'Pupils achieve exceptionally well across the curriculum' - Ofsted
Prosper Learning Trust Curriculum Intent and Principles
Prosper Learning Trust values a strong curriculum which is carefully planned and structured in order to meet the needs of all pupils and support excellent learning. Within Prosper, all our schools share a number of common aims and principles for the curriculum. Settings may focus on a subset of these aims at any given time, while recognising that all are important. Not every aspect of each strand is equally relevant in each of the Trust’s settings, though all academies touch each strand to an appropriate extent. Schools develop the curriculum offer and provision at any given time to meet the needs of their pupils that support learning, in addition to developing social attitudes, through well-sequenced knowledge, skills development, recall and retrieval.
Newcastle Bridges School Curriculum Intent and Principles
Newcastle Bridges School provides education to children who are hospitalised or whose education has been interrupted by mental or physical ill-health and school phobia. The school is made up of a diverse range of provisions, some of which are within NHS settings, and we provide education to pupils in the age rage 4 to 19 years. We seek to support each pupil’s access to full-time, broad and balanced education, appropriate to their potential and educational needs. We also work towards reintegration into mainstream whenever this is the best next step for our pupils. The curriculum includes both formal lessons and all the informal learning, enrichment and personal development that occurs beyond the timetable.
What the Curriculum is Designed to Do
We have designed our curriculum with pupils at the centre. It has been designed to cater for a range of pupils, providing equal opportunities for all. We believe that a curriculum has to be broad, balanced and ambitious. Offering pupils opportunities to grow as individuals, as well as gain necessary knowledge and skills to fulfil the highest of their, and our, expectations, equipping them for all aspects of their future lives. Alongside core academic subjects through both key stages 3 and 4 a range of creative subjects and opportunities which allow pupils to express their creativity and develop their confidence are offered. The curriculum also encompasses an intended flexibility to address any gaps in pupils’ prior individual learning.
Through a combination of teaching and learning techniques, we aim to ensure pupils enjoy learning and feel prepared for life after school. We also offer our pupils new, exciting and engaging experiences through our character education activities, these are designed to build resilience, confidence and self-esteem.
Our academy recognises that pupils should be challenged in their schooling; learning from failures and celebrating successes. We intend our curriculum to be empowering, enabling pupils to develop their interpersonal skills, creativity and independence.
Our curriculum is a plan for progression based on what pupils need to acquire: what they know, what they can do, what experiences they have to support success and transition back to their home school or progress to the next stage of education, training or life beyond school. We work closely with pupils’ home schools to ensure that return transition is successfully accomplished.
Our curriculum is broad, balanced and carefully planned to ensure that:
- knowledge, skills and content are effectively taught and retained;
- pupils acquire a wealth of knowledge and experience and become critical thinkers;
- pupils enjoy learning and make at least good progress, achieving to the best of their ability;
- pupils learn how to cooperate with their peers and respect one another inside and outside the classroom;
- it prepares pupils for a return to their home school or external examinations at NBS;
- pupils develop skills and understanding for life, the workplace and further study;
- pupils develop knowledge and understanding of British Values and the implications for life in modern day Britain;
- through their learning pupils develop spiritual, moral, social and cultural knowledge, understanding and positive attitudes;
- pupils learn how to lead safe, healthy and fulfilling lives;
- they understand that failure is part of the road to success;
- they find a sense of belonging within our school and its community;
- they are rewarded for their successes;
- they are supported with their next stages in education or training and feeling prepared for life after school;
- they become responsible individuals who positively contribute to community living and the environment.
Principles of Our Curriculum
The principles of our curriculum are founded on the following:
- pupils acquire subject-specific knowledge, founded in the National Curriculum, and are able to analyse texts, questions and solve complex problems;
- pupils will have opportunities to practise the subject specific knowledge and skills they have learned;
- many opportunities will be built into lessons to secure the need to recall and retrieve prior learning;
- literacy development will be prioritised and enhanced for those in most need to enable success;
- the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect of those with different faiths and beliefs are taught explicitly and reinforced in the way in which the academy operates;
- SMSC is embedded into pastoral and curriculum programmes;
- pupils will experience a careers education based on the Gatsby benchmarks and supporting their next steps;
- some pupils will be offered a bespoke curriculum which supports their particular learning needs and progression to their next steps.
