We recognise that as an SEMH special school our role is to provide the high level of attention, nurture and specific
support needed so that our pupils can recognise and understand their emotions and manage them more appropriately,
whilst developing empathy and social skills when interacting with others. Once the pupils feel SAFE and SECURE in the
setting, support for other areas including communication, learning, self-help and independence skills can then begin.
The carefully designed curriculum provides the foundation upon which we deliver our aims.

Knowledge, Skills and Accreditations

Undoubtedly the curriculum is balanced favourable in regard to skills-development. As well as the development of subject specific skills, such as the chopping techniques covered in Food & Nutrition Studies, we regard skills such as resilience and perseverance as worthy and appropriate curriculum components. Much of the curriculum is also knowledge-engaged with the development of knowledge underpinning the usage of skills.

At the subject level of curriculum implementation, each learning journey defines the knowledge and skills pupils will develop as they progress
through each curriculum area.
In Key stage 3 all students broadly follow the national curriculum. In years 10 and 11, students typically study a range of
accredited courses including GCSEs in English, maths, science, history, DT and art. Vocational qualifications, including
BTEC, are available from entry level to level 2 in IT, PE, science, PSE, Home Cooking Skills and Motor Vehicle Studies. A
strong focus on the development of literacy and numeracy skills is also complemented with Functional Skills
accreditation in English and maths, as well as progression awards.
See the related links for more subject specific curriculum information.
The information given below details the four pillars of our curriculum and provides some evidence as to how we know
that the curriculum supports our students in achieving positive outcomes. If, however, you have any questions or
require further information about the curriculum please contact the Deputy Headteacher, Steve McIntosh at


Qualification & Accreditations 2019/20


To continue to support excellent transition into post-16 education, employment or training (EET), maintaining our position as one of the best local/regional SEMH
schools in this regard, our curriculum is balanced on the four pillars of:

1. Academic studies
2. Vocational programmes
3. Practical/Technical/Skills based curriculum areas
4. Life skills/Personal, Social Development

In all subject areas, reading is encouraged, opportunities for extended writing (with appropriate spelling and grammar checks) are available, opportunities to develop
numeracy skills are planned and student learning support plans are used to ensure individual needs are met, so all students make the best progress that they can. Teachers
deliver a coherent scheme of learning, building upon prior knowledge and skills. Assessment is used to ensure that students make progress through the curriculum (the
curriculum is the progression model).


Courses/Programmes studied by leavers include:

New College Durham – L1 Vocational Access IT, Motor Vehicle Studies
L1, Art & Design, Public Services, Carpentry & Joinery.
Bishop Auckland College – L1 Sport, L1 Health & Social, L1 Art &
Design, L1 Study Programme.
East Durham College – L1 Animal Care, L1 Employability, Foundation
Derwentside & other regional colleges – Construction, Plumbing,
Public Services, Access to A-Level, IT.
Apprenticeships –Groundwork/construction, retail telesales.
Bespoke packages include those offered by Catch 22, Durham Works,
HumanKind, DISC, Springboard.