Education

Where possible, the curriculum is shaped with each student’s full time prior education provision so that we minimise disruption to learning and maximise opportunities for students to return to full time education if they have not been accessing this prior to admission. This means that each student has a bespoke individual learning plan which is tailored to meet their own needs.

We have also developed a range of schemes of work for each key stage and subject which teachers draw on, as appropriate, to ensure learning is relevant and always pitched at the right level based on individual need. However, although we set out our schemes of work by age and ability, more often than not we teach students based on their own learning goals as set out in their individual learning plans.

We aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for students.

We prioritise the core subjects of English, mathematics, science and ICT.  We also provide for young people to undertake creative learning opportunities. British values and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are at the heart of everything we do.

The curriculum is complemented by integral therapeutic activities delivered by the psychology and occupational therapy teams, where appropriate. Timetables reflect this broad range of provision.

At Longdon Hall School we believe that the word ‘curriculum’ should be interpreted in its widest meaning. It is every planned learning experience the pupils have as a member of the school, both learnt formally within a lesson and informally outside the classroom throughout the whole School day. It is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning, personal growth and development. Teachers, support staff and instructors structure these experiences to ensure that they have the most positive effect on the attainment, progress and personal development of all pupils.

The overall aim of the curriculum is to enable all the young people at Longdon Hall School to become Successful Learners, Confident Individuals and Responsible Citizens.

At the School we offer a flexible, personalised, engaging skills based curriculum providing both choice and challenge focussed on developing emotional literacy, core subject knowledge and offering a wide range of accredited outcomes. There is a strong focus on the social and emotional aspects of learning through the delivery of a range of PHSE/social development programmes. The curriculum is delivered by qualified, skilled, empathetic and experienced staff operating in a warm, safe, nurturing and state of the art learning environment.

As part of the admissions process and after a place has been confirmed a range of data and information is forwarded to education staff prior to the young person arriving. This information will include education, social and medical history, attendance, safeguarding issues and involvement of other agencies.Educational health care plan needs will provide further information relating to current attainment as a minimum in core subjects.

On admission to the school each young person will complete a full baseline assessment. Data from this assessment will be distributed to education staff and will reflect cognitive ability as well as current assessment. Where the statement received indicates, or where the generic baseline assessment indicates, there will be further targeted screening, where necessary with specialist support. The baseline data is used to set realistic targets for progress across the curriculum and in relation to the key learning needs of the individual. The targets form a key part of individual plans including education plans, behaviour plans, positive handling plans and individual risk assessments.

Our beliefs

  • We believe that young people have a right to excellent quality education and that this plays an important role in improving their well-being
  • We believe that all young people have a right to feel safe and secure
  • We believe that everyone should be valued for who they are and know they have a voice and will be listened to
  • We believe that everyone has a right to be included within the wider community on equal terms
  • We believe that learning should be stimulating, challenging and relevant for all
  • We believe that all staff should be ambitious about what they can achieve in their role and be empowered to impact on pupil outcomes
  • We believe that fundamental British values should be at the heart of everything we do.

We want all pupils to enjoy learning so we aim to make it fun!

Our curriculum:

  • Is managed and differentiated for individual needs
  • Promotes British values and social, moral, and cultural development
  • Ensures the acquisition of skills in literacy, numeracy and ICT for all young people
  • Is broad, whilst giving due attention to the core subjects, particularly for those students who attend on a part time basis
  • Is creative and relevant to all pupils
  • Is assessed, recorded and evaluated and involves the pupils in self-assessment (Assessment for Learning)
  • Is well resourced
  • Reinforces the links between subjects so that learning connections are made across curriculum boundaries
  • Is delivered in line with our equal opportunity and racial and cultural diversity policies.

To deliver the curriculum, teachers employ a variety of teaching methods and styles.

