Gloucestershire’s Academic Curriculum
Our academic curriculum is built to offer a broad and varied range of core and optional areas of study. At KS4, we offer all of our subjects at a range of different qualification levels to best suit the learner. Below you can find out more about our academic subject offers for both KS3 and KS4 students.
English is a core element for all students. Our KS3 curriculum is focussed upon building solid foundations to prepare students for KS4 examinations. In KS4, students work towards Pearson EDEXCEL GCSE English Language 2.0, with English Literature as an additional option. For other students, the NCFE Functional Skills programme or AQA unit awards are an alternative to a GCSE.
We provide Core PE for all students. At KS3, we offer basketball, cricket, rugby, health-related-fitness, gymnastics and football. At KS4, students can work towards BTEC and GCSE short course qualifications, using individual and team performances in a variety of sports for assessment.
Business studies is a non-core option for KS4 students. Working towards the OCR Business Studies GCSE, students look at business principles, economics and management, including elements of marketing, finance and accountancy.
Our Statistics option builds upon our core Maths provision. It focusses upon techniques for collecting, presenting, analysing and interpreting data. The AQA GCSE Statistics qualification is an option for KS4 students.
All students study Maths at KS3 and KS4. We use IXL Analytics to support ongoing assessment for learning as well as the interactive Kangaroo Maths system during lessons. Students at KS4 can undertake both GCSE level qualifications as well as the NCFE or Entry Level unit awards.
We offer Art and Textiles as an option for students at KS4. Students work towards the RQF Arts Award at Bronze and Silver levels, with the option to complete the EDEXCEL Art and Design GCSE.
Hospitality and Catering
Hospitality and Catering is a vocational option at KS3 and KS4. Our Hospitality and Catering option offers a range of qualifications for students to work towards, including AQA unit awards, the Food Hygiene certificate and the WJEC L1 and 2 technical awards.
Design and Technology
Part of our Vocational curriculum at both KS3 and KS4, Design and Technology focusses upon the development of skills and their application to a range of 3D projects. KS3 students can achieve AQA unit awards, while at KS4 we offer the Pearson EDEXCEL Design and Technology GCSE qualification.
We offer all students in KS4 the opportunity to take the OCR 21st Century Chemistry, Physics and Biology qualifications, in addition to the OCR Entry-level Science certificate. We place a strong emphasis upon practical work to support and drive student learning.
Geography and History are part of our KS3 curriculum and an option at KS4. Students choosing History follow the syllabus for the AQA GCSE History qualification, including the world before 1945 and changing British society. Geography students also complete the AQA qualification, looking at natural hazards, the living world and physical landscapes
Music is an optional non-core subject for KS3 and KS4 students. Offered at a range of levels, our curriculum aims to develop our student’s skills and abilities alongside a love of music and performance. Our highly flexible curriculum incorporates both traditional and contemporary music and musical performance.
Citizenship is a non-core subject available for certification for KS4 students. The Pearson EDEXCEL L1/2 GCSE builds upon many of the topics explored in our core Character Education Curriculum, offering a natural progression from KS3/.
CURRICULUM INTENT: What our curriculum is designed to achieve
Belong School Gloucestershire works with students from the whole of the Gloucestershire local authority, all of whom have Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) for Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH). Our students have often had multiple and disrupted schooling experiences, including a significant number of learning gaps, frequently compounded by Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Many of our students do not feel they belong and have a range of self-esteem, emotional and behavioural needs.
We have developed a rich, bespoke curriculum which will enable our students to thrive in their next phase pf education, employment, or training. In addition, to truly engender a sense of belonging, we work on skills to enable them to become independent and valued members of the community, both at school and beyond. We have concentrated on instilling them with confidence in their ability to communicate as their skills progress, and to build resilience as they explore and experience the wide range of activities and opportunities on offer to them here.
Students are given opportunities to develop independence but have access to a high level of individualised scaffolding and support. For students who struggle to regulate in a formal academic setting we work with them in a range of environments such as the community and their homes, offering the same high-quality education package but in a setting that promotes engagement and learning. We aim to craft each student’s curriculum to match their interests, needs and aspirations. Our curriculum is designed to identify and address gaps in their knowledge, improve their communication, self-regulation and independent problem solving.
