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The curriculum at Collingwood School and Media Arts College complies with the guidelines of the National Curriculum. However, it is designed to take into account each pupil’s special needs and the pace at which he/she can learn. The curriculum embraces all that is learned through school, whether in lessons or as part of informal learning within and beyond the school day. We offer a curriculum which is both flexible and responds to individual needs. Each learner is unique and curriculum organisation has been developed around the starting point of the child’s needs.

The school has a clear focus on the personal, social development and wellbeing of each child, as well as on their academic progress. We place a great emphasis on learning to live with one another developing vital skills necessary in later life.  The development of these skills goes across the whole curriculum with specific skills taught through Religious Education, Personal and Social Development and Outdoor Pursuits programmes.

Assessment and Progression

The school has developed a robust assessment system clarifying further our current assessment processes for teaching and learning. Our curriculum has been designed and organised to ensure good or better progress for all learners. Learning outcomes for students are made clear and regular feedback given to students both verbally and in written form.

Pupil targets are discussed at Annual Review of Statement meetings/Education, Health and Care Plan meetings annually and new targets written collaboratively. These form the child’s Individual Education Plan.


The acquisition of literacy skills is a high priority at Collingwood School. The importance of the development of reading skills has been reflected in the resources, time and training devoted to developing a reading culture over a number of years. Learners are actively encouraged to read at every opportunity, and to develop a love of books and reading in general.

Additional reading sessions take place during tutor time at least twice a week, and a wide range of quality texts have been made available, including those targeted at reluctant readers, such as Barrington Stoke and age-appropriate texts for older pupils with lower reading ages.

We also provide reading schemes specifically aimed at those with visual disturbances such as dyslexia, such as the Magic Belt series, and have a good stock of large-print books for the visually impaired.

An excellent, substantially improved library facility is extensively used, and pupils are consulted regularly on the types of books they would like to see in the library.

In the classroom, we use the Oxford Floppy’s Phonics scheme, which is delivered by staff extensively trained in the delivery of synthetic phonics. This is supported by learning software and is also available in large print. We also use synthetic phonics schemes such as Dockside, which is aimed at older learners.Reading ages are tested twice yearly, using the Salford, SPAR and GRT tests, and we maintain a database of reading ages to track our pupils’ progress.

Religious Education (R.E.)

 Religious Education is taught in school following the Northumberland County Council Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education (SACRE). RE is delivered within the Humanities curriculum and dedicated days have been set throughout the year when the subject can be taught in a more meaningful way.

Parents have statutory rights to withdraw children from religious education and assemblies, those wishing to do so should contact the Headteacher.

Sex and Relationships Education (S.R.E.)

 Education about Sex and Relationships is taught within the PSED programme. The school follows the Northumberland RSE Core Curriculum; this is a flexible scheme of work for mainstream and special schools. The school is also supported by the Northumberland Specialist Health Improvement Service, who have developed specific resources for pupils with additional needs.

Parents are always kept informed about the Sex Education programme. Detailed information regarding topics covered can be found on the SRE page within the curriculum area of the website.

Additional support and Intervention

For those pupils who would benefit from additional intervention in their learning to support their continued progress, our school offers:

-Emotional Literacy sessions
-Speech and Language Therapy
-Occupational Therapy
-Movement Therapy
-Animal Assisted Therapy


Please click on the link to see our Homework Statement

Homework Statement