Curriculum

Our curriculum is mainly based on the areas of study suggested by each young person’s home school. This is so that continuity is maintained and students continue to progress within their usual setting. Where this is not possible or appropriate, Rhodes Wood Hospital School has developed its own holistic curriculum to ensure it meets the need of each student. Young people with neurodevelopmental disorders and learning needs mainly follow an alternative curriculum that focuses upon developing core skills and life skills, this is personalised for each individual student.

Our students range from Key Stage 2 where the Hamilton Curriculum is followed into Key Stage where a wide variety of subjects including animation are available. At both Key Stage 4 and 5, opportunity to hone skills and learning experiences are offered within the context of the hospital setting.

Curriculum Goals

The school provides a broad and balanced curriculum for young people with a diverse range of educational needs. We offer classroom environments in which debate and discussion can thrive, free of political bias. Any viewpoint, including that of the teacher or other adults, can be the subject of healthy challenge.

The curriculum intentions are:

 

Specialist Education & Learning Opportunities

 

While the school is not legally obliged to follow the National Curriculum, we adhere to it, wherever appropriate for individual students and the group as a whole. We recognise the importance of keeping abreast of curriculum development and opportunities that we develop and exploit to promote and extend young people’s learning.

We recognise the importance of social, moral, spiritual and cultural (SMSC) development and highlight opportunities within each curriculum subject offered to address, explore and teach these aspects and values accordingly. Prominent in each of our classrooms are our own values, agreed and developed with young people, which set out the expectations for behaviour and conduct in the classroom.

We firmly believe and are committed to teaching of values which promote cohesiveness within our school and community. We believe that these values which traditionally underpin British Society should permeate all aspects of school life and be upheld by every member of the school and wider community. We promote these values through our own school values, curriculum delivery, and the school offer and enrichment activities

 

Personalised Approach

 Our small classes assist in the provision of a personalised curriculum. A wealth of information is gathered at point of admission both through formal and informal assessment in conjunction with baseline measurements over this period. This is used to create an overall picture of a student’s strengths and weaknesses to address any gaps in learning and as a starting point to measure progress across the length of the hospital admission.

For some lessons, i.e. Drama or PE, we teach in larger groups to make the learning more effective and develop positive peer interactions.

 

Realising the curriculum

Where appropriate English, Maths, Science, PE and PSHE are taught as core subjects. In addition, a broad range of other National Curriculum subjects and extra-curricular opportunities are offered to address a wide range of individual needs and interest, including those who require post 16 provision.

We also have our own Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which aims to provide greater flexibility and independence when accessing the curriculum.

If required, students can have their achievements accredited through nationally recognised qualifications and we are registered as an examination centre. They may also access qualifications throughout the year for Literacy, Numeracy and ICT under the functional skills framework.

Young people following a curriculum based on core skills and life skills can be entered for certification.

 

Education, Health & Social care Plan (EHCP)

An EHC Plan is a legal document that describes a child or young person’s special educational, health and social care needs. It explains the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and how that help will support the child or young person to achieve what they want to in their life.

During a young person’s stay in hospital, a referral to the LEA for an EHCP may be an appropriate way forward for a student to facilitate greater support in school and other areas upon discharge. We are happy to discuss this with parents and the young person and have experience in assisting LEAs to facilitate this process.

 

Most Able Students

We are committed to helping all students achieve the best they can. In line with all UK schools, we maintain Most Able register and provide enrichment to enable these students to excel in their area. A wide range of provision is used to ensure that students identified in this group are provided with the stimulation to enable them to fulfil their potential.

 

Provision for students for whom English is an additional language (EAL)

We are committed to provide equal opportunities for all of our students and accordingly, we ensure that students are not disadvantaged by language differences. Further advice from the home school or young person’s LEA will be sought and specific support provided so any student with English as an additional language will have the same access and opportunities as students for whom English is the primary language.

 

Careers Guidance

We are pleased to be partnered with Inside Knowledge who provide the school with independent careers advisors who visit the site throughout the year. They are available for one-to-one appointments and will also lead group sessions such as CV writing and presentation workshops in preparation for the future.

The school also offers careers guidance through our PSHE curriculum which addresses particular career pathways and interests on an individual basis and facilitates work experience where possible.

 

Transition – Support towards life outside/beyond the hospital school

Young people often express their concern about leaving hospital and what lies ahead in their future, particularly in education.

At the hospital school, we are skilled in managing learning-related anxieties and supporting the transition back to an education environment. Our school reintegration model addresses and facilitates successful transition with the aim of preventing further hospital admissions.

Sometimes it is not possible for a student to return to their previous education provider e.g. a Year 11 student leaving a school which doesn’t have sixth form provision. With the assistance of the home LEA we are fully involved in supporting the transition to an identified new provider of education.
From November, our broad extra-curricular programme will also offer the opportunity for students to join school reintegration sessions which includes discussion and role play about returning to an education environment and addressing any school related anxieties in this area.

Many of our students aspire to attend university and our staff are very experienced in supporting the UCAS application process, including applications to Oxbridge and other Russell group universities.