The Pathways

Planning for Life

To help us make sure that each student receives the right balance of practical and more academic teaching and learning, St. Joseph’s offers three Pathways. We choose the most appropriate Pathway for each student by considering: individual interests, skills, and where a student may go after they leave St. Joseph’s. The Pathways allow us to plan a personalised curriculum for each student that best meets their own needs.

The Pathways are not fixed; staff monitor progress to make sure that each student is within the right Pathway for them. They can move from one Pathway to another at any time, if this is best for them; but we want their chosen Pathway to be realistic and achievable.

The Adventurer Pathway

Students on the Adventurer Pathway have been identified as having the ability and disposition to follow a more academic route through the school. They are likely to leave St. Joseph’s and go into Further Education at a local college, before getting a job.

Progression through the school is by ability rather than purely by age. This recognises that many of our students are delayed in their development and may need more time to reach their potential.

The starting point of the Adventurer Pathway is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Younger students are taught a broad-based curriculum using the International Primary Curriculum as a basis, but aiming for them to reach, or show they are making progress towards reaching, the EYFS goals for Literacy and Maths.

Students will then study Functional English and Maths at, in order, Entry Levels 1, 2 and 3 with a view to taking the NCFE Functional English and Maths tests when ready. They may then go on to study these subjects at Levels 1 and 2 and GCSE.

Adventurer Pathway students also study OCR Life & Living Skills at Entry 2 or 3. St. Joseph’s also offer GCSE courses, taught either in-house or at a nearby mainstream school, with our staff support.

Although the academic side of the Adventurer Pathway is important, there is also an equally important emphasis on developing social and life skills, and internal and external work experience placements at an appropriate age.

The Discoverer Pathway

Students following the Discoverer Pathway follow a curriculum that prepares them for a future that is likely to be in a specialist residential Further Education college, or in supported living, with part-time working and as great a degree of autonomy as possible being long-term goals.

There is an emphasis on communication, through speaking and in reading and writing, developing social skills, practical numeracy, as well as working on skills that will help them look after themselves and their homes, stay safe and be able to access community facilities for leisure, fitness and health.

Students in the Discoverer Pathway work on gaining skills that will help them achieve in a supported work setting, having a successful interview, following instructions and working safely and efficiently.

As with the Adventurer Pathway, the Discoverer Pathway starts with the Early Years Foundation Stage and International Primary Curriculum as a basis.

Students can then go on to study Functional English and Maths at Entry Level 1 or 2, and may take the NCFE tests at this level. They also follow the OCR Life & Living Skills programme at Entry 1 or 2.

The Explorer Pathway

Students nurtured within the Explorer Pathway are characterised as having higher levels of dependency in the areas of communication, social interaction and relationships, flexibility of thought (activities and interests) and sensory issues. They may have high levels of need in personal care and health. Many are non-verbal.

It is anticipated that students in this Pathway will continue to require high levels of support into adult life and that some will continue to be non-verbal, relying on augmentative and alternative communication systems. (AACs)

The curriculum for these students aims to develop their communication and independence. Learning opportunities and experiences are structured as small steps in a development framework, drawing on the principles of sensory, play based exploration. This is especially true of younger students, but these principles continue to be relevant for some students as they grow older.

Students within the Explorer pathway are typically working at levels P4-P8.