Pupils are taught in small groups, and on an individual basis depending on the needs of the pupils. This approach allows teachers to match curriculum based tasks to the ability and interest of individual pupils. Students are occasionally taught on a one-to-one basis on the wards because of their individual health needs.

The curriculum is reviewed on an annual basis by the board.

Vocational and Careers Guidance

Longdon Hall School endeavours to provide all pupils with a range of opportunities to participate in a vocational environment. A clear vocational philosophy exists at Key Stage 4 as careers and guidance is encouraged as part of a whole school approach in education, care and therapy.

Emphasis on vocational opportunities is being developed in PPW with the inclusion of horticulture, cycle maintenance, food technology, design and enterprise, mechanics and playing music.  Enterprise is encouraged in all areas of the curriculum and is taught discretely as Young Enterprise in Year 11. Enterprise is further encouraged through whole school charity events, community service and the community volunteer programme. Discrete careers and guidance are taught through Life Skills (Myself and the World of Work), English (EL Work Units) and Asdan ( World of Work Module). The Asdan Foundation for Work Award will give further accreditation and emphasis for this important area as a new PSD programme is developed in the school.

In Key stage 4 and beyond the emphasis is placed on the world of work, opportunity awareness, college experience and work experience. All 14+ pupils are interviewed to give guidance and encourage participation in College programmes. Pupils who are ready for work experience are supported with a suitable work placement as guided through outside agencies.

Personalised learning is supported by Individual personal profiles to encourage pupils to pursue areas of interest and gain experience. Teachers, instructors and learning support staff give valuable support and guidance as they support the individual pupil needs. Further extensive careers support and guidance are available through: ‘Preparation for Work’ unit of PSD programme, planned visits and discussions and advice from local Connexions Advisor (school and personal), Outside Agencies and Parents / Carer involvement as opportunities are provided for pupils’ individual needs and future transitions.

It is the aim of the school that all pupils should leave the school with a suitable placement. The aim is for all Year 11 pupils to actively apply for college placements, training schemes or jobs whilst in their final year.

Promotion of British Values

Background and Rationale

The Department for Educatioon have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”

The Prevent Strategy recognises the importance of schools in counter-terrorism activities. More recently, concerns about the inappropriate actions of some schools were highlighted in the Birmingham Trojan Horse case, where a number of OFSTED inspections revealed a failure to promote British values adequately in some schools, meaning that young people in them were vulnerable to radical and extremist ideas. Consequently, all schools need a clear statement of British values and how they are promoted through the school’s curriculum.

What is meant by “British Values”?

We believe that the following list exemplifies some of the values held dear by British citizens:

  • Democracy
  • Respect of the rule of law
  • Appreciation of the rights of other citizens
  • Individual liberty
  • The promotion of opportunities for all
  • Support for those who cannot, by themselves, sustain a dignified life-style
  • Religious tolerance and respect for cultural diversity
  • Treating others with fairness
  • Participation in community life
  • The contribution to, as well as the benefit from, cultural and economic resources

Although this list is not exhaustive, we believe it encapsulates the values we promote in our school.

Forest School Ethos

The ethos of Forest School is based on a fundamental respect for children and young people and for their capacity to instigate, test and maintain curiosity in the world around them. It believes in children’s right to play; the right to access the outdoors (and in particular a woodland environment); the right to access risk and the vibrant reality of the natural world; and the right to experience a healthy range of emotions, through all the challenges of social interaction, to build a resilience that will enable continued and creative engagement with their peers and their potential. It is an approach to education that makes use of the outdoor environment to create a unique learning vehicle.

Forest School sessions provide increasingly diverse opportunities for children to benefit from a supportive curriculum that can help children build positive values and attitudes about themselves, about learning, and the environment in which they live. Children are given appropriately challenging and achievable tasks that build their confidence, skills and independence, and are given the time to thoroughly explore their thoughts, feelings and relationships. This time and reflective practice develops inter and intrapersonal skills, which are well documented as being directly linked to learning skills.

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