“We’re all different, but there’s something kind of fantastic about that, isn’t there?”
-Roald Dahl, Fantastic Mr Fox-
The Learning Support curriculum is shaped by our belief that our students should be afforded formative social and learning experiences within a safe, nurturing, and inclusive learning environment. Our students are supported in developing the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve personal success in recognition and response to their individual needs.
Our curriculum has been planned and sequenced to ensure progression and includes the implementation of social, communication, and life skills lessons to support the pupils’ EHCP outcomes in the four broad areas of need. It mirrors that taught in mainstream to ease the transition of our most able students into mainstream classes where appropriate, whilst also being accessible to our least able students.
Teaching is tailored to the needs and abilities of our pupils and delivered at a pace which allows all students to access learning opportunities. Intrinsic to all subject learning is the development of ‘soft skills’ though regular structured group and paired work which allow students the opportunity to develop communication skills alongside subject knowledge, to build resilience and tolerance, and to improve their ability to work as part of a team.
In KS4, students take part in lessons leading to appropriate accreditation in the core subjects up to Entry Level and to access a range of Learning Support options: Arts Award; cooking; ASDAN Life Skills Challenge, and the John Muir Award, although several of our students access a mix and match of mainstream and Learning Support options. The focus is on identifying and supporting future aspirations with particular attention to independent living, employability skills, and participation in the wider community- all of which help to develop a connection and a sense of belonging within the wider world.
We challenge all our students to achieve their academic potential while placing emphasis on the development of self-confidence, and the understanding and knowledge of how to be safe, successful, and happy in a rapidly changing world. Our programme of residentials contribute greatly to this aspiration.
The Learning Support team encourage all our young people to immerse themselves in the full, diverse Chapel High School community in the five years that they are with us. We want them to leave us confident that their learning and experiences here prepare them for a safe and, ultimately, fulfilling life. Pupils are encouraged to get involved with fundraising events such as cake sales and the Teenage Cancer Trust sponsored walk. In addition to this, working on our allotment provides opportunities for pupils to engage with our beautiful surroundings. We want our pupils to have a strong sense of the local community they live in and arrange activities to promote this including, participation in local carol concerts and volunteering in the church community garden.
Parental involvement is encouraged and ensured with strong home-school links. We encourage student input into and involvement into meetings and the annual review process.
We are supported in our work by Local Authority specialist advice teams and external agencies.
All students with enhanced resource Education Health and Care Plans have the opportunity for full inclusion within the school. This could take a variety of routes.
All students attend mainstream tutor groups for registration, giving opportunities for social interaction with other students from years 7-11, attending with support if necessary.
Some students are taught entirely in Learning Support classes, others may dip into parts of the curriculum in mainstream and some attend all classes in mainstream with some timetable adjustments.
We take pride in our ability to be flexible, enabling students to achieve in the most suitable provision. Support is given where needed.
All students are included in whole school events, assemblies, curriculum and enrichment trips.
All students have access to all areas of the school during break and lunch times, with support provided for those students who may be more vulnerable.
In years 7-9, we provide a full curriculum, using strategies appropriate for the students with a high degree of personalisation.
Subject provision within the department includes: maths, English, science, computing, philosophy and ethics, PE, design technology, geography, history, Learning for Life, Food
for Life, music, art and drama.
In years 10 and 11 we provide the opportunity for students to follow external accreditation courses in maths, English, science and ICT. Some students follow a range of GCSE courses and options and where students cannot access these, we provide a set of option subjects within Learning Support. This year these are The John Muir award, Home Cooking Skills, ASDAN Life Skills Challenge and Bronze Arts Award.
There is an expectation that all students will complete some homework on a regular basis. This may be of a practical nature or reading for example. We encourage parental involvement and ask that you support but do not complete the work for your child. Students who attend some mainstream classes are expected to complete the homework set for that class and all students are expected to complete the volunteering and citizenship homeworks in years 7 and 8.
The opportunity for enrichment takes many forms including: visits and trips out of
school, sports events, developing the capacity for independent travel, community work, extra-curricular activities e.g. team-building, charity work, after-school based clubs, lunch-time clubs, practical lessons and use of the sensory room. We offer the opportunity for all students to take part in residential trips where they can experience life skills away from home.
Enrichment is a key factor in all that we do.
The aim of The Learning Centre is to support progress, provide short or long-term interventions, improve attendance and reduce exclusions by providing a structured and supportive working environment for students with the aim of enabling them to develop the skills, attitude or capacity for effective learning.
Staff meet regularly to discuss student progress and consider additional interventions that may be required.