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Subjects and Curriculum

Thrive Pathway:

The Thrive Pathway is for students who have more complex learning difficulties, including those with profound and multiple learning difficulties. Students within the Thrive Pathway usually stay at Elms Bank from Year 7 until the end of Year 14; this includes three years within Elms Bank College. At the end of Year 14 students typically move from Elms Bank into Further Education and undertake appropriate courses suitable for their needs.

Within Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 the curriculum looks quite different to the traditional curriculum which other learners in the school follow. It is split into 6 key areas: Independent Living, Communication and Literacy, Cognition and Thinking, Cultural Studies, Creative Studies and Movement; each of these areas encompasses other curriculum areas and each is presented in a more sensory way. At KS4 the students are able to complete an ASDAN certificate in Personal Progress. Students in KS5 extend all their previous learning and aim to achieve a Diploma in Personal progress by the end of Y14.

Please click here to see information about the Thrive Curriculum in more detail.

All students have access to 5 PSHE drop down days in which they experience and explore activities based on British Values, Diversity, Internet Safety, Emotional Well-Being/Self Image, and Drug and Alcohol Awareness; these areas are all presented in an appropriate way for the students and all the learning takes place through sensory activities.

Wider curriculum opportunities are celebrated and captured within each student’s personalised Applied learning Passport. All these opportunities are documented within the passports, showing their involvement within extra-curricular activities, for example, clubs, arts week, the school play, sporting events, PSHE drop down days and residentials.

Explore Pathway:

The Explore Pathway is for students who are able to leave Elms Bank to seek supported living and employment. Students in the Explore Pathway may leave Elms Bank at Year 14 to attend an external college course or they may seek employment through a supported internship programme. Very often students within the Explore Pathway need longer within a college environment to develop the skills needed to be able to go into employment.

From year 7, the Explore Pathway prepares students to study for a range of qualifications mostly at Entry Level (or equivalences). Some students are able to study for GCSE Art and BTEC Cooking.

They study the following range of subjects at Key Stage 3:

English

Maths

Science

Computing

Product Design

Food Technology

Art

Music

Drama

PE

Independent Living

Cultural Studies

At Key Stage 4 they study the following:

English

Maths

Science

Computing

Product Design*

Food Technology*

Performing Arts*

Art*

PE

Respect

*option subjects

Independence and communication underpins all the curriculum and all students are supported by SALT programmes that run throughout the curriculum.

All students have access to 5 PSHE drop down days in which they study British Values, Diversity, Internet Safety, Emotional Well-Being/Self Image, and Drug and Alcohol awareness.

Wider curriculum opportunities are celebrated and captured within the students personalised Applied Learning Passport. Within this document students record their involvement within extracurricular opportunities for example: clubs, arts week, the school play, sporting events, PSHE drop down days and residentials.

Please click here to see information about the Explore Curriculum in more detail.

Inspire Pathway:

The Inspire Pathway is for students who are able to leave Elms Bank to seek employment. Students in the Inspire Pathway may leave Elms Bank at Year 11 to attend an external college course or they may stay on within our college provision but seek employment through a supported traineeship/apprenticeship.

From year 7, the Inspire Pathway prepares students to study for a range of qualifications at GCSEs, BTECs, and Entry Levels (or equivalences).

They study the following range of subjects at Key Stage 3:

English

Maths

Science

Computing

Product Design

Food Technology

Art

Music

Drama

PE

Cultural Studies

At Key Stage 4 they study the following:

English

Maths

Science

Computing

Product Design*

Food Technology*

Performing Arts*

Art*

PE

Respect

*option subjects

Students within the Inspire Pathway are encouraged to be as independent as possible, and many of our students are successful independent travellers at KS4.

Independence and communication underpins all the curriculum and all students are supported by SALT programmes that run throughout the curriculum.

All students have access to 5 PSHE drop down days in which they study British Values, Diversity, Internet Safety, Emotional Well-Being/Self Image, and Drug and Alcohol awareness.

Wider curriculum opportunities are celebrated and captured within the students personalised Applied Learning Passport. Within this document students record their involvement within extracurricular opportunities for example: clubs, arts week, the school play, sporting events, PSHE drop down days and residentials.

Please click here to see information about the Inspire Curriculum in more detail.

Specialist Provision:

The Specialist Provision is for students who have ASD and other related difficulties and includes those with Sensory Processing Disorders. These students access a lot of their bespoke curriculum within our Specialist Provision Department which is in a very secure and quiet area of the school building. Students within Specialist Provision usually stay at Elms Bank from Year 7 until the end of Year 14. At the end of Year 14 students typically move from Elms Bank into Further Education and undertake appropriate courses suitable for their needs. The whole department is underpinned by TEACCH principles which provide students with structure and clear organisation of their school day. TEACCH relies on 5 basic principles, all of which are used within our Specialist Provision: Physical Structure (clearly defined classroom layout), Scheduling (visually setting up a student’s day in small chunks), Work Systems (this clearly sets out what is expected within a lesson), Routine (following set schedules and work systems) and Visual Structure (a complete visual approach gives students a clear understanding of the world around them).

Independence and communication underpins all the curriculum and all students are supported by SALT programmes that run throughout the curriculum.

Students within Specialist Provision are linked to the same curriculum pathways as the rest of the school. Therefore students within Specialist Provision access the different pathways depending on their level of need and ability. Students are either linked to Inspire, Explore or the Thrive pathway and follow a range of subjects. Please see the individual pathway descriptions.

The curriculum within KS4 has greater emphasis on developing life skills and work related learning. Some students follow personalised timetables which give them opportunities to spend time with other classes in the main body of school.

All students have access to 5 PSHE drop down days in which they experience and explore activities based on British Values, Diversity, Internet Safety, Emotional Well-Being/Self Image, and Drug and Alcohol Awareness.

Wider curriculum opportunities are celebrated and captured within each student’s personalised Applied learning Passport. All these opportunities are documented within the passports, showing their involvement within extra-curricular activities, for example, clubs, arts week, the school play, sporting events, PSHE drop down days and residentials.