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Curriculum

To enable our learners to achieve and to overcome their barriers to learning The Harbour School has structured its education delivery into two strands.  The indentified strands consist of learners with Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD) and learners that have been identified as having a Medical need.  Part of the ethos of The Harbour School is to enable learners to 'be the best they can be', this is facilitated by a curriculum that is firmly built on the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) where individual achievement and successes are promoted and celebrated.
 
Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3
For our KS2 and KS3 learners the core curriculum of English, Mathematics and Science are taught through the use of thematic tartan curriculum that enables engaging and creative learning.  We also run a programme of activities through outside learning which allows learners to access new experiences and develop an understanding about the world around them in a safe and secure way.
 
Key Stage 4
For our KS4 learners we offer a core curriculum of English, Mathematics, Science, ICT and Art which lead to accredited outcomes.  However, one of the biggest barriers to learning for our KS4 learners can be engagement.  To overcome this we try to give each learner a personalised timetable of activities which can lead to accreditation.  Learners will access different pathways through work related learning, college provision or via other outreach services.
 
For some learners in KS3 and KS4, where barriers to learning are so great, the delivery of education may be more informal, indirect and intensive.  The programme for learners focuses on life skills and learning to learn, whilst threading through academic skills and accreditation.
 
Please click on the subject link below to find out more about the curriculum offered to our learners.
At The Harbour School we aim to enthuse learners about the world around us.  All learners study Science with an emphasis on developing investigative skills to enable them to identify questions and answers to solve a problem.  These skills include planning investigations, accurately taking measurements, recording data, presenting their findings and evaluating their results.  Learners extend their knowledge and understanding by studying all three Science disciplines (Biology, Physics and Chemistry) according to the relevant Science National Curriculum.
 
Science staff regularly assess learners through a variety of methods.  Activities are provided that enable learners to assess their own understanding and see for themselves how they can improve and enhance their learning.  In addition, work is marked by teachers at regular intervals and constructive feedback provided.  Learners' achievements are reported on once every half term and progress discussed with learners.
 
Key Stage 2 learners study a two year Science programme that incorporates all areas of the National Curriculum for Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 & 6).  Topics covered include:
  • Biology: Living things and their habitats; Evolution and inheritance; Animals, including humans
  • Physics: Earth and space; Forces; Light; Electricity
  • Chemsitry: Properties and changes of materials

Key Stage 3 learners study a three year Science programme that incorporates all areas of the National Curriculum for Key Stage 3.  Topics covered include:

  • Biology: Structure and function of living organisms; Material cycles and energy; Interactions and interdependencies; Genetics and evolution
  • Physics: Energy, Motion and forces; Waves; Electricity and electromagnetism; Matter; Space physics
  • Chemistry: Particulate nature of matter; Atoms, elements and compounds; Pure and impure substances; Chemical reactions; Energetics; The Periodic Table; Materials; Earth and atmosphere
Key Stage 4 learners work towards gaining accredited Science qualifications.  Current qualifications include AQA Entry Level Certificate Science, AQA GCSE Science A, AQA Additional Science and AQA Certificates (IGCSEs).  Learners can also gain qualifications in the three separate sciences or a combination of all three.  Science pathways are discussed with learners to ensure they gain qualifications that will enable them to succeed.
 
Science TLR: Jag Rai
All learners across The Harbour School have access to a wide variety of creative learning opportunities which readily engage them in creative learning. 
 
Visual Arts
For all learners Visual Arts features strongly across the School.  Learners are given opportunities to make images and artefacts using a wide variety of approaches, including textiles, photography, painting, drawing and new technologies.  To ensure the best outcomes learners are able to access accredited pathways including Portsmouth Passport to the Arts, Arts Award, Unit Awards and GCSE Art.
 
Music 
Music is offered to learners at both our BESD provision (Key Stages 2 and 3) and our Medical provision (Key Stages 3 and 4).  The delivery of Music within the curriculum is supported by the Portsmouth Music Hub, where music celebrations involve the whole learning community.
 
To build on this learning experience, learners are given the opportunity to visit galleries and museums, attend concerts and performances.  The Arts team work effectively with local artists, museums and creative practitioners to enhance the arts experience of learners.
 
Creative Arts TLR: Lisa Taylor
At The Harbour School we recognise that Mathematics is essential to our learners' everyday life; necessary for their financial literacy and for their future employment. We ensure that learners develop fluency in the fundamentals of Mathematics through varied, interactive and frequent practice, increasing in complexity as they progress through the School, so that our learners can develop understanding, recall and apply mathematical knowledge rapidly and accurately. 
 
Learners are given opportunities to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry; consider relationships and generalisations, and develop their ideas, justifying their choices using mathematical language.  By applying their mathematical knowledge learners solves problems to a variety of scenarios, breaking down those problems into a series of simpler steps and preservering in finding a solution.
 
Our Mathematics curriculum is developed in line with the National Curriculum programme of study across Key Stages 2, 3 and 4, and is organised so our learners can build upon their prior learning and make connections across mathematical ideas.  We aim to develop all our learners in fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly more challenging problems, together with equipping them to apply their mathematical knowledge in other areas of the curriculum.
 
Across all Key Stages our Mathematics lessons involve individualised programmes, a range of interactive activities, varied group work and problem-solving.
 
Our Key Stage 2 learners work towards the Mathematics KS2 SATs examinations.
 
