The vocational curriculums are organised within the remit of the relevant GCSE specification or the recognised industry standard qualification specifications and considers all aspects of these suitable to our individual learners. As part of this, we offer the following; Hair, Beauty and Barbering City and Guilds entry level3/level 1, Sport Science level 1/2 Award/Certificate OCR Cambridge Nationals, NCFE Cache level 1/2 Technical Award in Health and Social Care, NCFE level 2 certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles (Food Production and Cooking) and NCFE entry level 3 certificate for design craft. Additionally Outdoor Education will offer a wide range of industry recognised awards for the sports and activities offered, for example The Prince’s Trust Achieve Award or National Indoor Climbing Award.

This allows the option of progression routes into Level 3 study, work or apprenticeships to suit the learner.

Vocational Subject Intent

Each vocational subject at The Heights, Burnley is personalised, structured and organised to ensure that all students make sustained and rapid progress, whilst embedding key theoretical and practical skills and knowledge to support further on-going study. We use varied approaches to lesson delivery and the starting points of students are considered key here as we strive to ensure every student leaves The Heights, Burnley with a qualification in the chosen vocational area relevant to their ability.

All vocational subject curriculum intents are one of both inclusion and challenge, with assessment being rooted within each theoretical lesson and practical topic area. The vocational subject curriculums will develop students’ practical skills and the underpinning theoretical knowledge that goes alongside it.

Students will develop fluency in the fundamentals of each subject, through a mixture of theoretical teaching alongside varied and frequent practice of the practical skills required to achieve the highest possible outcomes for the individual. This will allow pupils to develop their theoretical understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately in a range of scenarios. Thus, developing individuals’ confidence in these areas in order to increase employability and equip students with the skills they need to be successful in post-16 education and beyond.

The variety and breadth of topics covered in the vocational subjects will be used to promote healthy discussions, which will contribute to improving the social, emotional and mental health of our students and enable them to foster good personal and professional relationships in future.

Curriculum Content

The following topics and themes are taught at The Heights, Burnley to support the effective implementation of each individual vocational subjects’ intent statement and to support our delivery of the relevant GCSE or professional awarding body specification.

All students deserve a broad and ambitious curriculum in their chosen vocational field, rich in skills and knowledge, which engages and prepares students well for future learning or employment. Our schemes of work look to build upon prior skills and knowledge, but recognise the unique skills being taught and how, in many instances, are completely new to the learners.


To achieve this all students, access task relevant support through lessons and targeted interventions as appropriate from identified needs. Skills are built through the independent demonstration of practical skills previously taught which allows learning and identifies gaps and progress is tracked to specification outcomes. Numeracy and reading are delivered across all the subject areas where appropriate. Pupils will take a mixture of practical and paper-based examinations alongside independent and taught theory sessions evidenced though a variety of mediums. With the intention to build resilience and confidence allowing most if not all to access a level 2 qualification.

Curriculum Content

Hair, Beauty and Barbering

This curriculum aims to create a realistic salon environment, providing excellent training, reflecting current fashion techniques and to capture & inspire learning along with personalising the learning journey for each student.

The course is sequenced to provide the foundations for a career within the hair & beauty sector, this qualification offers students the opportunity to unleash their creative skills and develop an understanding of the skills required to work within an industry setting.

Students are introduced to the basics of client hospitality and consultation, shampooing and conditioning, blow drying, cutting, perming, facials, manicures and nail art amongst other focus areas. The curriculum is developed and sequenced to allow each pupil to make progress towards the qualification.

Health and Social Care

Students will cover three main topic areas; Introduction to the health and social care sector, professional practice and the health and social care practitioner and the human growth and development through the life stages.

Students will explore types of provision to include; functions and purposes, job roles of health and social care practitioners’, access and referral procedure, ever-changing care needs, formal and informal care provision, regulation, and inspection.

