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 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. The statement of special educational 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.
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.
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.