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Subject Descriptors

Academic Curriculum Content

English: The development of Literacy is a priority for ASC pupils because the relationship between oral language development and the development of reading and writing are crucial in ensuring self-esteem and academic success across the entire curriculum. Literacy is embedded within the whole-school curriculum whereby all staff take responsibility for addressing pupil’s specific spoken and written Literacy needs. There is timetabled daily DEAR Time (Drop Everything And Read) where the children read books that are matched to the ability and interest level. Each student also has a reading record, and they are regularly listened to. There is also a weekly reading rescue intervention specialist who supports using a unique blend of phonics and other strategies to support those who require the support. We also have a literacy lead who conducts 1:1 and small group intervention sessions to support with phonics, reading fluency and stamina, oracy, spelling, and handwriting.

Students also have timetables English sessions where they develop their language skills and are exposed to an array of texts. All students will leave Life Skills Manor with Functional Skills Qualifications and for the more able pupils, there will be the opportunity to gain GCSE English.

Maths: In Maths, our goal is to develop pupils into young adults who are independent, confident, and ready for their next steps. Providing a curriculum, which follows aspects of the National Curriculum, that is coherently planned and sequenced, ensuring key concepts are fully grasped, meeting the individual needs and abilities of all pupils. At Life Skills Manor, we equip students with the tools they require to succeed: either using by visual representations or hands on activities before pupils move onto more abstract concepts, enhancing a deeper understanding. Engaging pupils in outdoor mathematical activities will provide opportunities of practical application of mathematical concepts in their everyday lives. Helping them to explore and secure reasoning, problem-solving skills and knowledge whilst interacting with their peers and their surroundings connecting learning to the real world.

Focussing on making sure that the pupils have the life skills and knowledge that ensure they meet their own goals with a view to leave Life Skills Manor with Entry or Functional Skills Qualifications up to Level 2.

Science: It is imperative that all students can investigate the world around them. The students in the lower classes study science through their ‘Discovery’ lessons. They explore key themes such as light, living things and properties of materials. Students are encouraged to develop a sense of awe and wonder and get to complete relevant experiments.

In the upper years the students study science through the Entry Level Certificate syllabus which is a combined science course which is designed to build confidence and engagement with science.

Global Studies: This subject is delivered to all the students in the lower school and incorporates History, Geography and Religious Education. Today, more that ever, it is crucial that all our pupils are well-rounded, global citizens who can understand the world around them, and their place in it. In line with the National Curriculum, pupils will be encouraged to problem solve, interpret data, and communicate effectively as part of a team. They will develop their historical skills and study a range of time periods, investigate various human and physical geography topics, and explore all the key elements of the major world religions.

Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE): This is a weekly lesson for all pupils that focuses on developing knowledge to keep them healthy and safe, preparing them sufficiently for life after school and the world of work. These sessions encourage the students to be reflective, develop their oracy skills through discussion and help support them with making the right decisions in life. Students follow the overarching themes of ‘self-awareness’, ‘managing feelings’, ‘changing and growing’, ‘healthy lifestyles’ and ‘the world I live in’. Topics within these themes include discussing emotions, bulling, online safety, rights & respect, careers, and mental health, among others.

Within PSHE lessons all pupils study Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). RSE is about the emotional, social and cultural development of pupils, and involves learning about relationships, sexual health, sexuality, healthy lifestyles, diversity and personal identity. RSE involves a combination of sharing information and exploring issues and values.

RSE is about the emotional, social and cultural development of pupils, and involves learning about relationships, sexual health, sexuality, healthy lifestyles, diversity and personal identity. RSE involves a combination of sharing information and exploring issues and values. RSE is not about the promotion of sexual activity.

Computing Lessons: We will embed a comprehensive ICT curriculum with computing element for all ages and learner types that equips our pupils with the practical skills needed to live, learn and work successfully.

PE: The curriculum for physical education aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
  • are physically active for sustained periods of time
  • engage in competitive sports and activities
  • lead healthy, active lives

Developing a passion for physical activity is the starting point for our curriculum. This leads to students being physically active for sustained periods of time and a thirst for knowledge of how they can improve. Students are taught the fundamental movement skills required to perform sporting actions throughout KS3. As they become more competent at these skills, students are introduced to competition through a variety of forms. This provides the platform for progression as the key skills from prior learning are tested in game situations. Mastery of whole sports can occur when students link fundamental skills in competitive situations with the use of strategies, tactics and analysis.

Engagement underpins all that we do and is a constant focus through every year group. When students leave KS4 they have had the necessary PE diet to prepare them for a sustained, healthy life where they can flourish.

Art: In the lower school, art is delivered through ‘Creative Studies’ and it is in line with the National Curriculum, providing vivid learning experiences that inspire and challenge. They will learn about a variety of artists and refining their own artistic techniques and styles.

This leads on to studying for a GCSE (WJEC) in the upper years.

  • Unit 1 – 60% internal portfolio (internally moderated / externally marked)
  • Unit 2 – 40% exam (externally marked)

GCSE Art and Photography will allow pupils to immerse themselves in a creative world of exploration, experimentation and learning. The Art and Photography course is formed of two sections. Unit 1 which is worth 60% and will be a portfolio of the pupil’s work. This unit comprises of several practical portfolio projects. These themes will be internally set, and the subject matter developed from personal exploration. The work will be selected, evaluated and presented for assessment by the student. Unit 2 which is worth 40% and is a 10 hour exam. The exam will be split over a number of lessons. The topic for the exam will be released by the exam board closer to the date.