Our Key Stage 3 learners work towards Edexcel Functional Skills Entry Level examinations in preparation for further learning at Key Stage 4.
 
Finally at Key Stage 4 our learners continue to work towards further accreditation such as AQA Foundation and Higher GCSE examinations and Edexcel Functional Skills Entry Level 1 and 2.
 
Mathematics TLR: Mark Young
Outdoor learning at The Harbour School offers all learners the opportunity to access a wide range of environments and learning opportunities.  This will help lerners to develop their social skills, problem solving, communication and relationship building via the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) being intertwined into the curriculum - supporting effective learning and positive behaviour.  With the skills and knowledge gained from both the social and emotional, and practical sides, of the curriculum learners are better prepared, and possess a good range of values to support their academic and future careers.
 
At Key Stage 2 all learners will have the chance to attend Forest School for one half day per week throughout the whole year.  The Harbour School has a dedicated site, known as Creech Wood, where learners are given the space to work in small groups, learning about keeping safe, working with other and expressing positive ideas.
 
As learners move to Key Stage 3 the activities undertaken take a dynamic approach with summers spent on the water sailing, kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddle boarding.  Through the winter months work is focused on land based activities such as mountain biking, bush craft and indoor climbing.
 
At Key Stage 4 Forest School becomes an essential part of the curriculum, giving learners the chance to experience learning in a natural forest environment.  The Harbour School is lucky to work in partnership with a conservation group, looking after Billy's Lake on the outskirts of Waterlooville.  Learners experience learning in a natural forest environment and go off site in all weathers to learn skills in team work, self-challenge and conservation.  Working in the outdoor environment learners develop skills with team challenges, such as, fire making, outdoor cooking, making animal habitats and improving the natural world and wild areas.
 
Our Key Stage 4 learners have the opportunity to work towards certification in Trailblazers and the Joun Muir Award in conservation; both awards are recognised by colleges and with employers.
At The Harbour School we aim to provide an engaging and relevant Computing and ICT curriculum which contributes towards effective learning and achievement.
 
Key Stage 2
Learners have access to all areas of the new computing curriculum, which includes opportunities to:
  • design and write programs that solve real life problems
  • use logical reasoning to explain how some programs work
  • understand computer networks, including the internet and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration
  • use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly and be able to recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour
Key Stage 3
Learners have access to all areas of the new computing curriculum, which includes opportunities to:
  • use two or more programming languages to solve a variety of computational problems
  • understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems
  • undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications to achieve challenging goals
  • understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy
Key Stage 4
All learners have the opportunity to study aspects of information technology and computer science at sufficient depth to allow them to gain a recognised qualification.
 
The current qualifications on offer include Functional Skills ICT (Levels 1 and 2); BCS E-safety Award and short course GCSE Computing.
 
All learners will be encouraged to:
  • develop their capability, creativity and knowledge in computer science, digital media and information technology
  • develop and apply their analytic, problem-solving, design, and computational thinking skills
  • understand how changes in technology affect safety, including new ways to protect their online privacy and identity, and how to report a range of concerns
English is the key to unlocking the rest of the curriculum.  All teachers and support staff are teachers of English.  We take a collective responsibility to ensure that all of our learners leave us being at the least functionally literate able to read, write and speak fluently and at best, to love reading for pleasure, enjoy writing for self-expression and creativity and engage in discussions on a wide range of topics.  Reading aloud is encouraged.  Every learner is assessed in reading and spelling on arrival to determine a baseline score.  This allows us to target specific gaps and areas of need.
 
Key Stage 2 and 3 learners at our Tipner site follow a thematic Tartan based curriculum that has an English content in each theme and is specific to the National Curriculum Statutory Requirements.  They are exposed to a range of texts from different times and places to encourage a love of reading, comprehension and enquiry.  A wide range of approaches is used to engage and motivate learners.  They are also given opportunities to write a range of fiction and non-fiction texts.
 
Key Stage 2 learners are prepared for Sats in Reading, Writing and Spelling and Grammar examinations at the end of Year 6.
 
All learners receive individual, targeted interventions to improve reading, spelling and grammar levels.  They follow a daily Basics Programme to address gaps in phonics, spelling, sentence work, grammar and handwriting.  Learners whose reading and spelling ages are below their chronological age follow a reading scheme using The Catch-Up Method.  Some will also receive Precision Teaching depending on their need.
 
Wordshark is used to supplement and reinforce phonic and spelling work done in Basics.
 
Phonic work is addressed in the Basics' programme and follows the Letters and Sounds progression where appropriate.
 
Reading Schemes used are: Rapid Reading, Download and Brinsford Books.
 
For our Key Stage 3 and 4 learners at our Cosham and Fratton sites spelling and grammar are key features of teaching and homework.
 
Key Stage 4 learners work towards gaining accredited qualifications: AQA GCSE English and Functional Skills Entry Levels 1, 2, 3 and Levels 1 and 2.
 
Dyslexia
All sites have suitable qualified staff to administer the Dyslexia test.  Learners' specific areas of weaknesses are analysed and an individual programme of intervention is created for 1:1 teaching.
 
We take every opportunity to develop a cultural appreciation of the English Literacy Heritage by taking advantage of city-wide initiatives.  We work closely with the city library.  Recent events have included creating an exhibition using some of the archive material from the Conan-Doyle collection in Portsmouth.
 
English TLR: June Merrigan