As referrals to the MNU are made throughout the school year, we need to have some flexibility in our structure as pupils can join us at any point during Key Stage 4. They have often missed considerable amounts of schooling. For this reason we plan to cover the GCSE English, English Literature and Maths courses in one year and limit the examination to those core subjects. We also offer Entry Level Certificate in Maths and English to less able students or late arrivals.
Due to the varied abilities, amount of missed schooling and medical conditions of the group, all planning and teaching needs to be differentiated. All pupils have an Individual Education Plan, agreed after discussion with them, the Lead Teacher and the EP.
In addition to the core subjects, we encourage all pupils to explore and develop their skills in Art as we believe it can be very therapeutic. Regular opportunities are also given for teaching and training in life skills, communication and individual project work. We put a huge emphasis on building confidence and self esteem and work closely with the EP in group work to that end.
We engage outside agencies or borough services to enrich our curriculum. We arrange sessions from the Sex & Relationship Education team, the police, Chocolate Films and other suitable contacts during the school year.
As part of our holistic approach to the education of pupils at the Medical Needs Unit, we realise the importance of a measured exposure to society and life outside the safe environment of the Unit. We carefully plan outings geared to the physical and mental ability of our young people. Many suffer from anxiety disorder; travelling by public transport, meeting strangers or being in a crowd can overwhelm them.
We create and use opportunities to develop and increase their resilience in new situations, following advice from CAMHS. Our aim is to build their confidence and help them manage their anxiety to the point where they can cope with life as they move on at 16.
We have enjoyed trips including: Thorpe Park, Greenwich & the River Thames, London Zoo, Wimbledon Tennis Club. We have also taken more local trips to the cinema and bowling.