Our students have failed to engage with the standard curriculum delivered by mainstream schools. Our broad and vocationally based curriculum is designed to meet their complex needs by engaging them in academic learning and developing their life skills. We are an inclusive school and all our teaching focuses on providing intensive support for students as individuals who have individual strengths and weaknesses. We offer a range of qualifications that gives every one of them the opportunity to attain. One-to-one support is provided when appropriate and we are always flexible. We also try to have fun.
We teach over five areas:
- My Passport
- My Self
- My World
- My Future
- My Body (incorporating My Home)
Lessons vary in their approach – some are relatively formal with students sitting at computers, others involve working off site. We work with students as individuals and set appropriate goals for each. This means that students may complete different activities as they work towards different levels of attainment. We constantly review our practices and trial and implement new ideas to engage our students, develop their self-esteem and ensure that they fulfil their potential to develop the functional and imaginative skills that will help them to lead independent, fulfilling and successful adult lives.
This curriculum provides students with the core skills they need to move on to further learning and employment – literacy, numeracy and computer literacy. The teaching of literacy and numeracy is further supported by being embedded in all teaching across the curriculum.
In English we teach students to communicate clearly and effectively in speech and writing, and we build up their confidence so that they can share their thoughts, ideas and experiences with others.
At Key Stage 3, students build their skills in reading and writing (following the National Curriculum), via themed units that encourage them to explore and experiment with language in written and verbal communication. The development of speaking and listening skills is embedded in all sessions. While we explore themes (such as Survival, Heroes or Horror stories), we work with students as individuals and set appropriate goals for each.
At Key Stage 4, students have the opportunity to achieve one of three qualifications, depending on their ability and current level of attainment (GCSE, Functional Skills or Entry Level Certification). They learn to demonstrate, to varying degrees: an ability to respond to literary texts; a degree of understanding and appreciation of English literary heritage; an ability to write creative and personal narrative; positive discussion, presentation and role-play skills and the capacity to create and respond to situations they might encounter in their daily lives.
Our Mathematics curriculum is designed to enable our students to develop the numeracy skills necessary for a confident transition to the adult working world. We also strive to open up the world of mathematics as the exploration of pattern and relationship with the development of methodological approaches to problem-solving at its core.
The curriculum meets the needs of individuals, recognising that each student has a unique blend of strengths and weaknesses. It follows National Curriculum guidelines, with opportunities for numeracy support and extension offered to those who need to fill in gaps or reach a bit further.
We regard ‘Assessment for learning’ as an essential tool for supporting progress and each student is encouraged to self-assess and reflect on their learning as part of an on-going process of development. All our students work towards individual targets in maths and are encouraged to view learning as a personal journey.
Numeracy is fundamental to financial independence. Our curriculum reflects this and students are timetabled ‘functional’ and ‘key skills’ sessions each week. This runs concurrently with the study of other areas including: Number & Algebra, Geometry & Measure and Statistics where appropriate.
The study of maths is often seen as an abstract set of topics and rules that have little to do with daily life. We dispel this myth by offering learning activities beyond the classroom.
At Key Stage 3 maths follows National Curriculum guidelines and incorporates the learning of Number and Algebra, Geometry and Measure and Statistics. Some students require support on arrival to the school and aspects of their learning are supported through appropriate elements of the KS2/1 curriculum.
At Key Stage 4 we aim for every student to gain a maths qualification suited to their ability. While we aspire for students to achieve at GCSE standard, we recognise that educational progress can be problematic for our students and offer Entry Level, Functional Skills (L1 and 2) and GCSE. Entry Level 1 – 3 qualification covers Data Handling, Number, Shape, Space & Measure. The Functional Skills L1 & 2 introduces skills required for success at GCSE including, representing, analysing and interpreting situations using mathematics. It introduces some algebra and higher level number and data processing strategies. The Edexcel GCSE course covers: Statistics, Number & Algebra, Shape, Space & Measure.
For those students with us for only short periods of time the ASDAN short course may be the most appropriate way to accredit their learning.
My Passport opportunities for qualifiactions at Key Stage 4:
- Edexcel GCSE in English
- Edexcel GCSE in Mathematics
- Edexcel Entry Level Functional Skills in English
- Edexcel Entry Level Functional Skills in Mathematics
- Edexcel Level 1 and 2 Functional Skills in English
- Edexcel Functional skills in Numeracy Level 1 and 2
- Edexcel Entry level Functional Skills IT
- Edexcel Level 1 and 2 Functional Skills IT
At SMS Education we believe that being able to think coherently and creatively, and adapt to a constantly changing world, is a vital part of our students’ education. By working through creative activities –art, graphic design, game design, digital photography, including film, and music – the curriculum fosters expansive thinking, experimentation and a safe form of personal expression. We teach students to work in an evaluative and reflective way, enabling them to develop their abilities and responses, and the creative impetus gives them a greater sense of freedom than is possible in other areas of the curriculum.
As part of this personal development all students are encouraged to take part in in PSHE sessions to explore their attitudes to themselves and their relationships with others.
We regard this as a fundamental part of academic and personal development for young people who have led chaotic and dysfunctional lives. Once they begin to process their thoughts and *feelings, they gain confidence and can engage with meaningful work across the curriculum. We also undertake visits offsite to widen the experiences of our learners.
My Self opportunities for qualifications:
- Gateway Qualifications Entry Level Diploma in Skills for Art and Design (Entry 3) Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualifications Entry Level Diploma in Skills for Art and Design (Level 1) Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualifications Entry Level Diploma in Skills for Art and Design (Level 2) Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Personal Social Development (GCSE Equivalent)
This curriculum gives students the skills and knowledge they need to explore the world around them, and enables them to appreciate innovations, past triumphs and cultural differences. By supporting students to make links between their own experiences and the world they live in, we aim to develop their empathy and expand their understanding of what may be possible for themselves and their communities in the future.
