Overview & Assessment
At Glebe we offer a curriculum that is exciting, rich, broad and balanced
Our mission is to ensure that all our students are educated to live their lives independently, responsibly and successfully. We are aspirational for our students and firmly believe that the development of character goes hand in hand with academic achievement in order to attain life-long success.
Our rich and broad curriculum gives every student the opportunity to fulfil their potential. The curriculum is regularly reviewed and tailored to the needs of our students - subjects such as Sport, Music, Drama, Art, Technology sit alongside the core subjects of English, Maths and Science. We are committed to improving confidence in communication skills to support student progress in school. Literacy, Vocabulary, Numeracy and PSHE skills are embedded across the curriculum and in our Tutor Time programme. Our spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development is integrated into our curriculum with a focus on mental well-being.
These are supported by an array of co-curricular activities, clubs, trips and residential visits, as well as Speech & Language and Occupational Therapy support.
The staff at Glebe School are experienced and have the highest of expectations, shaping a culture where our students feel valued, nurtured and respected. Consequently, students make exceptional progress from their starting points.
Designed to develop students’ skills regardless of their starting points, our curriculum builds secure foundations that will prepare them for the next stage of their education journey and beyond. Our teaching and learning provides students with the tools to become confident, responsible individuals who are sure of their abilities. Lessons are engaging, calm and suitably personalised - teachers plan learning with enough challenge and support to allow students to work independently, whilst also enabling them to achieve and progress. Curriculum/Subject Leaders are experts in their field and carefully monitor and review curriculum areas to ensure that students understand a wide range of topics within a subject. The curriculum map for each subject can be accessed here.
In Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9), students follow a secondary curriculum of core and foundations subjects taught by specialist teachers.
In Key Stage 4 (Years 10 - 11) alongside the core curriculum, students have the opportunity to choose their own personal pathway. Whatever they chose, all subjects lead to accredited qualifications. These range from GCSEs to alternative accreditations such as BTEC and Entry Level. In order to help prepare them for life beyond school and to aid in their respective career choices, we also offer KS4 students work experience placement in Year 11.
Our rich curriculum enables students to develop their resilience, confidence, whilst gaining the qualifications they need for their destination and to live their lives independently, responsibly and successfully.
The Provision takes a holistic approach to learning whilst still holding academic success as a core value. The small size of the provision allows for the curriculum to be tailored to the needs of each student.
Across all key stages, core lessons are streamed by ability within lower- and upper-key stages, and students are taught a functional curriculum to prepare them for their next steps, whether this is to mainstream further education, supported internship, specialist college placements, or their adult lives. In English, Talk 4 Writing techniques are embedded within the functional curriculum, and in maths, White Rose resources are used to ensure a balanced curriculum.
Alongside the academic focus, emotional self-regulation, life skills, and independence are significant emphases that flow through the provision curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities. To support this, strategies such as social stories, music therapy, comic strips, topic boards, independence challenge schemes, and classroom visuals are used alongside programmes such as Zones of Regulation, SMiLE therapy, and Sensory Circuits to develop students’ self-awareness, encourage them to take ownership of their behaviour and learning, and to achieve the greatest degree of independence.
In all lessons, Speech and Language as well as Occupational Therapy strategies are implemented to ensure all students can access learning and progress academically. Opportunities for students to see themselves as part of the school, local and wider local community are regularly sought through an Enrichment programme – from using public transport to volunteering at local businesses. In house, we have life skills facilities to teach students how to run a home including washing clothes and making the bed. These skills are then further practiced through overnight stays at Wood Lodge Life Skills Centre which provision students access for 2-night stays.
Key Stages 3 & 4
Students with additional complex needs are provided focussed support where they may otherwise find the main body of the school challenging or overwhelming. This support includes specialist teachers, smaller class sizes, and an adapted curriculum that mirrors that of the main school but meets the learning needs of more complex students.
In terms of curriculum, KS3 students receive a broad and balanced curriculum mirroring that of their main school counterparts. In KS4, Art Award and AQA Allotments qualifications are introduced, in order to develop the skills necessary to transition to KS5.
Key Stage 5
In Sixth Form, students who are not ready to make the transition to college are provided with a rich curriculum exploring a number of vocational sectors to help them make an informed decision for their next steps, alongside their core subjects. Preparing for the future is paramount and is embedded in all lessons: from functional English, maths and digital skills qualifications to BTEC Vocational Studies where students explore a range of career sectors leading to nationally-recognised qualifications that can be built upon each year.