Students will consider the responsibilities, skills, behaviours and attributes of health and social care practitioners. Furthermore, they will look at the professional practice, professional development, legal frameworks and guidance components of person-centred practice, teamwork, partnership working and Career Pathways.

Students will explore human growth and development through the life stages and will be introduced to the stages of development from conception to birth. We will study the potential effects on development of preconceptions, pre-birth and life experiences during the different life stages to include; infancy, childhood, adolescence, early, middle and late adulthood, holistic development, theoretical perspectives and factors impacting on human growth, development transition and significant life events across the lifespan. And finally, the role of care planning in relation to meeting individual needs and promoting well-being.

Food Technology

This curriculum aims to create an environment which reflects that of professional businesses providing food and beverage services. To develop student’s knowledge of the different roles within the industry including waiting staff, receptionists and catering assistants to chefs, hotel and bar managers and food technologists working for supermarket chains. Student will explore all aspects of the hospitality industry, learning different cooking skills

This qualification will develop students’ knowledge and understanding related to a range of hospitality and catering providers; how they operate and what they have to take into account to be successful. It will provide students with a core depth of knowledge and a range of specialist and general skills that will support their progression to further learning and employment.

Students are introduced to issues related to nutrition and food safety and how they affect successful hospitality and catering operations, food preparation and cooking skills as well as transferable skills of problem-solving, organisation and time management, planning and communication.

Sports Science

This qualification develops a range of skills through involvement in sport and physical activity in different contexts and roles. The course develops students’ ability to apply theoretical knowledge to practical situations and gain a better understanding of the complexity of different areas of sport and the sports industry.

This qualification will develop students’ knowledge in reducing risks in sport injuries, applying the principles of training, sports nutrition and sports psychology. Students will develop an appreciation of how sport science underpins sport at all levels and develop knowledge of anatomy, physiology, injury prevention, improving personal fitness through appropriate training and diet, and the role of psychology in improving performance. Students will develop an increased awareness of different ways to stay involved in sport and physical activity and of different careers and roles within sport.

Students will have the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge about different types of sport and physical activity, in a practical scenario. Students will learn about topical issues in sport such as reducing sport injuries, applying the principles of training, sports nutrition and sports psychology as well as accessing new state-of-the-art sport facilities on school grounds and in the local geographical area.


The curriculum aims to create a safe environment where students learn to safely and effectively use appropriate tools, equipment, techniques and processes for the job at hand; including adhering to health and safety at work. To foster pride, enjoyment, satisfaction and purpose in designing and making things. To offer a broad and balanced approach to learning, ensuring relevance, challenge, progression and continuity in activities which prepare students for the world of work.

This qualification will develop students’ skills and understanding of the various sectors within the construction industry so they can find their niche. It provides equal opportunities for students to develop their social awareness as well as an awareness of the working environment of the construction industry.

Students are introduced to safety and security in construction, practical construction skills and planning construction projects.

Outdoor Education

KS 1 & 2

Outdoor education in early years encourages an active lifestyle; it teaches appreciation of nature and the environment.  The curriculum is delivered over a full day once a week. The aim is to use learning outside the classroom to develop the social skills and self-esteem of our students. Students will be encouraged to learn independently and use their initiative, and how to assess risks by being exposed to appropriate hazards in the outdoor environment. This gives students a better understanding of risk taking and appropriate risk management. The above will be delivered by spending time in the outdoor classroom, planning journeys and participating in outdoor adventurous activities.


All students will have the opportunity to gain the Bikeability level 1.


Click here for example of curriculum map




Outdoor learning in KS3 is centred around personal development and social skills such as:

Confidence, communication, managing behaviour, reliability, resilience, working with others, leadership and goal setting. The students will learn these skills through taking part in adventurous activities. Pupils will cover the learning models such as Tuckmans theory, Betari’s Box, Comfort Zones and Choice Theory. The curriculum is delivered over a full day once a week.