At Key Stage 3 there are two study programmes.
Science is taught mostly through hands-on lessons. The emphasis is on a personal journey of exploration through relatable topics. The curriculum follows the National curriculum. There is an even spread of topics from Physics, Chemistry and Biology, and a focus on the skills and knowledge required for success at GCSE Science.
Humanties Beliefs and Values ASDAN short course is taught to give an insight into the cultures and values of the multicultural world we live in.
At Key Stage 4, the Science curriculum develops the ability to think scientifically and critically; this helps students to make informed decisions as adults. These include the ability to follow health and safety procedures and raise awareness of workplace hazards before students embark on work experience or their first job. They become familiar with the key characteristics of some commonly used equipment, and the correct use of some technical and scientific terminology, and they learn to make qualitative and quantitative observations and measurements in practical situations. All this provides a foundation for progression and employment in industries in the science sector.
In Humanities, students can study beliefs and values course. This subject is explored through a philosophical method, with the aim of understanding the beliefs of different religions, cultures and individuals, what influences these beliefs and what we can learn from them, and how the beliefs have an impact on the wider world.
Students confront a wide range of personal and global issues including ‘Meaning of Life’, ‘Relationships’, ‘Death and Afterlife’, ‘Equality’ and ‘Politics’
My World opportunities for qualifications at Key Stage 4:
- Edexcel Human Biology iGCSE
- Gateway Qualifications Entry Level Applied Science and Technology Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualifications Level 1 Applied Science and Technology Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualifications Level 2 Applied Science and Technology Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway British Values Short Course
My Body Physical Education provides students with the opportunity to participate in a variety of physical and sporting activities in competitive, creative and challenging situations. Students develop the competence and confidence to perform as individuals in groups and in teams, and develop leadership skills through coaching and officiating.
My Body Healthy Active Lifestyles focuses on personal health and fitness. This gives students the opportunity to take part in alternative activities, which enable them to discover what they like to do and how and where they can participate in these activities outside school hours.
My Body Food and Nutrition develops students’ knowledge of a healthy balanced diet. Allowing them to develop basic cooking skills to take forward in to adult life.
At Key Stage 4 students have the opportunity to complete a foodwise qualification. This gives them the skills and knowledge they need to cook in a healthy and cost effective way, as well as the confidence to share these skills with friends and family.
My Body opportunities for qualifications at Key Stage 4:
- Gateway Qualification Skills for Sport and Active Leisure
This curriculum prepares students for working life outside school. It focuses on vocational courses and ensures that students develop the practical and personal skills they will need to gain employment, negotiate the working world and succeed within it. This includes supporting them to develop healthy and fulfilling relationships, becoming a safe, confident individual, learning to make appropriate choices and assess risk. We train students to regard employment as a positive choice and to engage in learning as a life-long activity.
At Key Stage 3 Personal, Health and Social Education covers drugs education, sex and relationships, emotional wellbeing and healthy lifestyles. As well as working on personal development, the course teaches making career choices, applying for courses and jobs, relationship behaviour and practices in the workplace, personal safety, becoming a critical consumer, and diversity, prejudice and discrimination. We develop independent study skills and a sense of personal responsibility by teaching students to organise and archive their work.
Key Stage 3 students have access to vocational courses in sports, childcare, catering, construction, game design, music and cycle mechanics.
At Key Stage 4 those who are engaged on a two year learning journey will study employability this covers the enterprise process and rights, responsibilities and ethical considerations associated with it, the Internet, developing personal responsibility, and personal finance. This includes vocational placements.
For Year 11 students we offer supported work experience where appropriate and a careers advice process that provides 1-1 support as they write CVs, research college courses and write applications. Mentoring is offered by experienced professionals; this includes interview practice. We support students at interview and enrolment at college, and all the school’s staff are available to offer advice and support to former students who seek it.
My Future opportunities for qualifications at Key Stage 4:
- Gateway Employability (Entry Level, Level 1, Level 2)
- Gateway Qualifications Entry Level in Construction (Entry 3) Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualification Skills in Construction (Level 1) Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualification Skills in Construction (Level 2) Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualifications Entry Level in Skills for Health and Social Care (Adults and Children) (Entry 3) Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualification Skills for Health and Social Care (Adults and Children) (Level 1) Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualification Skills for Health and Social Care (Adults and Children) (Level 2) Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualifications Entry Level in Skills for Music and Music Technology Award, Certificate, or Diploma
- Gateway Qualifications Level 1 in Skills for Music and Music Technology Award, Certificate, or Diploma
- Gateway Qualifications Level 2 in Skills for Music and Music Technology Award, Certificate, or Diploma
- Gateway Qualifications Entry Level in Skills for the Hair and Beauty Sector Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualifications Level 1 in Skills for the Hair and Beauty Sector Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualifications Level 2 in Skills for the Hair and Beauty Sector Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualification Entry Level 3 in Skills for Business Administration Award or Certificate
- Gateway Qualification Level 1 in Skills for Business Administration Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualification Level 2 in Skills for Business Administration Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualification Entry Level 3 in Skills for the Travel and Tourism Sector Award or Certificate
- Gateway Qualification Level 1 in Skills for the Travel and Tourism Sector Award, Certificate or Diploma
- Gateway Qualification Level 2 in Skills for the Travel and Tourism Sector Award, Certificate or Diploma