The teaching of all subjects within the curriculum is fully compliant with our duties under the Equality Act 2010 and Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014.
- The curriculum offered is broad and balanced, while retaining the flexibilities allowing adaptations for pupils with differing needs, special educational needs and/or disabilities;
- Alongside the academic and vocational aspects of our curriculum, all NBS pupils will have opportunities to develop skills in music, the arts, technological skills, sport and physical activity, where appropriate, to enable pupils to develop to their full potential. These opportunities are offered through both the formal and informal aspects of the curriculum.
- Pupils in the hospital settings range from age 4 to 19 years, with varying abilities, and some with specific needs. Our educational priority for these pupils is, whenever possible, to follow home school curriculum planning, although we also complete teacher assessments and plan according to individual needs within the requirements of the national curriculum. We take into consideration all other circumstances that can impact on their ability to learn whilst an inpatient in hospital.
- Pupils at NBS Kenton follow the full intent of the National Curriculum for Key Stage 3. Pupils will be taught in groups to study the broad curriculum. However, as stated in our principles, the curriculum may be tailored to the particular needs of pupils to support the development of social skills, literacy, numeracy and a pathway to ensure progression. In Key Stage 4, all pupils’ studies will include English Language, Mathematics, Science, PE, Computing and PSHE. Both Key Stage 3 and 4 programmes extend well beyond statutory requirements.
- We offer pathways for success and advise pupils to study a combination of subjects which will give them the best foundation for their next stage, but which does not constrain their choice.
- NBS retains the flexibility to decide when to offer pupils curriculum choices, as long as these decisions take account of the need to retain pupils’ breadth of study, for as long as possible. Decisions are always based on what advantages’ pupils, given their particular needs.
Curriculum planning specifies:
- how curriculum principles are being met;
- the component knowledge and skills that all pupils must acquire;
- how knowledge and skills are sequenced in order to promote and support excellent learning;
- the component techniques that all pupils must acquire;
- the recommended pedagogy;
- any complex applications or threshold concepts;
- references to literacy and numeracy development;
- how assessment is being used, including:
- how formative assessment will be used
- how formative and summative assessment will inform whether component knowledge and techniques are being retained
The key foundations for the curriculum at NBS are based on the following model:
Learning - Application - Growth
Learning - the curriculum sets out the knowledge and skills pupils are entitled to
Core knowledge and techniques
Depth of knowledge that can be used and applied
Literacy and language
Application - the curriculum should be designed so that any pupil can excel, so that no one is disadvantaged
Curriculum to enhance opportunity
Our place in the world
Learning at home
Qualifications that support progression
Growth - the curriculum sets out how pupils will develop socially and emotionally
Myself and my well-being
Values, ethics and social action
Culture, life-skills and experience
A Focus on the Basics
We place great emphasis on English and Mathematics, as these core qualifications support entry to virtually all next stages in our young peoples’ journeys, through further education, employment or apprenticeships. Our school focus on literacy and numeracy also supports the development of key skills that support success in life as an adult. We provide additional support in these subjects by specific and targeted literacy and numeracy intervention.
The Personal Development Curriculum is Central to Our School Ethos
This is supported through:
- Morning registration at NBS Kenton
- Timetabled PHSE lessons and the Life Skills curriculum
- Enrichment sessions and other activities
- Pastoral and wellbeing support
Personal Development and Support
Whilst we have an ambitious academic curriculum that challenges our pupils, our support for our pupils extends beyond the classroom. As well as support from their form tutor and teaching staff, our pupils have access to Learning Support Assistants and our Family Support Worker. Each pupil is also allocated a dedicated keyworker, who they can access at any time for support and who is in regular contact with parents and carers. We offer strong support networks in school through this pastoral support system, promoting inclusion for our vulnerable pupils, counselling, learner resilience and wellbeing for Year 11 pupils prior to exams.
