Kingsmead Curriculum 2020-21

The core aims of our curriculum are:

  • to provide pupils with the requisite skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience to make positive next steps post Kingsmead
  • for pupils to feel supported and included
  • to provide a safe space for pupils to better understand themselves and develop their resilience, confidence and sense of personal responsibility

Guiding Principles:

Kingsmead School offers an engaging and opening curriculum designed to inspire and challenge our students to make outstanding progress in aspects of their life and learning. The curriculum is structured around a two-year accelerated  key stage 2 to 3 catch up phase, aimed at quickly bridging the gaps in knowledge, experiences and skills that many pupils arrive with. Key stage 4 is delivered over 2 years.  Year 9 is an “accelerated learning year” that helps rapidly fill gaps in knowledge and understand to move pupils from the nurturing model in key stage 3 to study disciplines needed for qualification and exam accreditation. In years 10 and 11 pupils focus on consolidating their knowledge and skills and developing higher order and critical thinking skills.

Students will follow the National Curriculum but the approach will be nurture based, with a strong emphasis on knowledge acquisition, cross-curricular learning and development of social and emotional resilience and critical thinking skills.

Kingsmead recognises that we are preparing our students to live in a diverse and rapidly changing World where the skills of independence and resilience will be key to future success. Alongside our academic curriculum of mathematics, English, science and ICT, we believe in ensuring our students have a broad range of ‘life’ skills: sex and relationships education, for example, will follow national guidelines and there will be a strong emphasis on developing economic understanding and British values, as well as the identification of core competences related to the world of work. Using the knowledge base of the national curriculum, there will be an emphasis on developing higher order thinking skills through topic based learning.  Students will also be given opportunity to acquire and expand a wide range of social and emotional tools via a range of embedded and extra-curricular activities linked to developing a wider and deeper understanding of themselves and the world they live in.

The school expects all students to undertake the Kingsmead Pledge during their time with us.  This describes a range of additional, wider learning and character education opportunities designed to enrich their school experience and build their cultural capital.  This will be achieved through our character and emotional development programme during which pupils will be guided through a range of social and cultural experiential milestones.  For example – visiting a capital city and attending a theatre production.

We will foster a love of reading and provide students with opportunity to develop and articulate their opinions in a forum designed to demand deeper thinking and questioning.  This commitment is concurrent with our Kingsmead Pledges whereby pupils will be exposed to a range of experiences to enable them to understand context. We want our students to be positively challenged to think about why they are learning, as well as what they are learning. Students will sit nationally recognised assessments and gain nationally recognised qualifications at the end of key stages 4. Where students are significantly below age-related expectations, the core disciplines of English and mathematics will be prioritised in their timetable until they have “closed the gap”. The identification of students who will benefit from such a strategy will begin during the primary school transition programme and Kingsmead induction and will be supplemented with baseline testing once the student has joined the school.

Special School

Students will follow the National Curriculum but the approach is tailored to individual needs. We have a strong focus on our nurture curriculum in key stage 3 which is designed to support pupils through a holistic approach in bridging previous learning gaps in a nurturing environment. Through the use of a topic based curriculum designed to engage and enthuse pupils there is a strong emphasis on knowledge acquisition, cross-curricular learning and development of social and emotional resilience and critical thinking skills. The nurture curriculum is used as a vehicle to support pupils in accessing a traditional core curriculum in key stage 4.


Students will follow the national curriculum but through a number of differing pathways, depending on individual need.

Students who are still able to attend a mainstream school will undergo a short-term programme that prepares them for re-integration into another mainstream school. Support will remain in place to ensure any transitions are successful.  For some students the focus will be on re-engagement in education and subsequently a core curriculum will be followed, with accredited qualifications being attained.

Students with English as a second language will undergo a language and skills acquisition programme with TFEL trained teachers. From here, students will either enter a pathway with a more nurtured approach to learning, similar to the Special School or enter the core curriculum pathway.

In the PRU, students are taught in small groups. The more intimate setting enables any previously undiagnosed learning needs to be identified, which in turn, ensures the correct learning pathway is identified.


Hospital Medical (Castle)

The Castle Education Centre is used for young people who are unable to attend school for medical reasons. Pupils often follow a more bespoke learning pathway that reflects and supports young people with specific medical needs.  There is a core learning offer of maths, English, Science, PHSE and ICT where pupils work towards nationally recognised qualifications in these subjects.  The school maintain strong links with the medical professionals who are supporting the young people to ensure there is an integrated approach to providing a rich and relevant learning experience that supports pupil transition back into a mainstream setting or into post 16.

Enhanced Care Programme. This programme provides support to the most hard to reach looked after children throughout Derby City.  The work is highly individualised and begins with relationship building, moving on to other activities to boost the children’s self-esteem, reduce their harmful behaviours and to help them enjoy healthy, fulfilling lives.  Bespoke, often 1:1 tuition is delivered to narrow the gap between their attainment and that of their peers in preparation for examinations and support post 16 transition.