Our curriculum is person-centred and offers pathways for students to learn from personalised and comprehensive programmes that address their academic learning whilst also supporting those difficulties that arise from their autistic spectrum diagnosis.
At KS3 and KS4, the day starts with form time where a range of activities throughout the week take place. All classes spend time at the beginning and end of the day reviewing and reflecting on their daily timetables.
At both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, students follow a life skills program which lends itself to a cross-curricular approach. Independent life skills are taught through various channels such as shopping trips, cooking, travel training, social skills amongst others. The focus is always on developing core skills in order that students can operate confidently and successfully in school, work and life. The independent life skills programme also promotes organisational skills, responsibility, self-esteem and independence.
Key Stage 3
The aim of the KS3 curriculum is to build on the experiences from the primary phase and to support our students to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens.
At KS3, students are based in classes and have one teacher who delivers the full curriculum. Students study a rich, developmentally appropriate curriculum at KS3 which encompasses a broad range of subjects including: Literacy, Numeracy, Humanities, Science, PSHE, The Arts, Technology, Music and PE. The curriculum is delivered on a three-year rolling programme based on a thematic scheme.
Key Stage 3 Curriculum Map
Key Stage 4
Students in KS4 have access to accredited courses designed to support and generalise previous learning at KS3. Key components provide opportunities for students to become literate and numerate for life and to practise skills within real-life contexts. The content of these courses is in line with our principles of developing skills for independent living, development of literacy and numeracy in everyday life as well as access to work experience and further education, employment and training.
Students combine their academic learning with opportunities for work experience. We try to build the correct learning programmes for students matched to their interests, skills, ability and aspirations. Students are able to take Entry Level courses which include English, Maths, PSHE, Art and Design, and the BTEC Home Cooking course.
Students can also achieve a range of AQA Award units which we offer; these are often tailored around the student, for example, they may complete a module on horticulture or travel training.
We work with students, families, parents and carers to support them in their choices for the future. We start transition preparations in Year 10 with an initial meeting in the summer term. During this meeting, we talk through the local colleges and further education providers available and signpost you to services outside of school that offer support.
At the start of Year 11, we plan visits for our students to local colleges so students are able to participate in discussions about their next steps. Parents and carers are advised to complete the application process in the first half term of the autumn term.
This is always a worrying time for students and their families as they plan to move onto the next step of their education. We work closely with all families and students to ensure they feel supported and confident about their choices.
Starting a new school or college can be overwhelming and daunting for both the child and their family/carers.
We ensure the transition process into Heartlands Autism Provision is as smooth as possible. There is a format to the transition process which we follow; however, in each individual case, the process is modified around the needs of the student.
Half Term 1
—Parents/carers are invited to Heartlands to meet the team and look around the provision; they complete an information form and tour the provision. We aim to answer as many questions at this point to reassure our new families.
—Contact is made with the child’s current educational setting for an initial visit; a member of the Heartlands team visits to gather relevant information.
—Heartlands and the current setting work together to create a transition plan.
Half Term 2
—The class teacher visits the child in their current setting.
—Parents or carers have a named contact at Heartlands who can answer any questions.
—The new student visits Heartlands for ‘taster’ sessions (this is bespoke to each child and may be as little as one visit or weekly visits for the rest of the term).
—An information booklet is sent home for the student to read over the summer holiday which has pictures and information about the provision.
—Phased transitions may be appropriate for some individual students at the start of the school year – this will be identified within the transition plan.
For our older students who are moving to college at the end of Year 11, we aim to follow the same framework in reverse. We work closely with the local colleges and providers to support the students in their move. We organise visits to the child’s college of choice so they become familiar with the new environment and staff. We aim to work alongside the college during the start of the autumn term to provide information and support whilst the student familiarises themselves with their new setting.
We offer a number of enrichment activities after school, throughout the year. Our after-school club is delivered mainly by our own staff who aim to provide a variety of experiences and opportunities for our students.
We offer a selection of leisure clubs during the school day to all our students which aims to build independence and leisure skills. Our student council are instrumental in surveying our student population to find out about new clubs and interests we can add to the timetable.
Example of Daily Club Rota
School Residential Visits
We offer a school residential visit each year which is often in high demand and well-received by students. This usually takes place in the spring or summer term.
Off-site Learning and Activities
We draw upon the rich variety of places and experiences London has to offer in order to enrich the learning experiences for our students.
Examples of these are regular visits to the local library or supermarket to practise life skills, using local transport to develop travel skills or visiting one of the many cultural, historic or educational sites London has to offer to help reinforce the learning that has taken place in the classroom.