At Joseph Norton Academy, we deliver an exciting and innovative curriculum, specifically developed to meet the needs of children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties. The overall purpose of our curriculum is to prepare pupils for adulthood through a positive and supportive framework that helps to develop:
- Confident individuals - who lead safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
- Successful learners - who enjoy school, make great progress and achieve a range of qualifications
- Responsible citizens - who make productive contributions to society
While many settings adopt a similar approach to our school, it is our approach combined with this unique and highly specialist curriculum that makes our school special.
The structure of our curriculum can be seen in the wheel on the right-hand-side of this page. At the centre you can see each pupil and their EHCP. Around this you can see five developmental areas: Identity, Communication, Relationships, Health and Well-Being and The Wider World. Moving out, you can see the National Curriculum. Finally, on the outside, you can see a range of qualifications and certificates including GCSEs.
Through this framework we provide a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum that supports every child's SEMH, academic and vocational development as well as their spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development.
curriculum by key stage
Key Stage Two
At KS2 we provide a creative curriculum based around the Cornerstones framework, a nationally recognised approach for delivering outstanding learning opportunities for primary aged children. The Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the 2014 Primary National Curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Our curriculum is delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs), which provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of our children’s learning.
We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our curriculum provides lots of learning challenges throughout the academic year that require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum. Cornerstones also provide a rigorous essential skills framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects. These essential skills are tied to activities and are age related so that staff can track children’s progress and identify their individual learning needs.
In addition to the Cornerstones Curriculum, children access discrete lessons throughout the year covering additional aspects of English, maths, science, art and design, computing, design technology, languages, history, geography, music, religious education, physical education and swimming. Phonics are taught using the scheme ‘Letters and Sounds’. The curriculum is supported by a range of interventions such as Forest Schools and working on the school farm.
An overview of the curriculum we are delivering at KS2 this year can be accessed here.
Further information about the national curriculum at KS2 can be accessed here.
Key Stage Three
The KS3 curriculum is delivered by nurture teachers with input from specialist teachers and instructors when required. The morning contains core subjects including English, maths, science and computing, which are embedded into a selection of key stage topics. In the afternoon, pupils access a personal development programme incorporating areas such as citizenship and values, religious education, geography, history, music, art, technology, modern foreign languages and physical education. This curriculum is supported by a range of interventions. Pupils work on the school farm, in the school kitchen and access outdoor education on a weekly or fortnightly basis.
An overview of the curriculum we are delivering at KS3 this year can be accessed here.
Key Stage Four
Our KS4 curriculum includes SEMH, core and optional elements. Core elements include maths, English, science and computing, which are delivered through topic based and discrete lessons. Optional elements are tailored to the needs and interests of specific pupils and currently include physical education, media, art and design, design technology, food technology and environmental sciences. Additional options such as music, modern foreign languages and humanities are available when required. GCSEs and entry level qualifications are delivered as part of a two year programme. All pupils in KS4 access a personal development programme that includes citizenship, religious education, PSHCE and humanities. This curriculum is supported by a range of interventions and outdoor education.
An overview of the curriculum we are delivering at KS4 this year can be accessed here.
Further information about the national curriculum at KS3 and 4 curriculum can be accessed here.
Pupils in year 10 and 11 also have the opportunity to access a number of off-site projects and placements. Provision is quality assured by the Assistant Headteacher through a series of checks and visits and, in some cases, the Local Authority’s inspection team. A small number of pupils are currently working successfully at Leeds College of Building for one day a week.
A comprehensive enrichment programme is available to pupils at the end of the school day. All pupils also get the option to earn and attend a residential visit to support their social, emotional and personal development.
Sex and Relationships
As a school we deliver sex and relationship education across all three key stages. This involves teaching children about reproduction, sexuality and sexual health. Some parts of this curriculum are compulsory as they form part of the national curriculum for science; however, parents are able to withdraw their children from optional elements. Our policy on sex and relationships is available on request.