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Gilbrook School, Birkenhead, Wirral



Preparing for Adulthood

Gilbrook School

Preparing for adulthood is the umbrella term used to describe the support on offer to young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) as they transition into adulthood.  At Gilbrook we focus on how we can support our pupils in this area.  We understand that they need support due to their additional needs.  We understand that these approaches must be varied, personalised and take into account their individual needs.  We believe that in order to support this we need to consider the pupils as seeds that need to be nurtured, allowed to develop at their own pace and understand that they will flower in their own time.  Despite their young age we need to start laying the foundations, which subsequent educators can build on.

 Preparing for adulthood support usually focuses on four pathways, we are committed to helping our young people to achieve the best outcome in:

  • Higher education or employment;
  • Independent living and housing options;
  • Participating in the local community and society, and having positive relationships;
  • Good health.

Planning for a successful future should start as early as possible. There are many transition points and opportunities for young people to discuss their aims and dreams. Young people who have SEND may have an education, health and care plan, also known as an EHCP.  Each year there is a statutory review of their EHC Plan. This will usually be organised by the school’s SLT.  The aim of the EHCP and its yearly reviews is to ensure that everyone is successfully working together to support our pupils in achieving their goals. EHCPs detail what specific support the young person will need in order to achieve their goals and record the progress made by all parties. Throughout the course of these meetings, adults should ensure that the young person is fully involved in the decisions being made about their future.  It is important to get their views and review their needs; these will change the young person progresses and will inform all involved in how best to support and prepare the young person for the following areas.

Education and Employment:


In the UK, all young people must remain in full-time education or training until they reach the age of 18. Preparing for adulthood means exploring different employment options available to the young person, such as further education or apprenticeships.  At Gilbrook we recognise that we need support every young person so they can receive the support they need to succeed in their education and beyond.  This includes support to help them develop the right skills, access the right experiences and achieve the relevant qualifications or grades so that they can flourish in adult life to live a meaningful life.   Children must feel supported and must be made to feel like their goals are attainable. 

Some of the options we aim to ensure our pupils can access when they are older include:

  • Education and training providers both mainstream and special education options
  • Post-16 and Post-18 course options, including educational and practical courses such as university.
  • Supported apprenticeships, traineeships and internships which function via a work-based learning environment.
  • Self-employment and paid employment.

This is why we focus on the basic skills that pupils need to achieve to have the opportunity to enter into these different areas, as this gives them the foundations they need:

  • Social skills and secure emotional literacy are key skills that our pupils will need to succeed in their adult life.
  • Well regulated mental health and wellbeing is key to being successful and we believe that early intervention during the primary phase set up our pupils for good mental health and wellbeing as an adult.
  • Secure literacy and numeracy skills ensure that our pupils will be able to function as adults in the world of work and are key life skills.
  • Developing positive relationships with their peers, adults in charge and the wider community are also key to the world of further education and work.

EHC Plans can stay with a young person until they reach the age of 25 if they are accessing education or training. This is vital for some young people who will need to progress at their ‘stage’ rather than their ‘age’ and give them the time to develop at their own rate. It’s important to know that there are some situations in which an EHC Plan will no longer stay with a young person. For example, if the local authority is no longer responsible for the young person or if their EHC Plan is no longer relevant. A local authority stops being responsible for a young person in the following situations:

  • If they attend university or another form of further education.
  • If they take up full-time employment, excluding any form of apprenticeship.
  • If a person over the age of 18 has left education and has no interest in future learning.
  • The young person has moved and is now under a different local authority.

We have developed a range of questionnaires and assessments that can be used as part of an enhanced transition to their secondary placement, such as a KS2 Careers questionnaire.

Independent Living:

All parents wish for their children to be able to live independently as they get older but it is important to realise that this is far harder to achieve for some people.  They need more support to ensure that they have the skills necessary for this.  It can take longer for young people with SEND to acquire these skills, sometimes they may never acquire all of these skills.  We aim to support them gain the foundations to allow them have strong foundations on which to build and to acquire as many skills as possible. We ensure that life skills are part of our curriculum and that they are taught explicitly throughout the school day.

