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Castle School is situated in Cambridge and was established in 2006. It is an all age Special School that caters for pupils with a wide range of complex learning difficulties.
The school offers a very broad curriculum which is designed to meet the differing needs of a wide range of learners.
Castle School uses the Entry Level qualification as their primary accreditation for students across key stage 4. It provides students with the necessary challenge to stretch them and prepare them for further studies whilst being flexible enough to accommodate the needs of all learners regardless of their ability.
Phil Johnson – Teacher of Literacy – "The flexibility of Entry Level allows us to create schemes of work that really appeal to our students. We can adapt the tasks to suit the students’ needs, which enables us to offer a programme of study that really interests and motivates them."
The flexibility of Entry Level English is one of the key advantages of the qualification and allows teachers and curriculum leaders to tailor the course to their cohort of students and their teaching context.
"The flexibility in the planning of the course makes it an opportunity to plan your own schemes of work based around the assessment outcomes of the course. The freedom to create your own syllabus makes planning and teaching Entry Level English rewarding and enjoyable."
The Entry Level English course also makes it easy to plan differentiated schemes of work that incorporate a variety of activities that appeal to wide range of students.
"The beauty of Entry Level is that lower ability students can access the same curriculum as the higher ability students. The wide range of potential outcomes means that differentiation is an integral part of the Entry Level English course. By having clear, differentiated outcomes, which can be adapted to meet the individual needs of the students, I am able to create lessons that are relevant, meaningful and motivating."
The speaking and listening element of the course is another reason for the course being so successful at Castle School.
"The fact that speaking and listening accounts for a high proportion of the overall mark is really useful to us. Our students’ comprehension and speaking and listening skills are typically ahead of their writing skills due to difficulties with their fine motor skills. The students can have great ideas and know how to express them verbally but writing them down can be difficult. The speaking and listening element of the course helps to address this whilst giving them the opportunity to build confidence and develop their verbal skills."
"The students feel proud of the fact that they are working towards a proper qualification and to the parents it’s very important that students come out with a meaningful qualification that helps them to take their next steps into further education."
Studying the Entry Level qualification makes me feel proud because I can achieve a high level and use it towards going to college and getting my GCSEs. It’s something I can achieve, and what I’m most proud of is being able to read and write.