Curriculum, Exams and Assessment

CURRICULUM STATEMENT 

Exceptional Ideas Ltd Curriculum Intent 

Our curriculum is broad, balanced, challenging and engaging. It prepares students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences which they will encounter after leaving us, whilst promoting spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development.

Literacy and numeracy are at the heart of our curriculum and our aim is for all of our students to leave us literate and numerate and able to apply these skills to future learning and everyday life.  We also work to develop independence and resilience in our students.

Student engagement is key to a successful curriculum and, with this in mind, we ensure that our curriculum is relevant, challenging and delivered in an age-appropriate context. This makes lessons accessible and fun for our students and promotes in them a love of learning. 

Using the national curriculum as the basis for Key Stage 3 learning we are also keen to ensure that our students are educated beyond it’s confines and that they undertake a range of educational experiences aimed at enriching and extending their abilities and understanding.  By doing this our students leave us confident, self-reliant individuals who are able to make a positive contribution to society.

 

Organisation of our curriculum

We base our KS3 curriculum on the national curriculum, giving our students the opportunity to fill gaps from KS2 and build on their prior learning whilst improving their confidence and their view of themselves as learners.

KS4 programmes of study are aimed at meeting the individual needs of our students through one to one teaching and learning, group opportunities to learn and explore and social opportunities to help them find their place in the wider community.  They all follow a core curriculum of English, maths and science.  This is broadened through their work on relationships, social norms, British values and equality and diversity in our society.  

Options allow our students to progress further in areas in which they have a particular interest or skill.  All students also follow a plan for transition which works to help them form aspirations and develop skills in independent learning for their future beyond Exceptional Ideas.

Our KS4 curriculum allows all students to work towards GCSE, Entry Level Certificate or ASDAN qualifications.  We are currently investigating a range of other options for those students who need a modified programme of study to meet their individual needs.

We take some students into KS5 if it is agreed with the local authority that they need to repeat Year 11 and here we focus on developing and extending key skills and fill gaps which have come about through missed schooling at an earlier stage or through the lack of sufficient confidence to face exams in KS4.  There is a heavy focus on transition and aspirations lessons to help the young person to identify the next steps in their education.

 

ASSESSMENT

At Exceptional Ideas Ltd, we pride ourselves on our holistic assessment of both educational and therapeutic attainment. We promote openness and honesty with both students and parents ensure that all assessment is shared and used as evidence in our planning and preparation with the individual student at the heart.

Informal assessments
Every day, our student mentors informally assess progress as part of our day-to-day work with students and close monitoring of progress. These assessments cover, not just academic achievement, but also student mental health, wellbeing and needs.

Formal assessments
Formal assessment is used daily too: staff use a checklist at the end of each lesson to assess the level at which a student has demonstrated understanding of the learning objective. Students are encouraged to self-assess using the same methods.

Half-termly testing
At the end of every half term, we hold topic tests to help us understand the student's retention of their learning this half term and their ability to work within exam regulations.  This is an important element of school life and, whilst there is some allowance for differentiation in these tests, we aim to keep them as close to exam conditions as possible. This allows us to build a picture of how a student will perform in an exam situation and support them to improve any areas of deficit.

Therapeutic and educational assessments
We are accredited to conduct reading and spelling assessments, Non-Examination Assessments, Gillam Autism Rating Scale, Conners Assessment, Sensory Profile Assessments and a number of other therapeutic and educational assessments.

GSCEs and other formal qualifications
Across our organisation, we aim to give all students the chance to take GCSE examinations. We currently run a wide range of GCSE courses, details of which are discussed with students and their parents when a student joins any of our services and at key points during their time with us. Where this is not the best course for a particular student, senior staff will consult with parents on alternative qualifications like ASDAN or ELC.

 

 

Exam and assessment

EXAM RESULTS FOR 2020

GCSE RESULTS

Subject Number of students entered Percentage of students achieving GCSE grades 9-4 Percentage of students achieving GCSE grades 1-3 Percentage of students achieving GCSE ungraded
MATHS 8 25% 50% 25%
ENGLISH 6 40% 40% 0%
GEOGRAPHY 2 50% 50% 0%
HISTORY 1 0% 100% 0%
CITIZENSHIP 1 100% 0% 0%
BIOLOGY 4 50% 50% 0%
CHEMISTRY 4 25% 75% 5%
PHYSICS 3 33% 0% 66%
FOOD TECHNOLOGY 1 0% 100% 0%

 

GCSE RESULTS

Our students have a range of special educational needs which affects not just their social ability but also their academic potential. Each of our students has a differentiated education plan which is why some of our students take ELC and some take GCSEs

Subject Number of students entered Percentage of students achieving ELC grades 9-4 Percentage of students achieving ELC grades 1-3 Percentage of students achieving ELC ungraded
ELC ENGLISH 2 0% 50% 50%
ELC MATHS 4 50% 50% 0%
ELC SCIENCE 2 50% 50%

0%

 

 

PERSONAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT 

Personal and Social Development levels are assessed for all students on joining Exceptional Ideas and reviewed every 10 school weeks alongside other levels of development, both academic and therapeutic.

The levels are a series of statements from 1 – 15 which track the development of students’ abilities in three areas

                       - Attention

                       - Independence and Organisational skills

                       - Interacting and Working with Others

These are all skills that are difficult for many of our students and we teach them a differentiated curriculum of these skills over their time with us.  It is imperative that they develop some level of competency across these skills to enable them to move on in life through post 16 provision to employment or higher education and life in general.

That is not to say that they will all develop these skills fully, but if, for example, a student is diagnosed autistic and is never going to be able to work fully integrated in a team, they learn how to address this through their choice of career and lifestyle and are able to get by in basic situations such as shopping, communicating and staying healthy both physically and mentally.

These graphs demonstrate the progression on these levels for students in the cohort 2019-2020 (and throughout the initial lockdown for COVID-19!) taking their scores at the beginning of the academic year on each measure and representing their percentage of progress in year groups.


 

 

SOCIAL SKILLS INVENTORY

We use a range of statements pertaining to key social skills to enable our students to progress with Exceptional Ideas and beyond to ascertain areas that need to be addressed either at home or at school and work with parents to address areas that are holding our students back from gaining independence and being able to keep themselves safe.  

Progress is reviewed every 10 school weeks and new targets are included in therapeutic plans and individual education plans to address weaker areas.  

This graph demonstrates the percentage progress made in the academic year 2019-2020 (again during the first COVID-19 lockdown).