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Subject Descriptors

Academic Curriculum Content

English Lessons: 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. There will be a Literacy programme embedded within the whole-school curriculum whereby all staff take responsibility for addressing pupil’s specific spoken and written Literacy needs. To ensure that this method is meaningful, all staff will have the same training in relation to the Literacy programme which will coincide with the marking policy. The Literacy programme will include DEAR Time. DEAR time will be linked into the timetable through Life Skill lessons whereby pupils will (Drop Everything And Read). Each pupil will have this 4 times a week whereby they will read to staff for 10 minutes per session. The sessions are recorded in the pupil’s reading record diary with notes to parents. Parents will also be prompted to support with the reading diary at home 3 times a week, ensuring that the pupil is reading every day to an adult either at school or at home. Furthermore, the Literacy programme will include weekly spellings based on the termly theme/ project within the Creative Club (timetabled Friday afternoon).

Pupils studying English will leave Life Skills Manor with Entry or Functional Skills Qualifications. For the more able pupils, there will be the opportunity to gain GCSE English.

Global Studies: This subject is delivered to all the students at Key Stage 3 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).

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 therefore embracing mastery.

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 which is equivalent to GCSE.

Science/ Outdoor Learning School Lessons:As we develop our school site there will a combination of Science lessons and Outdoor Learning School visits. In time, we plan to develop our very own Outdoor Learning School onsite. 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 (the skill of coping with risk and failure), provides a sense of achievement, increases motivation and improves the ability to problem solve. At Key Stage 4 the subject will be categorised within the academic curriculum and will involve Entry Level and GCSE Core and Applied Science courses.

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. The curriculum will lead onto our pupils gaining a Functional skills Qualification when in KS4.

LSM Relationships and Sex Education (Statement)


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.


The aims of relationships and sex education (RSE) at our school are to:

  • Provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place
  • Prepare pupils for puberty, and give them an understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene
  • Help pupils develop feelings of self-respect, confidence and empathy
  • Create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationships
  • Teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies

Statutory Requirements

  • We must provide relationships education to all our primary pupils as per section 34 of the Children and Social work act 2017.
  • In teaching RSE, we must have regard to guidance issued by the secretary of state as outlined in section 403 of the Education Act 1996.
  • At Life Skills Manor we teach RSE as set out in this policy.
  • We must provide RSE to all secondary pupils as per the Children and Social work act 2017.
  • In teaching RSE, we must have regard to to guidance issued by the secretary of state as outlined in section 403 of the Education Act 1996.

Skills Curriculum Content

Life Skills Lessons: Life Skill lessons are taught every day. KS3 pupils will study the importance of life skills such as Money/ Finance, Car Maintenance/repair, CV writing/interviewing, study skills, time management, survival skills, social skills, healthy lifestyles, communication and digital etiquette. As life skills form the fundamental purpose of the school, learning in this subject will continue across the curriculum, as all staff will be expected to focus on developing pupil’s life skills in their own subject. Life Skill theory lessons will have a strong link to the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) lessons taught in the National Curriculum. For example, pupils will be taught to assess risk, make safe and informed decisions and to be taught the language associated with communicating these decisions to others. Drug education, financial education, sex education and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle will be covered within this programme. The Life Skills curriculum will be taught using a combination of classroom based lessons, practical work and visits at every opportunity, giving pupils the chance to apply their learning to real life situations.

Cooking Lessons: Pupils order, prepare and cook the school meals. The school becomes self-sufficient/ self-operational and does not require additional catering staff. A fully qualified food teacher is employed and there are TA’s and a catering assistant available to support in this lesson. Pupils would gain an array of certification and competencies. The Food Technology is linked to healthy eating.

Discovery Lessons: Lessons are designed to raising confidence and aspirations. Discovery 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.

Swimming Lessons: In Year 7 and 8 pupils learn/ develop skills to swim gaining badges and certificates to show different levels of competencies. Year 9 pupils learn life-saving skills. In Year 10 and 11 pupils are put onto a lifeguard course. These lessons are taught by qualified PE teachers or instructors with swimming coaching qualifications.

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.

Creative Club: KS3 pupils participate in project-based learning for subjects that are not specifically timetabled each week therefore facilitating other interests and talents that pupils may possess. These subjects will include, Art, History, Music, Drama, MFL and more. Project-based learning at KS3 will take place on Friday afternoons to supplement and broaden the school’s existing Life Skills curriculum. We will run a number of projects throughout the year, delivering a range of academic and social outcomes. Typically, activities will be linked to the National Curriculum, providing vivid learning experiences that inspire and challenge. They may, alternatively, draw on specific interests of pupils, validating who they are, and boosting self-esteem. A pupil with an obsessive interest in dinosaurs, for example, could inspire and lead a ‘dinosaur day’. Crucially, these projects will also provide an opportunity for pupils to develop new social circles, improving their sense of belonging within the school. Staff and pupils alike will be encouraged to propose appropriate projects/ themes that relate to the N.C for the Creative Club whereby final decisions are made by the SLT on the theme occupied for given terms.

Enrichment Activities: 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.

ASDAN -Personal and Social Effectiveness Level 1&2

  • 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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WJEC - GCSE Art and Photography

  • 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.

Pearsons B-tec in Land Based Studies – Level 1/2

  • 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.