Our ASDAN and 9Vo curriculum is designed to develop a sense of self-worth and valuing and acceptance of others and their differences. Students will also develop their ability to discuss, present their ideas, communicate, accept others' point of view, work as a team and solve problems. These programmes and qualifications will enable students to develop a range of skills that are invaluable when they start work and begin independent lives.

Through this curriculum we want to engender a curiosity about the world around them and the role that they play within it.


Key concepts that underpin the curriculum


  • Working with Others
  • Improving Own Learning and Performance
  • Problem Solving
  • Research
  • Discussion
  • Oral Presentation


  • Independence
  • Preparing for working life
  • Physical and emotional and social health
  • Becoming a responsible citizen
  • Becoming a confident individual
  • Making a positive contribution to society
  • Managing risk
  • Embracing change
  • Personal challenges


How does our curriculum shape learners?

As a result, our students leave us with confidence to present and discuss on a wide range of issues and topics, improved team working, ability to focus their learning and development through use of action steps and plans along with problem-solving ability to prepare them for their next steps and the wider world. The ASDAN and Vo curriculum enables students to become accepting of others and their differences and a sense of self-worth and appreciation of the world around them and their place in society.


Year 7  Through the Identity unit Year 7 students will develop their own sense of identity and think about what makes them unique. They will recognize and appreciate the sense of belonging to a learning community and help them think about their relationships and family history. They will also develop skills to express their opinion, learn how to discuss, negotiate and give and take criticism effectively. They will develop an understanding about ways of keeping themselves and others safe in their community. Through the Community topic, they will learn how to research and develop understanding about what their community has to offer. In the International unit they will discuss how we are all ‘citizens of the world’ and begin to appreciate the variety of languages, traditions and culture in our world. By the end of year 7 they will have completed a journey from self to community and on to the wider world.
Year 8 In year 8 we complete the journey to explore their own unique identities with the Citizenship unit focusing on Nationality, including history, heritage and traditions. Under the umbrella of ‘Health’ students will learn more about how their body works, healthy eating and risky behaviours to equip them to make appropriate personal choices. The year 8 ASDAN course is completed by learning about the role we play in the environment and understanding of environmental issues.
Year 9  In the Year 9Vo lessons, students will complete Entry Level Units from the Asdan PSD course. Students will explore the positive associations between physical activity and promotion of mental wellbeing, including as an approach to combat stress, the characteristics and evidence of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight, including the links between an inactive lifestyle and ill health. Students will begin to understand the facts about legal and illegal drugs and their associated risks, including the link between drug use, and the associated risks, including the link to serious mental health conditions. Students will consolidate their learning on personal hygiene introduced in Year 8. Students will develop their knowledge regarding sexual health, sexual relationships and contraception as well as understanding the ramifications of starting a family in the ‘Preparing for Parenting’ unit. Students will begin to prepare for life beyond school with the ‘Preparation for Work’ and ‘Managing Money’ units. They will focus on developing a knowledge of handling bank accounts, expenditure and bills. They will learn to compose CVs and letters of application as well as reflecting on their own skills and qualities as a potential employee.
Year 10  In year 10 we start to assess the skills that they have been developing by accessing various challenges in a Personal Development Programme (Bronze Award). The projects they complete are varied and include study of a famous person, group research into organisations in the community that help us, using the library to gain information using problem solving skills and a presentation on a city in Britain. At the end of Year 10 a student will complete the assessment and achieve a Bronze Award, showing that they can work as a team, learn independently, cope with problems and use Maths, English and ICT.
Year 11  In Year 11 we focus on demonstrating a range of personal, key and employability skills, whilst broadening the students experience and link these to real life contexts. At the end of Year 11 they will have achieved a Certificate of Personal Effectiveness at Level 1, showing that they have evidence of working with others, improving own learning and performance, problem solving and provide evidence of the skills of research, discussion and presentation. These are completed through a variety of detailed projects including furnish a flat, organise a Year 7 competition and an illustrated country presentation.


Click here to visualise the ASDAN and VO learner journey.


Key features of learning

We aim to embed personal, key and employability skills across the 5-year curriculum. Our curriculum also encourages empathy and respect of others’ ideas and opinions. Students are encouraged to share their opinions in a safe and supportive environment. Students are given support to become more independent and make decisions for themselves.


What will you see in Lessons?

  • Low stakes practice of skills in a variety of ways eg matching activities, sorting activities.
  • Practical/kinasthetic activities to enhance understanding.
  • Use of visuals, including film clips.
  • Work sheets.
  • Opportunities to articulate and discuss thinking.
  • Specific practice of vocabulary informed by Elklan strategies eg word maps.
  • Encouragement to use visual aids.


What will you see in books?

  • Learning objectives phrased as questions.
  • Success criteria
  • Deliberate practice of skills and concepts, including red pen improvements.
  • The work in books is often completed after a range of low stakes practice; this takes place before pen and paper meet eg work on MWBs, matching games, sorting activities.


What formative assessment will you see?

A variety of tasks as detailed in the course books for these 2 programmes.