Secondary Curriculum

Kingsmead Curriculum

Guiding Principles:

Kingsmead School offers an engaging curriculum designed to inspire and challenge our pupils to make outstanding 

progress in aspects of their life and learning. 

Pupils will follow the National Curriculum but the approach will be enquiry and nurture based, with a strong 

emphasis on cross-curricular learning and development of social and emotional awareness and resilience. 

Kingsmead recognises that we are preparing our pupils to live in a diverse and rapidly changing World where the 

skills of independence and resilience will be key to future success. Alongside our academic curriculum, we believe in 

ensuring our pupils have a broad range of ‘life’ skills: sex and relationships education. There is a strong emphasis on 

developing economic understanding and British values, as well as the identification of core competences related to 

the world of work. Pupils will also be given opportunity to acquire and expand a wide range of social and emotional 

tools to build and shape their character. This is achieved via a range of activities linked to developing a wider and 

deeper understanding of themselves and the world they live in. 

We foster a love of reading provide pupils with opportunity to develop and articulate their opinions in a forum 

designed to demand deeper thinking and questioning, in order to equip our pupils with the skills needed to respond 

positively to the demands of a dynamic and diverse society. We want our pupils to be positively challenged to think 

about why they are learning, as well as what they are learning.

Pupils will undertake recognised assessments and gain nationally-recognised qualifications at the end of key stages 

4. Where pupils are significantly below age-related expectations, the core disciplines of English and mathematics will 

be prioritised in their timetable until they have “closed the gap”. The identification of pupils who will benefit from 

such a strategy will begin during the primary school transition programme and Kingsmead induction and will be 

supplemented with baseline testing once the pupil has joined the school.

The core aims:

– to provide pupils with the requisite skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience to make aspirational 

assessments of their post 16 options and make positive next steps post Kingsmead

– to provide a safe space for pupils to better understand themselves and develop their resilience, confidence 

and sense of personal responsibility

– To maximise the individual’s potential developing communication skills, sensory capabilities and personal 


– To be characterised by breadth, balance, relevance, differentiation, progression and continuity that is suited 

to the needs within each school

– To reflect teaching approaches and methods which best enhance the individual pupil’s ability to learn and to 

be delivered at a level and rate suited to the age and learning ability of each individual pupil

– To take full account of each child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This may require specific 

modifications of, or dis-applications from, various National Curriculum requirements

– To promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school, and 

within society

– To provide a stimulating learning environment which promotes effective learning and enables pupils to 

experience a sense of enjoyment and achievement throughout their school career

– To encourage pupils to recognise, record and celebrate positive achievements in all areas of personal, 

educational and community life

– To regularly and consistently record each child’s progress using appropriate methods of formative and 

summative assessment

– To ensure equality of opportunity regardless of gender, race, culture, religion, social disadvantage or 


– To be monitored, evaluated, modified and revised as necessary, reflecting initiatives and developments 

identified in the School Development Plan

Special School

Pupils will work towards the National Curriculum. We have a strong focus on our nurture curriculum in which is 

designed to support pupils through a holistic approach in bridging previous learning gaps in a nurturing environment. 

Through the use of a topic based curriculum designed to engage and enthuse pupils there is a strong emphasis on 

knowledge acquisition, cross-curricular learning and development of social and emotional resilience and critical 

thinking skills. The nurture curriculum is used as a vehicle to support pupils in working towards accessing a 

traditional core curriculum in key stage 4 and beyond

As part of the core curriculum, pupils in key stage 4 work towards appropriate qualifications in English Language,

English Literature, Maths, Science and ICT. Pupils are provided with opportunity to shape their learning by pursuing 

qualifications in our “options” subjects which include Design Technology, Sport, Food and Art. There is also a strong 

focus on careers and guidance to ensure all pupils get the support they need to make the necessary steps into the 

next phases of their education/employment. 






Pupils with social/emotional resilience and independence

 learning anxiety, MLD

Statutory Content/Accredited Courses

National Curriculum.  GCSE/Level 2 qualifications

National Curriculum.  Entry level qualifications up to Level 2 (shaped by individual needs of pupils)


Pupils who are still able to attend a mainstream school will undergo a short-term programme that focuses on 

preparing an appropriate mindset to support re-integration into another mainstream school and mitigate 

against large gaps in learning and development. For pupils requiring longer term intervention or for those that 

are unable to return to mainstream the focus will be on re-engagement in education and rapidly identifying and 

bridging gaps in learning. Due to the atypical admission points and often historically disrupted learning the 

curriculum offer is focused around preparing pupils for their next steps in education or employment. Typically a 

core curriculum will be followed, with accredited qualifications being attained.

Students with English as a second language will undergo a language and skills acquisition programme with TFEL 

trained teachers. From here, students will either enter a pathway with a more nurtured approach to learning, 

similar to the Special School or enter the core curriculum pathway.




