as high or low tech communication aids.
Learning at all levels is designed to be fun, purposeful and relevant to individual needs. Pupils learn from each other as well as from the adults and we place great emphasis on students recognising, respecting and valuing first themselves and then their peers.
The Curriculum in Key Stage 3
The curriculum in Key Stage 3 is closely linked to the schemes of work followed by the students in their primary schools. Students are grouped to ensure their individual needs are met and timetables are personalised to maximise learning opportunities. All students will access Literacy, Numeracy and ICT at an appropriate level. Science, music, art, drama, PE, RE and PSHCE are all taught through the themes in our Creative Curriculum. Key stage 3 student access the community each week and begin working on life skills, cooking their lunches once a week.
The Curriculum in Key Stage 4
Building on skills acquired in Key Stage 3, the focus for students in Key Stage is promoting independence. This is delivered through a broad, balanced and Creative Curriculum which offers both traditional subjects such as English, Maths, and ICT and a more practical approach to learning. This is taught in a fun but age appropriate learning environment.
Accessing local community facilities enables students to gain new and real life experiences, preparing them for Post 16 and life beyond school.
Accreditation is varied and available to all students in Key Stage 4 such as ASDAN Personal Progress and AQA Unit Awards. Accreditation is tailored to the student’s individual needs and underpins our Creative Curriculum. It is an important way of recognising achievement, celebrating student progress and lays solid foundations for further development in Post 16 provisions.
Further Education (FE) – 16-19 Curriculum
In the FE Department at Woodlands School we endeavour to build on the skills developed by students as they have moved through Key Stages 3 and 4.
We continue to use our well qualified and experienced staff to provide high quality education and to support our students to pursue meaningful and challenging qualifications, including the OCR Life and Living Skills qualification and, for some students, functional skills qualifications for English, Maths and/or ICT.
Our focus is on enabling students to develop the necessary personal, social and independence skills so they can achieve their goals, aspirations and ambitions and to ensure they are well prepared for adult life. Students take on regular responsibilities in the area of meal preparation and all that is involved (shopping, cooking and clearing up!). The upstairs classrooms provide specialist facilities to support these activities. It is important that students continue to develop their safe and independent travel training skills and access community facilities beyond the school grounds to apply their in school learning.
Some students will also be working on their employability skills. We have started working with New Horizons, who support adults with needs to enter the workforce. This link is facilitating meaningful work experience for some of our students.
Students will have opportunities to participate in link course opportunities and visits to Post school providers including a range of options funded by both Education and Social Care.
Woodlands Secondary School aims to provide opportunities for all our students with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) to have opportunities to fulfil their potential and to participate in all activities, as independently as possible. Each of our students are individuals and the degree of independence that they will demonstrate will vary accordingly. It is vital that students with PMLD have their complex medical and physical needs addressed and timetables are adapted accordingly to reflect the need to address these needs, to keep the students safe and well and to place them in a position of readiness to learn.
WISERR stands for:
The WISERR curriculum prioritises the development of functional skills, that are transferable outside and beyond school. It is hoped that the development of these functional skills will enable our young people to be as independent as possible in activities of daily living and to develop and maintain relationships that are significant to them. Maths, Litearcy and PSHE are not taught as discrete subjects, instead, opportunities to develop an understanding of key concepts from these areas is practised throughout the day in activities that could also be experienced in a home or supported living environment. On a daily basis we aim to provide a "work life balance" as the balance is necessary to well-being in life.
Students who follow the WISERR curriculum are generally ambulant and assessed at being at level P4 or below. Students in addition to their severe learning disabilities may also have; communication difficulties, sensory difficulties and/or health issues. Some students have been assessed at a higher level but it will have been agreed by the school leadership team and parents that their learning needs will be best met following the WISERR curriculum because either; they present with a considerable level of challenging behaviour or they do not apply their cognitive skills when presented with everyday challenges in activities of daily living.
Please find below a Curriculum Model document for each Key Stage and an overview document summarising the half termly themes for each Key Stage.
If you would like to find out more about the curriculum the school is following, please contact the school on 01582 572880 and ask to speak to Sandra Connolly.