Curriculum and Teaching Methods

The curriculum comprises all the opportunities for learning offered by the school: the formal and informal; the extended curriculum; learning and teaching styles; relationships; the general quality of life established in the learning community as a whole. At Greenvale school we aim to provide breadth, balance, coherence and relevance and to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum.

The aims of Greenvale school are very similar to those of any other school. Our main aim is to provide a wide range of educational experiences and opportunities which will enrich our students' lives, promote the highest possible academic achievement and develop those skills which will enable each of our students to be as independent as possible.

These experiences will vary according to the needs and abilities of the individual student. For our more able students this will mean that in adulthood, they will be able to be relatively independent, with a minimum of help and supervision. The more profoundly disabled adult may well need help in even the basic skills of eating, toileting and dressing, but their independence will lie in the way in which they are able to relate to people and the world around them. As a consequence of this, we concentrate on developing awareness and responsiveness with these young people, and widening the range of situations in which they are able to achieve.

In practice, the school tries to encourage, at the appropriate level, the skills of choice, decision making, responsibility for self and others, social awareness and social competence.
 

KEYSTAGE 3

Keystage 3 is the first 3 years of secondary school, when the students are in years 7, 8 and 9.In year 7, the first year of secondary school we keep the curriculum similar to a primary model to help the students cope with the change from one school to another. Most year 7 students stay in their class group for all subjects and a topic approach is used eg ‘Life, living and growing’ with a new topic each half term. In years 8 and 9 the students spend some time in ability groups. They have a weekly Maths and English lesson in small groups of similar ability enabling them to focus on specific skills. They also have a PE lesson grouped by ability, for some this will be following a physiotherapy programme.
 

KEYSTAGE 4

Key stage 4 is the next 2 years of school, years 10 and 11. In these years, students continue to have an ability grouped Maths and English lessons as well as PE, and also have PSHE grouped to a similar level of understanding. Students in KS4 undertake Asdan Transition Challenge accreditation, to be completed by the end of year 11.
 

KEYSTAGE 5

Keystage 5 is the post 16 area of education for students in years 12,13 and 14. Students continue to study English, Maths, IT, PSHE and PE all of which the study in class groups. Students then study a range of foundation subjects taught in cross curricular modules. It is important to us that students who are able to choose have some level of choice within the KS5 curriculum. The modules are varied eg ‘Travel and tourism’, ‘Technology and our world’ ‘Fitness and the human body’ and combine the national curriculum subjects with a broader cultural view linked to work related learning where appropriate. Students in Keystage 5 undertake accredited course work at an appropriate level of ability including Functional skills in Maths, English and ICT and ‘Life and Living skills’ (OCR Exam board).

Careers education and work experience are provided, with most work experience taking place in the student's final two years at school. We aim to provide a range of possible work experience placements, some of which are in partnership with a local comprehensive school. Curriculum documents are held in the school and are available for inspection on request.

The teaching methods used vary with the age and ability of the student, but a particular emphasis is laid on activities being appropriate to the age of the student.
The more formal aspects of the curriculum, such as English and Mathematics are often reinforced through the more motivating practical areas of the curriculum. For example, number concepts can be taught through food technology, and art, drama, history, geography etc. can play a large part in the development of communication and language skills.

A wide variety of experiences, both in and out of school, are provided, to enable our students to practise the skills they have acquired, in realistic settings. This is particularly important in helping us to achieve the aim of independence. It is vital that our students are not simply educated in a protected and isolated environment, but are encouraged to become part of the wider community.

The range of activities and experiences offered varies as the student progresses through the school and may include swimming, educational visits to local facilities and places of interest, links with mainstream schools, adult education classes, school journeys and the use of mainstream school resources. There are also links with local comprehensive schools and colleges which consist of individual students coming into Greenvale on a regular basis.
 

SEX EDUCATION

Sex Education forms a part of the social personal and health education area of the curriculum. This is normally carried out on a structured basis and is closely related to the needs and abilities of individual students. The topics covered include socially acceptable behaviour, personal hygiene and relationships with others. Those areas which are considered to be more sensitive, such as human reproduction, are dealt with in consultation with parents and with their agreement.
 

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

The provision of Religious Education is based on the Lewisham Agreed Syllabus but reflects the learning difficulties of the students, There is a detailed scheme of work which covers Christianity and other major religions. There is a weekly assembly which includes all of the students in the school and in addition there are class assemblies. Assemblies aim to provide situations in which the students can share with others their experiences and successes and participate in a large group. It also helps to develop a sense of "belonging" in the school. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education or Assemblies.