The curriculum at Alt Bridge School has been designed to be ambitious and to ensure that all students access a broad range of skills and knowledge. Our curriculum has also been designed to prepare students for their next steps and so that they are equipped to lead successful adult lives.
Our whole school curriculum is overseen by our curriculum leader. The curriculum is divided into clusters of subjects and provisions which hold a complimentary theme for the intention of skills and knowledge for our students. There is a curriculum leader for each of the clusters.
The seven clusters include:
-Innovation and discovery curriculum
-Physical development curriculum
We offer a bespoke curriculum that meets the needs of all our learners. The national curriculum has been adapted and enhanced by our unique offer. Our curriculum has been designed by our cluster leaders based on what we feel our students need to know, be able to do and remember.
Students at Alt Bridge School access a broad, balanced and engaging curriculum. Our curriculum intent is to ensure that our students are well prepared for adulthood and are set up to achieve personal success in their chosen pathways. We aim to equip them with the knowledge they need to achieve their best possible outcomes. We recognise the importance of supporting the retention of information from one lesson to the next and building progressively and cumulatively on key knowledge and skills. We hold high expectations of, and for our students and work to instil in them, a commitment to continued learning.
Our students can expect equal opportunities through our educational provision, high quality teaching and learning, a broad range of subjects and support to develop positive mental health and well-being. At Alt Bridge School, students are able to access a range of additional provision which is tailored to meet individual needs in a timely way. We continually prepare students to contribute positively to society and we also teach them how to keep themselves safe and build resilience. It is important they know how to seek support and how to maintain positive connections with others.
The curriculum prepares students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences which they will encounter in adult life and promotes spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. The curriculum is enriched with a range of extra-curricular activities to promote health and well-being, provide challenge, engagement and social interaction. There is an opportunity for students to access GCSE courses, if relevant and appropriate to the students’ individual aspirations. There are also a range of enrichment options during Key Stage 4 and Post-16 which enables students to gain recognised qualifications.
We use formative and summative assessments and internal monitoring cycles to regularly inform us about the impact of our curriculum and what the learning experience is like for our students.
The curriculum at Alt Bridge is based on the National Curriculum and no pupils are dis-applied. It is run as a secondary model for both core and foundation subjects and is delivered by subject specialists. It is also annually reviewed to ensure we are adequately catering for the ever-changing needs of our pupils.
Modern Foreign Language
Music Physical Education
Mindfulness (including RISE)
Performing Arts (Year 9)
Duke of Edinburgh (Year 9)
English (GCSE Language, Functional Skills Entry Level1 to Level 2)
At Alt Bridge School we continue to embed philosophy into our curriculum and utilise the approaches to develop the oracy, social and thinking skills of our students.
Taking the time to consider key questions linked to the curriculum, provides our students will an opportunity to really think and explore their reasoning. Examples of such questions might be….
in art – what makes something beautiful?
in P.E. – is there such a thing as a fair race?
in history – is it possible to have a just war?
By asking questions and exploring ideas in groups, students have opportunities to hear and consider opposing views to their own and also express their own views to others in a considered way.
P4C has been found to have a very positive impact on self-esteem and confidence whilst helping students to develop key speaking, listening, social and cognitive abilities. More information about the benefits of P4C can be found at this link;
Even more than this, P4C strongly supports our school ethos and values by helping our students to share their ideas and opinions. We are a Rights Respecting School and we support Article 12 of the UN Convention on Children’s Rights which states that children still have the human right to have opinions and for these opinions to be heard and taken seriously.
It says that the opinions of children and young people should be considered when people make decisions about things that involve them. Their opinions shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand on the grounds of age. They should be taken seriously, with their evolving capacities taken into account. It is important that we help our students to develop their capacity to form and share opinions.
Our students are asked to express their views often in relation to their needs, educational provision and also the support that may help them through the annual review process.
Alt Bridge School is excited to be part of the Thinking Together in Science and RE project with SAPHERE P4C. This project is funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation as part of the Big Questions in Classroom project.
