Bennerley Fields School,
Stratford Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 8QZ

Beyond Bennerley

Curriculum Rationale

Our core curriculum at Bennerley Fields is well established with our AWL system being used to successfully track progress in Maths, English and PSHE. Significant emphasis is placed on making learning functional and as our students would say ‘real life’.

Over the past year, we have worked hard as a school community to assess, record and most importantly celebrate the key learning that often falls outside of traditional curriculum areas. Engagement, social and behavioural progress could be argued as being the most important work we do with our students as we raise aspirations for their future.

For these reasons, we are developing our ‘Beyond Bennerley’ curriculum to support students with pathways that effectively equip them with the skills to succeed long after they have left our school. Staff identified key areas of Health & Wellbeing, Employment, Sensory regulation and Independence to form the foundations of our new curriculum.

We believe that a good number of our students show great potential for employment and the local figures of less than 2% of learning disabled young people gaining meaningful employment simply aren’t good enough! We have developed a pathway for students that build key skills for employability from understanding the types of jobs people do all the way through to completing an application. Working with local partners such as Action4Cotmanhay and accessing job coaches will help us to break barriers and build positive relationships with employers showcasing the many skills our students have to offer.

Health and Wellbeing are central to the development of our young people. Our pathway will look to support students in leading active, healthy lifestyles and also addresses the prevalence of mental health issues in the young people we work with. Diet, physical fitness and mindfulness are key aspects of this pathway. For our more complex young people, our sensory regulation pathway supports them working through sensory input and gaining a greater awareness of themselves and the world around them.

The aspiration of achieving the maximum level of independence possible is at the very core of all we do at Bennerley Fields and this pathway very much wraps around the whole curriculum. Our Bennerley Fields Alumni very much supports and informs the development of our new curriculum. Learning more about life ‘Beyond Bennerley’ is helping us to create highly personalized and bespoke pathways that give us great optimism and confidence in our students’ future.