Curriculum Intent

At The Heights, Burnley, we offer a distinctive curriculum to ensure we meet the needs of our diverse cohort of students. Our students join us at a difficult period in their life where they have been unsuccessful in their mainstream school for a variety of reasons. Due to this turbulent period, attendance and attainment is well below the national average compared to that of their mainstream peers. Our aim is to provide personalised learning programmes, which address challenges to learning; nurture character, self-esteem, and personal and social development; and instill our PRIDE values of perseverance, respect, initiative, drive and excellence.

We recognise that before any child can begin to settle to learn they need to feel safe, secure, and understood and, therefore, as soon as they join us, we emphasise developing positive relationships with our students.  We work to the six nurture principles as a foundation for learning coupled with our PRIDE values and RESPECT charter, which promote positive personal character development. An emphasis of our curriculum is to develop children’s empathy to engender tolerance and acceptance so that in the long-term they develop positive social behaviours and relationships. There are opportunities for all students to cover aspects of PSHCE, SMSC, FBV, safeguarding and E Safety.

On entry, we use baseline tests to establish reading accuracy, comprehension, spelling age, and numeracy skills and mathematical comprehension to inform an appropriate starting place. We also use the Boxall profile to establish social, emotional and behavioural development targets.

At KS1, 2 and 3, our aim is to reintegrate students back into a mainstream setting successfully, after a period of respite with us (often between 6-18 weeks). Therefore, our curriculum has a “stage not age approach”. Our priority is to enable pupils to develop the skills and learning behaviours that will give them the best possible chance of successful reintegration- this includes a strong focus on a social and emotional curriculum for each child as well as maintaining their core National Curriculum progress as much as possible. As our students join us from different schools, it is not possible to match our sequence of learning with each mainstream school. However, we offer a carefully sequenced 6-18-week programme to secure the bridge back to mainstream.

Click here for 6 week sample overview: KS1 KS2 and KS3.

Through our curriculum in KS1, 2 and 3 we aim to develop and improve the following from entry point:

  • strategies to self-regulate
  • number fluency
  • reading and spelling fluency
  • comprehension
  • vocabulary
  • social, emotional and behavioural responses and emotional literacy
  • curiosity, active participation, self-esteem, and aspiration

In addition, at KS3, through the wider curriculum, we aim to meet the compulsory aspects of the National Curriculum, for example, the Holocaust and Science activities are embedded throughout our KS3 curriculum. At year 9, we aim to prepare those remaining with us so they can successfully transition to their chosen qualification routes.

Students who join us in KS4 (Y10) or students for whom reintegration from KS3 has not been possible, KS4 remain with us until the end of year 11 in order to provide continuity, stability and enhance their life chances.  All students will follow a curriculum, which will put in place stepping-stones to life.

Through our curriculum we aim to develop and improve the following from entry point:

  • strategies to self-regulate
  • functional numeracy skills
  • functional literacy skills
  • social, emotional and behavioural responses
  • curiosity, active participation, self-esteem, and aspiration
  • employability skills
  • progress in a range of vocational subjects and, where possible, GCSEs