Key Stage 3 & 4

A Thematic Approach to the Curriculum

As a teaching staff we have decided to teach some areas of the curriculum at Key Stages 1, 2 & 3 through a thematic approach.  This approach has a number of potential advantages:

  • Reduced pressure on the timetable to allow more time for the Core Curriculum areas.
  • Child-centred.
  • Will help generalise skills.
  • Children will enjoy it more.
  • Increased flexibility.
  • Learning will be more practical.
  • It can be a powerful vehicle to promote cross-curricular skills including independence and the key skill areas of ICT, communication, problem solving (resilience), teamwork and improving own performance & learning.

 A theme will usually last half a term and will take place over at least one uninterrupted half-day session every two weeks.  Themes will be supported by visits outside the classroom.  The subject areas will either be fully integrated into the theme; support the theme – that is the subjects may be ‘stand alone’ but where possible the subject teachers will provide activities and learning experiences that will support the theme; or be completely separate from the theme – ‘stand alone’.  Which of these categories a subject falls into may depend on Key Stage:

Subjects integrated into theme

Subjects supporting the theme

Stand alone subjects

RE

History

Geography

D&T (KS 1 & 2)

Food Tech (KS 1& 2)

MFL (KS 1 & 2)

Art (KS 1 & 2)

Mathematics

English

Science

Citizenship

PSHE

PE

Music

D&T (KS 3)

Food Tech (KS 3)

MFL (KS 3)

Art (KS 3)

 

Mathematics

English

Science

Sex Education

Careers

Computing

 

Literacy

Numeracy

 

 

Key Stage 3

At KS3 the curriculum is divided into core and non core subjects.  Core subjects are taught as discrete lessons each week but also support the theme where possible.

 The non-core subjects are taught through a themed approach wherever possible, either by the class teacher or subject specialist.  Class and subject teachers combine their knowledge of the pupils and the subject area to organise coverage.  Adopting a themed approach allows pupils and teachers the flexibility to explore a topic in depth and devote more time to areas which spark interest, producing more inspired and creative work.

 To ensure that pupils receive their curriculum entitlement, teachers and the co-ordinator will ensure that all non core subjects are covered within the themes or in discrete lessons delivered during the span of the teaching year / Key Stage.

 

Careers, Education and Guidance

At Key Stage Three, students are taught CEG through PSHE, Citizenship lessons, Basic Skills, SEAL and Lifeskills lessons. Elements of each of these subjects develop a range of pre- work and independence skills, which have an impact upon social skills and self awareness. Before the end of Key Stage Three, students have an interview with the Connexions Advisor, from which a Careers action Plan is written. This aids the transition process to Key Stage Four and highlights possible college choices for the end of Year Eleven.

 Assessment at Key Stage Three.

The predominant assessment tool at Key Stage Three is B Squared. This assessment tool continues to chart the progress made by pupils, as they move from Key Stage Two into Key Stage Three.

This assessment tool is also used to base line new pupils at Lansbury Bridge, if they join the school in Key Stage Three.

 B Squared assesses pupil attainment up to Level Five of the National Curriculum. Pupils whom achieve beyond this are assessed using National Curriculum Levels.

 In core subjects, at the end of Key Stage Three, pupils may also be assessed, where appropriate, using the National Curriculum End of Year Tests.

 Staff assessment may be continual, but it is expected that they are updated prior to Parents’ Evening and the Annual Reviews.

 Moderation of pupil Levels is carried out by the Core Subject Leaders and this is done by sampling pupil work, which has been levelled by the class teacher according to the B Squared, or National Curriculum guidance.  Further moderation is planned with another local special school, to moderate standards between settings.

 Key Stage 4

At Key Stage Four, the curriculum is designed to offer a broad and balanced experience for pupils, alongside a more personalised curriculum to reflect the strengths and interests of each individual. An element of this is the opportunity to attend local colleges and engage in more vocational subjects, which pupils choose to suit their own preferences.

Alongside this, pupils are following a range of public examinations and award programmes, in many subjects, at an appropriate level.

