The Shrubberies School

Upper School


The Shrubberies Upper School Curriculum is designed to prepare our young people for the next stage of education and life. We play a vital role in our young people’s development and transition from school to adulthood and believe that each individual should follow an aspirational curriculum that promotes employment, independent living, good health, positive relationships and community participation.


Our pathways curriculum has been developed to provide a flexible framework with each individual student at its core. Communication, Cognition, Independence, Physical Development and Self-Care underpin all aspects and aim to provide our young people with transferrable skills that will support them in their journey to post-16 education and adulthood.


Students engage in a wide variety of learning experiences which build on skills and knowledge and that are meaningful, functional and enjoyable, encouraging motivation and active engagement in learning. Students are encouraged to develop personal autonomy and supported to develop understanding of their emotions and self-regulation strategies, as well as looking after their mental health.


Students are:

  • Treated as an individual
  • Valued in school and the wider community
  • Encouraged to make choices wherever and as often as possible
  • Encouraged to be as independent as possible
  • Encouraged and supported to communicate effectively
  • Encouraged and supported to lead a healthy life
  • Supported to create, develop and maintain healthy relationships
  • Actively engaged in learning experiences that are meaningful, functional and enjoyable


KS3 and KS4 are in split classes where possible, and amalgamated in response to need, promoting a holistic approach to learning with each individual student at the centre. Students follow individualised learning pathways designed to promote independence and be aspirational. Personalised timetables are created where appropriate to ensure that specific needs are met and students are supported to meet their ECHP outcomes agreed at each annual review.


Our students’ Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs and wellbeing are a primary focus, and these are supported using The Shrubberies Pathway Curriculum; Myself aspect which runs alongside the PSHE Association Planning Framework for pupils with SEND, as well as The Shrubberies Behaviour Curriculum for students who need a more supportive and bespoke approach to managing their wellbeing and related learning opportunities.


British Values are promoted through Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Development which underpins learning in all areas of the curriculum.


Reading, Functional Literacy, Communication Skills and Functional Maths are taught throughout KS3 & KS4 using The Shrubberies Pathway Curriculum to inform planning at informal/ semi-formal or formal level, depending on the needs of each individual. Pre-reading skills and early maths skills are developed throughout the My Thinking informal aspect, while Functional Literacy and Maths skills are reflected within the My Thinking Semi-Formal and Formal aspects for specific subjects. Communication at all levels is covered through the My Communication aspect.


Each term has a theme: the themes are current and relevant to what is going on in the world so that students can better access and relate to their learning, and giving teachers flexibility to adapt to meet needs. Subject-specific sessions are delivered where appropriate to ensure broad, balanced, rich and deep curriculum coverage, though may also be designed to promote self-esteem, develop functional skills and encourage independence.

Throughout KS3 & KS4 students experience a variety of careers-focused opportunities including employer encounters, work experience and enterprise which are appropriately differentiated and tailored to individual needs and interests.


At KS4 students work towards Pearson Functional Skills qualifications in English, Maths and ICT where appropriate.


KS4 students also complete:

Either: ASDAN Personal & Social Development modules

Or: ASDAN My Independence modules designed around the four Preparation for Adulthood Pathways:

  • Employment
  • Independent Living
  • Friends, Relationships & Community
  • Good Health


Students complete as many or as few modules as they are able, and each individual completes the modules best suited to them. Areas for development within the four Preparing for Adulthood pathways are identified throughout the process, and these are used to inform EHCP outcomes for individuals.

Upper School Curriculum Rolling Programme


The impact of The Shrubberies Upper School’s Curriculum is that our young people experience a broad and balanced, rich and deep curriculum, and leave The Shrubberies ready for their next stage of education and life. They make independent choices, communicate confidently and have independent living skills, as well as skills for work. Students are happy and motivated to learn and to work.


Employment: Students explore and identify Post-16 options, and pathways to support transition are developed and implemented.


Independent Living: Students are supported to have personal autonomy, making independent choices about their future as well as developing strategies which enable them to have control and freedom throughout their lives.


Friends, Relationships & Community: Students are supported to create, develop and maintain healthy relationships. They have developed skills to help them manage their free time safely and confidently, including spending time with peers. They can access the community safely and in a variety of ways.


Good Health: Students can choose healthy options and understand why these are important. They can manage their own physical and emotional wellbeing where possible, and are supported to be as healthy as possible in adult life.