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Curriculum

Core Values 

At Woodlands, we recognise that our curriculum is created and driven by the best interests of our learners.  The curriculum is broad, balanced but flexible enough to ensure learners are fully prepared for life after Woodlands.  We want to encourage our pupils to be engaged, enquiring and resilient within both their lessons and in the broader context of school. 

Our ultimate aim is to empower our learners to be independent, emotionally intelligent and successful members of society.  Our curriculum provides every opportunity for this aim to be realised. 

Curriculum Intent 

The school’s curriculum fully encompasses the 2014 national curriculum and the new 2019 OFSTED new framework. It provides for an expression of our own priorities such as the Arts, PE and Preparation for Adulthood. We are committed to providing a broad curriculum with breadth that allows all of our students to be able to achieve the following: 

Secure development and achievement: 

  • Provides opportunities for students’ personal development. 
  • Allows pupils to achieve their personal best. 

Prepare students for life after Woodlands: 

  • Challenges, motivates, inspires and leads to a lifelong interest in learning. 

  • Prepares pupils for the world of work or post-compulsory education. 

Promote active community involvement: 

  • Ensures students are fully prepared for life in modern Britain by promoting ‘real life’ experiences. 

  • Offers quality additional-curricular opportunities for personal development. 

  • By working with the community to promote local, national and global awareness. 

Each subject’s implementation is underpinned with the following documentation: 

Long Term Curriculum Map- outlines the themes apportioned to each year group and outlines of key content, coverage and progression to be delivered 

Medium term plans - linked to NC/ GCSE or accredited content, knowledge and activities 

Subject intent statements (in secondary)- demonstrating how and why each qualification and learning journey has been decided. 

SMSC audit for each topic covered 

Curriculum Implementation Through Transition 

Our transition programme enables us to develop strong relationships and personal knowledge of all our students. Being a small school enables us to quickly get to know individuals and create a supportive ethos. Members of the SLT and pastoral team visit both our primary schools (Woodlands Bishop’s Castle and Woodlands Oswestry) to meet with pupils as well as home visits to meet parents/carers prior to induction. Every child is given a bespoke transition with a tour of the school followed by a gradual timetable based upon EHCP needs and prior knowledge. 

In addition, we offer several days where all Primary students are involved in enrichment activities like Sports day. By providing a range of experiences, including arts, charity events and sports we ensure that all of our new Y7 students already feel familiar with the expectations in secondary. Our students arrive feeling confident and secure in Y7 having already had experience of working together in their new environment with students from all three Woodlands Centres.  This is supported further by the Transition document. 

The Year 7 model is delivered through Nurture Provision to replicate their experiences in Primary.  Year 7 have their own base room and all subjects, except those requiring specialist rooms, are delivered by one teacher and a dedicated teaching assistant. 

The subjects followed will be tailored to individual need but come in the main from the core academic offer, following the National Curriculum.   

Year 8-11 receive a regular school curriculum, working with support staff alongside mainstream teachers to enable students to access the full curriculum. The expectation at Woodlands, across all phases, is that students are not denied any opportunity that they would receive in mainstream education. Their individual needs should never be a barrier to accessing a broad range of subjects. 

Enrichment: 

We believe learning outside the classroom is as essential to students’ development as learning within the classroom, and so ensure our students experience a wealth of extracurricular opportunities. We offer timetabled opportunities for students to be involved in Gardening, Bee Keeping, Archery as well as participating in the SEN/SEMH football league. 

The school has a comprehensive enrichment offer to complement the taught curriculum in subjects. 

This includes study support lessons, trips, working with subject experts. For example: 

  • Outdoor education visits 
  • Visits to banks to discuss issues to do with budgeting etc 
  • Visits to the Theatre 

Teaching, Learning & Assessment 

PSHE/SRE: 

SRE is currently taught via PHSE which is delivered discretely in Humanities lessons and also permeate the whole of the curriculum.  Issues are addressed on a daily basis.  We aim to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy independent lives and become informed, active, responsible citizens.  All pupils are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across and beyond the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of our school and communities. The secondary school uses the ASDAN CoPE Award at L1/2 to enhance and accredit pupils’ work in preparing for adult life and work experience.   

