Secondary and Senior Phase

At approximately, 11-12 years our pupils move into the Secondary Department. This consists of two stages S1-S3 (Secondary) and S4-S6 (Senior Phase)

Pupils in the early stages of secondary continue to develop reading, writing and number skills by continuing to follow a Curriculum for Excellence. National Qualifications, which provide challenge and enjoyment, where pupils are given opportunities to develop interests and talents through personalisation and choice of units including Duke of Edinburgh, John Muir, Caledonian Awards and ASDAN New Horizons, Transition Challenge, Towards Independence.

All Secondary/Senior Phase pupils select ‘choices’ and follow elective afternoons from a range of National Qualifications and wider achievements. Enterprise plays a major part in this curriculum through a variety of different activities with pupils given opportunities to take on roles and responsibilities in real life, active, practical, hands on tasks.

Work Experience

The young people are involved in school based work experience and in work experience that has been arranged out-with school with our community partners. The Post 16 in preparation for transition of life beyond school, have the opportunity to participate in a work experience placement in the wider community. This allows pupils experience of the wider community building their confidence and self-esteem and an opportunity to develop new relationships within the community. We also host in-house work experience in our school community cafe and Railway Project.


All pupils will have the opportunity to attend Ayrshire College if appropriate. Pupils attend various courses including Retail and Motor Mechanics. Lecturers from Ayrshire College deliver aspects of the Secondary curriculum working co-operatively with teaching staff.

Transition to Adult Services

School staff will link with social work and adult services in the Senior Phase of a young persons school life in order to begin preparations for leaving school. A carefully planned approach will allow staff to prepare the young person for what lies ahead.

At Wilowbank School we recognise that transitions throughout school can present greater challenges for pupils with complex additional support needs. We also recognise that transition into school and particularly transition from school into adult services are difficult, emotional and often worrying times for parents and carers of a child with a disability.

Transition planning will begin in the senior phase of a young person’s school career and will involve school staff and relevant professionals including social work and adult services. Generally in their fourth year of school, but prior to this if appropriate for the individual, we begin planning in earnest for the move to further education, adult resource centre or in to other supported services.

This is a difficult and highly emotional stage in any young person’s life and isunderstandably a very worrying time for both our pupils and their parents. At all stages of transition we aim to offer the appropriate support for both pupils and families to make this a positive experience.

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