Within the Living Skills offer young people are encouraged to be proactive learners rather than passive participants, through practical tasks and planned opportunities for risk taking, independent learning and problem solving
Learning opportunities relating to personal care tasks are incorporated into daily routines to enable young people access to the whole curriculum, impacting positively on pupil progress. Through encouragement, nurture, patience and varied learning opportunities the young people develop the ability to consider and make decisions, take ownership and responsibility.
The Living Skills curriculum follows three strands of Home, Self and Travel and three core principles of developing independence, safety and problem solving.
- Self: Personal Hygiene, Team Building, First Aid, dressing, relationships, accessing the community, wellbeing.
- Home: Home organisation, cleaning, laundry, using electrical equipment, shopping, buying and storing food, toiletries, medicines, budgeting, banking.
- Travel: Asking for, giving and following directions, road safety, using public transport, timetables, maps, independent travel, personal safety.
Cooking is taught as a discrete subject within the Living Skills curriculum. The young people have the opportunity to prepare and cook a variety of dishes throughout the school year. They follow a carefully graduated course developing progress along a hierarchy of culinary skills, experience a variety of cooking methods, and use a range of kitchen equipment. They experience and compare different foods, learn about food groups and nutrition, where food comes from and healthy eating principles. Independence is encouraged within the kitchen and adapted equipment will be used where appropriate. Strong home/school links will be developed to ensure similar working practices and routines to allow optimum consolidation.
The Living Skills team work at levels appropriate to individual youngsters’ needs. All young people are supported to thrive and succeed with a highly positive ethos of respect and consideration for others, providing an environment and opportunities in which all can improve their self confidence and self esteem. The aim is to prepare students for participation in the hugely complex modern world and to take part in the wider community as a valued member.
Clear focused assessment informs future planning and allows the recognition of an individual’s progress, however subtle. Young people who require extra support benefit from a range of intervention strategies including opportunities for parents and carers to engage with and support the child’s learning.
PSCHE is taught as an integral part of the Living Skills ‘Self’ strand. Underpinning any curriculum experience is the promotion of positive self-esteem and confidence, leading to respect for self and others. The level of maturity and emotional development of the young people influences the teaching style, content and materials used to deliver the curriculum.