The project supports students and teachers from both Science and Religious Education departments to use P4C to explore the philosophical dimensions of RE and science.
Our communication curriculum is designed to provide opportunities for students to develop their speaking and listening skills. The combined approaches of oracy across the curriculum, Philosophy for Children (P4C) and our social communication provision, all promote and develop communication skills amongst our students. In addition to these key approaches, all staff are trained in how to support communication through a variety of every day strategies.
School ethos and values
Our main school approaches to behaviour for learning have a key focus on communication skills. Both Zones of Regulation and Restorative Practices support students to develop their language around emotions and also problem solving. You can find out more about our behaviour for learning approaches at the link to our behaviour and expectation webpage below;
Following our engagement with the Voice 21 project and our other approaches, we have more meaningful opportunities for pupils to develop oracy across the curriculum. Staff are aware of the importance of communication skills and how to model and support oracy across the curriculum.
We even continued to support oracy skills during lockdown, when our staff used verbal feedback via Seesaw for the work students produced. We were aware that the students were missing opportunities for spontaneous talk outside of their home bubble so we worked to provide these opportunities. Staff have continued to utilise voice notes and to encourage students to do so, in order to share their views/ideas.
Oracy organisers have been created for core subjects to showcase the oracy framework to support our students to be confident communicators.
At Alt Bridge school we are passionate about our pupils finding their voice and expressing themselves effectively. Being able to articulate thoughts and feelings is a fundamental skill for our learners to develop, not just in education but also in life. While speaking and listening activities are embedded into the Language and Literature Curriculum, in order to further support communication skills, oracy is incorporated into all lessons.
Often, pupils are given real life scenarios when practicing their oracy skills. This can be something as basic as asking for an item in a shop to practising for an interview or presenting to a class or small group of people. We strive to build confidence in pupils by giving them the necessary tools they need to succeed as well as creating a secure environment in which to express their voice. By providing ample opportunities for pupils to practice oracy, their skills will develop further.
At Alt Bridge School we engage with Speakers Trust; an organisation who are dedicated to building a stronger society in which the voices of young people are heard. This engagement has allowed our pupils to build their confidence in social situations and formal presentations as well as catalyst their levels in the speaking and listening assessments in English; giving them the best chances in the next stage of their education and employment
Building on students’ knowledge, skills and understanding, strong emphasis is placed on exploration and discovery of new learning. Using creativity and imagination, pupils work to solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science and engineering. Pupils are actively encouraged to take risks; enabling them to become resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable young people.
Across the Discovery and Innovation curriculum, our aim is to give students an appreciation of the importance of STEM in everyday life. Students are equipped with the transferable skills needed to support them on their journey to adulthood, and provide a solid foundation upon which to build on as they move towards independence. All students receive a solid grounding in the fundamental skill sets needed to become independent, resilient and reflective young adults.
The school has a supportive ethos and our approaches support the students in developing their communication, collaborative and independent skills, as well as empathy and the need to recognise the achievement of others. At Alt Bridge School, we encourage overcoming adversity by ensuring that all students experience challenge and success across the Innovation and Discovery Cluster and work towards developing a growth mind-set. Bespoke, regular and ongoing assessment informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child. These factors ensure that we are able to maintain the highest standards, with all students encouraged to work towards achieving their absolute maximum in all areas.
The PSHCE Curriculum offer is planned around the three key National Curriculum requirements of health and wellbeing, the wider world and relationships. The curriculum`s purpose is to ensure that our students are well prepared for adulthood and are set up to achieve personal success in their chosen pathways
To help them to do this there is a strong emphasis on helping pupils to be well informed and stay safe through topics such as safety, sex and relationships, media and technology, bullying and peer pressure, friendship /getting along with others and street safe (knives, gangs and guns). By equipping pupils with this knowledge we are preparing our pupils to contribute positively to society
The PSHCE curriculum offer also provides a wealth of extracurricular opportunities which engage and motivate students which promote a positive impact on wellbeing and mental health now and into adulthood. Further details of these can be found below.
Pupils are encouraged to recognise that learning is a lifelong pursuit for example pupils will learn in the classroom but learning will continue e.g. as a parent or learning new job skills or social development through relationships with others into adulthood.
