Hednesford Valley High

Hednesford Vallery High School

Life at Hednesford Valley High


Hednesford Valley High aims to educate, motivate and inspire young adults with learning difficulties by providing a creative and inspiring vocational curriculum that engages, motivates and offers real opportunities to prepare students for adult life.

At Hednesford Valley High we strive to ensure that our students leave as young adults who are as independent as possible, both at home, in the community and the work place. 

As our students enter our Sixth Form we recognise them as young adults and our curriculum is designed to reflect this. 

Our post-16 curriculum ensures that previous learning is consolidated and built upon in a way that is functional, vocational and further promotes independence in all walks of life. 

Each student follows an individualised pathway through the curriculum which builds on prior attainment and gives them opportunities to achieve further qualifications.   


Vocational and Subject Based Learning


Aims for teaching Vocational and Subject Based Learning are as follows:

  • For our students to be able to make informed choices about their adult life and to recognise the importance of lifelong learning.
  • For our students to identify skills and knowledge needed for a range of types of work and experience real working environments.
  • For our students to develop their skills, interests and knowledge of a broad range of areas beyond the core functional curriculum.
  • For our students to actively contribute to planning, organising and evaluating their work.

Work Based Learning

Students will be provided with a variety of options to experience the working environment, they will develop their knowledge and understanding of skills necessary within the workplace.  Students will then progress into work placements to give them the opportunity to apply previously learned skill and develop new skills.  Students run a market stall at Cannock Indoor Market.  They make and sell the products and are responsible for documenting the cash flow.


Students will develop skills through participating in enterprise activities focusing on the principles of running a successful enterprise scheme and ensure that products and services are provided.  Students will take ownership of a business project, learn how to manage money, take responsibility for marketing and evaluating the product.  Students will sell their products at school events, Longford centre and their Market Stall.


Personal and Social Development


Aims for teaching Personal and Social Development are as follows:

  • For students to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding, appropriate to their individual needs which are necessary for them to play an effective role in their public and private life.
  • For students to learn how to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
  • For students to recognise and respect their rights and responsibilities within a diverse society
  • For students to learn how to make positive contributions to society


Students will become as independent as possible and begin to form opinions which they should understand in wider functional contexts.  Students will learn to take responsibility for themselves and be aware of other people’s rights, needs and responsibilities.  They will understand that actions have consequences and their rights will be balanced against their understanding of responsibilities.

Students share the facilities of a mainstream school – Cannock Chase High School (CCHS), they mix with their peers in the Sixth Form Common Room and the rest of the school around the site at break, lunch and social times.  Some students also access additional qualifications which they study with students at CCHS.

Democracy and Justice – British Values

Students will reflect on moral, social and cultural issues in order to understand other people’s experiences.  They will look at and reflect on a range of scenarios and consider the outcomes from a variety of viewpoints and be provided with opportunities to resolve differences by making decisions, explaining their choices and thinking about the consequences of their choices.  They will consider the expectations of the school and the consequences when they are not met.  Students will begin to understand why we have laws, how rules are made and enforced and the role of police and courts.  They will develop their ability to understand what democracy is and the institutions that support it in parliament.  They will consider the democracy process in school such as Student Leadership Team and how they can bring about change through debate and collective decision making.

Rights and Responsibilities

Students will reflect on the relationships between rights and responsibilities with an emphasis on equality.  Whilst a viewpoint or action may be right, they should begin to realise that they also have a moral responsibility to take the rights of others into account.  Through this the students will develop their self-esteem and confidence.

Identity, Inclusion and Social Diversity

Students will learn about what makes a good citizen, social diversity and working together.  Students will have the opportunity to consider their own identity and how they can retain it whilst being a good citizen.  Students will look at different communities and how they are made up of lots of different people and how they co-exist in society.  They will look at different identities - faiths and beliefs, ethnicity, regional and national.  Students will be given the opportunity to investigate how differences can be used as a positive driving force when working together through negotiation and compromise.

Physical and Mental Well-Being

Physical and mental well-being gives students the opportunity to develop a positive attitude towards keeping safe, fit and healthy on a physical and mental level.  We will encourage students to participate regularly in exercise and to follow a balanced diet and give them strategies in maintaining these throughout life.  Students experience a wide breadth of experiences to develop their own interests and leisure activities.  They use the Well-Active Website (www.well-active.co.uk) they helped to create with a number of professionals.

Personal Identities

Students will develop their understanding of their own identity and how it is affected by a range of factors.  Students will develop their confidence and self-esteem through looking at how personal qualities, attitudes, skills and achievements are valued and how changes to personal circumstances can have an impact on them.

Relationships and Sex Education

Students will have the opportunity to consider the relationships they have with different people, how they are central to our lives and can have positive and negative impacts on them.  Students will develop the skills necessary to have effective relationships with people including sexual relationships.  There will be a strong focus on self-advocacy and the right they have to make choices about what they do and what happens to them.

Healthy Lifestyles – including diet and benefit of exercise

Students will learn about what constitutes as a healthy diet and will make informed choices about what they eat.  They will learn about the different food groups and the role they play in maintaining the body.

Students will develop their understanding of personal hygiene and the consequences of keeping a good personal hygiene routine.  They will also develop an understanding of the dangers associated with drugs, smoking and alcohol.

Students will participate in a weekly leisure sessions and experience a range of activities in a variety of different settings.  The exploration of a range of leisure activities will promote a feeling of fun and relaxation in a less formal environment with their peers.  Students will be supported to develop positive social interaction within a community setting to enable students to independently choose to access leisure activities outside of school.

