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Dorothy Goodman School strives to provide a curriculum that prepares pupils to find their place in the society in which they live. We provide experiences for children and young people which develop their personal qualities, learning and engagement skills. Our key values in achieving this are giving pupils:





Giving pupils an understanding of British values is vital in ensuring that they can achieve the key principles outlined above. All pupils are giving a clear understanding of the democratic processes through the work of the school council; demonstrating to pupils the importance of active participation, listening to and representing the views of others within the school community. Throughout the national curriculum pupils experience key learning linked to life in Britain. Opportunities to experience a range of cultures are built into multi-sensory learning experiences that are reinforced and supported for some pupils through discussion and debate.


The school vision


‘Together we Care, Learn and Succeed’


This reinforces the core British values of mutual respect and tolerance where the personalised experiences created for pupils allows us to challenge and support them in understanding the community, country and world in which they live.


We have organised the curriculum in four broad bands known as:


  • Life choices

  • Life skills

  • Vocational

  • Academic


The curriculum and learning environment is offered at these four different levels depending upon:

  • the needs of the individual pupil
  • the subject/scheme of work being taught

  • the overall needs of the group

  • equality of access to our specialist facilities.  

A range of strategies are used to assess pupil progress throughout their time at Dorothy Goodman to ensure that every pupil is able to have value and contribute to society both when in school and as they move on to their future lives.


To enable pupils to make progress they are given access to the national curriculum whether this is in its entirety, as an adapted version or through a totally individualised timetable. Equality of access is at the fore of any curriculum opportunities that are offered to pupils and the school uses a range of strategies, technology and external support to achieve this. The core principles of curriculum access throughout the school are about developing:

  • Communication – Includes speaking, listening, reading, writing, decision making and displaying preference, signing, using symbols, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), objects of reference.

  • Working with others – developing social skills and sustaining relationships

  • Preparing for the future –life skills, transition activities, careers guidance (see below)

  • Citizenship – Knowing their place within the local community, the country and the wider world. This will include opportunities to visit local places and support events as well as opportunities to participate in volunteering and work experience. More importantly we work hard to open our school to the local community.


Through each key stage we aim to provide a safe, stimulating and caring educational environment in which all pupils are able to learn and develop their social, creative and academic skills. Our curriculum is assessed using our internal system “Tracking Our Pupils’ Skills’ TOPS  in seven areas

  • Life choices

  • Communication (including literacy)

  • Logic (including numeracy)

  • Inquiry

  • Creativity

  • Physical

  • Personal and Social.

Our pupils are also assessed using external criteria in Year R, Year 1 for phonics. Year 2 and Year 6. We use external assessment in the form of accredited awards for our older pupils including Entry level certificates, GCSE, Arts Award and Duke of Edinburgh.


Within the curriculum throughout the school we ensure pupils have a breadth of experiences and we capture some of these within our

‘50 Things to do before leaving Dorothy Goodman School’

In recognition of the diversity of our pupils our curriculum is offered across six sites, three of which are inclusive satellite bases in partnership with local mainstream schools: Richmond Primary School (KS 1/2), Redmoor Academy (KS 3) and Hinckley Academy HAJC6 (KS 4/5)

Careers Programme Information

Early Years and Key Stage 1

Through a multi-sensory approach the pupils follow the EYFS/Key Stage 1 curriculum at their own pace, learning through play and practical activities to find their place within the school community and the world around them. To ensure that pupils are equipped for future learning, independence is developed though choice making, communication and social interaction with peers. For further information about curriculum planning please open attached document.



Key Stage 1 long term plan

A Day in the Life of Early Years & Key Stage 1

Key Stage 2

For the majority of pupils, the learning that takes place is linked to themes which combine key strands of the national curriculum. Through a range of structured learning activities alongside specialist support including communication support, pupils continue to develop their independent learning skills with an emphasis on expressing a preference, collaboration and cooperation; with the opportunity to apply their English, maths, science and other skills in real life situations. The thematic approach to learning enables pupils to explore their national heritage and make links to the wider world. It ensures they receive a broad and balanced experience carefully adjusted to meet their needs.  For further information about themes and curriculum planning please open attached document


Key stage 2 long term plan

Key Stage 3

Pupils will apply the skills that they have developed to further their learning and give broader access to the Key Stage 3 national curriculum. The curriculum at Key Stage 3 also prepares the pupils for transition to the choices available at Key Stage 4 by giving a range of experiences linked to the Key Stage 4 options. Pupils will continue to apply their maths and English skills and through their developed sense of self, knowledge of the world (locally, nationally and internationally) pupils will make decisions based on their own personal learning strengths and their future aspirations. For further information about themes and curriculum planning please open attached document.


Key stage 3 long term plan

Key Stage 4: 

Careers education, advice and guidance are used to support pupils with accessing a curriculum that is guided by future aspirations and allows them, where applicable, to explore vocational pathways. For pupils where the focus is life choices they will explore their role within the local community, further develop their skills in making choices and showing preferences and continue to develop their understanding of the world around them. Multi-sensory and creative approaches are integral to the curriculum and this helps to ensure engagement and progress.  All pupils continue their learning in maths and English through thematic and or accredited learning, having opportunities to apply this to real life situations. Developing a strong sense of self, understanding how to express this and dealing with relationships is an integral part of learning for pupils as they mature. For further information about accredited courses and vocational pathways please open attached document.


Key stage 4 long term plan

Key Stage 5 

Life skills and further developing access to the world of work is a clear focus of the Key Stage 5 curriculum. There is a different emphasis within the curriculum of the Vocational Sixth Form centre and Key Stage classes at the Barwell Lane secondary base. All pupils continue to access learning in logic/maths and Communication/English and will develop further expertise in their chosen vocational pathway. The work at the sixth form closely links to our work experience programmes and internships as well as focussing on how to live independently. At the Barwell Lane site the focus is also to increase independence and create more choices open to our young people but in a way which acknowledges the additional support they will require to do this throughout their lives. Throughout both bases there are opportunities to practice life skills within the local community.


Pupils will be supported in transition to further education, employment or wrap around services. For some pupils supported internships with Cadent and other partner businesses  will be available. The internships offer a focus on employability enabling young people to prepare for working life. Life skills courses are individualised to meet the needs of learners and ensure they can be as independent as possible in the next stages of their lives.

Key stage 5 long term plan

A Day in the Life of Key Stage 5