The 16+ curriculum aims to develop the skills necessary to ensure a smooth transition from school to college and adult life. There is a strong emphasis on developing the skills necessary for independent living through personal and social development, key skills and applied and vocational learning.
The majority of students are taught in small groups in a separate 16+ base. Students are supported by learning guides as well as the class lead. Our high staffing ratio is based on the needs of the individuals within each group.
16+ has a study programme that is designed and organised so that all pupils attain a qualification in Foundation Learning by the end of the key stage/time they leave school. All students follow a very individualised personalised pathway with units and the curriculum content carefully chosen to support the needs and interests of the individual whilst also reflecting vocational learning and independent living.
The teaching of key skills based on the needs of the individual continues to be of primary importance.
The main qualification the students follow is accredited through programmes such as ASDAN Personal Progress and National Open College Network Independent Living Skills.
Students are supported in planning their transition from school to college through a comprehensive programme of Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance. All students attend college taster courses on different campuses of Leeds City College, Henshaws’ College or an area of offsite learning appropriate to the individual student in order to aid transition from school
Where appropriate, all students take part in work experience in school and work alongside our staff in different roles. A large number of students also take part in work experience at one of our workshops and/or at Boston Spa Library (see below) which have been set up in order to provide opportunities for our students in 16+ to experience real-life work experience placements outside of the school environment. Some students also take part in work experience off site, in the work place. Pupils are supported by staff who know them well in order to make work experience meaningful and successful.
The separate 16+ base where the majority of students are taught comprises of three classrooms. Each classroom is equipped and set up differently in order to reflect the differing needs of the groups of students. There is also a kitchen area, toilets and a toilet with disabled access.
The school benefits from well-equipped specialist rooms – Art, Food Technology, Information Technology and gym. The state of the art Interactive Zone allows students to experience and explore fantasy and real life situations through immersion technology.
We also have designated rooms for Speech and Language therapy and Physiotherapy on site and we have the facilities to offer rebound therapy to those pupils for whom it is appropriate. We have the services of a nurse in a base with medical facilities.
All students take part in learning outside the classroom in our extensive Outdoor Learning Zone which comprises of an outdoor classroom, a large polytunnel, fruit growing zone, sensory zone and large allotment area allowing students to experience education outdoors and to be involved in growing and cultivating plants and vegetables which the pupils are encouraged to taste or use in their cooking or to sell as part of enterprise.
Pupils have set up a company called ‘WeCanDoCo’. Initiatives through this enterprise include designing and making a wide range of products and as well as growing a range of horticultural products. WeCanDoCo operates from a workshop at Boston Spa library which has been set up to provide an opportunity for pupils to experience a work based learning environment where pupils can work outside the classroom and produce products for their enterprise project using specialist printing equipment.
The shop within the library provides an outlet for the pupils to sell the products they have made. They can also be ordered through the school. Orders are placed by individuals and by a number of companies. The library also provide opportunities for our pupils in 16+ to experience real-life work placements outside of the school environment.
A second workshop based at Carlshead Farm offers work related work experience on the farm, sensory activities and independent living skills.
The school benefits from being based in a thriving village setting, where the school is well known, established and supported. The village provides a calm, safe environment in which to teach social skills, travel in the community etc. We use every opportunity to be involved in the local community through whole school celebrations at church, church coffee mornings, Farmers Markets, village events etc. as well as using the shops and facilities.
Additional Support for 16+ students
We offer all of our students a high level of support through our high staffing levels. Some students receive one to one support where appropriate for additional needs e.g. intervenors for the visually impaired. The school works closely with a range of professionals including health professional, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and education support services e.g. educational psychologists, specialist teachers for children who are visually impaired or deaf/hearing impaired.
The students develop their citizenship and global awareness through fundraising, charity events etc. We have a thriving School Council where students can experience and understand the democratic process and take part in decision making that will impact not only on themselves but the whole school community.
Students are encouraged to participate in an active and healthy lifestyle. They take part in a wide variety of physical activities which are planned to be appropriate for individual students.
Through a comprehensive and structured programme pupils are supported to develop the skills necessary in order to use transport to travel as independently as possible and appropriate.
Students take part in regular shopping sessions linked to the purchase of ingredients for Food Technology and snack, where they are encouraged to use their money skills, social skills and to engage with the local community.
Educational visits to a variety of venues are used to enhance and support the curriculum e.g. to places of interest, places of worship. Visitors are invited into school to support learning e.g. music groups. Students also take part in visits to local employers and businesses in order to develop vocational skills. Local employers are also encouraged to visit school and to deliver workshops.
We offer accreditation at many different levels so that all students can be successful. This includes ASDAN Personal Progress and National Open College Network Independent Living Skills. Last year 100% of students left school with a Foundation Learning qualification Award in Personal Progress. Our aim is for students to leave school as happy and confident young adults with the vocational and social skills needed to enable them to participate and contribute to their community.