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Our curriculum KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5


At Glendinning House our students and staff will approach learning with a sense of adventure, fun and discovery.  We will spend a large proportion of our day outdoors tending to our animals and plants, developing, caring for and studying nature around our site and designing and building new areas.  We offer a broad curriculum based in experience set in the context of nature and the outdoors.  Making, doing, growing and studying will provide a setting where we are all learners. 

Our experiential outdoor curriculum has been carefully considered and researched to ensure our approaches are best suited to our students’ needs.  Studies into learning outdoors have found that the benefits include educational attainment; attitudes to other children; awareness of environment and natural science skills; behavioural outcomes and social cohesion; health benefits. (BLAKESLEY, D., RICKINSON, M. & DILLON, J. 2013. Engaging children on the autistic spectrum with the natural environment: Teacher insight study and evidence review. Natural England Commissioned Reports, NECR116).  When looking at the specific benefits for children on the Autism spectrum a study identified ‘7 main benefits to children with autism, including promoting communication, emotion, cognition, interaction, physical activity, and decreasing autistic sensitivity’ (The Benefits of Outdoor Activities for Children with Autism, Yuan-Yu Chang and Chun-Yen Chang, 2010, Department of Horticulture, National Taiwan University, Taipei, R.O.C.).  We are working with a range of experts in both outdoor education and special educational needs to help develop our curriculum and our outdoor and indoor spaces to support this.

Learners will experience ways of working collaboratively, enjoy success and revisit experiences with a sense of expertise and achievement as the daily rhythm of our site introduces new concepts. 

Project based learning provides a theme which helps link experiences to the curriculum both academic and for the development of social interaction and communication skills.

Glendinning House’s curriculum has 3 strands, these work together to support our learners enjoy, succeed and recognise and celebrate all achievements.

Natural Connections

Learners will access the national curriculum through project based learning; all project themes are based outdoors in the natural environment.  Each project theme is carefully chosen to sit across all 3 strands of our curriculum; Natural Connections, Building Positive Relationships and Partnerships. 

Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 

Through Natural Connections pupils will study each subject within the National Curriculum at the appropriate stage.  Pupils will benefit from a project based approach where subjects are not regarded as separate and individual, instead skills and ways of thinking common to all can be explored, and all learning can be placed into a relevant context.

Through Natural Connections pupils will learn;

Literacy

Numeracy

Maths

English

Science

Computing

Geography

History

Music

Art & Design

Health & Physical Education

Design & Technology

Personal Social and Health Education

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education

Year 9 will be a transition year when students consider their qualifications.  They will begin to study individual subjects where appropriate, beginning to apply their love of learning and ways of thinking, celebrating their successes while growing in confidence in new ways of working.  Therefore, our project themes will continue but some lessons will be taken as discrete learning time.  Year 9 provides opportunities to meet new teachers who are subject specialists, working at an appropriate pace for each student.

Key Stage 4 

During Year 9 students will be introduced to a range of qualifications suitable for them, including GCSEs, BTECS and Functional Skills.  Subject areas will include but are not limited to;

English

Maths

Science

Computing

Geography

The Arts

Food Nutrition

Animal Husbandry

Employability

Health and Physical Education

Personal, Social & Health Education

Citizenship

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education

 

In Year 10 students begin to study an individually tailored timetable. These will consist of some discrete subject lessons, while the remaining curriculum project themes will continue building on ways of working developed during Key Stages 2 and 3. These overarching themes will also provide a link to the Building Positive Relationships and Partnerships curriculum strands. 

In Year 11 students will be carefully supported through exams and the transition onto the next stage of their education including college visits, inductions, and taster sessions.  The Building Positive Relationships curriculum strand will provide opportunities to develop age appropriate independence and help students with their next transition.

Key Stage 5 

Being part of South Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust enables us to offer a wide range of Key Stage 5 qualifications to those students who choose to remain with us for sixth form.  Year 12 and 13 students will be able to study a range of qualifications at various levels at Glendinning House and a broad variety of A level subjects at our South Dartmoor Sixth Form College in Ashburton, where they will receive support from dedicated Glendinning House staff.  Some of the subjects on offer include;

Literacy

Numeracy

Maths

English

Science

Environmental Studies

Employability

Computer Science

Healthy Living

Hospitality

Land Based & Horticulture

Animal Management

Geography

Art

Photography

Classics

Design & Technology

Citizenship, SMSC and PSHE

Our sixth form students will take part in vocational and work experience opportunities with learning structured around preparation for adulthood; independent living skills, employability skills, being able to access their community, staying healthy and feeling valued.

Building Positive Relationships

The Building Positive Relationships strand is at the heart of our curriculum. It will share curriculum themes with the Natural Connections strand and is built into all Glendinning House projects at Key Stage 2, 3 and 4.  At Key Stage 5 students continue to follow this strand alongside their academic studies as our young people are supported in preparation for adulthood. 

Through Building Positive Relationships learners will explore and a greater emphasis will be placed upon;

  • Social Communication and Interaction
  • Emotional understanding and self-awareness
  • Independence
  • Sensory and Physical needs and activities

Natural Connections and Building Positive Relationships complement each other seamlessly throughout all of the Key Stages.  Learners will not necessarily be aware of a difference between the two, at other times it will be made explicit.  Staff will plan for both strands to ensure they support and maximise learning opportunities. 

To meet the individual needs of learners in our school a range of strategies and interventions will be utilised to support our learner centred approach.  Our curriculum will be developed and supported by a multi-disciplinary team including Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Educational Psychologists and Mental Health and Wellbeing specialists.

Partnerships

Effective partnerships have an integral role to play in learner success.  Glendinning House will work in association with our learners, their parents/carers and families, multi skilled professionals, outside agencies and our community.  Our partnerships will create a team around each child.

Our commitment to these partnerships is demonstrated through a dedicated strand in our curriculum.   The Partnerships strand will be planned to support the Natural Connections and Building Positive Relationships curricula, ensuring that every opportunity to work together is maximised.  The integral curriculum themes of the project based learning will also be used in this strand.

Effective communication is vital in successful partnerships.  Glendinning House understands the impact timely communication can have on learner enjoyment and progression at school.  We will use technology to keep in touch with our parents/carers alongside good old fashioned conversations.  Each learner will have a member of staff who is their key point of contact and time at the end of each school day is devoted to these communications. Celebrations, workshops and sharing events will be organised throughout the year to help prosper relationships with our partners.