Intent: To prepare all children successfully for their next steps
At GFAPS we have designed our curriculum with pupils’ learning at the centre. We recognise that a curriculum must be broad, balanced and offer pupils opportunities to grow as individuals as well as learners.
Through a combination of learning techniques, we aim to ensure pupils enjoy learning and feel prepared for life after school. We also offer our pupils new and exciting experiences through activities that are designed to build resilience, confidence and self-esteem.
All staff are trained in emotion coaching, enabling them to support well, pupils as they are challenged in their schooling; learning from failures and celebrating successes. We also explicitly teach pupils the skills required to manage their behaviour more successfully.
Students in KS1 and KS2 access a broad and balanced curriculum based on the primary national curriculum. A variety of interventions and approaches also support the emotional and social needs of our pupils. Each setting provides a highly nurturing environment to support our pupils to make progress academically, socially and emotionally. Pupils are provided with challenge so that they can succeed in our settings and in their next school.
Pupils in KS1 and KS2 access lessons in English, Maths, Science, Computing, PSHE, Art, PE and topic. Each topic is developed as part of a creative and collaborative curriculum. Our curriculum aims to develop thinking skills, teamwork, promotes self-esteem and independent working through a range of activities. We use all of our activities, trips and lessons to promote and nurture positive behaviours and values in our pupils.
In KS1 our pupils learn phonics through resources from a range of sources. These are adapted to meet the bespoke needs of each learner. Similarly, our reading scheme uses books from a range of sources. Pupils access these in both KS1 and KS2. By using a range of reading schemes we hope that pupils will be familiar with a range of reading materials when they move on to a new setting.
Our aim is to support pupils, so they can return to school equipped with the skills needed to be successful learners.
Key Stage 3:
All pupils have discreet lessons in English, Maths and Science, they study aspects of the humanities programmes of study through cross curricula, thematic projects. In the afternoon pupils take part in active learning lessons, including sport, art, music, IT and cooking as well as more varied projects such as gardening or chicken keeping. Also built into the daily programme is a reading slot, a celebration assembly and Mindcraft.
Mindcraft is GFAPS bespoke PSHE curriculum. Designed and written by GFAPS staff, with reference to a range of externally available resources such as the GHLL Pink curriculum, topics taught are specifically chosen in response to analysis of the Safeguarding information the school collects. Recent additions to the programme include units of work on knife crime and exploitation across county lines.
All KS3 pupils spend two days a week out of centre, one of these days is led by Skylark, an outdoor pursuits company, the other is a day set aside for curriculum and enrichment trips. The programme includes trips to Clifton suspension bridge and activities taken from the National Trust 50 things to do before 11 3/4.
All pupils first referred to GFAPS KS3 provision start in our blue group, in this group students work predominantly with one qualified teacher following the above curriculum; they also study learning to learn skills. When students can demonstrate the skills necessary to learn effectively, they graduate to the yellow and green groups.
Through permanent exclusion many of our young people are not only excluded from school but are also isolated within their community. An important part of our programme is the building of opportunities for reengagement with the community. Please do come and join us at our community cafe on a Tuesday or Thursday between 2.30pm and 3.30pm at the Raikes Centre.
Key Stage 4:
Pupils at Russet House will be prepared for either College, Apprenticeships but overall post 16 life. This is delivered via a bespoke curriculum covering lessons in English, Maths, Science, Art, Sport Studies, Cooking, alternative qualifications and alternative provision. Pupils study aspects of PSHME through cross curricula, thematic projects, Mindcraft and tutor led discussions.
Key Stage 4 pupils have a personalised pathway aimed at post 16. Within this pathway and dependent on need, pupils have the opportunity to access a variety of alternative provision including Gloucester Youth Project; Sweet*; Employability; Farm; Music Works, Bridge training and Skylark.
Linked to post16 life away from Russet Close, Key Stage 4 pupils have the opportunity to visit local Colleges including Stroud, Gloucester College, Hartpury and Gloucester University. Local businesses will talk to our pupils in relation to work and different jobs. A member of the local Job Centre frequently visits Russet House and talks either individually or in groups with our pupils. Pupils also have the opportunity of undertaking a variety of community visits including visiting care home; city farm; local library; court; big science and power stations.
All secondary pupils also have the opportunity to take part in an annual residential trip.
Many pupils successfully move on to destination schools. The school regularly supports pupils to move along the graduated pathway enabling pupils to access both specialist or mainstream provision with the support necessary to be successful.
Other pupils actively choose to stay at GFAPS to complete their GCSEs. All year 11 pupils are entered for maths, Science and English GCSEs, most also sit GCSEs in Art and other equivalent qualifications in food and PE. Through our use of alternative providers all can achieve a vocationally based qualification. Outcomes at the school have improved year on year for the last 4 years and the number of pupils NEET has reduced.
Primary pupils in years 2 and 6 are, wherever possible, encouraged to sit SATs examinations, in line with their peers in mainstream schools.
Many of our students are reluctant to engage in extra curricular activities when they first join us, however we are working with them to increase the relevance of our offer and therefore their engagement with school life. This year pupils can join football club, participate in the community café project, access a youth group and a bike project, offered by one of our alternative providers.
For all information about our curriculum, please contact the Centre Lead of the appropriate centre:
KS1 & 2 – Joys Green - 01594 860289
KS3 – Raikes Centre - 01452 309510
KS4 – Russet House - 01452 528955