Uplands School

Uplands School
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Curriculum Overview 

Curriculum Overview for Parents / Carers

At Uplands students are taught in classes grouped by need and ability rather than by age and these classes sit within a 3 House system:- Avebury House, Lydiard House and Stanton House. The curriculum is designed on a key stage basis though is differentiated both by class and on an individual basis to ensure every student is given the greatest possible opportunity to gain knowledge and develop skills relating to their individualised Learning Intentions.

Learning Intentions are co-produced through the Annual Review process and relate directly to needs identified in the students’ EHCP. In the vast majority of cases these are in the areas of:

  • Cognition and Learning
  • Communication
  • Social, Emotional development and Wellbeing,
  • Physical and Sensory Development.

The curriculum framework described below has been carefully planned to ensure opportunities for students to acquire knowledge and develop skills sequentially in all of these areas, and in a way that enables them to maintain and generalise these skills as they move into adulthood.

Our curriculum covers all of the subjects that the National Core Curriculum requires, but it covers them via a topic based thematic curriculum. Your young people will learn via topics such as’ Can the Earth Cope?’ in Key stage 3 and ‘Space Travel and the Solar System’ in Key stage 4. This is a rolling programme to ensure everyone experiences a broad and balanced curriculum with careful planning to avoid overlap and to engage our students in topics we have found to be motivating for them.

All the foundation subjects and to some extent, science is taught via the topic, where this is viable. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural education is also taught via our Knowledge and Understanding topics with visits and trips being organised to enhance this aspect of the curriculum. Parents are sent an overview from each class teacher at the start of each term, to give you a bit more detail about what your young person will be studying and how you can support their learning at home.

Curriculum Overview Document

Core Subjects

The teaching of literacy and numeracy is given equal importance to all other aspects of the curriculum and is taught in a combination of specific sessions, which are differentiated to meet the needs of each student and embedded into other aspects of the curriculum to provide functional opportunities to generalise any skills learned. Learning Intentions are set in Reading, Writing and Maths and are summatively assessed at the end of each 6 week block. We take every opportunity to embed literacy and numeracy into what are known as the foundation subjects, such as geography or DT. Science is taught at both KS3 and KS4 and is linked to the topic wherever this is possible. Every opportunity for meaningful communication throughout the day will be identified and made a focus for each individual student, such as at tuck or lunch time, using their preferred communication method.


Creative Arts

Creative Arts is taught at KS3 and KS4 and consists of: Music, Drama, Art and DT. Art and DT are taught by the class teachers and the theme for these lessons comes out of the overall topic for the term. For most groups, Music and Drama is taught by a music specialist who also leads our choirs. The creative arts curriculum is enriched by a wide variety of external visits and workshops which all students have access to through the year and by our twice yearly whole school performances. At Uplands we have 2 choirs that regularly perform in public.


Personal and Physical Development

This is a very important part of the curriculum for most of our students at Uplands. It includes PHSCE and PE.  PHSCE is delivered on a topic basis spiral model in an annual cycle, differentiated according to the individual needs of the class and the student. 

All students follow an appropriate programme of study which is linked to the needs identified on their EHCP. Physical activity is offered to meet the needs of the individual student. For example students on the Autistic Spectrum may start the day with exercise in order to meet their sensory needs and prepare them to work.

Most students have the opportunity to swim once a week and to experience trampolining or rebound therapy. Our students all have the opportunity to regularly engage with their wider community during their PPD programme and this helps them to work on developing their social engagement, communication and self-regulation skills.

Citizenship is also taught both in KS3 through their topic and PPD time, and in KS4 via a programme of study offered by ASDAN, who are an awarding body.


Work Related Learning

At Uplands one of our core values is the expectation that all of our young people will have a role in their community once they leave us. This may be in paid employment or in a voluntary capacity, but we start to prepare our students to make a meaningful contribution to their community from Year 7 onwards.

All our students undertake work related learning throughout their time at Uplands. In KS3 we focus on building the working together skills that students need to participate in a workplace and students will build these skills through enterprise activities and with some opportunities to visit our farm at South Leigh and our charity shop and to go horse riding.

In KS4 as their skills develop, our students play and important part in producing enterprise produce to sell both in school and in the shops. Some take up weekly work experience slots in the shop and other complete units of study in animal care and horticulture at the farm.

By KS5 we expect most of our students to be on a regular work placement with an internal or external provider, to give them the opportunity to put the skills they have learnt in school into practice in a different environment.


6th Form Students

Each of our students in the 6th form will have a programme of study built to meet their individual needs but which will be broadly in line with one of 4 distinct pathways. Each pathway includes opportunities to study 5 main areas of the post 16 curriculum which are:- Independent living, Work and Careers, Community and relationships, Health, Functional skills and ICT and Social, Moral and spiritual values and British Values.

We aim to ensure that by getting to know your young person’s skills and aspirations we can make sure that:-

  • Each pathway provides a curriculum that is broad, has depth, is relevant to both life outcomes and student needs and is intended to prepare students for the next stage in their life.
  • Each pathway is intended to develop knowledge and skills as well as personal qualities and personal well-being,
  • Each pathway provides a wrap- around provision of services
  • All learning is enhanced by a robust qualification structure – underpinned by principles of progression and then tailored to each student
  • Each pathway leads to a destination which build on prior learning