A personalised approach

At Joseph Norton Academy, we have developed an exciting and innovative SEMH curriculum, which focuses on preparedness for adulthood.  The purpose of our curriculum is to provide a positive and supportive framework, which helps to develop:

  • Confident individuals, who lead safe, health 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

To do this we focus on the acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding in the following areas:

  • Identity
  • Communication
  • Relationships
  • Health & Well-Being
  • The Wider World

Within this framework we provide a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum that supports all pupils to push the boundaries of their potential and promotes their spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development.  When ready and able, pupils access a core curriculum, including English, maths and science and a subject and vocational curriculum that enables all pupils to gain appropriate qualifications and accreditation. At the centre of this are our pupils' Education, Health and Care Plans through which we focus on the essential knowledge and skills they need to be good citizens and make the most of the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.

A nurturing curriculum

On arrival, pupils at Joseph Norton are placed into full time nurture groups according to their Boxall profiles. Groups are based in one of three ‘Colleges’ and are supported by a group leader (a trained nurture teacher) with a consistent team of support staff. The curriculum is planned through SEMH, discrete and topic based lessons that combine elements of nurture into routines and activities throughout the day.  Additional, intense and focused interventions are planned where necessary. All of our practice is guided by the six founding principles of nurture.

curriculum by key stage

Key Stage Two

At Joseph Norton we provide a creative curriculum based around the Cornerstones Curriculum, 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 curriculum in this area 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 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 key stage 4 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 on request. 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.

Vocational Provision

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.  Pupils are currently working successfully at Leeds College of Building, Wakefield College and Onboard in Sheffield.

Extra-Curricular Activities   

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.

In addition to the annual planners that are available on this website, staff produce a variety of additional planning documents including topic webs, weekly plans and session plans. If you require any further information about our curriculum, please get in touch.