The Thriving Curriculum is a fundamental aspect of the Schools provision in preparing pupils to lead an independent life. This is done by equipping pupils with the skills, knowledge and understanding to achieve personal success into adulthood.
This impact can be seen by our pupils leaving Alt Bridge having:
A good understanding of what it means to be a British Citizen and the rights and responsibilities this entails including the importance of British Values
An awareness of job, careers and training opportunities and the importance of challenging ourselves
Developed personal skills that will equip them for success including resilience, determination and confidence and good communication skills.
Knowing where, when and how to get support and having the skills to access this support
Knowing how to maintain healthy relationships and recognising the features of an unhealthy relationship
Having an awareness of the wider world for example through an understanding of different cultures and the role of Government.
Aware of how to stay safe in a number of situations including being aware of the dangers of radicalisation and criminal and sexual exploitation
Having a good awareness of how to maintain our physical and mental health through diet, exercise and sleep and strategies such as mindfulness and zones of regulation.
Our communication curriculum is designed to enable our students to acquire essential skills and knowledge in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Whilst traditionally, these skills may be attributed solely to English as a subject, we structure our curriculum to encompass a whole communication approach. Our students need guidance in developing social communication skills and strategies, overcoming the impact of specific learning difficulties and also significantly improving their self-esteem and confidence. Finding a voice and being able to express themselves and their thoughts is key for the success of our learners: not just in education, but also in life.
At Alt Bridge, we believe that with the right support, all students can make progress and acquire the skills and knowledge they need in order to lead successful adult lives and pursue their aspirations. Being able to communicate, read and write are essential skills which enable their access to the rest of the curriculum. Whilst our students may experience challenges in acquiring these skills, we aim to provide the most effective educational provision possible, thereby enabling them to not merely function in the wider world, but to flourish.
We are committed to ensuring that pupils develop a love of literature. Reading for pleasure and enjoyment provides a significant boost to overall engagement and supports healthy lifestyle practices and positive mental health going forward into adult life. The communication curriculum connects the skills of reading, using language, and applying thinking skills, in order to progressively build the foundations of confident and effective communication. This is achieved within a structured, supportive, and purposeful learning environment and though the commitment of our skilled and dedicated staff members.
The range of interventions we offer across the communication curriculum include structured and cumulative programmes for reading and spelling skills, targeted support in written tasks, social communication interventions, and Speech and Language Therapy. Our interventions are delivered by trained staff who monitor impact and assess individual student progress. Furthermore, we enhance the English curriculum through integrating Philosophy and oracy, thereby offering a further boost to communication and thinking skills.
The impact of our curriculum can be seen in what our pupils know, can remember, and can do, as a result of the learning experiences they have at Alt Bridge. We engage in regular formative assessments within classes through a range of methods to ensure the teacher and support staff are aware of all the learning taking place. Demonstrations of learning that has taken place via pupil voice or work completed is captured and uploaded digitally to our student’s individual portfolios on SeeSaw – one of our online learning platforms. Many of the activities and tasks undertaken by students through the communication curriculum will enable them to also make progress towards their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) outcomes. We use SeeSaw to highlight this progress. Parents/carers are able to access their child’s SeeSaw portfolio and regularly monitor the progress they are making in school.
We engage in regular planned summative assessments throughout the year. These include end-of-unit assessments and planned assessments against entry levels, level 1 and level 2, and GCSE qualification markers three times a year. We implement the engagement model and pre-entry level assessments where appropriate through our bespoke whole-school assessment system. Out assessments provide indicators of how well students are working towards key end-point qualifications when they reach Key Stage 4. This data also provides a clear indicator of the knowledge and skills a student is not yet secure in, which enables us to adjust the curriculum, provide targeted support, or to intervene more intensively where appropriate. Where evidence suggests a pupil may benefit from more intensive intervention, we may utilise specific diagnostic assessments as per the requirements of the programme.