Independent living is all about making sure young people have some control and freedom over their life choices. This is subject to the Mental Capacity Act (2005), which aims to give young people who may lack capacity as much input as possible, and make sure that all decisions are made with their best possible interest at heart. Most young people will have the desire to have a level of independence in their living arrangements which suits their needs and helps to make them feel safe.  Some young people may need additional levels of support which may stay in place throughout their life.

At Gilbrook we aim to give our pupils these tools and undertake a lot of work in the local community to help our pupils be as independent as possible, for example, supporting our local old people’s homes with visits from our young people and working on our school farm in conjunction with our local secondary school. We also run our own Cub group so that our pupils can practise their social skills in a safe off site environment.



Community and Relationships:

Everyone has the right to have positive relationships. A great example of a positive relationship between two people is friendship. Preparing for adulthood includes helping young people to access the support they need to sustain positive relationships with those around them and to become a valuable part of the community they live in. This is achieved at Gilbrook by:


  • Participating in curriculum clubs in school with different staff and pupils
  • Encouraging community engagement i.e school fairs, visiting the local old peoples home
  • Teaching children about using their voice to be heard and to support others
  • Facilitating trips into the local community, such as a trip to the shops, theatre, cinema
  • Further life skills such as road safety or using public transport
  • Learning what it means to be a good friend through social skills support and intervention
  • Working with animals in school to increase empathy, taking responsibility and caring for others from feeding and cleaning to building enclosures
  • Assemblies including special events such as Remembrance, Harvest festival, Christmas and Easter
  • Class celebrations and events such birthdays, movies afternoons
  • Theme days such as fire safety, independence day and subject days or weeks
  • Playground activities such as farm, bikes, football, games
  • PSHRE and RE in the curriculum
  • Making items to support the wildlife such as owl boxes
  • Taking pupils to different environments to experience the differences such as Moel Famau, museums etc
  • Camping trips and cubs for older pupils
  • Litter picking
  • Being Prefects and meeting to discuss how to improve pupil life at school with SLT
  • Supporting younger pupils in class
  • Helping with jobs around school such as chairs and tables for lunch
  • Class monitors
  • Swimming annually

All these factors help to grow your young person’s confidence and increase their independence, ready for that transition into adulthood.

Good Health:

There is lots of support available to help young people with SEND maintain good health. This includes annual health checks with the NHS, for example.

We support our pupils and parents with sign posting to all services which can support them.  In addition we have it part of our curriculum.  If there is a particular issue then we can do specific workshops such as our CAMHS sessions, which support both pupils and their parents with mental health, anxiety, self-esteem and anger management. In addition, we also work closely with paediatricians and psychiatrists to ensure that pupils are promptly diagnosed, supported for the correct difficulties and medicated appropriately.  



Life with British values:

At Gilbrook we prepare children for life in modern Britain by upholding and teaching pupils about ‘British Values’, which are defined by the government as:

  • democracy
  • rule of law
  • individual liberty
  • mutual respect
  • tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

We feel that this is an important area for preparing for adulthood.

These values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE), Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Education (SMSC) and Religious Education (RE).  We also teach British Values within curriculum, ensuring that our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values.

The school takes opportunities to actively promote British Values through our whole school systems and structures and through our daily opportunities for personal pupil development. 

Actively promoting British Values also means challenging pupils, staff or parents/carers expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.

‘British Values’ are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:


Democracy is an important value at our school.  We have to take into account the SEND needs of our pupils when approaching this; we encourage them to understand that they have rights and a say in what happens to them and that they are an important part of our democracy.

Rule of Law

At Gilbrook, the importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day.

We focus on citizenship, school rules and behaviour expectations. All of the children are expected consider and adhere to school rules and expectations to sign and adhere to them. Children are given time to consider the part that we all play in society. They learn about their rights and also their responsibilities and how our actions have consequences that can affect those around them. Visits from authorities such as the police, fire service, lifeguards etc. are part of our calendar and help reinforce this message.