Awareness of risk and danger

Students will develop their understanding of risk and danger both positive and negative.  They will learn that they have a right and responsibility to be actively involved in the management of these.  Students will have the opportunity to try new things and learn how to manage and make choices about the risks involved.


Students will explore the similarities and differences relating to race, religion, culture, ability or disability, gender, age and sexual orientation within communities and understand that prejudice and discrimination must be challenged.

See also Sixth Form PSHE programme of study


Community Engagement


Aims for teaching Community Engagement are as follows:

  • For students to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding about helping others within the local community.
  • For students to access a range of information, advice and guidance sources in order to make informed choices.
  • For students to understand the significance of making choices.


Community Projects

Students will engage in the local community through volunteer projects in order to support others and give back to the community.  These projects will support the students in developing their functional skills whilst supporting others.


Students will have the opportunity to liaise with staff in order to make informed choices throughout key stage 5 and also post-19 in order to make the transition to adulthood as smooth as possible.  Students will have the opportunity to visit appropriate provisions available to them.  Parents will also have a role within the transition process and be involved at all stages. 

Information Advice and Guidance

Students will be provided with opportunities to explore what is available for them after leaving school in order for them and parents to make informed choices about their future.

Making Choices

Students work on developing their understanding of the significance of the choices they make in life, how to ensure the choices they make are well informed and how to ensure that their choices are communicated effectively to the right people.


Independent Living Skills


Aims for teaching Independent Living Skills are as follows:

  • For students to be provided with age appropriate and socially relevant situations to learn and display the necessary attributes needed for everyday living.
  • For students to apply functionally when interacting within the wider community.
  • For students to apply skills functionally when taking responsibility for personal independence.
  • For students to apply skills functionally when accessing community resources.

Community Life Skills

Community life skills support the pupils in becoming active members of the local community. Students will learn how to move around the community safely and efficiently both on foot and using public transport.  Students will learn how to access community facilities and appropriate behaviours when out and about for example queuing, being polite, how to complain, how to order food.

Domestic Life Skills

Students will learn how to manage themselves in a home situation.  Hygiene and safety will be paramount to the curriculum delivered and will develop greater independence in looking after their home for example planning and preparing a simple meal, stripping and making a bed, washing and ironing clothes and cleaning the house.

Independent Travel

We have adopted parts of the Travel Training for Independence programme which has been introduced to schools and colleges by Staffordshire County Council over the last few years.  Travel Training for Independence programme aims to help young people by giving them the skills and knowledge they need to become safe independent travellers.

Residential Visits

Students will have an opportunity to plan, organise and take part in a residential visit to apply their independent skills together in the community.


Functional Skills for Life and learning


Aims for teaching Skills for Life and Learning are as follows:

  • For students to develop and adapt the skills taught at Hednesford Valley High in a functional way in real life contexts.
  • For students to develop their skills within a variety of settings in order to enable them to achieve a greater degree of independence.
  • For students to apply functionally when interacting within the wider community.
  • For students to apply skills functionally when taking responsibility for personal independence.
  • For students to apply skills functionally when accessing community resources.

Functional Communication/Literacy

Students will develop their communication/literacy skills through purposeful and meaningful real life contexts.  They will have opportunities to interact with others using a range of communicative devices to meet their needs.  Students will be provided with opportunities to use their existing literacy skills in order to access and navigate everyday situations such as email, shopping lists etc.  They will also be taught strategies in how to give and receive information both in school and functionally elsewhere.

Functional Numeracy

Students will develop their numeracy skills in order to access the adult world effectively.  Students will learn about managing their finances for example the value of money, shopping around and internet shopping.  Students will also be taught about managing their money in day to day situations for example ensuring they have enough money to buy food, receiving enough change and general budgeting skills.  Students will build on their knowledge of time and time management and knowing the consequences of not being punctual.  Skills will be taught in measurement in relation to cooking and general home improvements.  Day to day numeracy skills will also be taught to give the students greater independence.

Functional ICT

Students will develop their ICT skills in order to access functional ICT in everyday situations such as making and receiving phone calls, using the Internet, television, radio, handheld technologies (phone, iPads, laptops) and multi-functional games consoles.  Students will also learn how to use technology to support their communication with others and to make choices. Safety when using technology will be taught to the students for example e-safety and not sharing personal information.


Example Student Pathways


Prior Attainment

(End of Yr 11)

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Student A


English GCSE F

Maths GCSE U

English FS L1

Maths FS L1

ASDAN Emp L1 (6 Credits)

English FS L1

Maths FS L1

ASDAN Emp L1 (6 Credits)

English FS L1

Maths FS L1

ASDAN Emp L1 (3 Credits)

Work Placement (10 hours p/w)

Student B

English ELC1

Maths ELC2

Work Exp -Market Stall

Work Exp – HVH TA in Yr 7 art


Work Exp – NewLife (Supported)


Work Exp -Market Stall

English ELC3

Maths FS EL3

ASDAN Emp EL2 (6 Credits)

Supported Work Placement (5 hours p/w)

Life & Living EL3 Diploma

Work Exp – Saturday Market

Student C


English GCSE D

Maths GCSE B

English FS L2

Maths (A-Level)

History (A-Level)

ASDAN Emp L2 (6 Credits)

Work Exp – Saturday Market

English FS L2

Maths (A-Level)

History (A-Level)

ASDAN Emp L2 (6 Credits)