There is little success where  there is little laughter  -  Andrew Carnegie

Post Sixteen Curriculum

Core Academic Learning

All pupils have programmes of study that offer appropriate learning opportunities in the areas of English, Maths and ICT. In higher ability groups discrete lessons in Literacy, Maths and ICT are provided. Less able pupils receive discrete lessons in communication as a priority, with elements of numeracy being delivered through practical life skills activities such as shopping or cooking.

Communication development for some lower ability pupils is supported by the use of Touch Cues, pictorial communication, Makaton signing, Objects of Reference and talking activities as part of the provision.

We also promote the core curriculum areas of English, Maths and ICT at all times on a cross-curricular basis to broaden and deepen student’s understanding of these key areas. For the more able students, specific English, Maths and computing provision is provided for up to 2 hours each week All students learn with the support of ICT throughout the curriculum. Less able students have ICT based learning embedded in their work on communication. All Post 16 study is contextualised in real life situations as we support our students on their pathway of Preparation for Adulthood.

Post 16 programmes of study for English and Maths for most students are derived from the Functional Skills curricula. We deliver programmes from Entry Level 1 and Level 2 making provision for all but the least able of our students. Less able students work towards units from the OCR Life & Living Skills programme with specific units targeted at their development in English, Maths and ICT.

Personal Development

Opportunities for learning and personal development are widespread and varied throughout our curriculum. Personal development linking to the Preparation for Adulthood pathways (pathways to Employment, to Housing, to Good Health and to Developing Friendships, Relationships & Community) is central to our Post 16 curriculum. 

Our Post 16 Centre is set up in a collegiate and inclusive style with students of all abilities fully integrated for a good part of each day.  Students undertake an extensive part of their learning off-site through regular shopping trips plus an extensive and varied programme of other community events, community visits, college placements and  work placements. These are in our Cornerstones community café opportunities and in visits to and placements with employers. 

We bring opportunities for Personal Development into school by hosting weekly community Coffee Mornings catered for by our students of all abilities as part of their work in Hospitality & Catering.  We host many regular events featuring visiting speakers and organisations, including enterprise days working with the Leeds Enterprise Partnership and North Yorkshire Enterprise Partnership.

More-able students have weekly lessons working towards the ASDAN Personal Development Programme with many students completing this programme with Bronze, Silver & Gold awards. Our more-able Year 14 students attend a 22-week employability programme delivered in partnership with MENCAP in which our students travel to Bradford to study on a weekly basis. Our more-able students also receive Employability/Careers Education Information & Advice (CEIA) with an annual visit to the Skills Yorkshire regional careers fair.

Each week there is a ‘Thought for the Week’ linked to British Values.  Students end each week with a personal Mentoring Session which provides a weekly review and an opportunity for goal setting, including feedback on the Thought of the Week. Our mentoring programme generates an opportunity for every student to have a discussion supporting individual well-being, giving us information to allow us to develop a bespoke personalised provision for each young person.

Each school day commences with a Breakfast Club that includes registration, arrangements for the day, guided reflection on the Thought of the Week, and gives an opportunity to watch a daily news programme.  For some pupils this is an opportunity to read that day’s newspaper or to discuss with staff and peers, topical events. This provides students with a growing perspective on the wider world.

Students participate in Relationships & Sex Education lessons supported by the Special Needs School Nursing Team (SNSNT) and using materials from Ur Choice Plus.

Students are given an option choice about college study programmes appropriate to their age. Students also have an option to join mixed ability groups from across the school working on Performing Arts which culminate in bi-annual public performances.

Physical Education in the form of health related exercise including opportunities for dance are included in the carousel of activities.  Students join a weekly celebration assembly led by the Head of School or a senior staff member. This celebrates all our pupil’s achievements and reflects on the ‘Thought for the Week’. The personal development curriculum is also supplemented by a diverse and regular calendar of whole school activities linked to charities, visits and events such as the Children in Need and Red Nose Day. A record of the diverse and vibrant range of activities is maintained in school. Post 16 students also participate in our own fund raising and charity events such as the Winter and Summer Fayres and the ‘Super Cars and Super Heroes Day’ as well as other events.

 In spring 2018, we offered all our students an opportunity for a residential trip to the Yorkshire Dales. For many students, this was their first time away from home. It has been booked again for Spring 2019.  We also offer Independent Travel Training for many students through Bradford Council.


All Post 16 pupils are given opportunities to achieve external accreditation as an outcome for their academic study. The qualifications obtained are an important motivator for our students. They contribute to developing their self-esteem and play an important part in each pupil’s onward transition to college.

All students in Year 14 have opportunities provided for accreditation of learning and as appropriate this is also offered to many pupils in Years 12 & 13.

OCR Functional Skills qualifications are available in English, Maths and ICT at Entry Level 1, 2 & 3, Level 1 & 2. Functional Skills qualifications are undertaken in years 12, 13 & 14 to allow students to build on their skills and have opportunities for progression before leaving school.

Lower ability pupils who are not able to successfully complete Functional Skills courses study OCR Life and Living Skills modules. These modules are more focused on specific skills areas than the more academically demanding Functional Skills qualifications. OCR L&LS modules feature a 10 stage Achievement Continuum working towards Entry 1. OCR Life & Living Skills modules are also available to provide for all our pupils accreditation in a wide range of vocational subjects featured within our Post 16 programme.

