Secondary Department


(Years 7 – 11)

On entry to the Secondary department pupils are allocated a form group that corresponds to their individual social and academic needs. Consequently, form groups may consist of children of different ages from within and across key stages 3 and 4.  Each form has a form tutor and a teaching assistant.  The form tutor and teaching assistant are responsible for the pastoral care of the pupils.

Pupils move between teachers for different subjects as they would in any other mainstream secondary school.   However, the extent to which any pupil accesses different teachers is determined by their particular social and academic needs.  Form groups consisting of children with more complex needs are taught Maths, English, Humanities, Art, Design and Technology, PSHE, PE and Life-skills by their form tutor in their teaching base. Remaining areas of the curriculum are taught by specialist teachers.   Higher functioning pupils move between teachers and classrooms to access all areas of the curriculum. Pupils are taught Art, Design and Technology, Science, Food Technology and computing in well-equipped specialist facilities.

RE and Languages are delivered during dedicated RE and language days each term.    This approach provides invaluable learning opportunities for pupils to develop and consolidate their understanding of cultural and religious diversity.  In RE, pupils have the opportunity to study the major world religions.  In recent years, pupils have visited a Mosque, a Synagogue and Christian Churches of different denominations as well as participating in visits to inspiring places to contemplate on the world in which they live.    Language days have recently focussed on the French and Italian languages.  Pupils study a range of aspects of language and culture by participating in a range of exciting active learning experiences throughout the day.

Across the curriculum, emphasis is placed on developing functional skills through ‘real life’ learning experiences. Throughout key stage 4, where appropriate, pupils are externally assessed and accredited for their functional skills in English and Maths.  Opportunities also exist for many pupils to be externally accredited for their work in Design and Technology, Art, Science, Food Technology, PHSE and PE.   Pupils may follow specific units within some of these subjects that may contribute towards an externally accredited Entry pathways qualification.

Pupils in the secondary department take part in the Woodland adventure.  This is an excellent opportunity to develop team working skills and healthy lifestyles.  Pupils visit a variety of locations throughout the county.   Many pupils in key stage 4 are also able to develop these skills by participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award for one day per week.   This culminates in a two day expedition, carrying their kit, walking over 14 miles, cooking and camping.  In addition, pupils take part in voluntary work, skills and physical sections.

As pupils progress through the secondary department, they are prepared for leaving The Forest School at 16 and progressing to the next phase of their education or training.  We work hard to develop independence and organisational skills throughout the curriculum and in everything we do.  These skills enable pupils to develop a more mature approach to learning and help them to prepare for their future.  Pupils take part in work related learning as part of the PSHE programme as well as enterprise education in key stage 4.  Many pupils in key stage 4 take part in the AMP awards, a very exciting Music and Enterprise Competition staged at the Royal Hall in Harrogate. In recent years pupils from The Forest School have worked alongside business mentors to take responsibility for a number of organisational aspects, including hospitality and programme design.

Work experience also provides invaluable opportunities for many pupils in key stage 4 to learn about the world of work whilst developing employability and independence skills.  In past years pupils have successfully attended supported and unsupported work placements with a variety of local employers including Gardeners,  Retail outlets, Nursery’s, Garages and Café’s.

Throughout the Secondary phase we encourage all of our pupils to participate in our annual residential trips.  In key stage 3 pupils have the opportunity to visit Bewerley Park, East Barnby and Banburgh as well as visiting London for the key stage 4 residential.  Residential trips are not holidays but opportunities and experiences for pupils to to develop independence, cooperation  and self help skills in a controlled and safe environment away from school.