School Tour

Foundation Stage

We have a purpose built Foundation Stage, which caters for children of nursery and reception age and which is fully equipped with stimulating and exciting resources to encourage children’s learning and imagination at this age. This includes a wonderful Sensory Room in order to stimulate and reinforce skills. The children in the Foundation Stage also benefit from weekly swimming and Physical Education lessons. They also visit a Soft Play Centre and the Elizabeth Svendson Donkey Sanctuary each week.

Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Classes

Throughout the Infant and Junior years the children are taught in small classes. The location of Priestley Smith School enables the children to work and play with their mainstream peers in the Perry Beeches Infant and Junior Schools. The children benefit from an individualised specialist curriculum to meet their needs, which runs alongside the mainstream National Curriculum. The children have individual braille, mobility and touch-typing lessons in addition to all of the subjects of the National Curriculum. All learning programmes are highly differentiated to ensure that they match each child’s level of learning. Students have weekly Music, PE and Swimming lessons, taught by specialist teachers. The school places a very high emphasis upon first hand learning and the children have the opportunity to take part in many learning experiences beyond the classroom to reinforce aspects of the curriculum e.g. history visits to Shugborough Hall, science visits to Birmingham Think tank and Outdoor Education Centres such as Springfield Environmental Centre, the Botanical Gardens, farms, etc. Key Stage 2 students also take part in residential visits to study a contrasting local area.

Secondary Department

In Year 7, the children transfer to Priestley Smith Secondary Department, which is physically linked to Perry Beeches Secondary School. The Secondary Department offers the full range of National Curriculum subjects, which are taught in small classes with specialist equipment to meet the children’s needs. These include a Science laboratory, Food Technology room, ICT Suite/Library and Art Room. They continue to have weekly PE and Swimming lessons and individual braille, mobility, independent living skills and specialist ICT and touch-typing lessons. All learning programmes are highly differentiated for each child. Key Stage 4 students have access to GCSE options and alternative accredited courses. Students also have the opportunity to work and socialise with peers from local mainstream Secondary schools and to participate in many learning experiences beyond the classroom, including extra-curricular clubs, curriculum activities and residential visits.

The Sixth Form at Priestley Smith

 Many students choose to stay on in the Sixth Form at Priestley Smith for two years after they finish compulsory education.  The Sixth Form offers students the chance to gain maturity, confidence and greater independence as they move into adulthood.  We offer two main strands to our students at Key Stage 5-

  • Foundation Learning offers subjects from Entry Level to Level 1, with a few subjects also offered at Level 2.  This gives students the opportunity to gain qualifications at levels that will enable them to gain employment or advance onto further study.  A vital part of this strand is the opportunity to attend a mainstream college one day per week during year 12.  This placement is fully supported by our own staff and allows students to experience life in a much busier environment, mixing with a range of other students whilst gaining a qualifications in Personal Development and Work skills.  During year 13, the college experience is replaced with a one day a week work placement to allow students the chance to practice what they have learnt with regard to travel, time-keeping and personal presentation, amongst other things.
  • For those students who gain 5 A*-C qualifications at the end of year 11, there is the opportunity to study A Levels in partnership with Great Barr School.  Whilst some study may still take place on our own campus, many subjects are followed at Great Barr with our students joining mainstream classes, with full learning support from our own staff.6th form