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Arvalee School Resource Centre, Omagh

Secondary and Post 16: Senior Department

The curriculum is differentiated for each of our young people through the development of Individualised Learning Programmes that include an Individual Education Plan. 

This means that learning activities are delivered in an age-appropriate and relevant manner. As the young people move from Primary age to secondary age we want to support them in making a smooth transition. This can be from our own Junior Primary Department or from other Primary Schools in our catchment area and we have an induction programme aimed at helping pupils to settle well into their new surroundings.

Key Stage 3 Pupils are taught the Revised Northern Ireland Curriculum that we hope we deliver in an engaging and interesting way that is tailored to the young person. We try and make sure these experiences include opportunities to learn a broad range of skills and may include activities such as swimming, musical drama, guitar and drum tuition, horse riding, outdoor pursuits and football, to name a few.

Key Stage 4 pupils follow a two year programme from a curriculum made up of a variety of qualifications that are both appropriate and relevant for the young person. This programme is agreed in the individual Transition Plan in Year 10 and is based on the educational needs and interests of each pupil.

To support each young person we have developed two main learning pathways. The first pathway offers each pupil a range of opportunities developed in conjunction with and delivered by South West College, Omagh, who provide a range of options to explore different occupations and vocations that can lead to qualifications at Entry Level and Level 1 and 2.

Within the school the young people is offered a programme made up of a range of areas to meet their individual needs these may include Essential Skills in Numeracy and Literacy, ASDAN Personal and Social Development, including Personal Development courses, Learning for Life and Work and Careers and Princes Trust XL as well as Entry Level qualifications in Art and P.E..

The second learning pathway the young person can follow may include some of the above courses along with ASDAN Personal Progress, Personal Development activities and Sensory Learning experiences to enhance the young person's opportunity to be a successful learner and achieve.

The learning programme is constructed around the pupil and may focus in its entirety on offering a range of quality learning experiences in Communication, Social Skills and sensory learning. We want all our young people to achieve to develop the skills they need to enter Post 16 education and therefore their learning programmes are carefully monitored. 

In Post 16 we encourage our pupils to further develop these skills and attributes with a focus on what that they need for life after school. On moving into Post 16 education the Learning Pathway is reviewed and based on their educational needs at that time a learning Programme is planned. For example pupils may have three learning pathways the first is an 'In School' programme, the second in conjunction with the STEP Programme at South West College and the third based on the opportunity to broaden their experiences in Occupational Studies choosing from a wide range of vocational subjects with South West College.

The entire focus is on giving the learning experiences that the individual young person needs to leave school. The curriculum therefore aims to build on the skills that they have developed in Communication, Using Mathematics, Using ICT and they have the opportunity to further study Essential Skills in Literacy and Numeracy and NOCN units in ICT. The Duke of Edinburgh Award plays a key role at Post 16 in developing our young people's thinking skills and personal capabilities. The Careers programme, work experience or Post 19 placement experience and Learning for Life and Work elements are increasingly focused on the young persons needs in leaving school.

Transition links are vital throughout KS 4 and Post 16 and we work closely with the Careers Service Officer, Social Services Transition Officer, a range of Post 19 providers and of course the young persons parents/carers who are vital to a successful transition.

Throughout all the Key Stages we ensure that there is a range of learning experiences offered based on individualised planning so that all of our young people have the opportunity to learn and achieve.