Curriculum Overview

Portland Academy

Curriculum Overview

Pathway Identification and Overview

Pathway 1

Young people following Pathway 1 typically experience profound and multiple learning difficulties. Those with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) are situated along a spectrum indicating their profoundly intricate learning requirements. Alongside profound learning challenges, they often encounter additional significant obstacles, such as physical disabilities, sensory impairments, and/or severe medical conditions. Consequently, they typically necessitate multidisciplinary assistance and support. Curriculum delivery is frequently tailored to individual needs, often provided on a one-to-one basis or in pairs, highlighting the necessity for considerable adult support for young people with PMLD.

Pathway 2

Young people following Pathway 2 are prone to having intricate needs, including severe learning difficulties and complex autism. They may utilise gesture and sign, symbols, and/or spoken language for communication, although all will experience severe communication challenges to varying extents, impacting both expressive and receptive skills. Complex autism is characterised by difficulties in social interaction, communication skills, sensory integration, and repetitive behaviour patterns. Often, children with autism struggle to filter input from various sources, leading to an overwhelming sensory experience. Given these complexities, it’s crucial to explore more effective ways of supporting autistic children throughout their educational journey, recognising their needs, assisting them through daily challenges, and fostering their independence.

Pathway 3

Young people on Pathway 3 are prone to severe learning difficulties, often accompanied by additional needs such as autism. Identification of these individuals is typically based on assessments and information outlined in the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), supplemented by diagnostic evaluations upon enrolment. Academic assessments in various learning areas are conducted through observations and activities aligned with the relevant curriculum. Communication tools such as Widget symbols and Makaton,  are utilised in Pathway 3, alongside speech communication devices when necessary. Through Pathway 3, young people can express themselves and engage in discussions about their lives, enabling them to practice and internalise practical skills essential for leading independent, safe, and healthy lives, as well as fostering meaningful relationships. Additionally, young people on Pathway 3 are prepared for a more formal curriculum by developing proficiency in phonics and numeracy skills.

6th Form

In the Sixth Form, young people persist with pathway models but with an emphasis on “Preparation For Adulthood.” They have the opportunity to pursue a variety of suitable qualifications or vocational studies and participate in relevant work-related learning, such as work experience.

Our Sixth Form curriculum is presented through either an informal or formal approach.