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Head of School: Wendy Killilea


Our Secondary department, KS3 and KS4, consists of seven classes and follow all three pathways.

Our sensory pathway, extends from our primary department. Students are taught through a variety of sensory activities, e.g. TACPAC, Intensive Interaction, yoga, Attention Autism, Sensory stories. Their communication is extended to include PECS and core boards.

Our Rainbow (KS3) and St Oliver (KS4) classes follow a combination of Sensory and Semi-formal activities. Life skills, such as cooking and travel training, forms part of their curriculum.

Our Semi-formal pathway extends from our primary department. The students focus on their social communication and life skills, e.g. cooking and travel training.

Classes in this pathway are St Mark (KS3), St Francis (KS3) and St Patrick (KS4).

Our Formal pathway only starts in KS3 and welcomes students who have a broader understanding of the world, where the activities are more subject and product based.

The students in the formal pathway do some ASDAN and AQA entry level accreditation. Classes in this pathway are St Luke (KS3) and St Clare (KS4).

The focus on Communication continues into the Secondary department with the support of Makaton, Communication devices and visuals. Social communication takes on a bigger role through the use of games, role-play and drama.

Reading environmental text during travel training becomes more of a focus and writing important information and filling out simple forms becomes part of most lessons.

Throughout the school, the focus in maths is very much on functional skills including quantity, money, shopping and number skills (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).

This learning is reinforced through mathematical games, problem-solving, individual /group tasks as well as working with IT equipment, which supports them to further develop key skills that they will need for life after school and to participate fully and independently in society. They further apply and practise their Maths skills in lessons such as;

  • Enterprise (creating items to sell and receiving the financial profits for their work).
  • Travel training (weekly travel via buses/trains and shopping/budgeting).
  • Cooking (using measurement, quantity, size, dates).
  • Tuck Shop (run by the students for the whole school as an opportunity to practice and further develop the everyday life skill of money exchange).

During ICT sessions, a range of topics are taught throughout the year; this includes basic Programming, Presentation, Word processing, Data handling, Computer modelling and Logo (sequencing and control).

ICT is also used to reinforce learning right across the curriculum. Students are also taught how to stay safe online; a concept that is reinforced in liaison with the PSHE and mentoring department. Where poor dexterity prohibits the use of pens and pencils, some pupils show progress when allowed to type.

During their cookery sessions, the students are encouraged to do as much independent work as possible and have the opportunity to cook a wide range of dishes. All students have access to cooking with the microwave, the oven and hob and a range of electrical equipment. The practical sessions range from making simple snacks to producing a two-course meal. Students are supported to develop their skills in a safe environment. Some classes participate in the ASDAN and AQA examination qualifications.

Our students receive a weekly music lessons where they have the opportunity to develop their singing voice and to explore a range of instruments including un-tuned and tuned percussion, drum-kit, keyboard and steel pans.

They also develop listening skills which is a key aspect of musical learning. All students attend a singing assembly once a week where they learn a variety of songs and hymns. There are regular opportunities for classes/individuals to help lead songs in assembly, whether this is through singing or signing

PE lessons promote positive attitudes towards health, hygiene and fitness. Our Specialist PE teacher, support the students to develop a range of skills and knowledge through a variety of fun activities, such as gymnastics, ball skills (handball, football, basketball), athletics and dance, to name a few.

Students also get the opportunity to take part in extended events, such as Football tournaments, Curling and Boccia competitions and Pentathlon swimming challenges.

Our Secondary students also have the opportunity to take part in Horticulture sessions. The students experience growing their own organic fruit and vegetables from seed to harvest and right through to cooking and eating fresh produce. They learn about where food comes from and about healthy eating backed up with practical skills and experiences.

For more photos – see our Gallery page under About us.

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