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Inspiring, nurturing and empowering young people with a vision impairment.

Learning

The National Curriculum

At NCW we offer a broad range of national curriculum subjects with the exception that Design and Technology (DT) is replaced with Independent Living Skills (ILS).

Every subject area carefully considers how to ensure that the subject is fully accessible to every student through a multisensory approach. In Science lessons, students learn to do as much as possible for themselves and participate in experiments. Many of our students excel at Languages and we believe that learning a second language improves a students’ understanding of literacy and so we promote and support the learning of languages at every key stage.

We offer a wide range of GCSEs but also some level 1/ 2 BTECs, Entry level qualifications and ASDAN so that we can tailor programmes of study to the individual needs of the student.

There are also designated periods on the timetable for the teaching of the specialist VI curriculum and study skills focusing on metacognition.

NCW Curriculum 2023/2024
The aims of our curriculum:

• Provide a broad and balanced curriculum that promotes and nurtures skills for learning and for life
• Work together with all interested parties to embrace diversity and change
• Enable students to develop knowledge, understand concepts and acquire skills, and be able to choose and apply these in relevant situations
• Develop students’ independent learning skills, VI skills and resilience to equip them for further/higher education and life beyond education so that they can lead fulfilling and independent lives and enter the world of work with confidence.
• Promote strong social skills and self-advocacy
• Engender high aspiration in every student so they can envisage a bright and successful future.
• Support students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
• Support students’ physical development and responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing through being active
• Support students’ awareness of and responsibility for their own wellbeing and mental health and enable them to discuss this openly
• Teach students how to be safe and stay safe
• Ensure equitable access to learning, with high expectations for every student and appropriate levels of challenge and support
• Provide subject choices that support students’ learning and progression, and enable them to work towards achieving their aspirational goals
• Provide a wide variety of experiences, opportunities and activities in which to help build friendships and new interests.

Physical Education
We place a particular emphasis on the importance of enriching subjects and are proud that core PE forms part of the curriculum at every key stage. In some mainstream settings students may not have the opportunity to participate in accessible team sports, to do athletics out on the field in an open space or to swim, but at NCW every student participates fully. This is so important for physical well-being and mental health.

Art, Drama and Music
At Key Stage 3, Art, Drama and Music forms part of the curriculum for every student. We recognise the importance of Art because in these lessons students access a wide range of tactile objects and learn valuable manipulation techniques to develop their fine motor skills and dexterity. Drama lessons develop their spatial awareness, social skills and confidence; and in an auditory world, Music lessons are absolutely essential.

Personal, Social, Citizenship and Health Education
PSCHE is taught by an experienced subject specialist at each key stage and forms an essential part of the curriculum. Relationships and sex education are made fully accessible through the sensitive use of anatomical models and there is a focus on keeping safe. Careers education also forms an important part of the curriculum.
At Key Stage 4, IT and ILS lessons form part of the core curriculum because we understand the importance of the skills needed for independence.

Enrichment
Enrichment lessons for Sixth Form students have a focus on transition to the workplace and/or higher education. In the Sixth form we have a range of pathways depending on the needs of the students that allow transition to higher education such as university, apprenticeship, employment or further education. We offer a wide range of A levels, Level 3 BTEC, level 2 qualifications and other vocational qualifications such as Unit Awards.

Alternative Provision
For students who have learning difficulties we offer an Alternative Provision in our Malvern Rooms in which a thematic approach encapsulates literacy, numeracy, IT skills, humanities and science with a practical approach.

Exams
Exams can be stressful and, given that students may be allocated up to 100% extra time, they can be very tiring. We ensure that students are fully prepared and have experienced mock exams that are as close as possible to the real thing. Our team of exam support staff have been specially trained to be readers and scribes and understand what is permitted in a public examination. In the lead up to exams they work with students so they can practise using their support. Teachers understand how to modify resources and in preparation for public exams, students will have practised past papers and exam style questions presented in the format that will be provided by the exam boards in the modified papers.

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