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Independent Living Skills

Personal, Social, Health Education


The Beacon College has a comprehensive PSHE programme of study. As students make the transition into post-16 education it will become more important to enable them to have broader opportunities to apply previously taught skills and newly learned skills to functional contexts. This reflects the fact that the students are young adults who will require structured opportunities to enhance their personal independence as they move towards adulthood. This approach will be applied to all aspects of the PSHE curriculum.

The core themes within our PSHE curriculum are Health and Wellbeing, Relationships, and Living in the Wider World. PSHE topics will be taught for a 6 week block every term (so every half term) and alternate with RSE topics. Objectives have been adapted from the PSHE Association to ensure coverage of key learning.


Relationship and Sex Education


The Beacon College has a planned RSE programme of study and where necessary, individual programmes will be delivered to address certain specific needs and adapted to the need of the individual pupil.  The programme is regularly reviewed and updated.   There will be times when staff members will work in a 1:1 situation.

The specialist curriculum is used for the support group and appropriate RSE resources will be used according to the students’ developmental age.   

RSE topics will be taught for a 6 week block every term (so every half term, alternating with PSHE topics).    Interventions will run for as long as it is deemed fit and relevant.   Some students will have RSE IEPs.    RSE lessons & interventions will be based on the need of the individual. 



The Careers programme is a central part of The Beacon College Curriculum and we are committed to increasing the possibility and probability of paid work for our young people, and also their ability to successfully complete that paid employment.

The Beacon College Careers Programme encompasses:

  • Careers Education Curriculum.
  • Work Related Learning incorporated into all areas of the curriculum including: Functional Skills, The Preparing for Adulthood Curriculum and Food Technology lessons.
  • Life and Living Skills Curriculum.
  • Enterprise and Community Projects.
  • Volunteering opportunities.
  • Internal and external work experience and longer-term work placements.
  • Aim to provide Supported Internships in the future.

Work Experience


All students at the Beacon College have the opportunity to participate in work experience placements throughout their time at college. We aim to give our young people the opportunity to develop their career choices, get a taste of different work, and develop the critical employability skills needed for real working conditions.

Enterprise/Voluntary Projects:


Every student at the Beacon College has the opportunity to participate in Enterprise or voluntary projects.

When participating in a project, students apply the functional skills they are taught in College. Each project is planned to include a skills progression ladder and alongside this the students work towards a set of personalised targets linked to their EHCP Outcomes. These invaluable opportunities enable students at the Beacon to develop their organisational and teamwork skills as well as making an important contribution to our college and local community. 

Healthy Minds


Healthy Minds is taught as part of the Tutor programme at The Beacon College but is also a pivotal part of the day to promote the health and wellbeing of all students at the college. Students are taught ways to recognise and communicate how they are feeling and given the opportunity to develop strategies to regulate their emotions. All tutor groups use a daily check-in board to enable the students to communicate how they are feeling at different times throughout the day.

During Healthy Minds sessions students have the opportunity to develop emotional resilience, growth mindset, to develop strategies communicate feelings and emotions, to practice mindfulness activities (including Mindfulness through Breath, Mindfulness through Sensory Experiences, Mindfulness through Guided Imagery and Mindfulness through Movement) and to learn where they can go to ask for help and seek advice. The healthy minds learning complements the comprehensive PSHE and RSE curriculum.

Food Technology


At the Beacon College we recognise that being able to cook meals is a vital life skill for our students. Not only does it promote independence, but it is also extremely beneficial in terms of health and wellbeing. We aim to give our learners the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy cooking meals at home. We will also support the students to gain understanding of how to economise when planning meals to cook at home. In addition, Food Technology lessons provide a rich context in which to apply functional skills. Although health and safety in the kitchen and food hygiene are taught as part of the Food Technology lesson, students have the opportunity to complete a Food hygiene certificate as part of the optional Science and Technology options.

Students participate in one Food Technology lesson a week. The curriculum is mapped using a combination of the national curriculum and also the objectives outlined in the Home Cooking Skills BTEC module. Students are taught skills, knowledge and understanding through the following learning threads:

  • Weighing and measuring
  • Food preparation
  • Mixing and combining
  • Shaping and assembling
  • Heating
  • Serving and garnishing
  • Healthy eating
  • Consumer awareness
  • Food safety and hygiene
  • Recipes and ingredients