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Foundation Learning

Foundation Learning at Cardinal Newman College

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Our focus is to prepare students for adulthood and their chosen aspirations after Newman.

We aim to provide a broad curriculum that will not only enhance their current skills but provide opportunities to develop new skills that they can apply into their everyday life.
We want all our students to become as independent as possible that will allow them to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

Key Dates and Admission Information:

  • Autumn/ Winter Term: Taster sessions
  • October - February: Applications Open
  • February Half Term: Application Deadline
  • Beginning of Summer Term: Places confirmed, Taster Session Attended, Assessment of Need, EHCP received
  • Summer Term: Transition opportunities for students

Contact our Foundation Learning Team

Foundation Learning Overview

Foundation learning at Cardinal Newman College is to prepare our students for adulthood and their chosen aspirations after Newman.

We aim to provide a broad curriculum that will not only enhance their current skills but provide opportunities to develop new skills that they can apply to their everyday life. We want all our students to become as independent as possible which will allow them to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

When a student begins their college life with us, we will begin to map out what their aspirations are for the future.  Our starting point will be carrying out a baseline assessment with the students, this will allow the staff team to develop working relationships with the students and identify how best they learn in different situations.  These findings will aid our staff to develop individual learning plans for the students, identifying SMART targets that will allow them to achieve and allow us to streamline the students into the appropriate study program which will enable them to build on existing skills and knowledge.

Foundation Learning Curriculum overview

Our curriculum is designed around the Adult Pathways four areas from Entry Level 1, 2, 3 and Level 1

Friends, Relationships and Community

Supporting a young person’s mental well-being and personal development is extremely important to ensure that our learners leave us as confident individuals who are emotionally and socially healthy and this is why the PSD thread exists in the curriculum.
PSD sessions are all about equipping learners with the skills needed to be resilient in modern-day society and also providing them with the skills needed to feel empowered enough to make confident decisions/choices when socialising with their peers either in the physical or virtual world. The students will also benefit from being taught a variety of self-care activities to help maintain a healthy relationship with themselves and that they can draw upon in more turbulent times to use as a coping mechanism.


Employability within Foundation Learning has a learner-centred approach. We are committed to supporting each of our students into the next phase of their education, employment or training by providing continual opportunities to develop skills, knowledge and confidence to make fully informed decisions about their future jobs or courses. We believe that all of our young people can pursue fulfilling, aspirational careers and we are committed to encouraging them to do so.

We want our students to experience a curriculum that establishes a growing knowledge and awareness of the world of work and what they, as young people, can aim for as they prepare for adulthood and transition from college.

Students will develop the skills and behaviours needed to progress to the next stage in their lives and identify progression opportunities.

We will endeavour to do this through meaningful work experience opportunities and lessons that encourage and inspire students to develop transferable skills.

Independent Living

Through our Independence lessons, students will learn a wide array of skills to take them one step closer to being an adult, by learning essential living skills, including road safety, home cooking, maintaining a clean home, dealing with common household situations and many more to better prepare them for the future. Our new completely re-imagined Independence Classroom has been specifically designed to replicate a home living environment to allow these new skills to be developed in a home-like setting, which will allow these skills to be better transferred into life outside of education.

Good Health

The primary aim of the Good Health strand is to equip our students with the knowledge, skills and motivation to go on to lead productive and healthy lives. The strand is centred primarily around physical, mental and emotional health and in the development of both body and mind.

Key areas are:

  • Developing enjoyment in exercise and a personal routine of regular physical activity
  • Understanding the importance of a balanced diet and regular sleep
  • Building personal hygiene practices that then become part of their daily life
  • Developing confidence, teamwork and resilience throughout subject activities allow our students to go on to lead happier and more productive lives

Key content:

Weekly PE sessions, Sports Leaders UK leadership accreditation, Duke of Edinburgh Award, Shower routine after PE, Healthy eating sessions, Extra-curricular PE activities, and regular competitive sporting tournaments.

Maths and English Foundation Learning

Each student on the Pathway to Adulthood with Foundation Learning will have 2 hours of English and Maths each week and work towards achieving the appropriate qualification e.g. Entry Level 1, Entry Level 2 up to Level 1.
They will also have the opportunity (where appropriate) to re-sit GCSE Maths and GCSE English Language at Cardinal Newman College.  All our lessons will be underpinned with Maths and English and how to use more practical approaches, for example: using money in a shop to purchase ingredients, how to read and understand a bus timetable, and filling out application forms.

Other curriculum lessons

We also offer a substantial enrichment program that will enhance their independence, personal interest, social and communication skills. Things that we offer include:

  • Duke of Edinburgh Award
  • Arts Award
  • Social Enterprises
  • Dance
  • Leisure

Meet the Foundation Learning Team

The Cardinal Newman College Foundation Learning Team has years worth of experience in Teaching & Learning and meeting the needs of our Foundation Learning students.


Lisa Kirkman
Head of Foundation Learning

Lisa Kirkman

Chelsea McDonald
Teacher of Personal, Social and Development

Chelsea McDonald

Brett Longstaff
Teacher of Wellbeing & DFE Co-ordinator

Brett Longstaff

Ann-Marie Chapman
Teacher of Employment and HLTA

Ann Marie Chapman

Daniel McComb
Teacher of Independence and HLTA

Daniel McComb

Stephanie McCartney
HLTA / Transition Lead


Connor Vaughan-Hindle
Support Tutor

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Sally Jennings
Support Tutor

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Susan Cole
Support Tutor
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