Woodpecker Court is committed to providing a curriculum at KS3, KS4 and KS5 that is accessible to our learners, explicitly linked to the informal learning programme, delivered at the appropriate level, and that provides appropriate progression for each individual learner. The curriculum recognises that our learners have struggled with mainstream education and as a result their self-esteem and confidence is low. As an alternate approach, our timetable is written to balance informal learning outside of the classroom with classroom delivery, and the experiences had are then linked to the classroom practice. Our aim is to enable learners to increase their confidence and self-esteem through a success culture, positive experiences, working with others and gaining qualifications to make them functional in the workplace. This intent takes into consideration the evolving needs of what are vulnerable learners; therefore as with any learner centred approach a degree of flexibility is required to ensure complete buy in from all parties, most importantly the learner.
The curriculum at Woodpecker Court refers to all the planned activities organised for our students in order to promote learning and personal growth and development. This policy also highlights the importance of our “hidden curriculum” whereby our students learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. The essential aim of the policy is that students are supported in their personal and social development in order that they can access learning opportunities provided and be prepared for the world outside formal education. To that end English and Mathematics are at the core of our educational provision alongside any additional specialist courses that the students are undertaking; every aspect of our school life promotes the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of our pupils.
KS3 students receive discreet delivery in English and Maths. They are then reassessed after two terms to identify progress as it is unlikely considering the changes that the vulnerable learner will have seen before coming to us, that any measurable academic progress will be seen within a shorter timeframe. They also participate in the Personal Development NCFE level 1 course as enrichment. All KS3 students are reviewed with the home school termly, with reintegration to mainstream or more appropriate provision to undertake the full National Curriculum the aim. All of this data feeds into each student’s Woodpecker Court Personalised Development Plan.
The KS4/5 curriculum is delivered according to the curriculum calendar below. We only deliver two subjects at the same time for two reasons. Firstly, as some of our learner cohort is transient, we want to maximise the chance of qualification completion. Secondly, due to the previous bad experiences of many of our cohort, we do not want to deliver multiple subjects all requiring terminal assessment at once to reduce anxiety. What is delivered to a learner depends upon both when in the year they are on programme and how long for, with their SEND needs being taken into consideration as well as their vulnerabilities. Our formal learning outcomes are accredited by NCFE or through Pearson BTEC. In KS5 the vocational options of Professional Cookery and Land Based are offered at both Levels 1 and 2.
English – Functional Skills English
Maths – Functional Skills Maths
Enterprise – Introduction to Enterprise level 1
Occupational – Occupational Studies for the Workplace level 1
Employability – Employability Skills level 1
Personal Development – Personal Development level 1
Food – Food Level 1 or 2
Animal – Animal Care Level 1 or 2
Beauty - Level 2 NVQ Beauty Therapy
For vocational subjects’ learners will be entered for either level 1 or level 2 according to ability in the vocation and initial English and Maths assessments. Vocational subjects will be taught in mixed ability groupings, to stretch the less able while still meeting the needs of those most able.
For English and Maths, learners will be placed into appropriate groups according to the outcome of the initial assessment and judgement against prior attainment. The appropriacy of this grouping will be continually assessed but will be formally assessed after six weeks. Prior attainment will be the driver for entry decisions, this may by informed by the baseline assessment.