Who is the course for?

This Pathways course is designed for students working at Entry Level and aimed at providing a set of core skills preparing students for the future and adult life.

The students who apply for the course are from special needs schools in the Manchester area and attend our bespoke transition programme.

The curriculum is based on the SEND Preparing for Adulthood outcomes. Our curriculum reflects the Preparing for Adulthood agenda and is designed to meet the needs of individual learners through practical learning activities that will enable them to increase their independence. The programme incorporates individual learning objectives that link to learners Education, Health, and Care (EHC) plan outcomes and the Preparing for Adulthood curriculum.

Our Curriculum

The curriculum has an embedded approach to English and Maths to make learning meaningful and contextualised, as appropriate to each student’s ability and aspirations, and there is also an option to gain entry-level qualifications in functional skills. There are four pathways that are included in the curriculum:


Inclusive Education

The college is committed to fulfilling the requirements of the Department of Education’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice (2104) and works closely with Local Authorities to ensure the needs of young people with Education, Health and Care Plans are met in college. We also work closely with external agencies to meet the needs of young people as appropriate. These include: Speech and Language therapists, Social Workers, Clinical and Educational Psychologists, and Physiotherapists.


Preparing for Adulthood

Student sorting out posters in a music shop.


Work Placements

Learners have the opportunity to explore different employment options, such as supported internships, volunteering and apprenticeships, traineeships and enterprises. All learners have bespoken careers advice and information on the local job market. All learners participate in a minimum of one internal or external work placement on a regular (usually weekly) basis. A work experience co-ordinator supports learners in the selection of appropriate work experience based on realistic work aspirations.

Supported Internships

Supported internships are a structured study programme based primarily at an employer. They enable young people aged 16-24 with an Education, Health and Care plan to achieve sustainable paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace. Supported internships are unpaid, and last for a minimum of six months. Wherever possible, they support the young person to move into paid employment at the end of the programme. There is more information about supported internships here.


Pathways to Independence students and staff celebrating outside St Joseph's building at Loreto College.

Friends, Relationships & Community

The department uses the wider community extensively to develop learners’ skills. Importantly, this is an opportunity for learners with disabilities to present themselves in a positive light out in the community to promote equality and diversity. In tutor group learners follow a programme that is designed to promote and educate learners to be responsible and good citizens. Learners explore the world around them using a range of public transport and learn how to function independently in a range of social settings. Activities include travel skills, learning how to stay safe in the community, visits to community venues such as shops, parks, bowling, cinema and museums. Young people are encouraged to spend time with their peers outside of college and are supported to develop and maintain friendships and relationships. They are taught about the Local Offer in their area to access their community and feel safe and confident

4 students and their teacher power walking in a gym.

Good Health

Providing students with the information and skills to be able to make healthy decisions about their lifestyle. Students are supported to manage their own health as they move into adulthood.  By managing physical activity, the students are supported to improve their health through physical skills such as yoga, dance, football, boccia, and basketball. Students on the Pathways course are encouraged to embrace the benefits of Health and Fitness opportunities in their lives. They are encouraged to use the Local Offer to sign up for activities in the holidays and weekends. Students become knowledgeable about the learning disability teams, they can use as they move into adulthood. How to make appointments at the doctors and dentist and what to expect if they have to go to hospital. In addition to the college tutorial programme, the department has an outstanding responsive PSHE curriculum tackling and teaching current issues affecting young people with learning difficulties and or disabilities. We teach learners how to keep themselves safe and inform them of people they can contact for help.

Independent Living

Learners develop basic skills to live more independently in the future. Learners develop practical skills and make decisions in using equipment to prepare basic meals, laundry and cleaning and generally learn how to maintain and run their own home. In Daily Living Skills learners are taught tasks in the home and community to support learners’ independence. Students can also take part in our travel training programme to support learners to become independent travellers,

Loreto College Walk

Would you like a quick tour of the College? Let Emma and Michael take you on the Loreto College Walk.

Transition Programme

Moving on from school to college is a big step for all young people, particularly for those with learning disabilities. That is why the Pathways Department arranges a thorough and individualised transition programme to ensure that this process is as seamless as possible. Our Transition Programme includes:

Meetings with the learner, parents/carers, school staff and external agencies, to establish a close liaison and a partnership approach

– School or specialist provider observations
– Attending school review meetings and multi-agency meetings
– Planning a personalised programme with the learner
– Familiarisation days and taster sessions at Loreto College
– Specialist support
– Open days for parents and learners to attend Loreto College
– Initial Needs Assessments to gather full information

The transition programme is arranged and agreed on an individual basis with each school, specialist provider or external organisation. It is our experience that a well-planned transition plays a significant role in learners being able to access Loreto College and the Pathways Programme successfully.

We also support learners to transition out of College upon completion of the Pathways Course on to the next phase of their development.

How to Apply

Speak to your teacher or Careers Advisor.

  • They will help you to contact the College and decide which course suits you best.
  • Invite the college to your EHCP review to discuss the course and how we can support you.
  • Fill in an application form.
  • Careers Connect and your school can arrange for you to visit college and meet the teachers. You can have a look around, find out more about the course and maybe try some activities.
  • If the course is suitable, you can come for a visit with your teacher and parents.
  • Our department begins processing new applications from January, and we are often oversubscribed, so it is important that you apply by the college deadline of the 7th January 2022.

Pathways Art Project

Some of the Pathways students have been working on an art project about Manchester artists and creating still images based on their favourite places. As part of the project, the students have participated in a drama workshop and have also visited the Hip Hop exhibition in Manchester Central Library, with the experiences of both being used to inspire their next art project.

Future plans include creating artwork inspired by the Salford born artist LS Lowry and possibly devising their own Manchester based soap opera!

Catering Team Pathways

As part of their catering lessons, Pathways students prepare homemade soup to be sold in one of the two College cafeterias, as part of their Employability Programme. All the proceeds will be donated to a charity at the end of the year.

L.E.V.E.L. – Pathway’s Digital Enterprise website

Click here to take a look.

SENDCode Impact 2022

A short animation from SENDCode and their work at Loreto College.

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