The main aim for upper school students is to offer a range of person centered learning opportunities through a carefully planned curriculum. Assessment in year 10 enables us to identify the best possible route for the future, including work experience and placements as well as appropriate accreditation.

Fundamental to the curriculum is an ability to understand what the young person’s skills, interests and motivations are and how best to foster, develop and support these in order to establish a successful future.

Key areas of learning

World of Work

Young people in the upper school focus on the ‘World of Work’ and the skills required to access this. We aim to offer a range of person-centred learning opportunities through a career path of various ‘streams of learning’. Through assessment of skills, individual choices and professional decisions, each young person starts to focus on developing identified areas of interest and skills. Our goal is for our young people to be able to access work having gained the skills needed through on the job learning and training. Read about one young person's work placement experience.

We have identified seven key learning areas or streams where young people can focus on developing their skills;

  1. Transitional/preparation for work
  2. Catering and hospitality
  3. Admin and finance
  4. Business and enterprise
  5. Land based
  6. Trade skills
  7. House keeping

By offering our young people opportunities to take part in appropriate identified work experience and placements we support them to gain valuable skills in understanding expectations from the wider community and prepare them for future life and independent living. We also promote the skills required to work alongside others, gaining experience, developing skills and understanding and providing encouragement to develop their own individual performance and build self-esteem.

The way in which we ensure learning leads to work is shown below:

How we ensure learning leads to work diagram

Functional Skills

Upper school students have opportunities to develop their academic skills in the areas of literacy and maths, in a functional and meaningful way. Activities and teaching focuses on skills being learnt in context, with practical and hands on activities, appropriate for the individual learner. Throughout the upper school, students have opportunities to practice these skills within their familiar learning environments, during offsite community access and with greater independence. 

Independent Living

Young person washing upIt is vitally important that young people develop their independent living skills and are able to access activities in the community to help prepare them for their transition from Prior's Court. In the upper school department we aim to build on previous skills that have been taught and want to offer young people a deeper understanding to enrich their quality of life which will allow each individual to reach their greatest potential.


Learning in the community is very important for all young people and helps them to establish a suitable range of different learning opportunities in functional and meaningful contexts. Upper school students have regular access to community services to ensure the transferring of skills learnt in the school environment. Students have a clear focus throughout the different year groups building on their existing skills.

Leisure skills and social opportunities

Leisure skills are extremely important in supporting young people in order to enjoy learning in a wide range of different contexts. Developing social skills is also essential for opportunities to access a wider social network. Through careful planning we aim to work these two areas together to support the young people to access learning in a range of different ways.