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The Department for Education defines the National Curriculum for England, specifying what should be taught in all maintained primary and secondary schools.  It also divides children and young people into age groups called Key Stages.  At each Key Stage, all children in state schools will study certain subjects, following the requirements of the National Curriculum. The Key Stages are:

Key Stage 1: Years 1 and 2

  • Key Stage 2: Years 3-6
  • Key Stage 3: Years 7-9
  • Key Stage 4: Years 10 and 11

Attainment Levels describe exactly what a child working at that level will be achieving.  Attainment Levels for all subjects range between 1 and 5, with 1 being the lowest.

For young people with special educational needs, a further measure of attainment exists and this is referred to as the P Scale.  The P Scale describes the progress of pupils with special educational needs who are working towards level 1 of the National Curriculum. There are eight levels of the P Scale with P1 being the lowest and P8 the highest.

The David Lewis College offers education for young people working between P Level 1 and Level 1 of the National Curriculum.  When a student joins the David Lewis College, they enrol on one of four courses, subject to the current level at which they are learning:

 Pre-Entry Courses

Course 1:             ‘Learning through the Senses’ is for students who are learning between P Levels 2 and 6.  This course supports students in developing effective total communication and functional independence skills through sensory experiences.

Course 2:             ‘Living Life and Learning’ is for students who are learning at P Level 5 to Entry Level 1.  This course supports students in developing effective total communication and functional independence skills through practical experiences.

Entry-Level Courses

Course 3:             ‘Enjoy, Experience and Achieve’ is for students learning between P Level 8 and Entry
Level 2.  This course supports students in developing effective total communication and functional independence skills through vocational and curriculum focused learning.

Course 4:             ‘Working Towards The Future’ is for students learning at Entry Levels 1-3, up to and including Level 1.  This course provides students with the skills for independence and the foundation for work.

All courses, where appropriate, offer qualifications and accreditations from leading exam boards in topics such as Life Skills, Literacy, Numeracy, English Speaking Board, Information Communication Technology (‘ICT’) plus many other subject areas.

Every student has a day timetable plus an extended curriculum timetable.  Together, these give many choices in terms of subject areas and leisure activities and provide a foundation for the next stage of the student’s young adult life.

Formal Curriculum

Life Skills

Learning includes sessions in citizenship, life skills, personal and social skills, ICT, skills for life, shop and travel and community access.  The extended curriculum allows these skills to be applied in a real environment.

Arts and Media

Media studies includes activities such as short film-making, documentaries, professional printed media, the David Lewis radio station and podcasts, music, art, photography and performance.  Students participate in a range of external arts and media events, including the Barnaby Festival in Macclesfield, the David Lewis fashion show (which has taken place at the Trafford Centre, Manchester) and exhibitions at the Urbis Centre, Manchester.

Health & Fitness

We highly value the health, fitness and well-being of our students and have an extensive range of on-site leisure facilities [link], including our multi-gym, heated swimming pool, sports hall, adapted bikes and all-weather pitch.  We access a wide range of community sporting facilities on a weekly basis.

Vocational Studies

Hospitality & Catering

We offer students the opportunity to learn skills in hospitality and catering in a range of professional and progressive environments.  Students learn how to run a café and service customers and through this, develop a range of skills such as effective interpersonal communication, personal and food hygiene and money management.

‘Juice’ is a contemporary coffee lounge run on-site at David Lewis, offering good opportunities to talk to people, practice food preparation and develop customer service skills.  Students can also work in the ‘Rainbow Café’ which provides a professional catering environment providing a wide range of refreshments and meals for everyone at David Lewis.

Land-Based Skills

At the Land-Based Skills Centre, students can learn about aspects of horticulture and animal care.  Students develop knowledge about the environment, taking responsibility for plants and animals, working safely and the importance of teamwork.

Business & Office Skills

The David Lewis College offers a full range of vocational training facilities, both on-site and in the community.  Facilities in the main college are complemented by our craft shop “The Work Sh0p” and printers “Eduprint” in the busy local town of Macclesfield.

Approach to Learning

Our curriculum offers wide choice, allowing students to develop a broad range of essential skills and also to develop deeper knowledge of subjects that are of particular interest to an individual.

Every student has a tutor and key worker and an Individual Learning Plan (‘ILP’) which is developed jointly with the student.  The ILP is a working document which evolves to reflect the progress that a student is making, defining the steps that need to be taken to ensure that each student has fulfilled his or her potential when they reach the end of their College life.

Students have a timetable tailored to their particular needs and interests; we will support all students to develop their capabilities in terms of Independent Living Skills, Skills for Life, Communication, Personal and Social Skills and Health and Safety.

The practical application of skills through work experience is an important facet of the David Lewis College approach to learning and is integral to the courses that we deliver; we offer a wide range of placements, meaning that we can tailor these to a student’s particular areas of interest.

Timetables are designed to suit the needs of the individual: their interests, aspirations and long-term goals are considered.  Timetables are presented in a manner that makes it possible for each student to understand what the day holds for them, whether that involves the use of pictures, symbols or words.  Activities are supported by whatever specialist support is required, including speech, language and communication therapy, psychology and behaviour support, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, medical and clinical specialists and occupational therapy.  We minimise out students’ barriers to learning, enabling everyone to achieve their full potential.

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