Joseph Clarke School's curriculum is designed around interlinking pathways each of which is further individualised so that pupils can learn at their own pace in a way that suits their needs.

Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework sets the standards to make sure that children aged from birth to 5 learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.

The EYFS curriculum at Joseph Clarke School is for students from three to five years old, providing them with a broad range of knowledge and skills. As they take their first steps into a full-time, school-based education system, pupils work within the EYFS framework with a curriculum that is flexible and designed to meet their personal needs. It aims to build on each individual’s strengths and interests with planning and assessment being in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.

Joseph Clarke School builds on pupil’s own experiences as a foundation for new learning. The pupils are able to use their own knowledge of the world as a starting point on which to give meaning to their learning.  The pupil’s understanding is gradually extended through concrete, real life resources, activities and first-hand experiences within the school setting, local and wider community.

Our expertise and provision allow us to have play-based learning for all pupils, including those that respond better to structure, need support to explore or learn new play skills or need physical assistance. Play can provide multiple ways for children to learn a variety of different skills and concepts.  These additional curriculum and educational opportunities are designed and contextualised specifically for the development of children in our setting.

Pathway 1 - Reaching Out

Pupils with profound and complex needs learn through consistent routines, sensory experiences and interaction with adults.  The curriculum supports pupils to:

  • Develop a sense of security through building positive relationships;
  • Develop an awareness of the world around them through sensory exploration;
  • Develop the physical skills through which they can control and explore their environment;
  • Establish behaviours through which they can express their feelings, make choices and communicate with other people;
  • Experience life within the school community, responding to other people and sharing activities with them.

Pathway 2 - Stepping On

Pupils learn through a topic-based multi-sensory approach including play, exploration, practical activities and community involvement.  The curriculum supports pupils to:

  • Develop communication skills in speech, gesture, sign or symbol so that they can interact with other people, make choices, follow instructions and explanations and access the key concepts needed for learning;
  • Establish key skills in literacy, numeracy, science and computing;
  • Learn to co-operate with other people, to build positive relationships and to take responsibility for themselves;
  • Learn the skills which will help them be more independent in adult life;
  • Learn about the world around them and the wider community.

All secondary-aged pupils access accredited courses including Entry Level, ASDAN and BTEC where appropriate.

In Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 some pupils work towards taking Entry Levels in English, maths, science and art & design. In Key Stage 4 some pupils go on to take Functional Skills in English and maths.

​Pathway 3 – Branching Out

The Branching Out pathway closely follows the National Curriculum but has been specially adapted for pupils with a vision impairment.  It is designed for pupils in primary and secondary school whose level of academic development is close to age-related expectations.

Secondary pupils follow the Schemes of Work from our mainstream partner school with some pupils accessing their lessons at our partner school and going on to take GCSEs, BTECs, and A-Levels.  Functional Skills qualifications and Entry Level qualifications are also offered in Key Stages 3 and 4.

Pathway 4 – Taking Off

The Taking Off post-16 curriculum provides pupils with a structured and challenging learning programme that supports their development and progression towards positive destinations, including employment, further study and greater independence and wellbeing.  Study programmes are individually tailored but will typically include a combination of:

  • The World of Work;
  • Well being;
  • Everyday living;
  • Creativity and spirituality.

We offer the following qualifications:

  • ASDAN Towards Independence Modules
  • NVQ Level 1 at Waltham Forest College
  • Functional Skills in maths and English
  • Entry Level Awards

The ‘Taking Off’ pathway is designed to meet the needs of our older pupils who have followed the Reaching out or Stepping On pathways. Some pupils will continue their studies here with us at Joseph Clarke School, working towards independence qualifications through ASDAN and Entry Levels in maths and English.  

Other pupils will move to our base at Waltham Forest College where they will access Level 1 qualifications such as Motor Mechanics, Travel and Tourism taught by a college member of staff and continue with their English and maths qualifications with Whitefield Academy Trust staff. 

This arrangement allows pupils to become familiar with a college experience in a supported and meaningful environment.  All courses enable pupils to obtain accreditation.