Weekly assembly sets the tone for the day in terms of our high expectations and, over the year, children work towards ‘Personal Bests’ as well as Star of the week, awards for exceptional work, attendance and behaviour.

Individual Liberty

Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at our school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-Safety teaching and PSHE lessons.

Mutual Respect

Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy are based around core Christian values such as ‘respect’ and ‘responsibility’ and these values determine how we live as a community at Gilbrook.

Children and adults alike, including visitors, are challenged if they are disrespectful in any way. Values are highly visible around the school.




Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths & Beliefs

Children need to learn how to show respect for others and understand that difference is not only acceptable, but welcome. Children know that everyone is welcome in our school. Daily assembly and work in class ensure that this message is constantly reinforced.

Our RE curriculum is structured so that children get an overview of a range of religions, whilst learning about one religion in depth each year. Assemblies involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying are followed up by learning in RE and PSHE. Any concerns raised about lack of tolerance or respect for others on school premises, are followed up stringently. We celebrate a number of different days and themes in school to encourage our pupils to understand that there are differences in cultures and beliefs.

Development of Skills & Attitudes to Contribute Positively to Life in Modern Britain

Children are encouraged to look after the school building and contents and to see the link between finance and material possessions. They follow the school rules, which are displayed in every classroom and referred to daily. Year 6 meet about any matters arising in school that children wish to address and children understand that this is a democratic process.  We have had a school council but this year we are trialling a group of Year 6 pupils and prefects as a council. 

Children learn about key figures in history, who have contributed to positive changes to society and consider how they can emulate these ideas. Children have many opportunities for learning about Great Britain and the wider world around us. Older children are encouraged to support younger children at key times such as assemblies, on transport and lunch times. They are also encouraged to volunteer in the community when possible e.g cub events and visiting local Care Homes.

Children learn about careers right from starting in nursery and they benefit from visitors speaking to them about career prospects for the future. All children are aware of individual targets that they have and work towards these with an evaluative attitude. A huge variety of extra-curricular activities are available to promote a positive mental attitude and team spirit. Children learn about healthy competition and how working together can make us stronger.



Cultural Influences

We believe that pupils should be proud of where they come from and their local area.  We aim to ensure they take pride in their community and strive to become valuable member of that community.  We ensure they get go out to visit different areas of their environment from nature to museums etc.  This allows them to be part of the community while representing their school.  We believe that this helps them have pride in their school and aids inclusion.

Artistic, Sporting & Cultural Opportunities

Each class makes regular visits out of school to local places of interest, often with artistic historical, or cultural significance. E.g. children enjoy visits to museums, art galleries and sporting venues.

We provide a broad balanced and progressive Art curriculum, which is integrated into other areas of the curriculum. The school’s aim is to enable each child to reach their full potential in Art, through investigating and making, research and the development of skills and through the evaluation of their own artwork and that made by others. We aims to ensure that all pupils know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

At Gilbrook we provide a broad, balanced music curriculum which is integrated into other areas of the curriculum where appropriate. We use Kapow and TAs deliver this programme which is a 21st Century interactive ICT package to deliver music lessons in an innovative and engaging way. Children are encouraged to make individual progress during music lessons through a range of activities, irrespective of their starting level. As well as music lessons, take part in performances throughout the year.

PE & School Sport is inclusive for all; we encourage children take part in competitive and non-competitive games each year across a variety of sports.

RE is taught throughout the school and follows the Wirral Agreed Syllabus for RE. The overall aim of the subject is to enable pupils to develop respect for different beliefs whilst providing them with the opportunities to develop and discover their own personal values. The curriculum reflects the fact that the UK is a multi-cultural society with Christianity as its main religion. The teaching of RE is both creative and varied. Approaches include food tasting, drama, visits, exploring festivals through art, re-telling important stories and considering personal beliefs. All teachers plan a range of artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities across the year so that learning in all areas is enriched.

In Summary Gilbrook is committed to supporting all our young people to equip them with the skills they need to allow them to be as prepared as possible for adulthood. 

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