The diversity and richness of these personal choices and the demands of the examinations means that the curriculum at Key Stage Four exists in a more condensed form.  A discreet amount of time is given each week in which pupils alternate between a Lifeskills programme and completing ASDAN and / or AQA Units of Accreditation.  Both these accredited schemes provide a vast range of opportunities and scope to follow a more individual line of enquiry whilst reinforcing skills and knowledge acquired in core and option subjects.

 

Careers, Education and Guidance

At Key Stage Four, Students are taught formal lessons on a half term carousel. Lessons build upon skills and experiences encountered at Key Stage Three.

 In Year Ten, pupils investigate their personal strengths in relation to employers’ needs and identify areas for their own personal development. Work is also carried out on stereotyping, where the changing face of the job market compared with traditional views are discussed.

 Students carry out an investigation of a career in a module of work entitled ‘Careers Detectives’. This topic aims to develop team work, skills such as using the telephone, planning a route to an employer and communication skills during a presentation of findings to their peers.

 In Year Eleven, Students are also taught on a half term carousel. The focus is on planning for and participating in an individually tailored Work Experience. Students are also guided through the on-line college application process, involving College visits, guest speakers and the completion of the form itself.  Students participate in the link programme with the college of their choice. Students then have a further interview with the Connexions Advisor, from which a Careers Action Plan is written to aid transition to college.

 Students also have the opportunity to participate, where appropriate, in a Personal Finance topic. This is aimed at developing a young person’s awareness of banks and how they work. Students also have the opportunity to investigate budgets and saving. This work is done alongside the completion of the pupil’s Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) forms prior to accessing Further Education.

 Curriculum Options at Key Stage 4

In the Transition Review at the end of Year 9, Pupils are offered a range of Options, some of which they will choose to follow during Key Stage Four. These Options are designed to:

  • Provide real choice for pupils to follow their interests through Key Stage 4.
  • Improve the work-related learning dimension of the Key Stage 4 curriculum.
  • Provide access to a wider range of vocational areas.
  • Provide access to external accreditation for all option areas.
  • Maintain a reasonably broad and balanced curriculum.

 

To achieve this, pupils will be offered the opportunity to access vocational provision made available through Penkford School and through St Helens College.  Vocational provision takes place each Monday at the appropriate venue. Pupils will attend either a morning or afternoon session and follow a selection of courses depending upon which college they choose to attend.

At Penkford College, pupils follow a course which allows them to experience Construction Skills, Painting and Decorating, Bricklaying, Tiling and Joinery. This course affords participating pupils a Foundation Certificate in Building Craft Occupations (FCBCO).

At the St Helens site, pupils follow a course which allows them to experience Clerical and Office Skills, Hairdressing / Beauty Therapy, Catering, Animal Care and Car Maintenance. Certification is via in –house participation awards.

We also offer our own school-based accredited courses at Key Stage Four in Citizenship, PE, Art, Humanities, Spanish and Design & Technology, all of which are accredited at Entry Level. Where appropriate, these courses may be followed through to GCSE.  Humanities and Music are also accredited via Unit Awards and Food Technology is accredited via BTEC.

Pupils with more complex needs follow a taster course of in-house activities during Year Ten. Activities include Cycling, Aromatherapy, Hair and Beauty and Massage. Pupils are then asked to select their preferred choices to follow in Year Eleven.  Accreditation is via in-house certification.

Assessment at Key Stage Four

The main assessment tool at Key Stage Four is B Squared. This assessment tool continues to chart the progress made by pupils, as they move from Key Stage Three into Key Stage Four.

This assessment tool is also used to base line new pupils at Lansbury Bridge, if they join the school in Key Stage Four.

 B Squared assesses pupil attainment up to Level Five of the National Curriculum. Pupils who achieve beyond this are assessed using National Curriculum Levels.

 In subjects offered at Entry Level and GCSE, pupils working at this level will also receive nationally recognised external assessment in the form of examination results.

 Staff assessment may be continual, but it is expected that they are updated prior to Parents’ Evening and the Annual Reviews.

 Moderation of pupil Levels is carried out by the Core Subject Leaders and this is done by sampling pupil work, which has been levelled by the class teacher according to the B Squared, or National Curriculum guidance.  Further moderation is planned with another local special school, to moderate standards between settings.

