Addington School

Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form Curriculum


Key Stage 4 and 5 Curriculum Overview


Upper School is comprised of KS4 and KS5 departments. Students in Year 10 and 11 are in Key Stage 4, and students in Year 12, 13 and 14 are in Key Stage 5; by year 14 students are either 18 – 19 years old.



Intent – What do we need to achieve?


From 14 – 19, the curriculum aims to develop pathways that can best support positive outcomes for each individual student. We recognise that each and every students’ definition of a successful outcome is based on a wide range of factors – what success looks like for one person is different to what it looks like for another. Therefore, the upper school curriculum at Addington is a working document revised according to the aspirations of young people in their Year 9 reviews and how these change and develop as they get older.


We want our students to work towards creating achievable aspirations for their future. In KS4 we aim to provide students with general experiences to help them to work out their preferences, dislikes, motivations, strengths and areas for support. In KS5, we continue to develop their strengths and areas of interest by providing more bespoke work experiences, college placements and leisure opportunities. Each student progresses towards their aspirations at the rate that is right for them and their families. We provide information, advice and guidance about transitions and how best to work towards aspirations.



We aim to build on the literacy and numeracy skills students have developed through KS3 curriculum, and support learners to use and apply these in a functional way in everyday life. We build upon the integrated therapy approach by extending speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy from the classroom to the home, the community and to indoor and / or outdoor work places by providing opportunities for practising, transferring and consolidating skills in these areas. 



As our older learners become more aware of their disability, we want them to be as independent as possible and to request or use any supports as necessary, while increasing their exposure to the local community; in some cases challenging stereo-typical thinking around special educational needs and disability. We aim to support our learners to make use of local services in their areas that will be available in their adult lives while giving them experiences of cultural capital. This includes links to the arts, leisure centres, local travel routes, sports and social clubs, local cafes, voluntary groups.




Implementation – how do we do this?


There are two main curriculum approaches – skills based and knowledge based. Students move flexibly between five pathways to allow for personalisation. (Please click here to view information about pathways).


All students have long-term outcomes that are reviewed on the Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) at each transition stage – year 9, 11 and 14. Through annual review, these are revised into medium term outcomes that form the basis of short term Personalized Learning Plans (PLPs) that are updated continually.

Curriculum is embedded into a two-year cycle of high-interest projects; the projects titles are aimed at the interests of learners while the content is taught both in school and across the community. Teaching in different community areas, and linking to different aspects of the community, is important at Addington as our student intake spans across at least four borough councils and 10 – 12 different localities. Through the projects, students address local and national topical issues, develop independence skills including home management, orientate around their communities, learn more about work in their areas, develop digital literacy and learn to manage their own safety and the safety of others.


To ensure optimal opportunity for transferring and consolidating skills and knowledge, students revisit key learning points through the project series. We revisit key concepts through cyclical teaching; the learners have opportunities to learn and practice a new concept, transfer the learning to a new situation and embed through tapering of support. Sequential learning opportunities are mapped across an outcome planner linked to core curriculum and wider curriculum areas. Individual sequential learning is mapped in PLPs. Most importantly, the delivery of the projects creates emotive experiences which support learning being transferred into long-term memory.

Where appropriate, students access subject specific content. We teach employer recognised qualifications; this incudes, GCSEs, Functional Skills qualifications, City and Guilds, B-Tec, Duke of Edinburgh and Arts Award. PSHE and RSE topics including Disability Awareness are taught in differentiated groupings; bespoke PSHE is provided alongside safe-guarding issues as they arise.

The curriculum experiences and achievements of our SEND learners are recorded and celebrated through The Addington Achievement Award at Addington School in a student-friendly format. It evidences a curriculum based on the areas of need identified in the SEND Code of Practice (2015): Cognition and Interaction; Cognition and Learning; Social, Emotional and Mental Health; Sensory and Physical Need. It charts steps of development in areas that impact the quality of each young person’s life and future: Employment; Independence; Friends, Relationships & Community; Good Health. (Preparation for Adulthood – NDTi; 2019).


All students access work related learning according to their needs, this includes work ready days, internal work experience, supported work experience in the community and internships as well as discrete employability lessons. (please click here to view a careers timeline)

In Key Stage 5 students visit local colleges to sample courses accessible to them to prepare and support them in making choices about their future after Addington.


Upper School Core Curriculum Values

Progression – Each stage builds upon the skills and learning outcomes developed in PLPs from the previous key stage


Meaningful - Focus on independent skills that can transfer to all aspects of life


Current - Updated to match local, national and global issues whilst incorporating accessible technology, meaningful accreditation and therapeutic input 


Personalisation - Two main pathways, with access to aspects of a third pathway based on individual learner needs


Relevance - Framework to develop a scaled range of transferable skills and knowledge needed to Prepare for Adulthood https://www.preparingforadulthood.org.uk/


Student Centered - Weekly collaborative review and evaluation of planned activities; teachers modify and shape the curriculum to suit the needs of learners



Impact – how do we know we have achieved this?

Success measures are based on areas that will be relevant to our students’ adult life:

Students will have made progress towards their PLP targets and EHCP outcomes.

Students will be ready for the next stage of education, employment or training. Key Stage 4 learners will successfully transition to Sixth Form equipped with a foundation of skills and knowledge to build on as they progress into adulthood.

Key Stage 5 students will have encountered a range of work and college experiences in order to make informed choices about their futures with their families, and will be prepared to move on to their next stage after Addington. Some students will have achieved relevant accreditation in nationally recognised qualifications.

Students will engage in their local community, reflecting life-long leisure opportunities accessed at school. They will have gained the skills and knowledge to live a fulfilled and happy life as independently as possible.

(Please click here for more information about impact)