The Secondary Phase aims to prepare students for adulthood by:
- Providing individual teaching programmes for students who benefit from an autism-friendly learning environment
- Enabling the best possible learning outcomes for each student, externally accredited where appropriate
- Moving each student forward in their development of social and communication skills, within a safe and supportive environment
- Enabling students to experience personal fulfilment through celebrating success
- Enabling students to develop increased awareness, engagement and understanding of the world around them, to empower them to develop as responsible, positive contributors to society.
Learning in the Secondary Phase
“Students’ achievement is outstanding because all students, whatever their learning difficulty or disability, are given work that stretches them. Also, students benefit from the very wide range of learning experiences provided by the school.” – Ofsted, March 2013
There are five classes that make up the Secondary Phase. Each class is led by a teacher and several teaching assistants, who support students along their learning journeys.
The pace of learning and support is guided by each student’s needs through a personalised learning approach, supporting learning, communication, physical, medical and health needs, amongst others. Classes in the Secondary Phase adopt a ‘Total Communication’ approach using Signalong and ‘Communicate in Print’ symbols.
Additional support for learning is provided in a number of ways, depending on the needs of the student. This additional support can include:
- Support from classroom staff regarding learning approaches and interventions
- Use of sensory equipment in each class such as weighted blankets and ball-chairs
- Individual and small group work, including with the on-site speech and language therapist
- Use of communication systems such as PECs
- Multi-sensory approach to learning
- Therapeutic input such as massage and music therapy
- Support and input from a range of other professionals where set out as part of a students’ EHCP provision.
The secondary phase places a strong focus on success is the basis for a positive learning environment and supports students in developing:
- Personal fulfilment
- Pride and esteem
- Respect for the achievements of others
Individual rewards systems are used for each student depending on their requirements. These successes as well as qualifications and awards, can contribute towards each student’s record of achievement.
Working together to achieve
Working in partnership with others is key in achieving the best possible outcomes for all students. We recognize the value of:
- Close partnerships with parents and carers, including daily communication via the home-school book
- Input from other professionals to help meet student needs as set out in the EHCP
- Helping students to develop skills to work collaboratively with those from other classes across the school
- Enabling students to work with others for spiritual, moral, cultural and social learning and for events such as arts week, healthy schools week and autism awareness week.
- Working with the local community so students can relate what they are learning in school to the real world
- Input from Adele Miller, who provides our young people from Year 9 upwards, with access to Information, Advice and Guidance for Post 16 options
- Links with Post 16 providers through our Future Pathways Evenings
“The Secondary Phase curriculum is planned to ensure breadth and balance, entitlement and opportunity for all of our learners.” – Ofsted, March 2013
The Secondary Phase offers a broad, balanced, age-appropriate curriculum reflecting students’ learning entitlement whilst recognising individual needs and stages of development. The school recognizes the achievements of all of its students and a wide range of accreditation is available that reflects students’ achievements at an appropriate level.
For all of our students, we believe that learning is most effective when it takes place in context, is active and social and where learners are encouraged to be reflective, enabling them to grow in confidence as learners, to be as independent as possible in their adult lives. The secondary phase curriculum at Springwood, offers varied, creative opportunities for young people to become involved in the school community that range from involvement in eco-projects and recycling, volunteer work within the local community and running class business enterprise tasks and activities.
Student progress is regularly monitored to ensure that students achieve as much as possible in meeting their individual targets that focus on their next stages for development. This supports the identification of gaps in learning and planning for learning opportunities that ultimately lead towards entry for awards and qualifications, most of which take place at Key Stages 4 and 5.
Students working in the secondary phase follow a broad, balanced, differentiated and relevant curriculum, incorporating National Curriculum core and foundation subjects, Religious Education, Personal & Social Education and Citizenship. There is a strong commitment to developing literacy, language and numeracy skills as well as encouraging students to develop communication skills, self-control and independence as preparation for life-long learning. A programme of careers and work related learning also runs through the Secondary Phase with students receiving regular support from careers advisor Adele Miller from year 9 upwards.
Learners work towards a range of external awards and/or qualifications suited to reflect their level of achievement to celebrate their success and to help them access the next step of their education and training, as appropriate.
The range of accreditation in the Secondary Phase currently includes:
Key Stage 3
- National Curriculum
Core and foundation subjects, Religious Education, Personal & Social Education and Citizenship.
- ASDAN – New Horizons
New Horizons is an activity-based curriculum resource which supports the delivery of PSHE, Citizenship and Careers Education. The activities also offer an opportunity to develop communication and numeracy skills in a life skills setting. This is not a qualification in itself but it can be used to support an Entry Level 1 qualification in Personal Progress.
Key Stage 4 and 16+
- Entry Levels
Entry Level courses are pre-GCSE qualifications. They are structured as Entry Level 1, 2 and 3. Entry Level qualifications are available in most academic subjects. Springwood students have gained Entry Level certificates for Functional Skills English, Maths and ICT. They have also achieved Entry Level science and history.
- Unit Awards
AQA Unit awards are short courses for which students produce a unit of work which results in them achieving a certificate. There are thousands of different Unit Awards covering a wide range of topics and catering for a range of abilities.
- BTEC Home Cooking
BTEC Home Cooking aims to give learners the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy cooking meals at home. Learners will gain understanding of how to economise when planning meals to cook at home. The unit will encourage learners to transfer skills learnt to other recipes to continue cooking for themselves and their families and to inspire others by passing on their knowledge. The unit is based on the chef Jamie Oliver’s proposition that being able to cook is an essential life skill which empowers people to make changes that have benefits to health and wellbeing.
GCSE qualifications are available in a range of subjects. If it suits their ability, students will be encouraged to take English and Maths GCSE along with any suitable options.
- ASDAN New Horizons
This accreditation are aims to support a student’s future pathway and life and living skills. The activities offer an opportunity to develop communication and numeracy skills in a life skills context.
- OCR Life and Living Skills
This accreditation supports future pathways and life and living skills. This is achieved through the completion of units of study covering a wide range of skills from social to work to leisure to independent living. All of these are developed in a life skills context alongside functional numeracy skills and communication.
Preparing for transition and next steps
“Students leave school having become much more confident, independent and socially aware young people.” – Ofsted, March 2013
On reaching the end of Year 11 there are a number of options available to the young people at Linwood School. All young people will have to stay in education or training until they are 18 years old. There are a number of choices available.
Destinations of students will depend on the needs of individual students. These include Post 16 at Springwood, Summerwood College and Linwood’s CHI programme as well as a number of local colleges and other types of provision that may meet the individual needs of students more appropriately.