Extra-curricular, Enrichment Activities and Character Education
Developing our pupils is a key aspect of life at NBS. We offer a range of extra-curricular activities aimed to further enhance and enrich the learning experience of our pupils. The activities range from sporting opportunities to animal care, cooking, art and music activities as well as educational trips and visits. These activities are designed to enhance pupils’ learning experience, form personal connections between pupils and their peers, challenge our pupils in unfamiliar settings and teach skills essential for life after school.
Careers Education, Information and Guidance is an essential part of helping our young people grow and mature into confident young adults. Good careers guidance is the key to helping young pupils make the right choices and set them on a path to a rewarding career. At NBS, we have a strong commitment to social mobility and raising the aspirations of all of our pupils. Our goal is for all our pupils to achieve their personal best through supporting them to make well-informed choices.
We have an ambitious careers programme that aims to provide all pupils with the experience and learning that enables them to make appropriate post 16 choices. Our careers programme adheres to all Gatsby benchmarks and has been designed to provide a bespoke experience that meets the needs of all of our pupils. Our careers programme ensures that our pupils have encounters with employers, employees and that they have vital experience of the workplace. We also provide pupils with experiences and encounters with further and higher education establishments. We achieve this through a range of out of school educational visits to universities and colleges and by arranging visits from colleagues at universities and local colleges. This is to ensure that our pupils understand the full range of learning opportunities available to them, including both academic and vocational routes.
Our Commitment to a Rewarding Learning Environment
Our ethos is underpinned by celebrating achievement at all levels. Our strategy includes:
- Academic acknowledgement and celebration
- Personal; acknowledgements and celebration
- Social acknowledgements and celebration.
Our senior staff regularly visit lessons to support our praise for the engagement and progress of our pupils.
Pupils at NBS Kenton receive nominations from staff, known as ‘TRIP’ points, for particular acts of tolerance, resilience, independence, positivity and excellent attendance. The points are accumulated over a half-term, a term or a longer period and can be exchanged for a range of rewards, ranging from stationery to cinema or shopping vouchers.
Our Commitment to Extended Learning
We offer additional opportunities for all pupils in order that they can achieve at all levels. We do this through:
- Revision sessions
- Theatre trips or visits from drama groups
- Themed library events
- Cinema visits
- Visits to places of cultural interest (e.g. museums, the Literary and Philosophical Society)
- Subject-specific trips (i.e. places of religious or historical significance)
- Subject-specific in-school events (e.g ‘Living Eggs’, World Maths Day, World Book Day)
- Outdoor learning experiences (e.g walks, expeditions, camping trips, indoor and outdoor climbing)
- Sporting experiences (e.g NUFC coaching sessions, RugbyWorks
- Enrichment activities (e.g horse riding, animal care sessions at Kirkley Hall)
- Forest School sessions at Scotswood Gardens
- Competitive sporting fixtures
Our Commitment to Literacy and Reading
We ensure our whole school has a culture that supports reading. We offer a range or resources and support to engage students in literacy and reading, including reading for pleasure.
We do this through:
- Weekly library lessons
- The use of library record booklets to develop literacy skills and vocabulary instruction
- The Reading Plus programme to target and diagnose development areas for students and enable them to build fluency and comprehension
- Targeted 1:1 support for those students requiring additional scaffolding
- Word of the Week challenges
- Whole school training in Disciplinary Literacy
Our Commitment to Cultural Capital
- Exposing pupils to a variety of texts within English;
- Ensuring pupils experience a range of extra-curricular cultural experiences
- The choice of topics broached in assemblies
- Developing knowledge of other cultures through Humanities lessons
- Appreciating the importance of history and developing knowledge of the nation’s past, both good and bad
- The curriculum in Music, focusing on the appreciation of variety of genres
- Theatre and cinema visits
- Developing knowledge of democratic systems and involvement in the local and national Youth Parliament
- Ensuring debate and discussion are embedded across all subjects in the curriculum
- Ensuring that pupils are able to have an input via the School Council
- Promoting the value of pupil voice in a variety of aspects of school life
Our Commitment to Character Education
- The curriculum within PSHE
- Promoting sport and physical activity
- Involving pupils in competitions, sporting or other, internal and external
- Rewards system e.g. TRIP points
- Charity work involvement e.g. ‘Children in Need’, Smile Train
- The promotion of restorative practice within the pastoral system
- Residential visits e.g. Seahouses
- Outdoor Learning e.g building projects, horticulture
- Expedition type residential visits e.g. Otterburn, Kielder
- Individual responsibilities/duties formally given to pupils e.g. Pupil Council, Library Monitors, Sports Leaders
How the Curriculum will be Delivered Throughout the School
As briefly mentioned above, we intend to deliver the curriculum through a variety of methods that are both classroom-based and extra-curricular. Below, we have outlined how we intend to deliver this promise. We promote equal opportunities to all of our pupils in line with the Equality Act 2010 throughout our practises.