IMPLEMENTATION: How we deliver our curriculum
BE READY TO LEARN
At Belong Gloucestershire we recognise the ongoing challenges that our students face with their Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs, but also the need to achieve accelerated progress to offset gaps in prior education. Alongside a range of vocational and academic strands, we have a robust Character Education programme which incorporates all elements of core PSHE, RSE, Rule of Law, and British values, with enhanced opportunities to develop Employability, Health and Fitness, Community and Relationships and Independent Living skills.
Typically, students are taught individually or in small groups in a range of suitable learning environments. Regardless of whether a student is taught at school, home or the community, they will have access to the full range of subjects, specialist teachers and opportunities. Timetables are dictated by student engagement and interests as well as their EHCP intervention requirements, whilst some students phase into full time as part of their transition, we will always offer a full and tailored timetable of learning .English, maths, extensive reading and exposure to enhanced literacy is a core offer for all students at Belong. We move from high support to low support over time, being both challenging and supportive to enable the student to feel confident, whilst making rapid and sustainable progress.
All students have additional timetabled literacy, numeracy and reading tuition regardless of stage of learning with programmes delivered to students adapted to their stage of development. For emerging readers, our primary trained specialists deliver specific interventions such including Fresh Start Phonics. Students with a low reading age have access to age appropriate reading material which enables them to truly develop a love of reading.
At Belong there is a strong focus on building cultural capital and experiences of the wider world such as trips to museums, other cities & theatres. Students also have lots of opportunities to engage in outdoor activities which support with biophilia, building resilience, leadership and mental wellbeing either on site or offsite. Examples of our offsite provision include Forest School, paddleboarding, swimming, climbing and skiing.
Additionally, at Belong we build financial awareness through our ‘Bank of Belong’ system, rewarding engagement and positive behaviour. The reward is then used, in negotiation with staff, to save up to purchase tickets for events, trips and cultural capital days out. It is often used to pay for everyday items such as haircuts, clothes and presents for friends and family members.
Our relational practice is built on the principles of restorative justice and is threaded throughout every part of our school offer, communication with students and work with their families. We work closely with the Restorative Lab to use a set of carefully crafted communication strategies to support collaboration, communication and community.
At Belong we believe that communication is key to improving outcomes and we have a strong focus on oracy and communication skills at all levels of our school. Supported by our reading & literacy strategies and by all staff in every area of their learning journey, all of our students have frequent exposure to high order and complex language.
Supporting the delivery of our curriculum are highly trained and highly skilled staff, including a Level 7 CIAG, post 16 Coordinator, skilled Learning Coaches trained in a range of SEMH and behavioural approaches and our qualified teaching staff, comprising both primary and secondary teaching specialists. The school benefits from a qualified SENCO, trainee SENCO and a SEMH lead, a bespoke chef, our forest school leader, music and boxing therapists and a skilled pastoral and safeguarding team.
IMPACT: How we know it is working
The curriculum is monitored and evaluated through a rigorous quality assurance process. Each pupil’s progress is discussed as part of teacher’s appraisal and performance management. Pupil progress meetings take place with the members of the SLT a minimum of twice yearly and include discussions around assessment, targets, work scrutiny and pupil voice. Teachers share best practice in weekly teacher meetings.
The school uses a range of measures and assessments to monitor progress, these measures include: Termly assessment for learning in subject lessons, GL PASS assessment, mock examinations, NGRT, CAT 4 Data, Externally accredited courses e.g. AQA unit awards, EHCP Annual Reviews, Positive reward data and GCSE results.
Students are actively involved in shaping their provision through individual meetings with SLT to develop their timetables. Students have the opportunity to develop their school and offer feedback on provision through pupil parliament. We communicate frequently with parents and carers through our pastoral teams, as well as making use of the daily opportunities for face-to-face discussions with learning coaches. More formal feedback takes place through parents’ evenings, annual reviews, and tours of the school, as well as through our regular surveys collecting parent voice.
Curriculum offer summary
Our curriculum offer and a summary of qualifications can be found below
KS3 Curriculum Offer
KS4 Curriculum Offer
Exam Board Links
More information on the qualifications we offer can be found at the exam board websites below.