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Upper School

Pupil’s transition into Upper School at some point between Year 5 and Year 7, depending on the individual child.  The three Areas of Learning are retained underneath the umbrella of communication, with classes following a program of topics across the year.  Critical thinking, problem-solving and reflective skills are focussed on throughout as these are skills that can be transferred to many other areas of learning.  Topics are chosen to ensure breadth of coverage and to avoid repetition, with the aim always being to provide learning that has a real-world context and application.  A premium is placed on practical ‘hands-on’ activities as many of our learners find this form of learning to be the most beneficial.

Alongside functional literacy and numeracy, there is a continuous focus on the skills and knowledge needed to support our pupils when they leave to go on to the next stage. This includes drug education, protection from extremism, online safety and sex and relationship education, as well as life skills such as cookery, budgeting and travel training.

Communication is also a skill to be developed, particularly in relation to the world of work. E.g., Interview skills. As part of the curriculum pupils experience the world of work, volunteering, travel training, charity work, being a prefect and representing the school council. There are opportunities to experience competitive sport and to develop coaching skills. There is a focus on practising the skills that may be used in the place of work such as barista training and food preparation and safety.

As pupils progress further into Upper School, they gradually study entry-level accreditations in a range of subjects such as Creative Media and Performing Arts, ICT, Science and the Humanities.  The aim is to provide a balanced portfolio of qualifications while still taking account of the impact that assessment has on pupil well-being.  In Year 11 pupils are entered for accreditations in Functional Literacy and Numeracy, qualifications that pave the way for their transition to college.  


Example Upper School Timetable



As a school we aim to ensure that pupil’s leave The Collett School with a broad portfolio of accreditations which provide a true reflection of their abilities.  Throughout their time in Upper School pupils are given the opportunity to study for Entry Level qualifications in a range of subjects, submitting coursework portfolios at the end of each year.  These qualifications do not have an exam component, reducing the stress levels on pupils and enabling them to show their full potential. In their final year pupils study for accreditations in functional literacy, numeracy and ICT.  These are the culmination of the work that pupils have put in throughout their time as The Collett School and paves the way for their next destination.

In addition to academic accreditations we also offer vocational qualifications to equip pupils with transferrable and employable skills.  Pupils have undertaken barista training and Level 1 Food Hygiene courses prior to working in our Horse Box café, serving members of the public and representing The Collett School in the local community.  We also offer a B-Tec in home cooking skills which helps pupils build their independent life skills ready for the journey into adulthood.


Potential Accreditations offered at The Collett School

  • Functional Skills English (Entry 1-3, Level 1, Level 2)
  • Functional Skills Maths (Entry 1-3, Level 1, Level 2)
  • ICT today (Entry 1-3)
  • B-Tec Home Cooking Skills (Level 1)
  • Creative Media and Performing Arts (Entry 2-3)
  • Science Today (Entry 2-3)
  • Humanities (Entry 2-3)
  • Personal Progress
  • Food Hygiene Level 1
  • Barista training



Pupils in Year 11 are fully supported to transition to the next step of their education beyond The Collett.   We work with Hertfordshire County Services for Young People who attend the Year 9 and Year 11 EHCP reviews in order to support the young people to consider which college they may wish to move onto and career choices.  

The Collett has strong links with Oaklands and West Herts Colleges.  Transition workers from these colleges come into school to meet and get to know our young people, observe them in lessons together with Q&A sessions and workshops.  There are also college taster days throughout Year 11, offering as much time as possible for the young people to prepare for the next step. We offer an Alumni programme for our former pupils so that they continue to stay in touch with existing pupils and staff and share their experiences of college and work with those still at The Collett.