• Arbour Vale School, Farnham Road, Slough, Berkshire, SL2 3AE
  • 01753 515 560
  • office@arbourvaleschool.org

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Secondary Phase

Phase Leader: Sarah Brooks

Head of Key Stage 3: Claire Shottesbrooke

Head of Key Stage 4: Kevin Hughes

Aims for Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 aims to equip pupils for the next step in their learning journey through the introduction of more formal life skills, whilst continuing to provide access to a rich and balanced curriculum delivered through the most appropriate teaching methods for each pupil.

Aims for Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 aims to equip pupils for the next step in their learning journey through the explicit delivery of life skills, whilst continuing to provide access to a rich and balanced curriculum delivered through the most appropriate teaching methods for each student. At Key Stage 4, pupils also have the opportunity to complete accredited courses, where this is appropriate. This includes Functional Skills, AQA Entry Level and ASDAN.

Curriculum in Key Stage 3 and 4

Maths and English are delivered through Schemes of Work developed by subject leaders. In the majority of Key Stage 3 classes, pupils access the Synthetic Phonics Programme in order to consolidate and promote their understanding of phonics. In Key Stage 4, pupils also have the opportunity to work towards Functional Skills Qualifications in Maths and English as well as AQA Entry Level accreditations.

Personal, Social and Health Education is delivered through a curriculum developed by the subject leader. This curriculum is developed around 3 key areas: Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Global Citizenship. Through these lessons key areas including Relationship and Sex Education, Radicalisation and Online Safety are addressed. At Key Stage 4, pupils have the opportunity to work towards an AQA Entry Level qualification.

Formal, Semi-formal and Informal Curriculum

The formal curriculum allows pupils with moderate learning difficulties to follow a structure similar to that which they would access in a mainstream school. This makes sure that they have the opportunity to progress on to accreditations in Key Stage 4 (where this is appropriate). The curriculum is based on the National Curriculum, tying in to the thematic approach from the semi-formal curriculum which gives flexibility to transition pupils between these.

The semi-formal curriculum provides students with severe learning difficulties with a structure developed from the Early Years curriculum ‘Development Matters’. The flexibility in this curriculum allows teachers in these classes to teach to the students’ needs including activities where learning occurs through play, sensory learning and learning outside of the classroom. The curriculum is delivered through a Scheme of Work consisting of 4 units per term. This follows a 5 year thematic cycle. The introduction of the semi-formal curriculum has also led to the introduction of Travel Training and Careers as a compulsory unit in every term allowing pupils regular opportunities to develop these critical life skills.

The informal curriculum has been developed to deliver learning for pupils with PMLD across Arbour Vale School. It follows a thematic approach which incorporates the pupils’ therapeutic and medical needs. These are based around 5 key areas: Cognition and Learning; Communication and Interaction; Physical Development; Life Skills and Independence and Social Skills. The flexibility in this curriculum allows tailoring around therapeutic input and the pupils learning needs as identified in their EHCP.

Latest News

A stop motion battle!

One of our students has been making excellent use of his free time during lockdown, creating stop motion films! Here’s one of his pieces…Mandalorian vs Darth Vader:  

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Workshop success!

In November we held an online ‘Oral hygiene and Dental Health’ workshop for our parents and carers. The turnout was brilliant, and the event was a great success, full of valuable advice and guidance. We received some truly positive feedback: …

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Congratulations, Guildford Class

Guildford Class has been working incredibly hard on communication this term using a wide and varied range of AAC. Our focus on the use of Colourful Semantics was successfully incorporated into the making of our Christmas Card. The card was …

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Lego Therapy

A huge thank you to The LEGO Group for a generous play box donation to get our Building Bricks Therapy up and running. Here are some of our KS3 pupils during a session. The aim is to improve interaction, listening, …

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