In our secondary department, there is a high level of personalisation in our curriculum and more than sixteen different subjects can be studied at different levels, from entry level to GCSEs and their equivalent. The development of literacy is a key priority for our school and we provide intensive specialist teaching as well as strategies to build confidence in English and Maths.
Different curriculum pathways are planned for individual students. Matching each young person’s learning to their needs and interests enables them to aim high and achieve their very best. As well as traditional academic subjects, our secondary curriculum includes a strong focus on creative and practical subjects that develop social communication and other essential skills for future adult life. While some students follow wholly school based courses, we also offer a high quality vocational curriculum strand from year 9 onwards, in conjunction with a small local skills centre. All pupils have college taster days and work experience in years 10 and 11. Further information about the curriculum can be obtained from the Head teacher.
Throughout the school, we encourage our pupils to participate in new challenges and provide a wealth of enrichment opportunities. All pupils take part in inter-school sports competitions which are adapted for our young people with physical difficulties. Former students have achieved places in national football teams and athletics squads. Locally, we are closely linked with a specialist sports college and our pupils take part in outdoor challenges with their mainstream peers.
We build on our students’ interest and understanding of the wider world by offering residential trips to Rome for our year 10 students and to France for our year 11 students, a celebration of all they have achieved at St John’s.
Our school is committed to continually improving our facilities and the students’ quality of learning. Our performing arts centre has transformed pupils’ learning in drama, and complements our facilities in music where pupils play and record their own music in a recording booth. Study facilities have been enhanced with a new library where we provide homework support both at lunchtimes and after school. Upgrading our ICT facilities has enabled students to use i-Pads in all areas of school. This has been highly motivating, particularly when pupils are assessing their own work.
Our location makes working with local schools very easy as we have five schools within walking distance. A number of theatres, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Hepworth Gallery are all within easy reach, as well as York and the Yorkshire coast. Learning outside the classroom builds an enthusiasm and engagement that result in very good progress and achievement.
The outcomes for our students at the end of their secondary education are outstanding. St John’s has never had a NEET (a student not in education, employment or training at the end of year 11). All of our year 11 students continue in education, some studying A levels and going to university, others studying vocational courses leading also to higher education or employment.