The Functional Learning Approach covers most of our 16-19 years olds (Sixth form).  The majority of this provision is based at The Wolfe Building on the site of the Holmesdale School. It caters for students with severe and complex learning difficulties. Some functional students remain on the main Five Acre Wood site.

Students are no longer subject to the expectations of the National Curriculum but they continue to focus on a broad range of subjects including the core subjects of numeracy, literacy, ICT, Personal and Social Development; key skills areas and vocational pathways. This is to ensure that our students leave school at 19 years of age being as independent as possible in order to move on to the next stage of their life. Activities within this approach therefore reflect the age and changing needs of our students. This means that the curriculum is based on the teaching of functional skills with the aim of students being able to generalise and apply these in as many everyday contexts and in as many practical ways within the community as possible.

To find out more about the classes, please open the link below:

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Careers information

100% KS5 students attend a week long work experience placement.  A range of accreditations within the curriculum support the development of work based skills and expectations. Work related learning takes place both onsite and in the community.

KS3 and 4 students participate in work related learning within the school community.

Independent careers advice and workshops are delivered to KS3, 4 and 5 students in Formal and Functional learning approaches

The School measures and assesses the impact of its careers programme on pupils through consideration of each Gatsby benchmark and obtaining feedback from a range of stakeholders; pupils, parents, teachers and supporting work placements. Accreditation such as Employability, BTEC vocational courses, Personal Progress and Life Skills Challenge also measure the skills, techniques and knowledge that has been developed through the programmes. EHCP provision targets may also be used to measure impact. Regular meetings are also held with other 14-19 special interest groups involving other Schools, Colleges, training providers and the Local Authority to review current provision in the area and share practice on vocational training, apprenticeships and supported employment opportunities. Independent programmes of interviews and workshops are annually planned and reviewed with CXK. Local information on training information and the job market are used as part of this cycle of plan, do review process.

This information will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Our careers leader is Kirstie Hemingway.  She can be contacted using the school telephone number – 01622 743925 or by email at

The Gatsby Benchmarks can be found by clicking here


Please click here to view images of the Five Acre Wood Functional Learning Approach.