At Acorns School we feel the importance of personal and social education is paramount to enabling learners to develop independence and address some of the barriers to learning experienced by the young people attending our school.
We do this by delivering PSE in small mixed ability classes in both KS3 and KS4. There is a PSE lesson timetabled each day during which learners explore relevant topics and issues within their teaching group supervised by pastoral support via their form tutor and keyworker. This teaching structure enables sensitive issues to be discussed and addressed within a nurturing environment. These topics are taught alongside weekly Lifeskills lessons. Lifeskills lessons have been designed to promote independence and include aspects of food hygiene, home & financial management and emotional wellbeing.
At KS3 PSE topics taught include personal safety, personal finance and relationships. These topics are derived from the KS4 PSE specification and enable scaffolding of learning opportunities for those learners that are at the school for a longer period of time.
During KS4 learners follow the AQA Level 1/2 QCF Award or Certificate in Personal and Social Education specification. Completion of 4 units of work enables the Award to be achieved. 7 completed units are required to achieve the Certificate. Individual units completed can also be recognised with credit certificates if the learner fails to complete the required number of units. There is no examination at the end of this course, assessment is purely through the completion of a portfolio of work.
AQA Level 1/2 Preparation for Working Life (short course) is also mapped alongside PSE delivery at KS4. This course provides learners with the opportunities to explore potential next steps in their education as they apply for jobs and college courses. Preparation for working Life has 20% coursework which includes a letter of application, CV and interview preparation. 80% theory is examined at the end of year 11 in a 1.5hr written exam.
Opportunities to address the statutory elements of citizenship at both KS3 and KS4 have been identified briefly in the long term overviews and will be evident in the relevant schemes of work.