In the Skills for Life pathway, the emphasis is on students developing the skills to communicate more effectively within their environment, from simple communication with close family to being able to pay for everyday items in a shop using appropriate interactions. As with other pathways, students will have lots of therapeutic input as needed towards their EHCP therapy targets, and therapists work closely with teaching staff to ensure that these therapeutic interventions are delivered discreetly and embedded within the rest of a students curriculum where possible.
Students in the Skills for Life pathway are given a specific curriculum to ensure that lessons are bespoke for each student and able to offer meaningful progress that can be observed over time. Lessons generally follow the Equals curriculum, using a semi-formal approach, although students are still actively encouraged to take part in whole school activities at all times. Where possible, students in Upper School and Sixth form are challenged to achieve entry level qualifications.
As the focus of the curriculum is directed towards real-life applications and life skills, it is important that students are given time to embed their learning and make meaningful progress. This is achieved by differentiating the timetabling and phases for Skills for Life Students. In the Skills for Life Pathway, there is no Middle School phase enabling students to stay in the Lower School from Year 3 to Year 8, Upper School from Year 9 to Year 11 and then Sixth Form provision for Years 12 and 13.
Skills for Life Pathway in Upper School (Years 9 to 11)
Carew Academy’s Upper School curriculum has been carefully structured to provide a curriculum that is broad, balanced and engaging. The focus is on the individual needs of each student and the teaching in Skills for Life is aimed towards ensuring that students are gaining a broad range of experiences, which prepare them for life after Carew Academy.
Students generally spend more time transitioning to different classrooms as they get older, and are given a larger variety of teaching staff to ensure that there is stretch and challenge. This also allows students to become more resilient with interactions with more staff, and experience more changes to the more structured routine of Lower School. There are specialist learning opportunities for Upper School students with Food Technology and Computing, as students can see how these subjects can impact their daily lives and learn skills that they will need when they are older.
Subject Weighting in the Upper School Skills for Life Pathway
|Subject||Accreditation (where appropriate, particularly Years 10-11)||Lessons per Week:|
|Literacy (English)||Entry Level Certificate||5|
|Numeracy (Maths)||Entry Level Certificate||5|
|World Studies (Science)||2|
|RSE and PSHE||2|
There are 2 groups of ‘Options’ subjects for pupils to choose from, which are delivered on rotation:
|Duke of Edinburgh||Computing|
Students will experience each subject from both groups over the course of the academic year. All of these subjects have strong practical emphasis and offer students different experiences outside of traditional subjects within the classroom. Students have a wide range of choice about what they learn and this means that they can develop their particular talents in an enjoyable and highly personalised curriculum.
Throughout Upper School, staff actively promote the core British Values of democracy and rule of law through the curriculum as well as a carefully-devised programme of assemblies. Assemblies are carried out within Pathways, with Skills for Life assemblies focusing on key skills such as collaborative working, interpersonal skills, resilience and perseverance. The development of students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding is also key for Skills for Life assemblies.
Skills for Life Pathway in Lower School (Years 3 to 8)
In Lower School, students remain in their registration group for the majority of the school day, to enable a clear structure to be established by the core teaching team who use their knowledge of the students to make their learning bespoke and supportive of their needs. This structure often makes use of a variety of theories of learning, such as TEACHH. Having this structure enables students and staff to build effective working relationships, embed school expectations and discover individual student learning patterns.
Carew Academy offers all of its Lower School students a core suite of curriculum subjects that provide a solid foundation of learning and experiences which are meaningful and relevant in 21st Century Britain. Through the Options rotation, students are offered a range of additional subjects and experiences that allow them to discover new topics and ways of seeing the world that will enable them to become well-rounded individuals.
Subject Weighting in the Lower School Skills for Life Pathway
|Subject||Lessons per week|
|RSE / PSHE||4|
|Performing Arts (Art, Dance, Drama, Music)||3|
There are 2 groups of ‘Options’ subjects for students to choose from, which are delivered on rotation:
While the core curriculum aims to provide students with a solid foundation and a flavour of different subjects, Enrichment sessions (or the ‘Options’) are focused on supporting students to identify areas of strength and interest, and use this as a vehicle to develop their academic, social and independence skills. Each option runs for 3 lessons per week and students are given the opportunity to take part in all of the options throughout the entire academic year.