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Learning/Curriculum

Rationale

Students attending our KS4 provision are offered a curriculum of GCSE, NCFE, VTCT and BTEC subjects, additional qualifications and College placements. This curriculum has been carefully designed to prepare the young people well for their chosen Post 16 pathway, and to give them the best chance of success in their working life.

The Park ESC staff are committed to improving the life chances of young people through engaging them in learning that will enable them to achieve and excel.

All students are offered at least five GCSEs or equivalents, including English Literature and Language, Maths, Science, Business Studies and Art. Functional Skills in English and Maths will be offered to those who may find the GCSE courses too demanding or to those who do not have enough time to complete the course.

All students will achieve the ASDAN Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE) which is equivalent to a GCSE. CoPE is nationally recognised and is a wide-ranging qualification, the purpose of which is to enable candidates to develop and demonstrate personal, key and employability skills, to broaden their experience and manage their learning in a variety of real life contexts.

Also students complete the AQA Certificate in Preparation for Working Life as part of their preparation for their working life and career choices. By completing this qualification, they will also achieve the British Safety Council Level 1 qualification in Health and Safety in the Workplace.

Students receive an extensive programme of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) learning delivered daily during their Tutor group sessions. A PSHE programme in line with the British Values agenda underpins the whole curriculum.

All students have access to a wide range of courses through the 14-16 programmes at Oaklands College and other alternative providers in Hertfordshire. This gives them support during the transition from The Park ESC to College at the end of Year 11 as well as giving them priority over others when choosing their Post 16 courses. Many of the qualifications they achieve are progressive courses, enabling them to access the next level of qualification when they attend college full time.

At KS3 The Park ESC is governed by Pupil Referral Unit regulations, and as such is not legally required to deliver the National Curriculum. However, the curriculum that is offered is closely aligned to the National Curriculum.

A strong emphasis is placed on English and Maths in order to raise literacy and numeracy skills, as many of our pupils are low prior attainers in these areas. However we understand that English and Maths lessons are a common area of confrontation and issue for our students when they were at mainstream school therefore whilst students receive 3 lessons of English, Maths and Science a week they also receive literacy and numeracy through our hidden curriculum. For example students receive an extra science lesson a week in the guise of a gardening lesson. Students receive an extra English lesson a week in the guise of our Park Life curriculum which focuses on skills such as reading and speaking and listening through the use of current affairs topics. Finally students receive extra Maths lessons a week in the guise of our Park Life curriculum which uses project based work with a strong emphasis on numeracy for all students. This is coupled with extra 1:1 and intervention sessions for students who need extra support in their literacy and/or numeracy. This lessens the risk of refusal to engage with the timetable whilst still ensuring students follow a broad and balanced curriculum that meets their specific needs.