Cambian Dilston College

Dilston's Curriculum & College Environment

Cambian Dilston College offers a wide variety of opportunities for external accreditation through the Qualifications and Credits Framework (QCF).


We provide flexible routes to full qualifications and offer units of study from pre-entry to level 1, leading to awards, certificates and diplomas.


The QCF is a key component in our work to help young people with a learning disability gain life skills. Self-esteem is essential to young people progressing into adulthood. By offering learners the opportunity to undertake nationally recognised vocational qualifications, we help young people to gain confidence and lead socially active and engaged lives.


Curriculum Overview


Within all our curriculum options, we protectively teach the skills that underpin effective learning and relationship building; promoting emotional health and wellbeing.


The curriculum options we offer provide our students with the opportunity to practice new skills in an environment where they feel safe, try new things and learn more about themselves.


Independent Living Skills Curriculum


The Independent Living Skills curriculum is designed to develop learners’ readiness for independent or shared community living. This is achieved by focusing on the skills required to live as independently as possible and to make a successful transition out of college. For all learners, this will involve identifying long-term transitional aims to ensure that the skills they develop can be successfully transferred into their post college placement.


Sensory Curriculum


For learners with more complex physical, sensory and communication needs, we offer an accessible sensory curriculum. This is mediated through the provision of sensory equipment, in conjunction with timetabled access to specific sensory based activities.


There is also important embedding of sensory provision into different curriculum areas e.g. P.E., health and fitness, the arts and our Land Studies department which boasts a sensory garden. Learners who have been identified as needing a sensory strand in their curriculum are referred in consultation with key staff.


Communication and Behaviour Curriculum


Our autism specific curriculum is designed to meet the needs of learners with complex communication and behavioural difficulties. This is a highly structured and experiential learning programme which develops and reinforces adaptive behaviours, communication, social awareness and functional skills. The curriculum is based upon a total communication philosophy, with the utilisation of a wide range of tools and methods to develop learners’ understanding and help them to be understood.


Cambian Dilston College Environment


We understand that residential colleges can never replace home but we make every effort to create a welcoming, family environment where learners feel safe and comfortable.


Our accommodation provides the necessary step between leaving home and community living that most young adults take during their transition to adulthood.


Learners can live on the college campus, and as their confidence and independence grows, they are able to progress through the range of residential settings available.


At some point during their time at college, if appropriate, learners will have the opportunity to experience community living. This enables them to optimise their potential for moving on to supported living after college and develop practical living skills


Subjects include:

✓ Independent living skills

✓ Functional skills

✓ Art

✓ Sport

✓ Land-based studies

✓ Catering

✓ Performing Arts

✓ Work experience

✓ Media

✓ Duke of Edinburgh Award

✓ Maths

✓ English

✓ Science

✓ IT

On-site facilities include:

✓ ICT Suites

✓ Cafe

✓ Bakery

✓ Workshops for art, pottery & woodwork

✓ Outdoor classroom

✓ Horticultural & estates management

✓ Vocational learning kitchen