Learning Outside of the School Day

It is a well-established fact that family support, and in our context this includes care staff, is a major contributor to successful outcomes for students; this document seeks to outline how this operates at St Joseph’s.

As an integral part of life students are taught skills for independent living; these involve:

  • Menu planning
  • Shopping (including using self-service machines and shopping online)
  • Locating the items and making informed decisions when choosing
  • Packing the goods
  • Storing the goods appropriately e.g. fridge freezer; store cupboard etc
  • Time Management: duration of time and sequencing of time.

Students learn to problem solve and interact with members of the community such as shop assistants. They learn accepted social conventions such as maintaining appropriate levels of eye contact during conversations. Students also learn to develop and practise:

  • Coin Recognition
  • Money Handling
  • Health and Safety skills such as using Pelican Crossings to cross the road
  • Reading of Social Signs : Stop, Train station, Library, Police Station
  • Travel skills e.g. using trains and buses; using travel cards etc.

Around the residential groups, students carry out a variety of domestic tasks which provide opportunities to practise literacy and numeracy skills: laying the table (counting, one to one correspondence); making jugs of drinks (shape, space and measure: comparative measures); cooking (reading). Students make use of everyday technology such as CD players for ‘down time’ and household appliances like vacuums for carrying out household tasks.

Students are continually learning and practising their self-help and social skills either in school, group or in the community.

For example they learn how to combine strength and co-ordination during tasks such as manoeuvring shopping trolleys when out shopping, they learn how to carry out routine health, hygiene and safety procedures within their residential group and they learn how to recognise and manage their own feelings across a range of contexts.

Students are encouraged to make choices and encouraged to be healthy; many different sporting opportunities are promoted:

  • Swimming in the village and in our own pool
  • Trampoline
  • Cycling
  • Using the grounds for play and exploration (e.g. Nature Trial, Adventure Play with Zip Wire, Sensory Garden, Outside Gym).


Independence work in every part of student’s life is an integral part of the learning journey of any young person who attends St Joseph’s. This means that they are able to experience a diverse range of enriching and fulfilling personalised learning opportunities.