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Curriculum Pathways

Pathways to Learning Across the Key Stages

Primary Department

There are currently 3 classes within the Primary Department, Giraffe Class, Zebra Class and Elephants Class. There is also a nurturing KS3 class which works between the Primary and KS3 curriculum.

The programme of study for the Primary Department is incorporated into a termly topic alongside a strong emphasis on learning skills. There are times during the term when subjects are taught as part of the topic and times when subjects are taught discretely. Cross curricular links are also made to reinforce learning. It is important our children learn basic skills across the curriculum to provide a firm foundation to their learning. There is a strong emphasis on our curriculum being practical, stimulating and interactive, so regular opportunities for visits
We use a mixture of teaching styles ranging from direct teaching of whole class to specific teaching with individual children. Children have the opportunity to work independently and are encouraged to take an active role in their own learning.

The curriculum principles and ethos is supported by a wide range of classroom areas both inside and outside and a range of resources that support learning. Learning also takes place off-site with sport activities i.e. RDA

We work alongside with Speech and Language and Occupational Therapist as appropriate, helping to plan and deliver a specialised programme of learning.

Early Years Foundation Stage

At Collingwood School we believe that every child should have the opportunity to develop as a happy, confident learner. We provide stimulating play opportunities which reflect the children’s interest and stage of learning and development. We believe in the value of an environment that enables children to be independent, and is well resourced with inviting opportunities that support children to follow their ideas and interests.

The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum has seven areas of learning which are divided into Prime and Specific areas. They are:
– Prime areas of learning
– Physical Development
– Communication and Language
– Personal, Social, Emotional Development
– Specific areas of learning
– Literacy
– Mathematics
– Understanding the world
– Expressive Art and Design
– Prime areas of learning

The Prime areas of learning and development are universal to all children. Learning in the Specific areas is dependent on a secure foundation in the Prime areas, for example if a child is not able to hold a pencil correctly they will find writing in Literacy very difficult.

Physical Development covers both fine motor skills such as being able to hold a pencil to form letters correctly and gross motor skills such as riding a bicycle. In this area of learning they are also developing the skills of managing their own personal hygiene. Communication and Language covers the areas of speaking, listening and understanding. These areas are about the child making sense of the world around them, being able to understand and communicate with others. Personal, Social and Emotional Development develops the children’s social skills. We look at how children make relationships and relate to each other, about how confident and self-aware they are, and about how they are able to manage their own feelings and behaviour.

There are four Specific areas of learning. Literacy covers reading and writing. The children learn to decode and write simple sentences using their phonic knowledge. In Mathematics children learn to count and recognise numbers and the operations of adding and subtracting. They also learn about doubling and halving through practical activities. Shape, Space and Measuring activities include concepts such as capacity, weight and positions. They learn to recognise and talk about shapes. Understanding the world covers the areas of technology such as computers, People and Communities and the world. The children learn about events that have happened in the past, about different cultures and about the world around them. Expressive Arts and Design allows children to express themselves through art, music, drama and dance. They experiment with colour and design, representing their own ideas.

During the school day the children learn through a mixture of short teacher-led sessions and child-initiated learning through play sessions. Teachers and teaching assistants work with children and make observations on them which are recorded in their individual learning diaries. All the children in the Foundation stage follow a topic based approach. The topics covered are:

Term 1 – All about me
Term 2 – My Senses and Christmas
Term 3 – Transport
Term 4 – Animals
Term 5 – Minibeasts
Term 6 – Water

Developmental Movement Play (DMP)

Developmental Movement Play (DMP) is a term created by JABADAO to describe a neuro-development, child led, play based movement approach which aims to support young children’s developmental, learning and wellbeing. This neuro-developmental approach looks at how movement builds the strength, skill and health of the body as well as the ways in which movement assists the development of the brain and the nervous system. It impacts on all aspects of learning, social, emotional, physical and cognitive; and all areas of a person’s life and wellbeing.

Children have opportunities to indulge in the five kinds of movement which are important to their development;

– Floor play on their backs and tummies

– Belly crawling

– Crawling

– Push-pull-stretch-hand-buffet about

– Spin-tip roll-fall

As well as these five kinds of movements JABADAO recognise that the sense of touch is also important to a child’s development. By providing children with a rich tactile experience it has been shown that movement play opportunities support the development of a sense of pain, heat, cold and hunger as well as the ability to focus on or filter out sensations of touch. Individual Education Plans are used to structure individual progress towards annual targets based on the objectives outlined in the child’s Statement/EHCP.  IEPs are reviewed each half-term.

