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14-16 (KS4)


To promote the four key purposes

The Four Purposes
The curriculum meets the mandatory elements of the curriculum for Wales as the four purposes are central to all learning in the school.  Through each lesson, learners are made aware of the four purposes, through child-friendly characters  which depict the four purposes. These were created by staff and pupils were engaged in developing  the characters and being part of the process.  The school curriculum is broad and balanced, ensuring that all learners have planned opportunities and  assessment activities across all the Areas of Learning.


Although it is not statutory for KS4 presently as the new curriculum for KS3 started in September 2022 and will be rolled out to all secondary pupils by 2025/26, at Ysgol Ty Coch we have adopted the four purposes and the six areas of learning in advance, and have updated the context booklets adding what matters statements.

As new changes to the 14-16 part of the curriculum and advances in accreditation, then we will keep up to date with any changes and these will be added to the curriculum offer.


What Learning Pathways are.

‘In generic terms, Learning Pathways are the learning experiences of each 14-19  individual. They involve developing an entitlement for each learner. They include a balance of formal learning, wider choice, flexibility and a Learning Core 14-19, together with a unique blend of support to meet learners’ needs.’


Learning Pathways 14-19 is the distinct approach being taken in Wales to transform the way in which young people are educated. The approach focusses on the needs of individual learners and their learning experience of formal, non-formal and in-formal education and the development of skills which will help them to achieve their potential. The learning pathways framework consists of six key elements. Some are unique to Wales and fall into two distinct categories: Learner provision and learner support.

The three elements of learner provision are:

  • Individual Learning Pathway: – to meet the needs of each individual, including formal, non-formal and informal strands
  • Wider Choice and Flexibility of courses – leading to qualifications from a local curriculum
  • Wider learning from the Learning Core – including skills, knowledge, attitudes, values and experiences that all 14-19 year olds will need whatever their pathway.

Learner support are:

  • Access to Personal Support – to help overcome personal barriers to learning
  • Impartial Careers Advice and Guidance.

Support For Learners within

Learning Pathways 14-19

  • Current context booklets at KS4 are based on the six Areas of Learning (Literacy, Numeracy, Science and Technology, health and Wellbeing, humanities and Expressive Arts. Learning areas to form a holistic and thematic approach to  learning for subjects at KS4.
  • An exciting and interesting curriculum following the curriculum review and taking into account recommendations from pupils, parents, staff, governors and multidisciplinary agencies.
  • LNF is used as supportive materials and  incorporated into the curriculum at KS4 as is digital competency framework.
  • Provide a range of accreditation across 14-19 pathways, with every learner gaining a minimum of English, Maths and ICT accreditation at Key Stage 4 and extending accreditation across 16-19 as part of their learning pathways in areas such as hospitality, horticulture, PSE and ICT.
  • Core subjects are taught at 16-19 as a three-year rolling programme focussing on RSE, Careers and the world of Work, Citizenship, and Sports and Leisure, in addition to the  functional skills which are weaved  throughout the curriculum, gained through vocational access and independent living skills. 
  • Enhanced choice and flexibility are available in option menus within 14-19 education whilst providing a broad and balanced curriculum. 
  • Pupils are provided with opportunities for community participation and work-focused experience-links with  local companies and charities such as  GTFM, Tesco,  Elite Paper Solutions.  
  • Experience a stepped approach to accreditation  and qualifications at 14-16 and 16-19,  which is recognised nationally and by colleges, which have been matched to the pupil's ability through robust assessment   
  • Personal support is provided to pupils assessed on individual needs.
  • Careers information, advice and guidance are provided for all learners. We have a close working relationship with Careers Wales
  • Be involved in taking part in their Individual Education Plans (IDP's) which provide the opportunity for the school to develop a learner centred, personalised approach to learning and build on greater multi-agency  cooperation
  •  As part of the curriculum, it provides opportunities for Pupil Voice to be heard  e.g. in  YPP (Young Person's Participation) or class council.
  •  May access courses on mainstream sites, such as pupils in Year 12 -14 accessing college in Nantgarw 
  • Pupils are made aware of their entitlement to Education Maintenance Allowances for 16-19 year old Curriculum

At Key Stage 4, pupils follow the core subjects as part of the two-year rolling programme based on a thematic approach and incorporating the Literacy and Numeracy Framework. Pupils are assessed throughout the year according to a Connecting Steps software package and are then matched to appropriate accreditation. Pupils in Year 11 take courses in OCR Life and Living Skills with emphasis on numeracy, literacy and digital competency. These consist of modules such as 

  • Developing  communication skills
  • Developing reading skills
  • Developing writing skills
  • Developing ICT skills
  • Early mathematics- number
  • Understanding  money

 The KS4 curriculum is enhanced through opportunities to join in, e.g. the concerts in Nantgarw with other local special schools, sports events with other special schools. In addition to this, KS4 has been heavily involved in extra projects such as Lead Creative Schools and Rights Respecting Schools Projects. 

The accommodation of 14–19 areas is excellent with access to a kitchen, common room, hair salon, D and T workshop, as well as a café and industrial kitchen.

Much learning also takes place off site, such as promoting travel training, use of public buses including  use of their bus pass, learning in the community, such as going shopping, visiting the café. 

Accreditation is internally verified and then is externally verified. In the autumn term,' pupils achievement is celebrated through an Awards Evening where families are invited to join in the special occasion.

Sports and Extra Curriculur

In addition, pupils have the opportunity to attend a variety of sports days throughout the year. During the year, pupils are provided with the opportunity to take part in multisport activities; swimming, golf, tennis, rebound, gymnastics, cricket, athletics, football, tag rugby and dance.


Pupils in Year 12 and older have the opportunity to visit local colleges in Nantgarw and enjoy social interaction when they visit the refectory at lunchtime. The school has a room in the college which they access throughout the week.

The IDP (Annual Review) in their final  year is completed early in the autumn term, allowing  as much time as is possible to put plans in place for the transition from school. The school works closely with parents, future provision and partner agencies towards a smooth transition. During the summer term, the transition process is increased and opportunities to visit the new provision are created.

Support for Learners Within Learning Pathways 14-19 at a Sensory Level

All pupils aged 14-19 within the sensory levels have the opportunity to complete units appropriate to their ability. Accreditation units are collated and pupils achieve qualifications from OCR Life and Living Skills  Qualifications.  

Examples of units are:

  • Engaging with the World:- People
  • Engaging with the World:- Number
  • Units have a number of credits attached to them and pupils work towards an award in OCR Life and Living Skills.
  • Planning and preparing a simple meal

Units have a number of credits attached to them and pupils work towards  an award, extended award, or certificate at Entry 1.

After internal verification, pupils are registered. A forum is organised to share good practice and moderate candidates' work. Certificates are awarded through the Awards presentation  evening, which is usually held in October, following the achievement of the accreditation. Parents and special guests are invited to share in this special occasion, which is a highlight of our school.

In addition to this, pupils have a wide and varied curriculum which supports individual learning pathways. The curriculum is based on the four-year sensory rolling programme which has  a thematic approach. Incorporated into this, are PSE, SRE and Careers and Work Related Experiences. This reinforces routine and repetition of skills development. All staff support the utilisation of available  senses and purposeful actions on the environment. Activities and experiences may include warm water activities, reflexology, Relax Kids, rebound and sensology.