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Art and Design

The Art and Design curriculum is delivered to all students in Upper School (Key Stages 3, 4 and 5). They are introduced to a range of new and familiar techniques, materials, artists and themes. They work through three different topics and engage in practical tasks, discussion, group work and homework activities. Each theme is designed to develop a balance of practical skills, enabling the students to experiment, explore and develop new and familiar techniques including painting, printing, collage and sculpture. The completed art pieces will be initially displayed around the school then brought together for the school’s end of year Art Festival when they will have to consider how best to present their work for all to see and admire.

Careers (and World of Work)

See Work-related Learning.


Computing at Dorin Park aims to ensure that all students are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.

Computers and related technologies are used throughout the school and play an invaluable part in the education of the students. All classrooms have a Smartboard and ICT is used in the majority of lessons to engage and motivate the students. To ensure that all students have equal access to ICT, adapted versions of peripheral devices are available. IPads are used in lessons which motivate and engage the students.

We teach the students the principles of how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. The students are equipped to use information technology to create programs and systems. They become digitally literate, able to use and express themselves and develop their ideas through information and communication technology.

Design & Technology (DT)

The D&T curriculum is delivered to all students throughout KS3.

Design & Technology (D&T) provides practical learning experiences, which makes it accessible to all students. Students use knowledge and understanding from across the curriculum and apply them in practical activities. Designing and making real products that can be used can give students a sense of achievement and improve their self-esteem. They benefit from seeing their own progress and taking greater responsibility for their own learning as they begin to evaluate the quality of their work. Students’ personal involvement with tasks often improves their attention span, persistence and commitment.

Food Technology

Food Technology is taught as a part of the D&T curriculum. The course follows the ‘Journey through Food’ route which is supported by the British Nutrition Foundation and Change4Life. Lessons will be practical. Students will be taught how to prepare a range of ingredients then cook simple foods. They will learn how to use kitchen equipment and utensils correctly and safely. During cookery lessons picture recipes will support the students allowing them to work with increasing independence and confidence. When planning meals they will use the Eatwell Plate model. They will consider nutrition, food groups and healthy eating. They will investigate where food comes from, how it is processed and the different places it can be bought.


At Dorin Park, the principle aim for English is to promote high standards of language, literacy and reading. Reading at Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 is wide, varied and challenging, with students being encouraged to read for pleasure and to find out information. Students also develop their writing skills, being encouraged to write imaginatively using an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. They are also encouraged to understand and use discussion and debate.

Students are also taught to control their speaking and writing along with understanding why sentences are constructed as they are. It is important that students learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within teaching.


Here at Dorin Park the Humanities is taught to two KS3 classes: Pine and Juniper; we study a module of History and Geography each term. The Humanities aims to give pupils an understanding of the wider world alongside discovering where we come from and the events of the past. Both classes follow the same topics, with their lessons and outcomes planned around the needs of each class.

Life Skills

Life and Living Skills are promoted from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 5 and permeate many areas of the curriculum including cookery, PHSCE, maths and literacy. Students are encouraged to think for themselves through a range of curricular activities and to achieve the practical skills to enable them to live and work as confidently and independently as possible and to the best of their ability.

Groups within KS3 have timetabled Life and Living Skills lessons. The curriculum schemes of work follow a three year rolling programme of half-termly units. The half termly units enable the students to follow a diverse curriculum during which they have opportunities to use household electrical equipment and develop practical skills within the home environment. They work on developing their independence in daily living skills, where they practise laundry, cleaning and cooking; there is also a unit focusing on healthy living and a healthy lifestyle. There are opportunities to develop and practise their social skills when out in the community, when they will be shopping, eating at a café, and understanding managing money. There are also opportunities for some independent travel training.

All students in KS4 and KS5 also have timetabled Life and Living Skills lessons and also follow a two year rolling programme. They have opportunities to gain accreditation primarily through OCR Life and Living Skills units/qualifications.


The core aim of Mathematics at Dorin Park is for students to feel confident in their mathematical abilities and to be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to real life situations. Sessions are taught discretely and are differentiated across each Key Stage in relation to students’ learning styles and academic levels. Students will encounter units in Number, Measures, Geometry and Statistics in a range of engaging, supportive and challenging learning experiences. In order for students to master mathematical content, fluency, reasoning and problem solving will be embedded within the schemes of work with independence promoted throughout.

At Key Stages 4 and 5 students will apply their skills as they work towards particular accreditations. Students at Key Stage 4 will follow either ASDAN ‘Personal Progress’, AQA ‘Entry Level Maths’ or AQA GCSE. Students at Key Stage 5 will follow either Edexcel ‘Functional Skills Mathematics’ or ASDAN ‘Personal Progress’, which will provide them with the practical skills required in everyday life.


