The Key Stage 3 Curriculum focuses on supporting students in learning to learn. Students are supported to adjust to a secondary school environment by developing their independent learning, communication and social interaction skills.
Students are taught how to learn in different specialist rooms including cooking in the Food Tech room, the Art room, Music room, Drama room and Science room. We have high expectations of students’ independence, especially in their learning. We teach students how to use work stations, work systems such as TEACCH and schedules to promote independent learning.
There is a strong emphasis on establishing a viable, age appropriate communication system that the student can use both within school and the wider community. All students learn Makaton signs and key communication strategies so that all members of the KS3 community can communicate with each other.
Through the Zones of Regulation program, delivered as part of Year 7 Club, students learn to improve their own emotional regulation and how to respond to the emotions of others, especially during less structured times such as lunch and break. A key part of this is that students are taught about their own autism. Students are taught to be better understand their own sensory needs and how to respond to them. Students of all abilities are explicitly taught how to improve their play and social skills and there are specific lessons on turn taking, sharing, developing rules for the different playground games, negotiating and repairing friendships.
The KS4 curriculum helps to prepare students to become young adults. Students are now familiar with Spa routines and expectations. They learn to apply these skills to different situations and develop skills that foster a new level of independence.
New experiences in KS4 include
- Design and Technology
- Fitness suite
- First accredited qualification: ASDAN Transition Challenge
- Opportunities for accreditation in English, Maths and Science.
There is an emphasis on preparing students for their next steps including beginning accredited courses, improving independent travel skills and increasing independence in all areas.
Students are expected to work with a higher degree of independence whether that is researching a topic for English using a variety of sources or completing a schedule of TEACCH activities and informing a member of staff when finished.
Student’s skills are generalised to the local community and students will visit local shops and amenities to develop their communication skills with a range of safe strangers as well as using the School House Café to practice those skills in a controlled environment.
Students are encouraged to view themselves as role models to those in KS3 and will have greater responsibilities around the school including looking after the library and the school’s chickens.
Students Education, Health and Care plan targets will focus more on skills students need to be independent in the community and these often underpin learning in Social Communication, PSHE and Writing strands in English.
The Key 5 Stage Curriculum
In Key Stage 5 students are recognised as young adults. The focus of the curriculum is to prepare students for the future and the transition to adulthood.
A curriculum for independence and adulthood.
Independence and responsibility are increased in KS5 through jobs around the school, work experience in The School House Café and the college link programme.
Students develop their travel skills through off-site learning. Activities can include attending local sports centres, residential trips, trips to museums, galleries and theatres.
The KS 5 curriculum responds to students’ interests. The options programme is developed to offer accredited courses based on pupils’ interests. Students have opportunities to select the courses of their choice as well as trying out new experiences. A broad range of accredited units are also available through the ASDAN Personal Progress course.
All aspects of the KS5 curriculum lead to accreditation. The range of accredited courses includes:
- Functional skills in English, Maths and Computing
- Creative Arts and & Media: students choose from ceramics, advertising, art and design, photography, music, sports, humanities, modern foreign languages, textiles and design and technology
- Healthy Living and Fitness
- ASDAN – Employability
- ASDAN Personal Progress-English, Maths, Enterprise and Healthy Living.
College link programme
Students are supported to prepare for their next steps in education, training or employment through the link programme at The Park College.
Weekly attendance at the college gives Spa students an experience of college life. They take part in a broad range of enterprise and work experience activities including catering, event management and hospitality and bike maintenance.
Students have the chance to
- work in the broader community
- learn how to work with new people
- extend social communication skills
- take on new challenges.