In our Primary setting, a programme for SRE is suitably adapted to acknowledge lower levels of emotional maturity and is taught in line with current guidance.  

Bishop’s Castle and Oswestry satellites offer primary education to a group of up to 12 pupils for the end of KS2 and occasionally the start of KS3 according to need. The whole curriculum is encompassed including the core subjects of Maths, English and Science together with the opportunity to experience activities such as horticulture which, with a cross curricular approach, gives practical experience of subjects and also builds on personal and social skills. Cross curricular links and cultural capital help to engage the children and deepen learning, preparing them for the wider world. 

The children are at the heart of the curriculum, through a supportive, nurturing environment they develop the life skills needed for the future. Although compact, Acorns offer all that larger settings are able to provide with the additional advantage of small groups and high staff ratios. Strengths and weaknesses can therefore be supported with learning experiences that pupils will enjoy and activities that are tailored to the needs of the individual.  

At Key Stage 3 students study a broad and balanced range of subjects. A three year Key Stage 3 means lessons are fast paced and engaging to ensure that gaps in knowledge are quickly addressed. We are aware that most of our students have had significant periods when they haven’t been able to access full time education.  This is not a barrier but simply a hurdle that we address through our curriculum offer. 

A strong core of compulsory academic subjects gives students the relevant skills and qualifications to successfully progress into post 16 or into employment or apprenticeships. This traditional core of English, Maths, Science and Humanities is complimented by an extensive range of compulsory subjects at KS3, including Arts, Physical Education, Design and Technology and Food Technology. Years 10 and 11 students also have a dedicated placement at Shrewsbury College one day each week.  

Classroom expectations are high and are underpinned by strong routines and consistency of approach by staff responding to the needs of pupils.  Such structure include routines showing readiness for learning, visual timetables, a strong emphasis on explanation and positive praise.  

Across the primary sites classroom expectations are consistent with high structure and clear boundaries. All staff respond in the same way for both praise and consequence, with a clear discussion on why. This enables the children to recognise the clarity and fairness of the settings and reduces their anxiety of the unknown.  

The Key Stage 3 timetable is broken up into 23 lesson a week with Friday afternoon dedicated to activities/enrichment opportunities.  

English 3 lessons 

Mathematics 3 lessons 

Science 3 lesson 

Food Tech 3 lessons 

D & T 3 lessons 

ICT & Computing 1 

Ethics, Philosophy, Religious Studies 1 

Physical Education 1 

Art 2 

Humanities 3 

Key Stage 4 Lessons/Week 

English language/Literature 4 

Mathematics 4 

Combined or separate sciences 3 

Preparation for Adulthood- 1 lesson 

IMedia-2 

Careers- 2 in Year 11 

Physical Education-2 

Humanities-3 

Free choice of 3 subjects from: 

Art/ D & T,  Food-  3 lessons 

Students in KS4 have the opportunity to study for external qualifications such as GCSE, Entry Levels or Level 1/2 vocational qualifications including: Maths GCSE/ Entry Level, English GCSE/ Entry Level, Art GSCE/ Entry Level, Science L1/2 Award, PE L1/2, GCSE Geography, FOOD BTEC  and IMEDIA GCSE. 

In KS4 we also use CoPE/ASDAN Modules to  embed and accredit learning including a range of short courses such as the Employability and Enterprise Short Course. 

Both Primary settings use the Accelerated Reader system in order to target reading skills appropriately and engage children in reading through the use of ICT. As well as this, children are able to earn trading cards for quizzes and progress is shown and praised through visual displays. 

Accelerated Reader has proved highly successful in meeting the individual needs of the children and enabling exceeded progress. 

Personal Development 

Our pastoral system is founded on a code of conduct that is highly visible around school and all students are familiar with. In addition, weekly ‘Ethics’ and Preparation for Adulthood lessons ensure students study all aspects of SMSC and PSHE. This is further highlighted through the planning documentations of individual staff. 

The impact of the school’s curriculum is measured through several means: 

  • Outcomes for students at GCSE in Y11. 
  • Progress and attainment data for current year groups. 
  • Destinations data. 
  • Attendance data. 
  • Behaviour logs. 
  • Engagement in enrichment activities. 
  • Student voice.