A full range of curriculum subjects are taught throughout key stage 3 and 4, more detailed information regarding the curriculum coverage for individual subjects can be found on the curriculum tab of the website.
The Learning Pathways
Every subject has a ‘Learning Pathway’ attached to it that enables students, staff, parents and carers to see the learning steps that are required and the pathways for each individual. The Learning Pathways map out the learning journey of each individual student with ambitious targets set for each individual. The Learning Pathways map the journey of a young person and enable all to see what next step the young person is required to make along their journey. The Learning Pathways have been developed by individual subject leaders and enable them to ensure knowledge and skills are embedded and that subject curriculum’s and cross-curricular planning is sequenced to develop those new knowledge and skills build upon what has come before in their learning journey.
Our curriculum aims to give our students access to a range of subjects and disciplines enabling them to become well-rounded British Citizens. Our ambition is for all our students to successfully and confidently contribute to society as they transition into adulthood. Students are fully supported over time in identifying their hopes and dreams for the future and we aim for them to leave the school with realistic aspirations that they are prepared and supported to achieve. Throughout their time at the school students experience and discuss the purpose of what they are learning in the context of everyday living and the world of work. The school utilises Play Therapy, ELSA, FIEPS and Thrive to support our young people in making progress with their personal development; access to these provision is determined by the school using our school database and Learning Pathways to target those young people that require the support.
Social Skills, Life Skills and British Values
We always intend to give students the skills, knowledge and confidence for independent living and these are carefully planned into opportunities across all curriculum subjects as well as through the CoPE curriculum and Asdan Awards, where the students gain credits for accreditation in this area of the curriculum. Life skills, Social Skills and British Values are covered throughout the curriculum and carefully planned into schemes of work across all subjects. Thrive is delivered to students on a need basis that is determined by the school, ‘Thrive’ enables our young people to grown in confidence, independence and socially and enables individuals to develop the life skills they require to improve their communication and resilience.
Literacy and Numeracy
A wide range of subjects are delivered with functional Mathematics and English opportunities covered throughout individual subjects. Literacy and numeracy form a strong base of our curriculum and students access ‘Key Skills’ teaching in these subjects on a daily basis providing an opportunity to overlearn and practice these fundamental skills; this includes phonics teaching, guided reading and the opportunity to practice basic maths skills at a level appropriate to the young person.
Opportunities to improve communication is planned across the curriculum to enhance students’ ability to access the curriculum and to become functional communicators. Speech and Language Blank Level Scores are tracked throughout a young person’s time in the school to ensure that all classroom staff can support our young people in making improvements in this area of the curriculum. Due to the communication difficulties our young people present we do not deliver discrete modern foreign language (MFL) sessions but rather include them in our teaching of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Culture (SMSC) teaching. We do this to enable our young people to communicate efficiently in the English Language primarily, an area for which our students are often significantly delayed. Students identified as requiring more extensive work on their communication will access the Speech and Language Therapist (SALT) and the school’s two own Speech and Language Therapy Assistants (SALTA) and bespoke packages put into place to support progress in this area that is fundamental to accessing the wider curriculum more fully and successfully. Both SALTA work within a classroom setting, one English and the other always within a practical setting to enable them to work with individuals on specific language development. Some subject areas, such as PSHE focus on communication to track progress within The Learning Pathways enabling the teacher to specifically work on this aim within the lesson.
The school seeks and utilises the strengths of the individual students and will always personalise provision for those students with special talents and interests where this is appropriate for the student. We work in partnership with other settings, including local mainstream schools and colleges to provide this provision if we are not equipped for the delivery of a specific area. Appropriate support, monitoring and safeguarding checks are carried out prior and during a student accessing such a provision.
Learning Outside the Classroom
At Mark Way School we believe that students are inspired, motivated and learn a great deal from meaningful experiences outside the classroom. We aim to create as many learning experiences outside the classroom as possible, this includes exploring potential career paths and these being discussed throughout individual learning opportunities within subjects. In doing this we hope to promote a greater understanding of our local community, the skills required to live successfully and the opportunity to experience them within the safety net of the school context. Additionally, we hope to engender our students with the virtues that we feel are important for success in life. We believe that by experiencing more of their immediate outdoor environment they will leave us with a greater sense of British Values and their place within British Community.
The Mark Way School is an extremely ambitious school; consequently, all of our students are able to access accreditation at a level appropriate to their ability. Students are challenged and emotionally supported in achieving excellent results in their accreditation to enable them to access learning in their chosen areas post 16. The school does not operate options but rather the school’s curriculum remains broad until the end of key stage 4 with qualifications gained across the range of subjects appropriately. The school does this to maintain variety and to avoid a narrowing of what the school offers within Key Stage 4; this is thought to be important as our young people have had gaps in their learning due to their Special Educational Needs.