The David Lewis School offers the City & Guilds Personal Progress Foundation Learning Programme for students aged 14 to 19. This flexible scheme supports a personalised programme of learning that allows learners to develop their potential and to progress into further education or a more independent life. Qualifications are achieved by building up credits from a choice of 32 units.
The programme spans a wide range of achievement, including the ability to apply basic skills, knowledge and understanding to a range of familiar experiences.
The units include literacy, numeracy, ICT, independent living, personal care, keeping fit and healthy, community awareness and creative skills.
In both Key Stage 4 and the sixth form, a focus upon basic skills is the major part of the curriculum. In addition, students in Key Stage 4 develop independent living skills which are extended in the sixth form to include rights and responsibilities, dealing with problems, work experience and transition.
Qualifications can be gained at award, certificate and diploma level based upon the number of credits achieved.
The development of communication skills is at the core of everything that we do; we are committed to listening to our students and respecting their views and wishes.
We recognise that the transition to a new environment poses its own challenges and we help in every way that we can, extending beyond classroom-based teaching to include community visits, PE, swimming and work experience opportunities, both on-site and in the wider community.
Teaching takes place in small groups of five or fewer pupils and each group is always taught in the same classroom by the same teacher, supported by individual support workers. Key workers from the education and residential teams work closely together to ensure that there is a continuity of support for residential pupils.
Reviews and Targets
We create an individual learning plan for each of our pupils which includes the setting of challenging but achievable targets. This plan is shared with our team members, family and carers. Progress on the journey to greater independence is captured and measured using the ‘B squared’ system and photo story records and the plan is regularly reviewed and modified if necessary.
Communication and language development is at the core of our curriculum and is developed using a variety of techniques. Literacy and numeracy are developed through creative writing and by making them features of other activities.
The Wider Community
Our fleet of adapted minibuses means that we are not tied to the David Lewis site and we make trips to the shops and other local amenities such as a climbing wall and local stables for horse riding; these trips provide opportunities for developing social interaction skills. We also invite community organisations to visit us, both to learn about us or to provide insights into their work and interests.
We offer physical activities for all, including swimming in our on-site pool, using one of our range of adapted bikes, participating in country dancing or relaxing in the sensory soft play area with its ball pool.
Information Communication Technology (ICT)
ICT is relevant to all pupils. Interactive Omivista technology turns floor spaces into an ongoing experience of movement, action, fun and excitement. Sensory screens enable pupils to take control of their learning and to access an extensive range of online learning materials. Art and creative skills can be developed through the use of ICT, in addition to more traditional methods and materials.
We provide work experience opportunities in the local community and through our own social enterprises. Through these activities and as part of the wider curriculum, we provide an introduction to the world of work and the importance of equality and diversity and good practice in health and safety.
Specialist staff complement the work of the teaching and care staff, devising individual therapy programmes that form part of day-to-day activities. So, elements of a physiotherapy programme might be delivered whilst in the swimming pool or by encouraging a pupil to walk to a computer in the classroom.
Individual pupil behaviours are understood by our psychology and behaviour team and a behaviour plan is developed that is implemented consistently by all staff, whenever they interact with a pupil.