Key Stage 4

Within the key stage four curriculum students work towards a variety of qualifications to support preparation for adult life and transition. All students continue to follow a pathway specific approach and access personalised provision based on My Plans. The key stage four offer builds upon the skills developed from the EYFS-KS3 curriculum provision with the intention to develop the students’ cultural capital and Careers Futures portfolios. All students have the opportunity to participate in work related learning, engage in meaningful encounters with employers and take part in enterprise activities. At key stage 4 we are responsive to the needs of new cohorts and further tailor the curriculum offer to include vocational programmes and development of functional and independence skills.

All key stage 4 students progressing into Post 16 will:

  • Have an informed careers plan based on Careers Adviser guidance
  • Have a provisional intended destination based on personal, professional and parental feedback

Post 16

Post-16 is the preparation of students for the end of their Holbrook journey.

Our curriculum offers bespoke and personalised pathways to support students to reach their intended destination. We recognise the need for personalised outcomes for all our young people and aim to support all students to move into adulthood as independently as possible.

Our curriculum is designed with the understanding that each student will have unique starting and destination points. We offer a range of person-centred learning opportunities through a carefully planned curriculum that promotes independence and preparation for adulthood whilst building upon key skills developed in previous years. The breadth of provision enriches student experience and provides a context for the growth and understanding required for adult life and for the acquisition of a wider range of personal qualities and social skills.

The KS5 curriculum is adapted annually to best meet the needs of students within the cohort. It aims to raise aspiration and develop our students’ self-belief, functional communication and independence skills, as these are vital for preparing for adulthood. We are committed to developing our student’s cultural capital and to challenging stereotypes and removing barriers that our students may encounter when planning for transition.

The aims of the Post 16 provision are as follows:

  • Preparation for transition
  • Development of life skills
  • Development of vocational and employability skills


Stream pathway students access activities through a structured child-led, continuous provision learning environment. This environment encourages them to make their own choices, helping them to learn what the best choices are. Consistent routines and the sensory environment enable learners to develop life skills and express themselves in a stimulating and nurturing environment. A student’s EHCP and subsequent ‘My Plan’ is central to the planning of lessons and activities in this pathway. Students access a range of tailored careers and transition related learning including vocational and enterprise activities. Schemes of work are embedded to support teaching and learning. Students in the stream pathway will work towards Entry Level 1 accreditation in Personal Growth, Skills and Engagement.

River pathway students are encouraged to explore their world and make connections, developing fundamental skills for adulthood. The different subject areas provide a context through which communication and independent life skills are developed. Curriculum content and each individual’s EHCP and subsequent ‘My Plan’ work together to inform lesson content. Students access a range of careers and work-related learning including workplace visits, employer talks and vocational and enterprise activities. Schemes of work are embedded to support teaching and learning. Students in the River pathway will work towards accreditation in Functional Skills; Personal Growth, Skills and Engagement. and identified courses linked to interest and destination.

Ocean pathway students’ access tailored study programmes and a student’s EHCP and subsequent ‘My Plan’ supplements planning for this more formal strand of the curriculum. There is an emphasis on the development of functional literacy and numeracy and the development of knowledge and abilities for everyday living. Activities are designed to make links between subject areas and promote transferable skills. Students access a range of careers and work related learning including work experience, pre-internships, enterprise and interviews. Schemes of work are embedded to support teaching and learning. Students in the Ocean pathway will work towards a range of accreditation including: Functional Skills, Skills for Further Learning and Employment and identified courses linked to interest and destination.


All Post 16 students work towards a nationally recognised accreditation

At post 16, all students work towards accreditation through Open Awards. There is a strong emphasis on developing functional communication, literacy, numeracy and ICT as well as independence, employability and life skills.

We support learners to achieve qualifications in areas such as: Personal Growth, Skills and Engagement;, Functional Skills and Travel Training. 

Accreditation Results 2021-22

Careers and Work Experience

Students are offered a range of opportunities to develop life skills with a strong vocational focus throughout the school but particularly for post 16 students. Opportunities based around the young person’s strengths and interests are identified in Careers Portfolios and inform work placements nad work related learning opportunities. Vocational placements are linked to EHCP outcomes, My Plans and identified pathways.

Work experience and work related learning is one of the most important link activities between employers and schools. It is a significant step in preparing young people for adult and working life by developing their personal and social skills as well as the key skills they will need for the world of work. Holbrook School for Autism use the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s Benchmarks to guide careers provision. Students are entitled to careers education and guidance that is impartial and confidential. It is integrated into their experience of the whole curriculum, based on a partnership with students and their parents/ carers. The programme promotes equality of opportunity, inclusion and anti-racism.

Students use a Careers Portfolio to track careers provision and work related experiences. As part of student’s portfolio work they will have opportunities to visit colleges, attend Open Days and career guidance meetings. By year 14 we aim to have a named destination for all students in order to support our young people in successfully transitioning to intended destinations. All students will follow a careers programme to introduce them to the world of work and will have work experience placements and enterprise opportunities where appropriate.

Holbrook Careers Futures Programme

Holbrook & The Gatsby Benchmarks


Educational outcomes are measured against accredited outcomes and lateral progress. All students develop a personal Careers Futures Portfolio from year 7, which will support future transitions and destination points. We promote a firm ethos of learning beyond the classroom and students engage in an extensive careers and work related learning programme linked to personal outcomes, accreditation and destination.

Click here for our Ocean pathway case study

Click here for our River pathway case study

Click here for our Stream pathway case study

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