 

Accreditation at Key Stage Four

The range of accreditation available at Key Stage Four, reflects and celebrates the spread of abilities and skills of the pupils at Lansbury Bridge. Our curriculum is designed to meet the individual needs of each pupil and therefore accreditation encompasses a broad spectrum from nationally recognised certification to vocational and in- house certificates of participation. Opportunities to access the range of accreditation exist where they are appropriate to pupils’ abilities.

At Lansbury Bridge School we believe that the level of learning ability of pupils brings an entitlement to access an appropriate curriculum.  We therefore have two curriculum strands running through the school - a mainstream / modified curriculum for pupils of average ability or mild to moderate learning difficulties (MLD); and a developmental strand for pupils with severe learning difficulties (SLD) or profound and multiple difficulties (PMLD).

Pupils following the mainstream/ modified curriculum follow courses which lead to externally accredited, nationally recognised qualifications. Pupils at Key Stage Four will follow a two year course in a range of subjects, which begin with an Entry Level Certificate and may progress into a full GCSE course. At present, Lansbury Bridge offers Entry Level and GCSE courses in Mathematics, English, Science, Information Communication Technology, PE, Humanities, Citizenship, Spanish, Art and Design and Technology. BTEC accreditation is also offered in Food Technology. Vocational awards are also achieved, where pupils access off-site provision as part of their Personalised Curriculum.

Pupils following the developmental strand follow awards based courses, which are more task orientated and develop personal effectiveness skills. Many pupils follow the ASDAN programmes of Transition Challenge and Towards Independence, which are challenge based and provide real life contexts within which to promote the development of personal, social, independent, ICT and work related skills. AQA Unit Awards are also offered across many subjects at Lansbury Bridge.

All pupils also receive a range of in – house certificates that celebrate their achievements in areas such as attendance and participation in the school’s many sporting opportunities.

 Subject Time Allocation (Guidance)

 

Key Stage 3

 

Subject

Lessons / Week

English

4

Mathematics

4

PSHE / Careers / Citizenship

1

Science

2

ICT

1

Physical Education / Swimming

3

Music

1

Art

1

Modern Foreign Language

1

Food Technology

1

Design & Technology

1

Targets

1

Theme: History / Geography / Religious Education / Lifeskills

3

Singing Assembly / Tutor Time

1

Total:

25

 

 

Key Stage 4

 

Subject

Lessons / Week

English

3

Mathematics

3

PSHE / Careers / Citizenship – to include Singing Assembly (Music)

2

Science

3

ICT

3

Physical Education / Swimming

3

Art / Modern Foreign Language / Food Technology / Design & Technology / Humanities (internal options)

3

College-based options

2

Lifeskills / Targets / ASDAN

2

Religious Education

1

Total:

25

 

 

Options at Key Stage 4 – Modified Curriculum

 

Year 10

Year 11

Morning

Construction Industries –

Penkford Building Futures

 

Or

 

Service Industries –

St Helens College

Art

or

Modern Foreign Language

or

Food Technology

or

Design & Technology

or

Humanities

Afternoon

Art

or

Modern Foreign Language

or

Food Technology

or

Design & Technology

Construction Industries –

Penkford Building Futures

 

Or

 

Service Industries –

St Helens College

 

Options at Key Stage 4 – Developmental Curriculum

Year 10 & Year 11

Autumn Term

(All pupils to sample all options)

Group A

Group B

Morning

Cycling

Horticulture

Horticulture

Cycling

Afternoon

Music

Aromatherapy / Hair & Beauty

Aromatherapy / Hair & Beauty

Music

 

Year 10 & Year 11

Spring & Summer Terms

(Pupils to choose one option in the morning and one option in the afternoon – when not in an option Group to do Lifeskills / Basic Skills)

Morning

Lifeskills / Basic Skills

Lifeskills / Basic Skills

Cycling

Horticulture

Afternoon

Lifeskills / Basic Skills

Aromatherapy / Hair & Beauty

Music

Lifeskills / Basic Skills

 

 

 

 

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Lansbury Bridge School & Sports College, Lansbury Avenue, Parr, St Helens, Merseyside, WA9 1TB

Tel: 01744 678579 | lansbury@sthelens.org.uk