KS3 students will gain at least 2 of the qualifications from the following list:

Indoor Climbing – NICAS L1

Orienteering – Acorn award

Paddlesports – Start award

John Muir – Discovery award


Click here for example of curriculum map




Outdoor learning in KS4 enables students to maintain their mental health and wellbeing. Adventurous activities help build resilience and coping strategies which are vital in preparing pupis for life after school. They will continue to develop the personal development skills covered in KS3. The curriculum is delivered over a full day once a week. Students will produce a portfolio using the evidence gained through activates to gain the Princes Trust –  Level 1 award in Personal Development and Employability


KS4 pupils will have the opportunity to gain at least 2 of the qualifications from the following list :

Indoor Climbing – NICAS L1 & 2

Orienteering – Acorn Award and Tree Award

Paddle sports –  Paddle start award

John Muir – Discovery award


Click below for example of curriculum map

Year 10

Year 11


Art at The Heights, Burnley, aims to stretch and challenge pupil’s creativity. Providing them with a relaxed, supportive environment that allows them to be creative and express themselves positively and achieve their full potential. Art is a powerful tool that supports pupil’s awareness of the world around them, nurturing cultural awareness and creativity. Pupils at The Heights, Burnley, are encouraged to express themselves and experiment with different materials and techniques. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more in depth understanding of art and the world around them.

We aim to:

  • Develop pupils interest in the Arts. Encouraging them to develop as effective and independent learners, and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds.
  • Develop skills and confidence in using the language of the arts to communicate ideas about, and their understanding of, their world.
  • Encourage pupils to engage with a variety of art forms to explore values, attitudes, feelings and meaning.
  • Encourage pupils to explore and experiment with a range of techniques and materials to express themselves.
  • Develop an understanding of the role of the Arts in society.
  • Develop awareness and appreciation of the rich cultural diversity of art.
  • Promote the wellbeing and resilience of pupils as well as their academic learning.

To achieve these aims we will provide pupils with opportunities to:

  • Learn and develop skills in a range of media, materials, techniques and processes, with purpose and intent.
  • Work independently and in teams.
  • Share Art experiences, through trips to galleries and exhibitions.


At KS1 pupils will learn to use a range of different materials creatively. They will draw, paint, print and sculpture materials such as clay to develop techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, and form. They will also learn about the work of a range of artists.

Cross curriculum: English, Maths, Geography and History.


At KS2 pupils will continue to improve their mastery of art and design techniques by learning specific drawing, painting, printing and sculpture techniques. They will experience using a wider range of materials. Pupils will use technology to produce images, patterns and decorative pieces of work. They will record their observations and ideas and use them to review and evaluate improvements. They will also learn about great artists, architects and designers in history.

Cross curriculum: English, Maths, Geography and History.


At KS3 pupils are given the opportunity to learn and develop skills in a range of practical arts such as drawing, painting, printing etc. and to develop skills in research, investigation and experimentation in both visual and written formats. We want our pupils to be able to fully engage with the wider world of the Arts, to be inspired, challenged and enjoy the subject’s history and diversity. The KS3 curriculum nurtures an environment for independent learning and encourages creativity, curiosity, initiative, critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration.

Cross curriculum: English and Maths.


At KS4 pupils will further develop skills in a range of practical arts such as drawing, painting, printing etc. They will also further develop their skills in research, investigation and experimentation and be able to demonstrate an understanding of past and contemporary art and design practices. Pupils at KS4 will be working towards either their OCR GCSE in Art or OCR Entry Level Certificate, creating a portfolio of work that demonstrates the skills and knowledge they have gained. Through a programme of projects, they will be able to develop their skills and knowledge to create a portfolio and prepare for their final examination, leading to opportunities through a college education and jobs within the arts.

Cross curriculum: English and Maths

Work from across all Key Stages is proudly exhibited in the classroom and around the school to celebrate success and demonstrate the exciting and skilful work created. Year 11 pupils will exhibit their final pieces and examination portfolio at an end of year exhibition.

“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