Curriculum

At Barbara Priestman Academy the curriculum brings together the personal learning and thinking skills (PLTS) and subjects to form a coherent, innovative curriculum that provides students with clear  progression pathways and links learning to the real world. The curriculum meets statutory requirements at all key stages. We offer German as our MFL.

In Key stage 3, modules are planned around the cross curricular dimensions within the International Primary Curriculum. These cross curricular modules help students with ASD and complex needs make links between subjects and generalise skills across subjects.

The modules are;

  • Identity and cultural diversity – Independent enquirers
  • Global dimension and sustainability- Team workers
  • Creativity and critical thinking – Creative thinkers
  • Technology and the media- Self-managers
  • Enterprise
  • Healthy lifestyles- Reflective learners
  • Community Participation- Effective participators

For each cross-curricular dimension we have linked in a PLTS, these are shown above in bold. Enterprise education is taught through blocked study in enterprise days. The PLTS provide students with a structured teaching approach to developing skills required to learn. For example our students often need supporting and directing in group or team situations. ‘Team worker’ helps students to focus on successful team behaviours, practise taking on different roles in different contexts and reflect on their contribution to a team.  Students are taught in mixed age groups for the majority of the curriculum. There are ability groups in core subjects as in order to meet the needs of very diverse abilities within the same group. Students remain with their tutors for much of the week, and access specialist teachers for D&T, music, science and PE. This provides a level of consistency and continuity for students. Visits into the community and visitors from the community are planned into each module to broaden the learning experience.  In key stage 4 students begin to apply their skills in a range of contexts.  Lessons may address subject based objectives and/or PLTS objectives.Students are able to recognise and use these within their learning. The options provision for 14-16 year olds includes an offer of a small number of courses that enhances a mandatory curriculum offer. We aim to keep the curriculum as broad as possible so students are not restricted in 6th form opportunities.

All students will access English, maths, science,PSE, humanities, ICT, art, PE and art. Students are able to select qualifications from a range of options at pre-entry level, Entry level, level 1 and level 2 6th form provision Students can access up to three subject options. For example, photography and art course or outdoor education, first aid and sports leadership course. Maths and English will also be mandatory for all students who have not achieved a C grade at GCSE.. Students also opt to join one business area. There is a catering company, a performing arts company, a design and make company and an ICT/media company. The businesses are run as social enterprises bringing money into the school and encouraging students’ understanding of business and enterprise. They will also link into their option subject learning.

All students in the 6th form work towards the Duke of Edinburgh award.  This encourages students to develop a talent, make a difference to their community and the people in it, and challenge themselves to do things that they may not have done before and to develop an active lifestyle through participation in sports based activities.

 The curriculum in 6th form aims to provide students with opportunities to develop independence skills, skills for working life, and develop active citizenship skills. Work experience is part of the curriculum from year 10 onwards.

In year 10 students experience sheltered work placements within the school cafe where they learn some basic skills around customer service, health and safety and money handling. In year 11 all students have external placements with support as necessary.

We try to place students in an employment sector of their choice. In post-16 students have longer term work placements through our internship programme.