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 PSHE, SMSC, FBV, SRE, 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 referral information and Boxall profile to establish social, emotional and behavioural development targets.


At KS1, 2 and 3, our aim is to prepare students for their next phase of education, 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 future success- 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.


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. 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, or students for whom reintegration from KS3 has not been possible, 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

To ensure we meet our curriculum intent, we have two clear strands to the curriculum: The priority strand and the individual growth strand.


Respite Provision KS1, 2 & 3

Progress is tracked from starting points upon joining the school

Individual growth Curriculum Priority Curriculum




Outdoor education



Therapeutic Interventions








T1- Referral target

T2- Linked to Boxall

T3- Linked to Boxall

T4- Maths target

T5- English target


KS4 Provision

Progress is tracked towards predicted grades in GCSE subjects and against unit completion in vocational subjects

Individual growth Curriculum Priority Curriculum
From time-SMSC/ PSHE/ FBV/ SRE


Personal Development- ASDAN

Core PE


Therapeutic Interventions




Hair and Beauty

Hospitality and Catering



Health and Social Care


Referral target Subject specific targets


To find out more information about our curriculum, please contact us on 01282 882150 or email .

“We are passionate about making a difference, removing challenges to learning, having a positive impact, delivering high quality teaching and learning, and achievement for all.”

Susannah Berry, Headteacher