Students are provided with experiences around well-chosen works of literature that link with the school’s ethos and SMSC focus. This develops an understanding of emotions and provides an exploration of morality and literature from other times and cultures.
A range of creative writing topics and role-play tasks encourage students to develop their imagination, confidence and expressive vocabulary as well as a real love of literature.
In KS3 core literacy skills and phonetic understanding are developed. Students are taught in small, ability based groups.
In KS4 students work on developing their functional literacy skills in preparation for Entry Level English Functional Skills accreditation and to prepare them for life beyond school. They study an exciting range of texts, chosen for their relevance and potential to generate interesting discussion as well as their links to mainstream school’s curriculum. Where possible a few students are given the opportunity to study the GCSE English language curriculum.
All students begin the school day by reading in small, ability based groups. This structure has greatly benefitted progression in reading as well as helping to foster an interest in and enthusiasm for books. Reading, spoken language and literacy skills are essential for developing independence, confidence and student’s understanding of the world around them.
We help students to learn improvisational skills and to adapt their voices, body language, gestures and movements in order to explore and imagine different scenarios. Students are encouraged to use their imagination and creativity to create performances, develop their confidence and self-esteem and to enjoy their learning. Enabling students to start to understand other body language and tone of voice helps them to develop relationships. This promotes an understanding of social skills for our autistic young people.
KS4 students participate in an annual production which evolves from their ideas
Performances are always age appropriate and chosen for their potential to generate discussions relating to our strong emphasis on an SMSC focus. Productions contribute evidence for the Bronze Arts Award which involves student’s critiquing performances, evaluating their own work, researching their favourite actors and teaching drama skills to younger students. These activities help to develop student’s communication and independent research skills, as well as their confidence.
A weekly drama club provides opportunities for students to use their imagination to create scenarios for group improvisation, to direct others, develop social skills and, above all, have fun in a safe, trusting environment.
At The Park we offer access to a range of graded examinations enabling all students to follow a certificated AQA Entry Level course. Students working beyond this level are able to sit Edexcel Level 1 courses and Edexcel Foundation GCSE.
In KS3 student’s learning progresses through the NC subject content at appropriate levels for them. Four lessons a week cover Number, Measurement, Geometry, Statistics, Time and Money.The syllabus continues into KS4 with consolidation of subject content and an emphasis on securing time and money skills. We emphasise the teaching of Life Skills around time, money management, travel skills and measurement. We want to equip all our students with the basic numeracy skills to live as independent an adult life as possible. Groups of students are taken shopping to purchase best value goods, use self-service and staffed checkouts and develop the skills of paying and receiving change.
Despite students working at lower NC levels than their mainstream peers, we always ensure that content is delivered through age appropriate texts and resources. We provide individualised learning through practical activities. Adaptation, differentiation and specific maths language teaching enable students to reach their potential in maths regardless of their literacy levels.
The PE programme is designed to meet the needs of all students, offering a fully inclusive programme across the key stages.
Students are encouraged to participate to the best of their ability in a variety of individual and team, competitive and non-competitive sports and activities. Students develop their personal health and fitness levels, physical and social skills, self-esteem, respect and confidence.
In KS3 students learn and build on skills in order to develop the self-confidence and belief to enjoy taking part in sport. They learn to evaluate their own performance and that of others.
The programme in KS4 is a continuation of skill acquisition and development with the emphasis on knowing how to access sport and leisure opportunities for the future. Students regularly take part in off-site activities, use on-site fitness equipment and learn how fitness testing can help us improve health and fitness. Students may participate in sport’s leadership training and are also offered the Bronze level Duke of Edinburgh Award. External providers and sport’s coaches augment subject delivery.
In addition to a weekly PE afternoon, students are encouraged to take part in lunch time clubs and an outdoor gym is accessible to all throughout the school day.
PE is a high profile subject with achievements celebrated in weekly assemblies and at prize giving events. Prizes are awarded for each key stage for outstanding achievement in personal progress, excellence, sportsmanship and sport’s leadership.
