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Autumn Term: 2018-19

Animal Care

Birch will be visiting the animal area to discuss the welfare needs of an animal. This will include:

  • Its need for a suitable environment
  • Its need for a suitable diet
  • Its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  • Any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals
  • Its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

On occasion there may be the opportunity to visit other (offsite) animal care establishments.

Bramble, our school dog,. regularly attends lessons; this enables and encourages Birch to discuss his care and needs as a school dog.

Art and Design

This term in art and design we will be looking at junk modelling, taking inspiration from the box trolls! We will first look at images of the box trolls to try to dissect what they are made from and identify three dimensional shapes. We will design our own box trolls using basic shapes and identify ‘junk’ that we can use to bring our box trolls to life.

We will next watch videos of the box trolls to find out how they move. We will incorporate one element of movement within each of our designs before finally choosing a material with which to cover our box trolls before finally giving them a name. Through this topic we will complete one of the NOCN modules – Experiencing Art.


This term Birch will explore ICT and Creativity. They will learn about and experience film making, create stories and investigate music/sounds. With the film-making element, students will use iPads to make video recordings and experiment with Movie Maker. Students will also work with different creative software(s) to produce stories and will also look at different authors and books. Finally, the group will create and experiment with music/sound using various computer software and apps.


This term, Birch will be completing the ‘Creating an Interest’ unit of the EQUALS Moving On Literacy curriculum. They will look at poetry, plays and songs, experience books including traditional tales, and develop their knowledge of films, TV, radio and theatre. Students will use these practical activities to complete ASDAN Personal Progress or OCR Life and Living Skills units.

Life Skills

The Life Skills curriculum is designed to support pupils as they start their journey towards independence. KS4 pupils will be working towards completing ASDAN Personal Progress units. KS5 pupils will complete OCR Life and Living skills units.

The accreditations cover:

  • Accessing Community Facilities
  • Cookery
  • Personal Care
  • Getting Out and About

The curriculum is practically-based, giving pupils the chance to get out and about in their local community. Birch Café will give pupils the opportunity to gain employability skills, improve their confidence and engage with the local community. Pupils will regularly attend Live! where they will access a range of activities including arts and crafts.

Around the Home (KS5) / Looking After Your Home (KS4)

The aim is to develop our pupils’ skills to enable them to live as independent an adult life as possible. This term our learning will focus on how to clean the home. Each week we will work in the school flat to learn and practise a range of household tasks such as bed making, vacuuming and mopping, ironing, window-cleaning, dusting and cleaning the dishes. Pupils will get an opportunity to practise a range of different household skills on a rota basis with all working as a team to complete the flat cleaning.


Pupils in Birch will be completing mathematic units which will contribute to their ASDAN Personal Progress accreditation (KS4 students) and OCR Life and Living Skills accreditation (KS5 students). This term Birch will studying the ‘Understanding Number’ unit and will be taught to count accurately, recognise numbers, and add and subtract numbers using pictures and concrete resources to support them. They will be applying these skills throughout the day in familiar activities such as counting the number of pupils in class.

Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education (PSHCE)

This term our work in PSHCE will focus on relationships. We will begin by identifying and discussing the relationships that the pupils have with the people that are currently in their lives. We will discuss the importance of other people to us and identify why we are important in the lives of our friends and family. The learners will learn about healthy and unhealthy relationships and what they should do if they feel upset with friends. As part of this module we will cover Sex and Relationships Education (SRE), including looking after ourselves and the difference between public and private.

As part of the PSHCE curriculum we work closely with a range of professionals including the local police, the NSPCC and the school nurse. On occasion it is important that the pupils’ curriculum changes to meet their needs or in response to a large event.

Physical Education (PE)

This term Birch will be refining and further developing existing skills by exploring, creating and taking part in simple ball games as part of a new EQUALS scheme of work called ‘My Play and Leisure’. Learners will be encouraged to: co-operate in small groups, evaluate their own work and that of others, celebrate success, follow rules and be a team player. Learners’ leadership skills will be fostered by their taking part in different activities and fun games.

In swimming Birch will be practising water safety skills, learning about water safety, and adapting existing swimming movements/strokes to simple games in the water.