Key Stage 5

K5 Curriculum

The K5 curriculum is divided into 3 roughly equal parts: Core, Options and i-living.

Core Curriculum: English, Maths, ECDL and Citizenship

All students in education must continue to study for English and Maths qualifications until they have achieved a Level 2 qualification. Level 2 is equivalent to a GCSE grade C or above. From 2017 Level 2 will be equivalent to a GCSE grade 4 or above.


In English, all students study for a Functional Skills qualification. Students may, depending on ability and aptitude, be given the opportunity to study for the Living Texts GCSE as well.

Full details of these qualifications can be found here:


In Maths, all students study for a Functional Skills qualification. Full details of this qualification can be found here:


ECDL (European Computer Driving License) is a computer qualification that provides proof of students’ digital literacy. ECDL is a Level 2 qualification. Full details of this qualification can be found here:


All students follow a Citizenship Studies course which deepens their knowledge of democracy, government and law. Where appropriate, students will be entered for either the full or short course GCSE qualifications. Full details of these courses can be found here:


All K5 students make two options’ choices. Students study one subject from the following:

Art and Design; Spanish; Performing Arts

These options are not available to students in Year 14 who have additional i-living subjects on their timetables.

Students also study one subject from the following:

Hair and Beauty; Hospitality; Child Care; Sport; Land-Based Studies; Employability Skills; Travel and Tourism; Forest Schools


On the students’ timetable, i-living is made up of the following subjects: Independent Living, Leisure Centre and DIRT (Directed Improvement and Reflection Time). Year 14 students will also have College/Work Preparation on their timetables.

K5 Entry

There are 3 tutor groups in K5 with a maximum of 14 students in each tutor group, giving 42 places in K5. Whilst places in K5 are available to students from other establishments, priority is given to students on roll at Maplewell in Year 11.

Students already on roll at Maplewell

Students who wish to be considered for a place in K5 will indicate their preference at their Y11 annual review. This does not however guarantee a place, as other eligibility criteria will need to be taken into account.

Students who are predicted to achieve a Level 2 qualification in English and Maths will not be considered. English and Maths accounts for over 30% of the K5 curriculum and therefore for students who have already achieved Level 2, 30% of the curriculum would be inappropriate. These students will be supported in Year 11 to make a transition into an FE college or into employment, apprenticeship or traineeship.

Students whose attendance or behaviour falls below our expectations will not be considered for a place in K5. Where students express a desire to remain in K5 and their attendance or behaviour is a cause for concern, clear targets and timescales will be put in place to make the improvements required to prove their eligibility. These students will be signposted to more appropriate destinations either at another Special School, an FE college, or into employment, apprenticeship or traineeship.

Students who are not able to study at Level 1 in English or Maths, may not be considered for a place in K5. Decisions about students working at the lower ability levels will be made taking into account their wider independent, social and employability skills. Students who are able to show sufficient independence to engage in our i-living programme in a meaningful way, and who can engage in other curriculum  subjects at Level 1, may be offered a place. Where a place cannot be offered, students will be supported in their transition to either another Special School, an FE college or to an Independent College.

Once all K5 students have made their destination choices, we will know how many places will be offered to our Year 11 students.  Once all Year 11 annual reviews have taken place, the Senior Leadership Team will consider every student’s eligibility. We aim to inform Year 11 students and their parents and carers if they have or have not been offered a place in K5 by the beginning of February.

Students not on roll at Maplewell

Students considering applying for a place in K5 are encouraged to book a school tour. If, following this tour, the student wishes to proceed with an application there will need to be an Annual Review that names Maplewell as their preferred destination.

Relevant paperwork will then be presented to the school via SENA. All applications will be considered, but places for students not currently on roll in year 11 will be severely limited.

Alternative Destinations

Students, Parents and Carers may wish to consider alternative destinations. Destination choices fall broadly into these categories:

Local Further Education College (FE College)

Students can either study on a mainstream course at Level 1, 2 or 3, or they can enrol on a lower level SEN course. All colleges hold Open Days and evenings that are advertised on their websites. Parents and Carers are encouraged to take their children to these if they are considering an FE college as their destination.

Independent College

Students with higher levels of need or with specific difficulties and disabilities may be eligible for a place at an independent college. To qualify for a funded place, they will first have to seek confirmation from the local FE colleges that these colleges cannot meet their needs. If parents or carers are considering an application to an independent college, they should contact their child’s tutor for additional advice and guidance.


Students who have gained or are likely to gain 5 equivalent Level 2 qualifications may wish to go into the world of work via an intermediate apprenticeship. As an apprentice students will work alongside experienced staff, gain job-specific skills, earn a wage and get holiday pay, and study towards a related qualification (usually one day a week at a local FE College). Further information can be found here.


A traineeship is a course with work experience that gets you ready for work or an apprenticeship. It can last up to 6 months. Students will get a work experience placement and help with English and maths if they need it. Students on a traineeship will not be paid, but may be given expenses for things like meals and travel. Further information can be found here.


For some students, employment is an appropriate and realistic destination, particularly for Year 13 or 14 students. The school, led by the tutor, will support students wishing to go directly into employment.