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Curriculum

Our inclusive curriculum actively promotes learning in alternative formats. Our staff are trained to constantly expose learning opportunities in an active and engaging way.

Curriculum Offer

Our curriculum provides tailored intervention in Maths and English, addressing skill gaps on a small group basis by boosting confidence to accelerate learning.

Our vocational qualifications provide practical opportunities for students to become critical thinkers, developing key skills to boost employability, resilience, communication and teamwork skills. In addition our outstanding mental health and wellbeing support is delivered via our PSHE curriculum with regular personal development opportunities, group-work and 1-1 counselling all on offer.

We believe so much can be learned through practical and physical activities that take place outside of the classroom, and we facilitate this learning by providing challenging activities that encourage students to try new things and test their comfort zones.

Curriculum Structure

The curriculum at Utopia comprises of core GCSE Maths, English and BTEC Science alongside options of 7 vocational qualifications at level 1&2 (BTEC Sport, Business, Media, Art, Home Cooking Skills, Teamwork and Personal Skills and Caring for Children Under 5).

Our curriculum is also supplemented by functional skills in English and Maths and additional short courses based on the learning needs of students.

The curriculum is adapted to a students needs as identified in their EHCP. Following initial baseline assessments work is differentiated and Utopia staff are mindful of individual learning styles to maximise students’ potential across all curriculum areas.

"We believe so much can be learned when students feel happy, safe and comfortable in an environment. This is the cornerstone of positive academic and personal progression"
Chris Black Head Teacher
Learning outside the classroom

The Utopia approach prides itself on being innovative, providing unique learning experiences that stretch and support students to reach their full potential.

The Utopia model places a specific focus on personal and social development to effectively prepare students for adulthood. This is implemented through our PSHE, Independent Living Skills and Duke of Edinburgh lessons which prioritise students gaining experiences outside the classroom that enable them to practice social skills and new behaviours. Utopia has an ever-evolving approach to this aspect of the curriculum, in order to adapt to individual student need.

Literacy

We recognise that reading isn’t always a priority for some students, however proficient reading opens up access to a wider curriculum and more opportunities for everyone.

Therefore we take a whole centre approach to improving students confidence in reading by focusing on the development of reading across all subjects and timetabled reading for pleasure.

Our ‘Read, Reflect, Relay’ approach encourages everyone to participate in reading, analyse the meaning and communicate their understanding within lessons. To teach reading effectively we assess learners and use this baseline to develop an effective Support Plan, using the learners hobbies and interests to inform the content of their reading programme.

 

PSHE & Life Skills

At Utopia personal and social development is at the heart of what we do. Our goal is to prepare students for life as an adult by providing experiences that challenge them, in a supportive and nurturing way.

We want our students to develop personal independence and know how to look after themselves in numerous ways. Cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, travelling on public transport, eating in restaurants are all vital skills that Utopia teach and develop. In addition our issue based PSHE curriculum develops students’ knowledge of the wider world, different cultures, personal safety and our local community.

Our DofE and PSHE curriculum is designed to be personalised and develop the character, resilience and confidence of all learners. We adopt a strength-based approach to build on existing attributes and believe anything is possible with the right support!

British Values

At Utopia, we actively promote positive, inclusive values. These include democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect for and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.

We believe British values are those values expected of anyone living in Britain, regardless of their nationality, culture or religious belief.

Our ethos reflects these values. We place great emphasis on building positive relationships in school, amongst the students themselves and between staff and students. We strongly believe students should not merely be taught such values but that they are embedded into school life.

We strive to support our students to develop into confident, happy, successful young adults who have empathy towards and an understanding of those less fortunate than themselves.

The information below reflects how Utopia works to promote positive values through the ethos and life of the school, for example through a broad and balanced curriculum, and through social, moral, cultural and spiritual development. Our PSHE and Enrichment curriculum sets our approach to teaching British values at Utopia.

Promoting the Protected Characteristics

The Equality Act became law in 2010. It covers everyone in Britain and protects people from discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

Under the Equality Act, there are nine Protected Characteristics: Age, Disability, Gender reassignment, Race, Religion or belief, Marriage or civil partnership, Sex, Sexual orientation & Pregnancy and maternity

At Utopia the Protected Characteristics are actively promoted through

  • Our school ethos
  • Our School Development Plan and SEF
  • Our core values
  • Our behaviour policy
  • Conscious role modelling by all adults in the school community
  • Active engagement and communication with parents and carers
  • Assemblies
  • British Values enrichment days
  • Discussion within curriculum subjects, taking a cross-curricular approach
  • Promoting articulation by building appropriate language and a coherent vocabulary
  • Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) sessions
  • Sporting, Art and Cultural Events
  • Pupil Voice
  • Educational visits
  • Real-life learning outside the classroom
  • Guest speakers
  • Developing links with local, national and international communities
"Education must not simply teach work. It must teach life."
W.E.B Du bois
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