Curriculum, Exams and Assessment


Exceptional Ideas Ltd. our curriculum is personalised to each individual with the intent of enabling them to achieve their potential; from Years 7 and 8, where we aim to reinforce, or sometimes renew, students’ faith in themselves as learners and part of the school community; right through to the GCSE Years of 9, 10 and 11 where we work with students to enable them to acquire the skills necessary to progress on to their next educational phase. 

Our curriculum is designed to promote intellectual, personal, social, physical, therapeutic and independent ability in our students and flexes around each individual to meet their needs and aspirations. It includes access to 1:1 teaching in a home-from-home environment, where ideas can be challenged and belief systems developed: our staff aim to promote, discuss and educate on issues of relationships, equality and diversity, values, health and wellbeing and social propriety both inside the classroom and at social times. 

We believe that all children have the right to quality education that encompasses as many aspects of ‘real life’ as possible, whilst also equipping them with the formal assessments and post-16 options available to them. Our main aim is to produce happy, well-rounded young people who can cope with the demands of life and education after Exceptional Ideas Ltd.






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



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%



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%





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.




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).