“day 6”

Assessment and re-integration

Transition to employment

Preparation for independence



Pupils recently excluded

Pupils new to Derby

Pupils able to cope with greater learning/social demands

Pupils with large gaps in learning, learning anxiety, undiagnosed SEN

Low literacy levels, undiagnosed SEN, learning anxiety

Statutory Content/Accredited Courses

National Curriculum, shaped by needs of individual pupils

National Curriculum.  GCSE/Level 2 qualifications

National Curriculum.  Entry level qualifications up to Level 1

National Curriculum.  Entry level qualifications up to Level 2 (shaped by individual needs of pupils)

Hospital Medical (Castle)

The Castle Education Centre is used for young people who are unable to attend school for medical 

reasons. Pupils often follow a more bespoke learning pathway that reflects and supports young people with 

specific medical needs. There is a core learning offer of maths, English, Science, PHSE and ICT where pupils 

work towards nationally recognised qualifications in these subjects. The school maintain strong links with the 

medical professionals who are supporting the young people to ensure there is an integrated approach to 

providing a rich and relevant learning experience that supports pupil transition back into a mainstream setting 

or into post 16.

Enhanced Care Programme. This programme provides support to the most hard to reach looked after children 

throughout Derby City. The work is highly individualised and begins with relationship building, moving on to 

other activities to boost the children’s self-esteem, reduce their harmful behaviours and to help them enjoy 

healthy, fulfilling lives. Bespoke, often 1:1 tuition is delivered to narrow the gap between their attainment and 

that of their peers in preparation for examinations and support post 16 transition.

Reading and Intervention

All members of staff understand the importance of reading, across all subjects. The Kingsmead School is committed 

to improving the life chances of our students by continually developing their literacy skills. The closer we can bridge 

the gaps between reading ages and chronological ages – the better the outcomes for students during their time with 

us. Regular reading sessions take place every week, including ‘D.E.A.R’ time, beyond English and across many different

sessions, so that we can increase Kingsmead students’ will and skill to read and furthermore enhance the inclusion of

all, through different reading experiences and approaches. All pupils are encouraged to log reading on their reading

logs and these logs are used to identify progress in reading where pupils will be invited to the annual reading awards

to celebrate success. Annual reading assessments check the progress of all pupils.

There are different reading interventions available, dependent on need, for all pupils. Fluency, phonics, inference or

recognition of HFWs (high frequency words) are all types of skills that can require intervention. Phonics is taught to 

those pupils for whom it is appropriate. The school has invested in the ‘Read it Write it’ programme, FLASH Academy 

and a new intervention for September: That Reading Thing. All staff are offered training and support materials around 

the teaching or support of reading, in all subjects. 

Each school has a library where pupils have access to a range of excellent books to suit all abilities – we are continually

improving these spaces, to make them as accessible as possible for Kingsmead pupils and where we don’t have

something that a pupil may want to read, will look to invest in new material. The school’s ‘Reading Champions’ are on

hand to support with all things reading.

Extra-Curricular Activities

To enhance the curriculum we provide a variety of out-of-school activities, visits, residential trips and lunch time 

clubs. All pupils are encouraged to attend to promote independence and the transference of skills across the 

curriculum, and to promote healthy lifestyles and positive mental health.

Sex & Relationships Education

This is an integral part of the curriculum based on National Curriculum Areas of Study, and it is taught with care and 

sensitivity at an appropriate level depending on the child’s age and learning ability.

Religious Education

All Keystage 3 pupils have weekly RE lessons as part of their “themed curriculum” (TC). Pupils may also access RE 

through a thematic approach (e.g. in Nurture), incorporating the learning which is appropriate to their needs. This 

also includes participating in specific/themed curriculum drop down days

The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, 

by being able to describe different religious beliefs, investigate some religious questions and recognise different 

ways of life in a range of communities and cultures.

Kingsmead recognises that parent carers have the right to withdraw their child from RE lessons and/or acts of 

Collective Worship. 

Curriculum Statements

Individual Department Curriculum Statements detail what is offered to pupils within each curriculum area at each 

key stage and also shows this is delivered. To see these statements, please see ‘Individual Subject Curriculum 



The curriculum at Kingsmead has pupils at its heart. The transient and dynamic nature of our cohorts require 

frequent review to ensure the needs of our pupils are consistently well met. To this end, the whole school and 

department curriculum statements are reviewed at least 2 times per year.

The impact of our curriculum is considered against the progress and outcomes of our pupils. We seek to capture as 

much progress as possible and regularly measure personal, social, emotion development along academic progress. 

This is reported to governors termly and used by leaders and other colleagues to inform their practice and allow 

them to assess their curriculum decisions