As well as the national curriculum, we also offer an extensive, carefully considered wider curriculum. We strongly believe that learning is not purely academic, and to enrich our students’ time with us they must experience different learning opportunities in tandem.
Our Wider Curriculum helps support the development of resilience, self-esteem, problem solving, communication, social skills and independence. Its impact is far reaching, helping to prepare students for life beyond school.
The enrichment of the curriculum comes in many forms. From school trips and community visits to Lunchtime Clubs and Peer Mentoring programmes; we have a House system that promotes recognition and celebration of achievement and host numerous events throughout the year, ranging from Drama Productions and Sports Day to following nationally calendared events such as Black History month. An active Student Council is the voice of the student body, integral to decisions made across the school.
At Glebe we do everything we can to ensure a well-rounded, full offering of experiences and opportunities for all our students, regardless of age or ability.
Glebe School Assessment Procedures
Assessment is an important tool that is used to ensure students make as much progress as possible, and to help the school to meet their needs. The procedures in place track and monitor both academic and personal development and help teachers plan the next steps for students. Targets are used to guide the students in their journey through the school and to keep students aware of the expectations that everyone working with them has for their progress. All students are encouraged to take ownership of their own targets and to make ever increasing contributions to the discussions about their development as they build their independence and confidence.
There are 2 aspects of assessment that help us build a clear picture of the progress that each student makes over time:
- Academic – Every subject taught makes regular assessments of how each student is progressing through the knowledge and understanding of what is being taught. The school teaches a full range of National Curriculum subjects in key stage 3, as well as some further options in key stage 4.
- Personal Development – Students are also assessed with how they are approaching their own development in areas such as social skills, independence, communication, creativity and emotional wellbeing. These aspects of their growth are important to track so that any interventions that would be helpful can be planned for.
Academic assessment is made in 26 Glebe Stages, A through to Z. The majority of students are currently assessed to be, on average, within the range I to S. But, it is important to note that many students at Glebe have very great strengths in some subjects, but not in others. Glebe works with a number of other special schools through the Specialist Learning Partnership (SLP) to moderate the students work and to compare outcomes across the schools. The SLP has produced a large portfolio of work that shows examples of each Glebe stage for each subject, and through this, teachers are able to ensure that the assessments that are made are both consistent comparable to expectations in other schools.
Students joining in year 7 are assessed across all subjects by the end of the first term, and all students are then set targets based on the expectations for progress. We would aspire to all students making 2 Glebe stages progress for each subject for each year, but this is only a guide and targets are personalised over time.
Students personal development is assessed according to a number of ‘can do’ statements that each have been developed to guide the students and help them develop the attributes they need ready for their next step once they have left. This tracking of development helps us to target interventions when required, and make sure that the needs of the students, and student groups are considered when designing the curriculum and pastoral systems in the school.
All of the assessment data collected is used to help the school plan and adapt its approach to teaching and learning. This happens in a number of ways, as follows:
- Subject teachers and heads of department use the assessments to make sure that students are in the correct groups that can best meet their needs. The information also helps them plan their lessons prepare materials for groups and individuals where necessary
- Tutors use the information gathered on both academic and personal development to help students engage with their subjects and guide them through the school.
- Heads of year use the information on personal development to help them consider interventions that may be required to help students develop towards their next steps
- All teaching staff use the assessment information to help them evaluate how well students are making progress within their subjects and to help them plan long term objectives such as schemes of work
- The leadership team review all assessment information to help them identify specific students, and groups of students, that may need further support or are cause for celebration. The overall progress made by the students at the school is a very important source of information that helps create and review the whole school development plan
- Moderation of work and progress is made with other schools in the SLP on a termly basis. This allows us to share best practice across 12 other special schools so that the school can ensure that the teaching and learning that takes place is regularly reviewed
- Summary data is shared with the schools’ trustees so that they can be appraised of whole school performance and ensure the accountability of the leadership team
It is important that students are involved in their assessments and the outcomes so that they are aware of what they need to do to make further progress and so that they can celebrate their achievements. Students are regularly celebrated during whole school assemblies and with merits that contribute towards a range of rewards over time including both prizes and end of term trips. The celebration of the progress that students make is highly personalised, what is ‘average’ progress for one student may well be a very considerable achievement for another. It is also often the case that individual students will make differing levels of progress over time as they develop their own personal attributes.