Asdan Personal and Social Effectiveness:

  • Level 1 - Requires 100 guided learning hours (GLH)
  • Level 2 – Requires 160 guided learning hours (GLH)

ASDAN -Personal and Social Effectiveness (PSE) Level 1&2 qualification has been designed to develop competencies in communication, collaboration and emotional intelligence. This course will contain a wide variety of flexible and engaging challenges, empowering pupils to take control of their learning, discover themselves and build respectful and inclusive relationships. The course will require pupils to produce a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate their achievements. Pupils will develop their skills through the completion of formative challenges prior to being assessed through a summative challenge.

Pupils will be required to complete units one to three in order to achieve the award and units one to four to achieve the certificate. In the awards pupils are assessed on how they have developed their ability to understand and develop themselves and their own performance, work with others in team and explore problem solving skills. Pupils will be required to present their work through research, planning projects, presentation and discussions.

An example of the areas of study include: health and wellbeing; beliefs and values; sports and leisure; environment; expressive arts; independent living and science and technology.

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Land Based Studies:

  • B-tec level 1 Introduction Certificate – 180 GLH (2 Core Skills and 3 Sector Skills)
  • B-tec level 1 Introduction Certificate - 360 GLH (4 Core Skills and 6 Sector Skills)

The B-tec in Land Based Studies offers pupils the opportunity to explore life skills through the Core Skills section. The Core Skills section equips the pupils with transferable life skills which will help them gain techniques in research, being organisation and the knowledge of how to work with others. Key sectors within the course will include the preparing of soil and growing plants, using land-based machinery and developing estate maintenance skills, caring for and feeding animals and working within our local nature reserve to explore aquatic environments. Pupils will gain an understanding of cultural capital by experiencing the range of job roles and responsibilities needed in these areas with the aim of equipping them with the skills, knowledge and confidence needed when applying for jobs.

Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE): All students have the opportunity to achieve a Bronze DofE Award, with some going on to achieve the Silver Award. In achieving an Award it provides the students with a great set of skills and confidence. It develops key ‘soft skills’ including, communication, commitment, leadership, and teamwork. They also make a difference to other people’s lives and their community, be fitter and healthier and have memories to last them a lifetime.

Skills Curriculum Content

Food Preparation Sessions: Students, with TA support, can prepare and cook the school meals alongside a trained cook in a professional kitchen. They also help with setting up and packing away the lunch hall to help promote a sense of community.

Independent Living Sessions: Overseen by the Occupational Therapist these sessions are run on a termly rotation with every class taking part. Students can complete weekly sessions in the Therapy House including ‘Fun with Food’, where students can learn about health options and have an opportunity to cook an array of different dishes.

Outdoor Learning: We have recently developed our own Outdoor Learning area with a class space and sheltered area. We view the Outdoor Learning School element as an integral part of our curriculum as it is proven to develop self-regulation skills, coping strategies to learn from failure, builds resilience (coping with risk and failure), provides a sense of achievement, increases motivation, and improves the ability to problem solve. It is cross curricular and makes the vital link of being outside and the positive impact it can have on mental health.

Thrive: Each class has a weekly Thrive Approach session. These lessons are established in neuroscience and support children with the knowledge and skills to help them flourish and learn.

Careers: This is a weekly lesson that follows the Unifrog curriculum and equips students with the skills and knowledge required to prepare them for the world of work.

Shopping: Each Monday morning for a term, 2 students collate a shopping list go to a local supermarket to buy the items. They must navigate the shop independently, purchase items and pack them.

Travel Training: Students are referred to take part in a travel training programme. They get to travel via foot, road, bus and rail. The training allows the students to learn about the different types of transport work and are encouraged to consider risks and how to overcome any potential issues that might arise when travelling. They are encouraged to be independent and resilient, and it allows them make choices about how they live, go about their daily life, and fulfil their potential.

Learn to Ride: All students are assessed for how well they can ride a bike at point of entry. Depending on their level they will either start with the basics with the Occupational Therapist, have individual 1:1 starter sessions, group sessions to further improve confidence leading up to whole class rides. The aim is that all students will leave the school being able to competently ride a bike.

Enrichment Lessons: Lessons are designed to raising confidence and aspirations. These lessons include local trips/ educational visits/ reward trips/ outdoor physical education such as rock climbing, canoeing, golf, horse riding etc. Where possible, trips or visits will be arranged at least once a week for pupils, taking them out of their comfort zone and preparing them for life beyond school. There are many museums, cinemas, theatres, tourist attractions etc. that offer special days for SEN pupils, enabling pupils to spend calm, productive time in a novel learning environment. Older pupils may benefit from residential trips to develop teamwork and independence skills within a safe, controlled environment.

Extra-Curricular: Friday afternoons allows all students to choose an extra-curricular activity of their interest. It is an opportunity to socialise with the other students in the school and explore their interests in a fun and engaging manner.

Termly Workshops: Full time teachers will offer a club choice further to their area of expertise relating to life skills. Furthermore, outside agencies/professionals will be regularly used to enrich pupil learning. There will be in school programme that runs throughout the school day to enhance the learning that exists. The enrichment programme could include supporting staff with DIY, catering, gardening and much more.