Our Curriculum

The Curriculum

Thriftwood College aims to provide young people with moderate learning needs, an experience of learning which is both challenging and engaging. The environment is age appropriate and the approach is highly Person Centred.
The College caters for students between 14 – 19 years of age and is organised into two departments: Key Stage 4, 14-16 years and Key Stage 5, 16-19 years.


The Curriculum across the college is designed to facilitate the best possible preparation for adulthood. It aims to respond to national guidance, including the Code of Practice and the governments’ objectives, to ensure that learners with a range of needs are provided with appropriate opportunities to become both as independent as possible and to develop skills that make them employable in the future.

Fundamentals for the Future (FFF) - We have developed a Curriculum Framework called "Fundamentals for the Future" upon which all our subject areas are built. This framework consists of all the key skills we believe are essential for our pupils to lead an independent, healthy and purposeful life.

The framework is set out under the Preparation for Adulthood titles and links to the areas with Education Health Care Plans (EHCP). This framework is taught both discreetly and also within/through other subject areas. Pupil progress within the framework is tracked. 


Key Stage 4 - Years 10 and 11

Students joining us in key stage 4, usually from Thriftwood School, will follow a more ‘school based’ programme and will have access to a range of subjects; including the core subjects, the arts, physical education, PSHCEe, and work related learning. Each KS4 tutor group will be a mix of Year 10 and 11 students. The thinking behind this is that it will help target student needs more effectively. Students will be ability-grouped for English and mathematics and will work towards accreditation at a functional level over a two year period. In working towards independence, students will be encouraged to engage with travel training, in-order-to start using public transport both at college and at home. The aim of the key stage 4 curriculum is to determine a young person’s next stage of learning, whether academic in nature or based on vocational learning. Students will only undertake accreditation if they are able and if it serves a purpose for their chosen pathway. 


Key Stage 5 – Years 12, 13 

At Key Stage 5, students will continue to receive high quality English and mathematics teaching in ability-groups. Those, who are able, will be aiming for qualifications in the core subjects up to Level 2 which will enable them to access mainstream college courses when they leave Thriftwood. However, the core purpose of our post-16 programme is to develop vocational skills and the skills required for gainful employment. This will include Options in their chosen vocational area and the opportunity to experience aspects of the world of work. Most students stay in the post-16 provision up to the age of 18.

Year 14

If leadership feel it would be beneficial for a student to stay for a further year then they will be invited to take up this opportunity. This is a non-accredited route, it's purpose is to help students develop greater resilience and independence before moving on. However, there is a very limited number of Year 14 spaces and this will only apply to a few students. Depending on the student numbers throughout the rest of the college there may be years that we do not have the capacity to run a Year 14 programme.


Moving into Adulthood

The journey through adolescence can be a challenging one and parents find that their children change significantly as they mature and begin to develop their own points of view. The programme at College aims to ensure that students have a voice and develop a sense of autonomy in their own lives. Students will be encouraged to attend and share their thoughts, wishes and aspirations at any reviews of the EHCP and events where progress is shared.


The College has invested in working with nationally recognised organisations to provide students with meaningful accreditation opportunities. The awarding body that we are currently registered with is AQA. We work towards Functional Skills Level 1 and 2 in both English and Mathematics as well as GCSE English Language and Mathematics.

We are keen to develop students’ work-related learning through these areas in real contexts. 

These may include:

  • Experience of the service industries
  • Working in the Café/Barista Training
  • Experience of horticulture/outdoor pursuits
  • Participation in Work Related Learning
  • Developing relationships with businesses, locally and nationally
  • Participation in leisure activities both at College and at home
  • Working with charities
  • Keeping fit and well, participation in meaningful leisure activities