We use standardised assessments at baseline (on entry) to identify the level of work our students are secure in and then monitor their progress in reading and spelling via termly reading age, spelling age and reading comprehension tests. This lets us know the gaps between their reading and spelling ability compared with their age-related expectation. We expect that our reading and spelling interventions enable our students to make accelerated personal progress in these areas.
To ensure that our students gain confidence in communicating both within and beyond school, we provide a range of cultural experiences such as trips and excursions, in-house workshops, and key visitors. We have links with local community partners, such as Shakespeare North. The impact of the communication curriculum can be seen across the whole curriculum and through all subjects, as we have a whole-school commitment to developing these essential skills for our learners.
We review our curriculum regularly and collaboratively, continually assessing its impact and how it may better serve our students. We continuously review opportunities for our students to achieve external qualifications (Functional Skills and GCSE) to enable them to access further education and employment.
At Alt Bridge School we aim to prepare our learners for their future by giving them the opportunities to gain knowledge and develop skills that will equip them for an ever changing digital world. Knowledge and understanding of ICT is of increasing importance for children’s future both at home and for employment.
Through our computing curriculum at Alt Bridge School we aim to give our pupils the life-skills that will enable them to embrace and utilise new technology in a socially responsible and safe way in order to flourish. We want our pupils to be able to operate in the 21st century workplace and we want them to know the career opportunities that will be open to them if they study computing.
We want children to become autonomous, independent users of computing technologies, gaining confidence and enjoyment from their activities. We want the use of technology to support learning across the entire curriculum and to ensure that our curriculum is accessible to every child. Not only do we want them to be digitally literate and competent end-users of technology but through our computer science lessons we want them to develop creativity, resilience and problem-solving and critical thinking skills. We want our pupils to have a breadth of experience to develop their understanding of themselves as individuals within their community but also as members of a wider global community and as responsible digital citizens.
At Alt Bridge School, computing is taught in discreet computing lessons. The computing curriculum is delivered through our own scheme of work: -based initially on Knowsley City Learning Centre’s 2016 scheme of work. We now have a personalised curriculum to meet the varied needs of our students.
Every lesson in our scheme has been individually planned so that it can be effectively taught using the infrastructure we have in place at school and so that it can meet the needs of all our pupils. Our scheme has been closely referenced against whole school attainment targets in order to ensure progression and coverage.
Having discreet lessons means that the children are able to develop depth in their knowledge and skills over the duration of each of their computing topics. Where appropriate, meaningful links will be made between the computing curriculum and the wider curriculum.
In computing lessons the children will use either the computer suites or iPads in order to access a range of apps and software. Discreet computing lessons will focus on the curriculum skills of information technology, digital literacy and computer science. Children’s progress will be assessed both formatively and summatively. Children will be given feedback and ways to improve their work either written, verbal or via the Seesaw app.
Our students enjoy and value Computing and know why they are doing things, not just how. Students will understand and appreciate the value of Computing in the context of their personal wellbeing and the technological, creative and cultural industries and their many career opportunities.
Progress in Computing is demonstrated through regularly reviewing student’s work, in accordance with our Computing assessment policy to ensure that progression of skills is taking place. We focus on:
Reviewing pupils’ work, especially over time as they gain skills and knowledge.
Observing how they perform in lessons.
Talking about what they know and its context in the wider world.
The Computing curriculum will contribute to student’s personal development in creativity, independence, judgement and self-reflection. This would be seen in them being able to talk confidently about their work, and sharing their work with others. Progress will be shown through outcomes and through the important record of the process leading to them.
The Global Curriculum intends for learners to progressively acquire, retain and apply their knowledge and skills over the key stages and provide key opportunities for experiencing success, the love of learning and developing their employability skillset.
Our curriculum recognises the responsibility within our subject areas to develop learners’ spiritual, moral, social development, experiences and cultural capital. Our schemes for learning are inclusive of key moral topics ranging from a detailed look at the Holocaust to understanding our connections to and responsibility to their school, local and global community as a whole. We understand that learning does not only occur between teacher and student but through a range of experiences and strategies like fieldwork and key visits and visitors.
