The school follows the National Curriculum at appropriate levels: this includes Foundation up to Key Stage 5. Teaching groups of up to 10 pupils enable continual assessment and individual programmes of work to be followed. At Key Stage 2, pupils are mostly taught by their class teacher supported by a teaching assistant. Most subjects at Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 are taught by specialist teachers supported by a teaching assistant, and secondary age pupils have access to specialist classrooms e.g.Science Lab. The school has a highly committed staff team, who work extremely hard to offer the pupils at Sidestrand Hall a full range of curriculum and enrichment opportunities.
The school is organised into four Key Stage teams:
- Lower School [Key Stage 2]: currently comprises of three classes. The school follows the framework of the Literacy and Numeracy strategy, and the National Curriculum is taught mainly through an integrated topic approach. Pupils are grouped according to age/ability. The extended curriculum includes practical opportunities, sensory approaches and play/social communication activities.
- Middle School [Key Stage 3]: comprises of 5 teaching classes: 2 of the Year 7/8 classes operate on a more primary model basis to suit the needs of the pupils. The more able Year 8 and 9 pupils begin and end the day with their base tutor and teaching assistant, but move to different teachers and curriculum areas in the school. Pupils continue to follow the National Curriculum and an integrated topic cycle, and are encouraged to move towards greater independence in their own learning, and to develop skills in social interaction and for their personal development. We aim to prepare pupils for a smooth transition into KS4.
- Upper School and Vocational [Key Stage 4]: In Years 10 and 11, pupils continue their work in all National Curriculum areas but these are within a comprehensive programme of nationally accredited awards. These include GCSE, Functional Skills, and the Open College Network [OCN Eastern] courses. A range of vocational pathways are also covered within these Awards.
- Sixth Form (Key Stage 5): Our new 40-place post-16 will be developing over the next 3 years. The curriculum will include English and Maths as compulsory subjects and a range of vocational and independent life skills.
Working closely with the our Transition Co-ordinator, all pupils reaching school leaving age are encouraged to undertake further education at our own 6th Form or another local college, which provides courses designed to meet the needs of the individual pupils.