As a special school with organised end of day transport, most inter and intra activities have to take place within school hours. However, the PE department has links to inclusive clubs and sport providers within the catchment area signposting students the opportunity to join a weekend sports or football club.
The Park School students are from families holding a range of beliefs from the many faiths represented throughout the world. Such rich diversity serves as a background for our students to develop their own beliefs and values.
In KS3 religious education enables students to explore the world’s major religions. Teaching in KS4 builds on this and focuses on social and moral issues. Students learn about views which are independent of religious belief and to consider the challenges posed by these beliefs and values. It supports them in developing and reflecting upon their values.
Through developing awareness and appreciation of different faiths, religious education encourages responsible attitudes towards other people. This awareness and appreciation assists in counteracting prejudice and intolerance.
Art and Design
Art and design is at the centre of a creative curriculum. Students experience a broad range of art, design and craft experiences aiming to develop a joy of creating and making art.
Whilst there is due regard for the development of skills our emphasis is on providing a means of self- expression, sense of achievement and a means of expression. This may be through a portfolio of work unique to their interests, life experiences and responses to art experiences explored in school or a GCSE in Art and Design.
The relaxed environment in Art sessions allows students to develop their language and use their communication skills to discuss art and the world around them. Regular visits to both local and national galleries as well as recreational art clubs in school demonstrates to our students how, looking at, and making art can be enriching life experience when they leave school.
Communication and Social Skills
All students receive a weekly Communication and Social Skills lesson, with planning and input from a Speech and Language therapist. Students receive direct and specific teaching of key language skills and social skills to enable them to think things through, manage their feelings and choose appropriate behaviour and social strategies.
In KS3 the focus is on supporting transition to secondary school, their learning and social aspects of school life. Y7 work in their tutor groups with Y8 upwards being grouped by their speech, language and communication need. In KS4 the emphasis is upon building on these skills to support work experience and prepare them for a smooth transition to post 16 placements.
Communication and social skills lessons support student levels of confidence,interaction and independence enabling them to participate more fully in lessons, all aspects of school life and life beyond school. They support literacy development, speaking and listening, phonological awareness, social skills, vocabulary development and comprehension.
Science at The Park allows students to understand the uses and implications of science today and in the future.
We bring a mixture of practical work and theory into all aspects of the curriculum.
We stress the relevance of science beyond the classroom and, in this sense, teach science as a fundamental building block for life beyond school. We seek to develop a life long love of learning and to empower students to think independently.
Science is a vibrant, ever-changing, relevant subject that affects every walk of life and this is reflected in how we teach and in the visits that we offer all our students.
In KS3 we offer topics in line with the National Curriculum to ensure breadth of experience. In KS4 our focus is on gaining qualifications and enquiry based learning through Entry Level Science and BTEC Level 1 Applied Science.
We are very proud of the range of musical opportunities available to the students. KS3 students participate in a weekly lesson that is linked to a themed unit of work. Students experiment with a range of percussion instruments and sing popular songs. In KS4 students are introduced to digital media studies. This includes composition, arrangements, recording and film making. Two therapists work in our music studio teaching guitar, singing and drumming skills on a 1:1 basis or with small groups. Students form bands that perform regularly in assembly and at events.
We use music as a medium to increase confidence, boost self-esteem, creativity and a sense of achievement. Fostering a love of music enhances student’s well-being and can equip them with a life- long leisure activity.
Students experience using a wide range of IT programmes to improve their computer skills and develop their use of technology. They will be able to develop a greater awareness of the impact of computers on their lives and create an interest and enjoyment of technology in the wider world. Students complete OCR accreditation in KS4.
Students are taught all aspects of E-safety to help control their on line experiences and keep them safe. We want our students to become responsible, competent and confident users of information and communication technology enabling them to adapt to rapid technological changes in society. The curriculum gives them the experience and basic understanding of coding and digital media. It links with art and music through music, film and video production.