The Global Curriculum aims to provide learners with the opportunity to develop four main global competencies:
Investigate the World beyond the immediate environment
Recognise Perspectives of ourselves and others
Communicate Ideas effectively
Take Action by translating ideas into appropriate action and response
Our aim is to enable our learners to appreciate the world around them: its diversity; culture; geography and history. To provide them with the knowledge and skills required to question and critically assess their place in the world, for further study or employment.
Challenge through investigation and perspective
The combination of subjects means students will gain an understanding of people, the world they live in and their values.
History looks at the things people have done in the past. We try to explain how and why they did those things
Geography looks at how people live in and use the environment around them in this country and abroad
RE looks at the variety of religious beliefs people have used to explain the world we live in and the impact on our global society
MFL provides opportunities to broaden student horizons and experiences of other peoples and cultures through learners’ own experiences and understanding.
The impact of this curriculum design will lead to progress over time across key stages relative to learner’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. This will also be demonstrated at KS4 options resulting in Entry Level, GCSE or ASDAN accreditation. Our curriculum will also lead pupils to be enthusiastic learners, evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice and their work.
The Arts curriculum at Alt bridge aims to embed creativity within the school to build young people’s confidence, character and resilience through creativity bringing learning to life through arts and culture. We aim to support the health and wellbeing of pupils through arts and culture to foster and hone pupils’ passions for their art with open minds in order to enjoy engaging with the arts throughout life. Pupils will learn how to apply these processes to their own creative work and progressively develop their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the arts.
Pupils will develop different subject specific skills, languages and techniques. They will have opportunities to work with Arts professionals and organisations who will inspire and engage them in the arts equipping them with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
The curriculum is designed to support pupils to enjoy the arts to connect with and take part in the wider arts and develop creativity were they are willing to participate and respond positively to artistic, musical and cultural opportunities.
Pupils will develop belonging and ownership where they are empowered to learn, engage and celebrate achievement. Our diverse range of projects provide provision for the spiritual and cultural development of pupils.
The Arts curriculum at Alt bridge aims to give our pupils a creative outlet to explore and express their emotions, affording them ways of coping with life’s challenges. Helping them to reduce stress, build resilience, raise self-esteem and developing social skills.
We have high expectations and aspirations for all pupils and strive to continuously raise the standards of work our pupils produce by following the Arts Mark quality principles.
Striving for excellence and innovation
Being exciting, inspiring and engaging
Ensuring a positive and inclusive experience
Actively involving children and young people
Enabling personal progression
Developing belonging and ownership
In year 7 and 8 pupils will work through a series of topics and projects to build on prior knowledge and develop skills. In year 9 all pupils will complete a combined Arts award Explore qualification were they will take part in art activities, experience the arts, work and share their discovery’s. They will build on these skills and at KS4 the options will be tailored to meet their specific needs and abilities were they will have the opportunity to complete a Bronze, Silver or Gold Arts award in Art, Photography or Performing Arts. There is also an opportunity for some to complete a GSCE two year course in Drama and/or Art and Design.
The structure of our Arts curriculum allows pupils to develop their knowledge and understanding of the work of artist, craftspeople, designers, musicians and organisations from a range of times and cultures and the ability to apply this knowledge to their own work. The diverse opportunities will inspire and help pupils to gain knowledge and cultural capital to succeed in life. They will have a better understanding of cultural and creative industries and career choices. They will feel more confident in their abilities to create, challenge and explore, to be part of society, and to make change happen. They will develop 21st Century skills: decision making, fluency of ideas, team- work, flexibility, originality, confidence, resilience and motivation equipping them with essential skills for life and future employment.
Pupils will develop their understanding of the visual language of art with effective teaching and considered sequences of lessons and experiences. Topics and skills have been embedded throughout all years to enable learners to reflect and build on prior knowledge.
Through our arts curriculum, pupils will learn to cooperate with each other, think, question and collaborate; they will learn teamwork, independence and leadership. The selected topics have been designed to encourage and allow pupils to make progress, develop creativity and improve health and wellbeing. They will be enthused and take pride in their work.