Key Stage 3

From Key Stage 3 and beyond, the curriculum provides pupils with a wider experience of specialist teaching opportunities and increased resources. All pupils have access to a specialist teaching model in specialist teaching areas. All pupils are actively encouraged to ask challenging questions to extend their learning.

In reading pupils have a dedicated lesson in the library and access a wide range of books. Some pupils will continue with age appropriate structured reading books to support the development of their reading skills.

The curriculum is enriched by extended opportunities and pupils are encouraged to make choices about their options. Curriculum areas include Enterprise, Tourism, Drama and film, Horseriding, extra Science, Forest School and an introduction to the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

There are “state of the art “specialist teaching facilities for Film and Media; Art and Design; Computing; Design Technology and Science.

Pupils have the opportunity to ride different kinds of bikes using the trail in school.

Additionally we have a nurture group within Key Stage 3 where the pupils follow a Primary curriculum model but access specialist teaching when they are ready to do so.

 Key Stage 4

At Collingwood we have created a 3 Year Key Stage 4 beginning in Year 9 where work begins on a range of accredited courses.

The curriculum continues to expand to meet the needs of all learners and gives students the opportunities to gain a number of nationally recognised qualifications. PE is largely delivered offsite at the Leisure Centre and at other specialist facilities.

We currently offer;

GCSE Courses



-Art and Design


 Entry Level Courses

(AQA and WJEC)

-Additional English




-Design Technology

-Art and Design

-Creative Media and Performance Pathways




-Performing Arts

-Community Skills

-Equestrian Skills

-Cooking Skills


-Arts Award – Discover

-Duke of Edinburgh Award


-Bronze Award

All pupils have dedicated lesson access to a well resourced library.

Key Stage 5
At  the end of Year 11 students do have the opportunity to remain at Collingwood moving into the sixth form following a personalised course of study. We recognise that this isn’t appropriate for all students and that for some moving on to college or into training or employment is a better choice and we support whatever decision the student and their parents/carers make.

However for those who elect to continue their education with us we can provide a varied curriculum offer. The curriculum available for students in Years 12 and 13 is made up of a personalised combination of compulsory and optional units. We always aim to accredit as much of the learning so that all achievements are recognised. These may be at Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2 qualifications. We also include Study Programmes in our offer starting at Entry level to level 2. In addition to this, the sixth form provision includes elements of real work experience; college links, recreational and leisure pursuits, study support and extended learning opportunities.

The curriculum is regularly reviewed to meet the needs of our students in their preparation for Adulthood pathways. Currently all students follow Functional English and Mathematics courses, PSHE and Social Opportunities this includes safety awareness when travelling delivered in small group situations. We have a strong work experience programme and work closely with employers and students’ families and carers. Students access work placements in Year 12 and extended placements as appropriate in Year 13. Students have a Preparation for Adulthood lesson to support studens thinking, development and future pathways in this area. Rachel Usher NHS Trust offer transition support to students and their families through regualar group and one to one sessions in Year 13. This may include pathways to supported living and access to Adult services.

  • Additional courses include:
  • ASDAN Entry level Employability
  • NCFE Entry Level Award in Occupational Studies Focus: Cooking and Hospitality
  • GCSE Art and Design
  • ASDAN Life Skill Challenge:
    • Computing
    • Media and Creative Arts
    • Horticuluture
    • Art
    • Life Skills and developing independence

Active Works

A new pilot in conjunction with Northumberland Adult Learning Services (NAHLS).

Building on from the Collingwood Sixth Form a number of students have accessed ‘Active Works’ a new pilot programme. The aim is to equip young people in their readiness for employment including Supported Internships and Apprenticeship opportunities. Supported students access a range of occupational based qualifications and increasing opportunities to access work placements in their area of interest in readiness for work and training.

Personalised Learning Packages

At Collingwood School and Media Arts College we aim to provide, for identified pupils, personalised learning packages that are specifically adapted to their learning needs.

Each pupil is assessed on admission to school and then taking into account their identified learning needs and emotional well-being, we determine a personalised package.