The Curriculum at Penkford School supports the mission statement ‘Success Every Day’ by giving pupils the opportunity to learn and develop in a supportive and creative environment in which there is a focus on recognising achievement and supporting progression.
Penkford school offers a Middle School model of education for pupils in Y4-Y8. This launched in May 2019. Pupils Y9-Y11 engage in our 14+ Hub which launched in September 2019. This provision is very personalised and groups are small to allow for intensive support.
Penkford’s bespoke curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils re-engage with formal education upon admission, and that they feel safe and happy within our learning environments, taking into account our school’s unique characteristics and the complex range of SEMH needs which we cater for. We aim to build pupils’ aspirations by demonstrating possibilities for their future lives.
The curriculum is personalised, creative, innovative and flexible, allowing for the needs of each pupil to be met. Physical and emotional wellbeing are prioritised within our curriculum design allowing children opportunities to exhibit spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding.
The school is committed to providing a broad and balanced curriculum, based on the National Curriculum for those pupils of compulsory school age. This is blended with opportunities for pupils to develop functional skills, independence skills and skills for working life. Some subjects are taught discretely while others are covered via a creative curriculum approach. The timetable and Curriculum are reviewed annually to ensure compliance with current legislation and guidance whilst considering best practice within special needs education.
The curriculum is planned to provide continuity and progression. It enables pupils to make connections and transfer skills and to think creatively and solve problems. It also develops pupils’ capacity to work independently and collaboratively.
In addition to the academic curriculum, individualised timetables often provide opportunities for pupils to withdraw from some lessons to participate in Additional Needs intervention sessions, Personal Development sessions, multisensory play sessions and Draw and Talk therapy sessions with designated teachers, learning mentors and teaching assistants.
PSHCE and SMSC
PSHCE is a timetabled session every week which follows a topic-based long term plan.
Assemblies and PSHCE lessons on important cultural and religious festivals and commemorative days ensure a school wide understanding of the world around us.
The development of social and communication skills is also a key part of the PSHCE/SMSC curriculum and we have discrete, weekly Communication and Social Skills (CSS) lessons timetabled for each Key Stage.
Further information on SMSC curriculum and development can be found in the SMSC curriculum overview and SMSC Policy.
Sex and Relationships Education
Sex and Relationships Education is taught in PSHCE and Science lessons at a level appropriate to the level of understanding of the young people.
Parents may request that their child is excused from Sex Education.
Further information on SRE curriculum can be found in the Sex and Relationships Education Policy.
We meet the needs of our more vulnerable pupils by working in partnership with local Police Officers, the Youth Justice Service, Career Connect Service and the Young Peoples’ Drug and Alcohol Team to enrich our curriculum offer and provide targeted, preventative, group and 1:1 sessions.
Further information on Safeguarding curriculum can be found in the Safeguarding Policy.
The curriculum is enriched by educational trips and visits, external visitors to school and opportunities within the timetable to engage with new experiences for example: Yoga, Photography, Forest School, gardening, educational visits to museums and art galleries, international WW1 History trips to Belgium and France and 1:1 music tuition provided by St Helens Arts Service.
We endeavour to provide opportunities for pupils who are identified as having a gift or talent to develop their skills and abilities in that area.
Learning outcomes are accredited via a range of achievement schemes, awards, qualifications and exam boards. Examples include: AQA unit award scheme, Arts Award, Entry Level qualifications, Functional Skills Level 1 and 2, BTEC, GCSE. Subject teachers use professional judgement and enter pupils, in consultation with SLT and parents, for qualifications at a level which is accessible but also stretches and challenges pupils to achieve to the best of their potential.
Further information on our current qualification offer can be found in the subject overview documents.
Assessment and Qualification
A whole school common approach to planning and assessment has been introduced during our curriculum transition year.
An assessment package called Assertive Mentoring is used in KS2. The Doddle package is used as a tool to help planning at KS3 and KS4.
Entry Level specifications inform planning for KS3 with the aim to get as many pupils as possible to attain Entry Level 1, 2 or 3 by the end of KS3.
Pupils in our 14+ Hub provision are either entered for GCSE or Functional Skills, BTEC or AQA Awards.
AQA Awards can be taken at any point in the school year and at any age.
Pupils who are on the HPPP or ST*RS projects can complete Entry Level Certificates in English and Maths. Note: Current ST*RS and HPPP pupils have completed some or all of entry level maths already. They will be focusing on Level 1 qualifications if they have completed this.
This way curriculum planning ensures that what is studied at KS3 will yield qualifications.
The T&L Hub takes place every Wednesday 3.00pm -3.30pm. This is an opportunity for teachers to share best practice and share pedagogy around curriculum planning and assessment.
To find out more about our curriculum please contact our Acting Headteacher Dave Francis.