The curriculum is broad and balanced giving every pupil the confidence to develop their skills and create a ‘can do’ attitude to learning.
Through a consistent approach across subjects within the cluster pupils will remember more and do more. Effective, inspiring resources will allow collaborative learning that guides, encourages and develops pupils’ critical thinking skills.
Our arts ambassadors will be a key component of pupil voice and they will be empowered to inspire and inform others of any cultural news. Pupils work is showcased around the school which will encourage pupils to develop belonging and ownership, celebrating the talent and quality of art they produce.
Our Arts curriculum will create a culture of citizenship, tolerance and empathy were our pupils will be: ambitious, capable learners; enterprising, creative contributors; healthy, confident individuals; ethical, informed citizens.
At Alt Bridge, we are delighted that its students will be offered an exciting broad and balanced programme of study known as The Physical Development Curriculum. As well as the more traditional subject of Physical Education, where there will be a strong emphasis on sporting participation and healthy lifestyles, students will now have the opportunity to study additional aspects of Physical Development known as Forestry School, Outdoors Learning and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. In these new areas, students will develop a range of life skills designed to equip them with life outside of school and for them to rediscover the great outdoors and all of its benefits such as improved mental health, building resilience, self-esteem and confidence as well as improving their life experiences, and gaining a respect for the natural environment and wildlife.
Throughout the whole school we offer a broad and balanced Physical Development Curriculum which now encompasses a fantastic range of physical interests which are appropriate to each individual child. Students will continue to be provided with a balance of the traditional PE individual, group and team activities, some of which are competitive, but will now also have the opportunity to rediscover the outdoors and be creative through the new forestry school and outdoor education curriculum.
The Physical Development Curriculum will promote the profound impact that being physically active can have on pupils’ mental health and well-being. On the Physical Education side, students will now have access to a highly differentiated and revised curriculum linked to core skills, games (team and individual), athletics activities, trampolining, swimming, and health related fitness. This range of experiences is intended to provide for students increasing self confidence in their ability to manage themselves and their bodies within a variety of movement situations and to increase understanding of the importance of a healthy lifestyle. With the additional new strands of Forestry School, Outdoors Learning, and Duke of Edinburgh Award (from Year 9 upwards), these three areas are very closely linked and allow very strongly for the students to discover the outdoors and create their own learning through developing as part of a team, learning how to communicate with others and work together. The skills that they will acquire through experiential learning will impact positively on their mental health, and enhance the creative side of their learning. It allows our students to cope with disappointment, being able to communicate in an appropriate manner and adhere to rules and regulations in order to support our students integrate into mainstream society and post school life. The emphasis is upon providing a supportive learning environment that encourages maximum participation and rewards whilst remaining supportive to our students’ needs and the challenges that they face.
For those students in Key Stage 4 there will be a wealth of opportunities for students to be entered for a number of accredited awards across all four cluster areas and for an external accreditation in Physical Education in Year 11. For the first time this year, a group of students in Year 10 have opted to study for the BTEC Award in Sport and Active Leisure which could lead to a number of opportunities in studying further courses post 16 in sport and leisure, leadership roles in coaching and above all healthy physically active young adults with good mental health and well-being. Students will also have the opportunity to learn skills which will enable them to link closer to their own communities through outdoors learning and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Students will also have access to a number of out of school competitions including Boccia, New age Kurling, Football, Swimming, Panathalon, Athletics, Basketball, Dodgeball, Wheelchair Basketball and Cricket. Alt Bridge has access to the very strong Knowlsey School Sports Partnerships where SEN schools’ sport is very well represented and our students use these experiences to enhance their self-esteem, confidence and good mental health to allow them to become excellent members of society.
Contact: Mrs F Cowperthwaite, Mr L Nunes, Mr T Melling and Mrs K O’Reilly
We have four provisions within school, designed to the meet the specific needs of learners who may otherwise struggle to engage fully with a full secondary model. These students benefit from a base classroom, a designated teacher for all subjects, consistent support staff and a bespoke curriculum. Each provision has a different focus in terms of the curriculum design and additional provision. More can be learned about our bases through the links below;
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