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Our Learning

Preparing for Adulthood (PfA)

1. Purpose and Aims:

To support our pupils to:

  • Participate in educational learning activities which will support  a wider understanding of the opportunities and challenges adulthood brings
  • Develop increased independence through decision making which will lead to informed choices as well as  practical life skills
  • Achieve autonomy, resilience and wellbeing which can be applied to a range of contexts
  • Develop interpersonal skills which can, in the first instance, be applied to the friendship and relationship opportunities they will experience within school and later in the wider world
  • Access a range of activities and opportunities that promote and support individual interests, creative abilities and thinking
  • Gain an insight into the world of work through exposure to a wide range of experiences with employers and opportunities to visit different workplaces  
  • Obtain employability skills by engaging in a wide range of work-related learning opportunities
  • Prepare for their place in society through a rich, broad and balanced educational programme which supports all pupils to work towards the Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) outcomes


2. Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) Curriculum Intent

We believe that our young people with SEND should have equal life chances as they move into adulthood. Disabilities and additional needs should not be barriers to accessing paid employment and higher education, if this is the appropriate pathway for an individual. Furthermore, housing options (including independent living where appropriate), good health and mental wellbeing, friends, relationships, community inclusion and choice and control over their lives and support are fundamental rights we believe all of our young people deserve as they progress into adulthood.

Lonsdale’s PfA Curriculum is designed to support our learners to develop the skills and knowledge they need to access services that will improve their quality of life and to begin to understand the options and choices available to them when they leave school. There is a strong focus on preparing learners for their next phase and adulthood. Learners develop skills which will support their  independence, social skills, as well as functional numeracy and literacy.  They are supported to understand how to be safe, healthy and fulfilled in the wider world. A key aspect in achieving this is the emphasis we place on communication. Whether verbally or through the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), we want our young people to use their voice, form opinions, challenge and question, and object when they are unhappy about something. We want our Lonsdale pupils to have the confidence to speak up in all contexts and wherever possible advocate for what they want in life. 

The four strands of Lonsdale’s PfA Curriculum are based on the four Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) outcomes, the consideration of which is promoted by the Department for Education (DfE) as part of EHC planning:

                                 Employability - Independent Living - Community Inclusion - Health

The weighting given to each of these strands depends on the needs of the individual pupils. There are strong links to long-term outcomes in pupils’ EHCPs through individual learning goals, which will determine how to differentiate and personalise the curriculum to meet individual needs. The application and generalisation of learnt skills is crucial so that learners can transfer these skills to future settings.

At Lonsdale School, we added ‘Relationships’ as a fifth component. Relationships are the beginning, the foundation and the end of all four strands. Our young people need to learn how to develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds, not just intimate relationships. They should know what a healthy relationship looks like and what makes a good friend, a good colleague and a successful marriage or other type of committed relationship. They should understand the positive effects that good relationships have on their mental wellbeing, identify when relationships are not right and understand how such situations can be managed.

3. PfA Curriculum Implementation

How Learning within the Four Strands is Sequenced

The PfA tool includes consideration of aspirations, activity and provision that can support progress towards the PfA outcomes and what this might mean at different ages and stages of development. It is not intended to be a definitive list and outcomes will need to be personalised and focused on the young person’s aspirations, supporting as independent a life as possible. Children also develop at different rates. For some young people indicators included in early childhood may continue to be outcomes they are progressing toward as they get older. Therefore, it is important that each new age/stage continues to develop and build on the previous ones. You can access and view the PfA Outcomes across the age ranges for children and young people with SEND below.


How to find us

Get in touch

  • Brittain Way, Stevenage
    Hertfordshire, SG2 8UT

  • 01438 726999