Within the secondary department at Milestone Academy we aim to celebrate every achievement, however small, and help our students to overcome any barriers to their learning. We are a learning community where everyone, both students and staff, are valued for the unique contribution they bring to school life.
To ensure each student uses a preferred method of communication to interact with others including peers, family members and the community
To increase levels of self – confidence and self esteem
To be able to make decisions and choices
To develop Functional skills in Mathematics, English and ICT
To cope with change in their daily lives for example when a planned event has to be altered or deferred due to exceptional circumstances
To develop personal organisation and independence skills.
To prepare students for Post 19 placements including work related skills, vocational opportunities and work experience or employment where appropriate.
Class sizes vary between seven to twelve students and the number of adults in the class team, led by the class teacher, is devised according to the learning needs of the students. Classes are largely organised according to ability groupings, but social friendships and relationships are also taken into account.
National Curriculum and Work Related Learning
All students continue to study the subjects that make up the National Curriculum, but these are broken down into small, manageable steps. They are taught by their class teachers with specialist teachers for PE, Science, Dance, Art and Music. Work Related Learning is taught to all students and some students in Phase 4 spend one day a week, every other term, at Bore Place, an organic farm run by the Commonwork Land Trust. Here the students learn about the importance of sustainable farming. Where appropriate, other students in Phase 4 work towards qualifications such as BTEC Health and Social Care and a Level 1 qualification in Horticulture from Ascentis, incorporating Work Related Learning.
The Curriculum, Independence and Daily Living Skills
Where possible, students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and the students’ Individual Learning Plans reflect the importance of the functional skills of Communication, Mathematics and ICT and the vocational skills of Personal, Social and Health Education and Work Related Learning/Work Experience. The curriculum is routinely reviewed to ensure it meets the learning needs of the students. From September 2014 there are two classes for students who require a structured sensory curriculum delivered according to TEACCH principles and also a class for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties which uses Routes for Learning.
Multi-modal Approach to Communication
The secondary department has, in line with the school, a multi-modal approach to communication. The students attend a weekly communication group where signing, symbols and speech are used to further the development of speech and language skills. The Speech and Language Therapists work with the subject leader for English and class teachers to devise appropriate targets for each communication group. All communication is regarded as behaviour and the department has two ASD Co –coordinators who works with students, class teachers and parents to ensure behaviour is managed in a consistent way.
Some students in Phase 4 work on nationally accredited courses in Literacy, Numeracy, ICT, Personal Skills, Learning Skills, Home Management and World of Work run by OCR, Life and Living Skills. Where appropriate, other students in Phase 4 and the Sixth Form work towards achieving Functional Skills qualifications in English. Mathematics and ICT. Further some students may study for a BTEC Level 1 Award or Certificate in Health and Social Care or a Level 1 qualification in Horticulture from Ascentis.
Students may have an opportunity to access a residential visit during their schooling. The visit is typically offered to students in years 8 and 10 and the 6th Form although this does depend on student numbers in each year group. Residential visits may be from three to five days and are based on team building and physical activities as well as new experiences and social activities.
Each year the secondary and 6th form departments participate in an activity week where students get the opportunity to learn new skills. In addition, both the secondary department and the 6th form are involved in an annual performance or exhibition of their work.