Key Curriculum Area: Independence A major focus within the waking day curriculum is on developing independent living skills which are taught in a way that is meaningful and functional for the young person. In this way, students learn to acquire appropriate sleeping and toileting patterns, develop personal care routines and appropriate mealtime behaviour; build the understanding and ability to shop, prepare and serve food with increasing levels of independence; undertake household chores such as using washing machines and dishwashers, sorting laundry and tidying bedrooms; learn to share and developing a sense of family and community. Vocational skills and work placements Students are offered a range of opportunities to develop life skills with a strong vocational focus throughout the school but particularly for the older students. The skills taught provide a toolkit which can be applied at school, home or in the community. Through assessment of skills, individual choices and professional decisions, each young person in the upper school starts to focus on developing identified areas of interest and skills. We aim for our young people to be able to access work having gained the skills needed through vocational learning and training. As of January 2020, we have 19 different external organisations offering a total of 56 work placements to our young people. Based on their identified skills and interests, young people in the upper school can focus on developing their skills in the following seven areas or streams; Transitional/preparation for work Catering and hospitality Admin and finance Business and enterprise Land based Trade skills House keeping Offering our young people opportunities to participate in appropriate work experience supports them to gain valuable skills in understanding expectations from the wider community and prepares them for independent living. We also promote the skills needed for working alongside others, gaining experience, developing skills and understanding and providing encouragement to develop their own individual performance and build self-esteem.