Ensuring that our students are as prepared as they can be for the next stage of their lives is a key priority for us at Stanton Vale. From the moment our students arrive with us, we start teaching them to be as independent as they can be in preparation for life beyond school. As students get older, their provision needs to reflect the fact that they are moving towards adulthood. The environment, curriculum and resources in our sixth form are designed to reflect that students are no longer children but young adults.
This year we have seventeen students in our post sixteen department which is organised into three classes. Helen Shirtcliffe is the upper school team leader, the other two teachers in post sixteen are David Sampson and Hannah Jenkinson. The majority of our sixth form students have been with us for many years although some join us from schools who do not have a post 16 department.
All sixth form students access a wide range of subjects, continuing to develop skills in core areas. While some students acquire subject specific learning in subjects such as Maths and English, others continue to develop skills in the core areas of Communication, Cognition, Physical development and Personal Social and Emotional development (PSED).
All students attend a weekly ‘independent living’ lesson where life skills appropriate to their needs are taught. For some students this might involve planning, shopping for and cooking a meal while for others a priority might be to ask for help or indicate that they are uncomfortable. All students attend a ‘Preparation for work’ lesson which further prepares them for life beyond school.
At the end of each academic year, students are supported to select ‘Options’ for the forthcoming year, which are taught two afternoons each week. This year’s option subjects are Performing Arts, Yoga, Art, Environment and Baking.
The majority of sixth form students attend College for one afternoon each week. This year college lessons include Creative Textiles, Art, Food Technology, Literacy and Numeracy and Life Skills. Not all students will attend a college course post Stanton Vale, but attending whilst still at school allows students, parents and school staff the opportunity to consider the possibility of a post school placement.
All students attend a weekly Swimming session, either at the local community pool or in the school hydrotherapy pool, and a regular Music lesson with one of our two music specialists.
Sixth form students follow ‘Towards Independence’ award modules, which provide a framework of activities through which personal, social and independence skills can be developed and accredited. ASDAN is an educational charity that promotes the personal and social development of pupils through the achievement of ASDAN awards. From Key Stage four onwards pupils have the opportunity to acquire ASDAN certificates in a range of subjects. The school is currently reviewing the qualifications that students have the opportunity to acquire whilst at Stanton Vale and hope to offer a wider range from September 2018. Some students attend a Work experience placement and the school is currently developing this offer to include more community based placements. In addition students access a Business Enterprise module of work during the summer term.
During their time in sixth form, all students will be invited to attend a residential trip with their peers.
A representative from the Local Authority usually attends year nine annual reviews where a discussion is had, regarding a post school placement. School staff support parents and pupils as they explore what kind of post 19 placement might be appropriate. School staff support parents and pupils by suggesting appropriate post 19 placements and both pupils and parents are encouraged to visit prospective placements. When placements have been agreed, school staff can accompany students for transition visits and staff from the post 19 placement are encouraged to visit school. School staff will contact post 19 providers in the new academic year to find out how the placement is going and to offer any support that might be necessary.