Classroom-based learning at NBS Kenton
Our staff value the different ways in which pupils learn and plan lessons to account for these differences. We encourage and support teachers to make cross-curricular links where possible within their planning so that pupils can draw upon knowledge and skills developed from different subjects and understand how each topic plays a part in everyday life. Each subject’s curriculum is planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been previously taught before (from Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3) and towards its clearly defined end points within each Key Stage.
Teachers adapt learning resources to teach core content for individuals. By using different techniques, we engage pupils in learning and accommodate pupils who learn differently to their peers.
The school carries out one-to-one teaching sessions for pupils who require additional support; the school identifies pupils who have additional learning needs and provides appropriate provisions across the curriculum. We also carry out interventions for small groups of pupils with Learning Support Assistants (LSAs). Within these interventions, LSAs breakdown the content of the lesson in a more digestible way for pupils. The sessions can last between 30 minutes to one hour and groups are no larger than three pupils to every TA. This allows pupils to get dedicated one-to-one time with the TA, ensuring any questions that pupils may have are answered in a way they understand. It is important to note that these interventions supplement the work of the teacher and do not replace it. A full list of the subjects available to our pupils in each year can be found below.
How the School Involves Parents, Pupils and the Wider Community in Curriculum Planning and Delivery
Our school values the input of its pupils, parents and the wider community with regards to the planning and delivery of the curriculum. We believe pupils get a well-rounded education if a full range of stakeholders are involved in shaping it. This is why we send pupils and parents questionnaires on a regular basis. These questionnaires ask questions about factors such as what pupils enjoy about learning and lessons, what they find challenging, whether they feel well informed on attainment and feedback on helping pupils achieve their next steps.
We engage with the wider community by ensuring there are opportunities for pupils to participate in community projects, e.g. improving the local environment by installing planters and gardening projects. Pupils are also encouraged to fundraise and have developed many partnerships with a variety of charities. We are extremely proud of how well pupils engage with their wider community and the continued support for local and national charities.
This shows pupils the value of protecting and being involved in their community and establishes a link between the theories they learn in the classroom to practical examples in real life.
Newcastle Bridges School at Kenton Curriculum Design
NBS Kenton, we implement a one-week timetable cycle, where pupils access six 50-minute lessons and a 15-minute tutorial session every day. On the table below, you will find a list of subjects that we offer throughout Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, along with the allocated time, per week, for each subject. As many of our pupils are with us for time specific periods with the aim of integrating them back into their home school, our curriculum has been designed to make that transition as smooth as possible.
The Key Stage 3 Curriculum
During the programme of study in Key Stage 3, pupils access a broad and diverse range of subjects, ensuring they access a full curriculum for as long as possible and before specialising in subjects during Key Stage 4 where appropriate. Our Key Stage 3 curriculum aims to build upon the knowledge and skills that pupils have gained during Key Stage 2 and prepare pupils for study during Key Stage 4 either at NBS or their home school.
The Key Stage 4 Curriculum
All pupils have to take the core subjects required nationally: English, Maths, Science, PE, IT and SRE. Pupils also have PSHE lessons, careers, and work-related learning delivered throughout the year and organised enrichment activities.
Key Stage 4 Options
Our aspiration for our Key Stage 4 pupils is that their curriculum will give them the tools and opportunities to move onto the next stage of their education wherever that may be. Pupils in KS4 choose two option subjects from Option 1 and 2 (see below) based on prior attainment, academic achievement and potential career direction. However, we recognise that ability in some subjects is not related to academic achievement or prior performance, so our option choices encourage both academic achievement and creativity for our pupils.
Health and Social Care