top of page

Secondary Curriculum

What to expect at Secondary:

In the Secondary department we have pupils from 11 up to age 19. We teach the full range of National Curriculum subjects in small classes with specialist equipment to meet the children’s needs. All of the staff are highly experienced in supporting children with a VI and additional needs. Pupils are offered many learning experiences beyond the classroom, including extra-curricular clubs, curriculum activities and residential experiences.

All pupils can participate where needed in our Additional Curriculum designed to support their SEND. This includes swimming lessons, individual braille, Habilitation, Independent Living Skills, Speech and Language Therapy, Instrument and Singing lessons, touch typing and specialist ICT lessons. Careers advice is offered from year 8 onwards.

Pupils are expected to gain a range of qualifications by the time they move on, both academic and vocational, including A level, GCSE, BTEC up to level 3, Entry Level, Functional Skills and ASDAN accreditation.

All pupils have access to a 1-1 Learning Mentor who supports their wellbeing and progress throughout school

At KS3, our curriculum is highly differentiated and we also run a smaller nurture group that provides a tactile experiential learning group for pupils of lower ability.

At Key Stage 4 the pupils follow one of three pathways depending on their ability. With the higher ability groups they access a normal range of subjects and option choices. Business Admin and Food Technology are compulsory as we see these as key areas to develop their ILS and to take into the workplace.

Pupils in year 10 will complete a 2 week work experience placement in the Summer Term. For the lower ability group they follow an ASDAN Personal Progress route which offers a broad range of units that amongst other areas include continued work in Numeracy and Literacy.

At Key Stage 5 there are three pathways in the Priestley Smith offer.  Their entry into one of these routes is based on the students’ year 11 results and our teacher knowledge of their potential.  At KS5 Pupils are expected to both improve and broaden on their year 11 qualifications.

Pupils are split into Level 1 and Level 2 yr12/13 groups depending on ability. English, Maths, RSE, an AOPE qualification, PE, RE and PSE are compulsory and pupils will have the additional curriculum where needed. They will choose 3 options picked from areas that support employment of adults with a VI. These are

  • Option 1— Health and Social Care or Business Enterprise

  • Option 2—Information and Creative Technology or Hospitality and Catering

  • Option 3—Modern Foreign Language or Music


For one day each week in year 12 and 13 the pupils do the following

  • Year 12 are studying The Princes Trust course for which looks at employment, teamwork and community skills for one day each week. This involves access to enriching experiences to prepare them for adulthood 

  • Year 13:  The pupils spend one day each week at a work experience placement chosen to support their next steps beyond sixth form.


The third pathway is for pupils who are capable of A Level (Level 3) studies and is in partnership with Fortis Sixth Form to support a wider offer. This is supported by Priestley Smith School and work will be appropriately modified into large print, Braille and ICT formats, as required.. These pupils attend Fortis for the majority of the week with additional time back at Priestley to support accessibility and to experience the additional curriculum.

bottom of page