Please CLICK HERE for a printable versions of our post 16 curriculum.

Please do not hesitate to contact our Head of Post 16 Margaret Allwood if you require further information.



Post 16 at Beechcliffe School is the equivalent to most secondary schools’ sixth forms but is a three-year programme, catering for  year 12,13 and 14. This means that most of our students do not leave until the end of the academic year of their 19th birthday. 

We are based in our own distinct area of school. This gives Post 16 a strong and positive identity. 

Beechcliffe delivers the government’s curriculum strategy of 14-19 Study Programmes and the Preparation for Adulthood pathways. Students follow a programme that stretches them, prepares them for adulthood, and supports their progression into work or further study. Our programme features academic learning, vocational study and personal development. Beechcliffe School provides a range of appropriate learning opportunities in each of these areas.

Structural factors in the organisation of Post 16 

In Post 16, frequent opportunities are given for pupils of all ages and from across the ability range to work and learn together.  Pupils are taught in both mixed ability groups and in ability-based groups for different activities. This reflects the generic nature of the school for certain subjects. For the core academic subjects of English, Maths and ICT, we group by ability across the age groups. For Life Skills and vocational activities groups are of mixed age and mixed ability. For Performing Arts the groups are of mixed ability and are vertically streamed containing pupils from across the entire age range of the school 11-19.
Teaching is delivered through differentiated programmes of study, planned to meet the learning needs of the students in each group.

The curriculum is planned through long term curriculum plans that are broken down into Medium Term Planning (MTP) units, These outline the learning objectives and activities on a half-termly or term by term basis. All learning activities in Post 16 are contextualised with the stipulation of a ‘WALTB’ – “We are learning this because…”, so that pupils understand that their learning is purposeful within the context of real life skills and that the outcome is to enhance their future young adult lives

Vocational Study

All Post 16 students participate in a range of vocational and enterprise based studies. This provides them with opportunities to develop their life skills and independence.

We offer three main strands of study in the areas of Hospitality & Catering, Horticulture and Enterprise activities. Our Hospitality and Catering programme operates through an offsite café called Cornerstones. This is open to the public each Friday. We also have two school-based cafes each week, on a Wednesday and Thursday.  Our Horticulture programme operates at the school’s double sized allotment. We also have a kitchen garden adjacent to our cooking room and within an area of the school grounds that we call Church Park. 

Our varied enterprise activities are delivered within the framework of BEC (Beechcliffe Enterprise Community).  BEC operates a sublimation printing facility for mugs and flatbed printing onto t-shirts and other fabric products.  We also manufacture a range of craft products for sale at various school events and at our  cafes.

All these activities give students opportunities to study in mixed ability groups. Additionally, all students have cooking lessons each week and visit the local community for shopping and other activities.   All these activities are linked into the programmes of study for the OCR Life & Living Skills and ASDAN Personal Development Programme which validate and accredit our vocational programme.

Students also participate in college based placements at Leeds City College, Keighley which offers a carousel of six vocational courses: Construction - Joinery, Fashion & Textiles, Construction – Brickwork, Childcare, Hair & Beauty and Motor Vehicles.

We are also involved collaboratively with another school locally running a ‘Fuel for Schools’ foodbank operating from a retail unit in the town centre giving our students the opportunity to develop a range of skills face to face with the public.

Additionally, Post 16 offers a wide range of extended school opportunities with regular visits within the wider community. We have visiting speakers and events in school and we run an annual week’s residential to the Yorkshire Dales. 

We aim for all our students to receive a range of experiences to broaden their knowledge and to build their skills, confidence and understanding.

Additional needs - supplementary Curriculum

As appropriate, we meet the diverse additional needs of our students using our specialist facilities and trained staff in hydro, rebound, the sensory rooms and mobile sensory equipment. NHS nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and orthotists work in school each week and a Level 4 SNTA is designated to deliver physical therapy programmes. Staff are extensively trained for the administration of medicines, pump feeding, moving and handling, personal care and other essential procedures.

CAMHS and Social Care regularly provide support to students in school. Bradford Council provides a specialist SEN Careers service.


In Post 16 we assess students’ academic progress against the assessment criteria taken from OCR Life & Living Skills and Functional Skills English, maths and ICT. Less able students are tracked using their progress in the OCR Achievement Continuum.  Additionally, we recognise of the importance of Preparation for Adulthood pathways in developing our students to live independent, healthy, safe and rewarding young adult lives both while they remain in school and after the leave us. We therefore track progress in the full range of personal development activities offered to ensure that each student receives a balance of opportunities that support their personal growth and future prosperity.


During their final years in school, we provide students with an extensive programme of support to support transition from school. School leaver’s final EHCP Reviews are prioritised within the autumn term before they leave to allow action plans for transition to be put in place suitably early. In the autumn term each year, we organise a Transitions Evening in school. We also attend annually at a regional Careers Fair. Each year we arrange visits to our local colleges; Keighley College, Craven College, Bradford College and Shipley College and also to other providers to support pupil transition.

We have excellent links with to our local Council’s Careers Advisor and with Social Care’s Adults’ Transitions Team.  We also work with local agencies such as Supported Employment, Keighley Volunteers, Keighley and Craven People First. The Deputy Headteacher is always available to support pupils and their families in preparation for transition.


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