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Skills for Independence Curriculum

Developing skills for independence is at the heart of

A student washing up in the house with one of our co-workers.

The Mount Curriculum as many students have aspirations towards living as independent a life as possible. 

All students are timetabled to attend sessions in Life Skills, Work Skills, Work Experience, Functional Skills, PSHE and, for students leaving The Mount, Transition. 

Students at The Mount are given the opportunity to develop their independence skills through the waking day curriculum by learning self-care, participating in food preparation and household tasks. This creates a holistic approach to developing independence.

Students' personal EHCP and session aims are embedded within the Skills for Independence Curriculum.

Life Skills

Students attend a Life Skills session once a week, and sessions cover a range of topics including travel training, basic cooking, budgeting, shopping for everyday living, health & hygiene, community participation & awareness and personal safety.
A student demonstrates how to use a nail brush to her tutor.
Within the houses, students are given opportunities to learn and practise their skills through supported learning in meal making, sorting laundry, making beds, washing up and housework. Students are allocated a laundry day to be able to learn how to sort, wash and dry their laundry.
Students are given support to use a phone and tablet to support independent living activities. For example, to research train and bus times and costs or to complete online grocery shopping within a budget. 

If appropriate, students can achieve an accredited LASER Entry Level qualification in Independent Living as well as make progress against their EHCP and session aims.


Work Skills

In their weekly Work Skills sessions, students will work towards gaining skills and confidence as they progress through the Work Skills curriculum, broadening their knowledge regarding potential places of work and job opportunities and roles. They will develop social and communication, functional and independence skills, embedding and transferring these into the work environment.

By running the weekly Tuck Shop and tea breaks, students can develop their customer service, money, time-keeping, communication and teamwork skills. The Mount’s pop-up café, runs periodically throughout the year, enabling students to further develop skills in planning, organising, and taking initiative.

Students will develop interview skills needed to help them access voluntary or paid employment. They will, if appropriate, gain an accredited Pearson Edexcel Entry Level or Level 1 qualification in BTEC Work Skills.  Students will make progress against their EHCP and session aims and will make progress with their embedded functional skills.


Work Experience

Whilst at The Mount all students take part in work experience and are provided with a variety of work opportunities which inform their choices and aspirations for potential future voluntary or paid employment.
Internal work experience offered includes cooking lunch in the houses, laundry, office work, land work and preparation and delivery of teabreaks throughout The Mount. In each placement students work alongside the relevant professional and form part of a team. As a student progresses through college life, internal work experience opportunities are still available, along with opportunities for external experience.
A student at work in Waitrose.
Students have the opportunity to engage in external work experience. These placements are coordinated with each student’s wishes and aspirations working with many local businesses and offering a range of placements.  Sometimes these placements are attended independently, whilst others may need a coworker to support.  Our placements include a café, garden centre, horse stables, woodland management, garden maintenance, children’s nursery, residential care home, local supermarkets and animal rescue. We endeavour to source appropriate placements for each individual’s interest and development needs to meet their EHCP aspirations.


Functional Skills

In the 1-1 or small group Functional Skills sessions, students will develop reading, writing, speaking and listening, ICT and maths skills.  They will have greater confidence with functional skills when accessing the wider community and life beyond college. 
A student uses his iPad with help from his Tutor.
Students will, if appropriate, gain an accredited Pearson Edexcel Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2 qualification in Functional Skills in Maths and/or English and/or ICT, and will, if appropriate, gain an accredited LASER Entry Level or Level 1 qualification. 
Students will make progress against their EHCP and session aims.



In small groups, students will develop their self-awareness and understanding of their own identity through an understanding of their own physical features, likes/dislikes, personal skills and characteristics. They will develop respect and tolerance towards others, recognising differences in religion, culture, disability, gender and sexuality.

Students will develop an understanding of how to keep safe online through eSafety training as well as an understanding of how to keep safe in the wider community through learning to deal with emergency situations, asking for help, stranger-danger.

An awareness and understanding of their own emotions and feelings will be explored through discussions, activities and games. Students will develop an understanding of different types of relationships and an awareness of a healthy lifestyle, and mental and physical well-being. Sessions will include learning about ways to protect the environment.



Students are preparing for their lives beyond college through all aspects of The Mount's curriculum.  They will visit and learn about numerous and different types of living provision in order to explore potential destinations for their future.   

They will engage with former students and residents to learn more about living independently and/or away from college in order to become aware of work and leisure opportunities available to them upon leaving college. 

As part of our Skills for Independence curriculum, students are given support to produce their own cv and practice interview skills in order to secure voluntary or paid employment.