Music at Dorin Park is a powerful, unique form of communication. It is used to actively involve the students in a musical experience appropriate to the individuals functioning level.

Music is taught using the ‘Musical Futures’ approach which is based on the belief that learning is most effective when the students are engaged in making music, and their existing passion for music is acknowledged and built upon in the classroom. In their lessons, the students use methods that are employed by popular musicians and they build on their previous knowledge and skills through performing, composing and listening and they develop their vocal and instrumental fluency, accuracy and expressiveness.

The music department also offer additional instrumental lessons on the drums, guitar or piano.

Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education (PSHCE)

PSHCE stands for Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education, with previously separate PSHE and Citizenship lessons being combined from September 2016. The PSHCE curriculum covers three key areas: Health and Well-being, Relationships, and Citizenship and the Wider World. It is embedded within the thematic curriculum within the primary classes, and each of the KS3, KS4 and KS5 classes have one lesson per week.

The aim of the PSHCE curriculum is to provide the students and students with the skills and understanding that they will need to live as independent and fulfilling a life as possible. Areas covered include:

  • Relationships and sex education, to include parenting at KS4 and KS5
  • Work experience and volunteering in the local community
  • Money and finance, including a group enterprise project annually
  • The law and democracy, including the consequences of breaking the law
  • How to be a good citizen

There will be opportunities for students to research and work with charities based in the UK and the wider world.

SMSC (Spiritual, Social, Moral and Cultural development) runs firmly throughout the PSHCE curriculum as students are asked to reflect on their own thoughts and ideas as well as looking at their immediate environment and the wider world.

Physical Education (PE)

A high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all students to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. It provides opportunities for students to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect. All children get opportunities to be sports leaders (e.g. leading the warm-up) during lessons, and some of our lunchtime clubs are Change 4 Life clubs.

The national curriculum for physical education aims to ensure that all students:

  • Develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
  • Are physically active for sustained periods of time
  • Engage in competitive sports and activities
  • Lead healthy, active lives
Offsite PE: where appropriate, pupils in Key Stages 4 and 5 access their PE lessons at a range of local sporting venues e.g. the local sports centre.


Science is taught to all groups across Key Stages 3 and 4 and is designed to develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in the subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. The programme of study will equip the students with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses of science, today and for the future.

In biology the programme of study includes the structure and function of living organisms, photosynthesis, respiration and energy, environmental interactions and interdependencies, and genetics and evolution. In chemistry students will be taught about the nature of matter, materials and their properties, chemical reactions, and the Earth and its atmosphere. The physics programme of study covers the key concepts of energy, forces and motion, electricity and space.

Students will be encouraged to ask questions based on observations of the real world, make predictions using scientific knowledge and understanding, and to interpret observations and data, including identifying patterns and using observations.

Transition to College

Moving on to a college or new setting is something that proves very challenging for many of our students.

The transition to college course is designed to reduce anxiety and build confidence when attending/visiting a local college. Oak will be visiting Northop College (Coleg Cambria) in the first instance. They will begin by gradually getting used to the new environment, viewing and accessing different facilities. They will then take part in a weekly lesson led by a college tutor. The group will have use of the college facilities for the day, where alongside their lesson they will complete paperwork for their accredited course with school staff. Throughout the year, students will also have the opportunity to practise their life skills through visits to local amenities alongside the college visits.

Work-related Learning

Work Experience
Work experience gives all young people an opportunity to:

  • Obtain a wider awareness of the world of work as part of their general education
  • Learn outside the classroom (including the opportunity to access work placements in the community)
  • Relate their studies to the world of work and training
  • Increase their practical skills, confidence and independence

Careers sessions aim to develop students’ abilities to plan and manage their progression through learning and into work. The sessions look at different careers and jobs and discuss the opportunities available. Outside speakers will also visit school to educate students on different occupations and job opportunities.

World of Work
These sessions give students the opportunity to take part in meaningful work-related learning, teaching students the knowledge they will need to cope in a working environment. Students are encouraged to explore their skills, interests, aspirations and needs in relation to employment. These sessions are consolidated through Work Experience and link into the Careers sessions.

Zones of Regulation

Zones of Regulation is a curriculum geared toward helping students gain skills in consciously regulating their actions, which in turn lead to increased control and problem-solving abilities. Using a cognitive behaviour approach, the curriculum’s learning activities are designed to help students recognize when they are in different states, called zones, with each of the four zones represented by a different colour. In the activities, students also learn how to use strategies or tools to stay in a zone or move from one to another. Students explore calming techniques, cognitive strategies, and sensory supports so they will have a toolbox of methods to use to move between zones. To deepen students’ understanding of how to self-regulate, the lessons set out to teach students these skills: How to read others’ facial expressions and recognize a broader range of emotions; perspective about how others see and react to their behaviour; insight into events that trigger their less regulated states; and when and how to use tools and problem-solving skills.