Personal, Social, Health and Economic education
Our tailored Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education develops students’ understanding of important topics such as identity, relationships, rights and mental health. According to the National Autistic Society, at least one in three autistic adults experience severe mental health difficulties due to a lack of support. This is an unacceptable statistic, and one we aim to change. Our students are taught the importance of understanding their needs and are given the confidence and knowledge not only to self-regulate, but to self-advocate. We believe an effective social skills curriculum should be in place that supports students in forming genuine relationships with peers and adults. It also provides a structured, positive learning environment that supports their understanding of social norms.
Through our Level 2 Money and Finance Skills BTEC course, students develop knowledge and skills around personal finance, so they can make informed decisions about their money. We teach students practical skills, so they understand the value of money and how to avoid financial pitfalls. At the end of the course, students understand and can calculate deductions made on their pay slips; know how to budget and save; and understand careers and corresponding salaries, as well as different methods of payment. Students will also participate in a largescale enterprise project where they can apply the skills they have learned in a real context. Our goal is to to ensure students not only make responsible decisions now about money they have, but that they will continue to do so with money they earn in the future.
Study skills is a personalised, one year course that enables students to manage the workload they are expected to complete in their college courses. In sixth form, the expectation is that students will become more independent in managing their coursework, but that cannot happen without support. We designed a study skills course that teaches students organisation skills, how to stay motivated and focused on their courses, and strategies for note taking and revision. The skills taught in this course not only support students to be successful in college, but also give them strategies to manage their future careers and personal lives.
Employability is a multifaceted Level 2 BTEC course that prepares students for the world of work. It provides a structured place for pupils to explore various career and volunteering opportunities and be able to apply for jobs. At the end of this course students will know their rights and responsibilities at work, understand health and safety expectations, and be able to apply problem-solving skills to their volunteering and work situations. Volunteering is expected as part of the course. We want our students to have the conviction to pursue careers that make them feel productive and proud.
As part of preparing students for the workload associated with their courses, we have mandatory independent study sessions. Students can work on their coursework with support staff or take part in enriching activities such as: reading articles on current affairs, watching informative documentaries, or by practising budgeting or other life skills. Independent study is not just an opportunity for staff to re-teach students. It allows students to ask staff questions, seek clarifications and work in a safe and quiet space. It is also an opportunity for staff to support students to manage their deadlines and succeed in their course.