Food Technology combines creative and practical activities with the principles of nutrition, hygiene and healthy eating. Students are taught life skills that they will need to prepare basic snacks and meals for themselves and others within a budget. They are given the opportunity to plan meals, shop for food and learn to cook a range of simple, healthy dishes. The design element is met through students selecting ingredients, adapting recipes and planning meals.
Food technology is an integral part of school life and students use their skills to cater for school and community events throughout the year. These are hosted by students in the café which is the social hub of the school. Within this modern environment students practise their catering, hygiene and hospitality skills which can lead to employment opportunities in the catering industry. Food technology is studied by every year group and as students move through the school, there is increased emphasis on achieving skills for independent living.
Spiritual Moral Social and Cultural Development
The Park School’s ethos and atmosphere strongly reflects our attitude towards the spiritual, moral, social and cultural developments of our students. These vital dimensions of life and growth can be found in all aspects of school life, both in structured and unstructured time, on and off site.
Explicit opportunities to promote students development in these areas are provide in religious education and in PSHCE but all other subjects, together with collective worship, daily reflection time and school assemblies contribute to the students SMSC welfare.
Personal Social Health and Citizenship
At The Park, PSHCE education helps to provide students with the knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play as full and active part in society as possible. The breath and balance of the curriculum supports appropriate behaviour and safety and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. We prepare for life beyond school by helping students to develop a healthy and safe lifestyle, good relationships with others and respect for diversity. Students build confidence that helps them take responsibility for their future life choices.
PSHCE lessons involve active learning through discussion, investigations, role play, group work and problem solving.
Each year group has a residential opportunity promoting social development and increasing independence. Throughout the year there are specific workshops, visiting speakers and regular PSHCE themed days.
At The Park we teach cultural studies to inspire in students a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them throughout their lives.
Cultural studies incorporates elements of geography and languages, enabling our students to experience the key aspects of both subjects at an accessible level. It is taught in a practical way making it interesting and relevant, including food tasting, music performance, and off site visits. Increasing student’s knowledge of other cultures teaches a respect and understanding of what it means to be a positive citizen in our multi-cultural society.
At The Park, we give our students an insight into, and an understanding of, Britain’s past and that of the wider world to develop an appreciation of how people, events and inventions from history have shaped our lives today. Students learn about the achievements of famous people, develop an understanding of their place in society and an appreciation of their cultural heritage.
Students are taught in a way that motivates, engages and challenges them at a level suitable for their personal academic and social development. There is an emphasis on role play, IT and visual artefacts. Students benefit from interacting with each other, taking part in discussions and learning through physical involvement.
Social awareness is promoted by topical debate and comparing events from the past.
Accreditation in KS4:
- GCSE Maths
- Certificate of Achievement Entry Level Maths
- Functional Skills Maths
- Functional Skills English
- Functional Skills ICT
- Certificate of Achievement Entry Level Science
- GCSE Art
- Bronze Arts Award
- GCSA English
- BTec Science
- BTec Home Cooking Skills
- Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award
|Level 3 - 5 students|
|Level 1 - 1 student|
|Entry Level Maths|
|E3 - 6 students|
|E2 - 4 students|
|E1 - 5 student|
|Functional Skills Maths|
|E3 - 3 students|
|E2 - 3 students|
|E1 - 3 student|
|Entry Level Functional Skills English|
|E3 - 8 students|
|E2 - 1 student|
|E1 - 4 students|
|English Functional Skills Level 1|
|Entry Level Science|
|E2 - 3 students|
|E1 - 2 students|
|Grade E - 2 students|
|Grade F - 3 students|
|Grade G - 1 student|
|Bronze Arts Award|
|Grade D - 1 student|
|Grade E - 1 student|
|Grade F - 5 students|
|Grade G - 1 student|
|BTec Home Cooking Skills|
|Entry Level Functional Skills|
|E3 - 8 students|
|E2 - 3 students|
|E1 - 1 student|
|Duke of Edinburgh Bronze|
|Brooklands - 10 students|
|Guildford / Merrist Wood - 4 Students|
|Post 16 Unit - 2 Students|
|NEET - 1 Student|