At Laleham Gap we work alongside national curriculum requirements to enhance our own bespoke school based curriculum offer. We endeavour to constantly refine how we best meet the needs of our pupils. We use the word “curriculum” to encapsulate all the learning opportunities that are experienced by our pupils. We aim to cover many of the broader areas of learning to ensure we are providing a robust set of life skills to support current and future successes.
Curriculum and Assessment
Our curriculum incorporates the new national curriculum, accreditation requirements (new GCSE or equivalent qualifications) and development of life skills required for life after Laleham Gap. The rigour of these requirements has been fed into traditional national curriculum levels, thus ensuring we maintain high learning expectations whilst communicating progress in the way our community wanted and understood (parent consultation 2015/16). This will remain current for 2016/17 whilst we confirm the new measures and ensure we are confident that any change can add value to the great learning experiences and the core strength of our pupils making good or better progress.
DEAR Time (Drop Everything and Read) has been introduced in the Secondary provision to further support language development in all subjects and specifically to further accelerate the pupils’ progress in English (diminishing the difference so even more students are making good or better progress during key stage three and in line with other core subjects). We have committed to the complete community joining in this reading opportunity (20 minutes daily after lunchtime) to nurture the joy, function and encouragement to read and gain the inherent academic benefits that this brings.
In addition to DEAR time we have further developed to support the speech and language needs of our students by developing the MFL lessons to have greater meaning and impact upon the pupils learning and life skills in the secondary sector. We have moved to a “communication” lesson to focus on key skills that are verbal, non-verbal and language based to support improved communication skills that can be applied across the school and wider community.
Accreditation in Key Stage Four
We feel passionately that we continually prepare our students for both the next stage of their school careers and ultimately for life.
With this in mind we have been developing our offer of accredited outcomes for pupils in Key Stage Four, ensuring we are offering a broad range that accredit the excellent progress our pupils make. We make decisions regarding entries and levels for pupils on an individual basis, ensuring we offer an achievable pathway to gain outcomes that sensitively and realistically stretch and challenge our students. On occasions this can mean a stepping stone approach to qualifications which boosts confidence and offers a motivating, tangible award to continue on the pathway to further success. On the rare occasion we make the decision to offer multiple entries or against subjects that discount against each other we only do so in the best interests of the pupil.
Stretch and Challenge
We have been working to maintain consistently high expectations across the whole school for children’s work, requiring pupils to challenge themselves and show enthusiasm and interest. This has been highlighted by the school based reworking of the marking for improvement policy and embedding the in depth tracking and subsequent action planning to support progress across the school.
Lastly we are committed to a holistic approach to support our learning expectations. We focus on the removal of the barriers to success and value the continuing wrap around support work that embeds the restorative, inclusive and resilience building practises that aid our pupils in reaching their full potential. Our external partners are crucial in developing this supportive yet expectant culture of success; they include Project Salus, local Colleges, NHS, Social Services and Global Generation.
Our pupil’s ability to succeed now and in the future, matters to us and will continue to be a key principle as we constantly redefine and develop our strategies to promote success.