The Students in our Discoverer Pathway are characterised as having medium levels of dependency in areas of communication, social interaction and relationships; inflexible thinking and sensory experiences and but unlike the Explorers they are typically have a level of independence in personal care and health. Most students are verbal and will need support in adult life. A small number will rely on augmentative and alternative communication systems into later life. (AACs). With this in mind the pathway is preparing the pupils for a future in a supported environment in Supported Living placements.
The Discoverer Pathway curriculum is carefully planned, highly differentiated and well-resourced to meet the needs of all pupils. There is a high degree of personalisation. Life-long learning, life skills and future independence are key priorities running through Discoverer Pathway curriculum and individual student outcomes. There is an emphasis on communication, both speaking and in reading and writing, developing social skills, and functional numeracy, as well as working on skills that will help them look after themselves and their homes, stay safe in the community and be able to access local facilities for leisure, fitness and health.
The Discoverer Pathway starts with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and International Primary Curriculum (IPC) as a basis. The topic of which changes half termly providing exciting learning opportunities and experiences covering a variety of subjects; English, Mathematics, Science, Technology, RE and MFL. Younger students are based in school building where every class has their own enclosed outdoor playground area and all have access to Soft Play, trampoline and basket swing, as well as the main playground which can all be used for regular movement breaks.
Older students go on to study the OCR Life and Living Skills course which is a comprehensive range of versatile and adaptable qualifications, with no minimum entry requirements. Teachers choose from over 150 bite-sized units across a wide range of skill areas; including literacy, numeracy, ICT, pre-employability, independent living, personal and social skills and community participation. There are no mandatory units or barred combinations at any level, allowing for varied personalised learning programmes with a completely flexible structure.
The benefits of following the course is that there is a range of qualification worth 2 credits and upward which help students be awarded with certificates quicker after achieving the minimum credit limit, which is great for motivating students and recognising achievement when plans change. The students also get an opportunity to take official OCR Functional Skills assessments in both Literacy and Numeracy in the summer term progressing through the entries. Functional Skills qualifications are designed to enable students to develop confidence and fluency in Maths and English. We also offer courses in arts, crafts and workshop skills accredited by WJEC, students may access GCSE’s where appropriate. We have a long tradition of students successfully achieving GCSE Art in particular. If a student has a particular talent for a subject then we will seek to capitalise on this.
As students progress they move to the college building where lessons involve more transitions, supported as necessary, from place to place within the college building. It is also when students start to gain experience of the wider world. We offer: Work experience in nearby businesses and organisations, Jobs within the school and college, Accessing and using different forms of public transport, Work on enterprise projects using our own workshop, horticultural and catering facilities, Increased access to community facilities, such as the library, shops, and the local leisure centre. We equip students with the practical skills to get the most out of education, work and everyday life and to help them function more confidently, effectively and independently.