School Curriculum


Independence Pathway

All pupils follow the National Curriculum and take part in Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) at Key Stage 2. In Years 10 and 11, this is followed with up to fifteen GCSE subjects at Key Stage 4. English Language, Mathematics, Science and PSHE are taken by all pupils. In addition, the following further options are available: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Geography, Art and Design, Physical Education, Drama, Music, Design Technology and Food Technology. The success rate in external examination at Cruckton is excellent for pupils of all levels and ability, given the starting points at which they enter the school. We also run a social programme of Entry Level, Life Skills and AQA modules.

Forest School is run one day each week for groups of young people, providing an opportunity to work together to develop their emotional literacy and reduce anxieties with time away from school in the woodland. One project has involved the construction of a Saxon roundhouse.

In Years 10 and 11 the young people have a differentiated programme to meet and develop their social skills within the community at a practical and vocational level. This will reflect individual interests and may include the following areas: Independent Living Skills, Sport, Leisure & Recreation, Land Based Studies/Bushcraft, Performing & Creative Arts, Hospitality & Catering and Equine Studies.

Towards Independence Pathway

At Key Stage 2 there is a traditional primary offer and model of delivery, including SATs. Subjects are underpinned by development of communication, social and emotional skills through SCERTS, Zones of Regulation, social stories and sensory circuits.

At Key Stage 3 there is a focus on project based/thematic learning delivered by a core team of KS3 tutors as part of a 3 year 'roll on, roll off' curriculum. Tutor rooms offer a nurture group provision and a 'safe location', as an alternative to the traditional secondary model of delivery offered through the Independence Pathway. KS3 pupils build on the work of KS2 with an increasing level of independence. Groupings are based on academic ability and social groupings rather than strictly by year group. This allows for greater flexibility in placements and curriculum offer. Tutors deliver the Maths, English, Science and PSHE with additional curriculum areas being taught by specialist staff.

Harlescott House (Age 16+ Provision)

This residential unit is situated in Shrewsbury. Young people attending Harlescott House have the opportunity to access a range of courses run by local colleges and by Cruckton Hall School, or a combination of these. These courses include: A Level study at Sixth Form Colleges, BTech National Diploma, GNVQ, NVQ, City and Guilds at all levels including Entry and Pre-entry level courses as well as Entry into Employment courses (varied duration). In addition, a programme of accredited courses are available at Harlescott House if this option is required. The week is completed with a social programme which develops life skills for the autistic young person at an appropriate age and ability level. Harlescott offers an onsite curriculum through four classroom areas set up to deliver a broad Key Stage 5 curriculum.

The unit is staffed by an experienced team. As well as providing access to mainstream colleges as above, Harlescott House acts as a safety net if young people have difficulty integrating into mainstream education and life. The students begin their first tentative steps into independent life with a broad curriculum of experiences and opportunities to help them succeed safely. They can progress from a single study bedroom (some with en-suite facilities) to living semi-independently in the Lodge and the Studio, both of which are situated on the Harlescott campus. The Lodge and the Studio provide increased opportunities for young people to practise independence and life skills, whilst remaining under the Cruckton umbrella of support.

24-Hour Curriculum

For those pupils who are resident at Cruckton, we provide a 24-hour educational programme. All pupils at the school have an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP). These are supported by an individual education plan (IEP), a placement plan, an individual pupil care plan (IPCP) and from Year 9 a transition plan. The respective parts of these plans are discussed between the professionals at the school, the child and their parents/carers. A multi-disciplinary approach is adopted at Cruckton and each pupil is assessed by our own Educational Psychology team soon after admission. Continued assessments throughout school life measure progress and identify any areas where teaching needs are to be focused.

Cruckton has a Consultant Child Psychiatrist who visits school on a regular basis. If necessary, an appropriate referral can be made to another agency for therapy or counselling over and above that which can be provided at Cruckton. We also have sessions from visiting speech and language therapists and an occupational therapist who work closely with the teaching and care staff at Cruckton to develop a programme where required.

The structure which provides success for our pupils is not limited to the classroom environment, but encompasses the residential side of school life. Pupils are provided with a range of recreational activities, which reflect their needs and encourage their individual talents.

Many of our children choose an active leisure programme. This can be provided through activities such as skateboarding, swimming, football and cricket. In the summer programme, the adventure camp encourages team work amongst our student group, providing activities such as orienteering, mountain biking, rock climbing and raft building. For the more studious, a range of activities from Warhammer to Chess Club are provided. A weekly trip to a local youth club resource in Shrewsbury, for example, is a highlight for some of our young people. Activities such as board & card games and model building can be used to practise numeracy skills, improving fine motor control and increasing hand/eye coordination, while an active sporting programme rapidly develops confidence and gross motor skills.