To develop confident, ambitious people who are emotionally and intellectually equipped for a brighter future


Whole School Curriculum Design 


Whole School Curriculum Intent: 


North Star is built on the relentless drive to offer our students and their families the support they deserve.  We pride ourselves on a core set of values: 


  • Navigate 
  • Success  
  • Together 
  • Ambition 
  • Relevance 


We navigate success together, with ambition and relevance 


Throughout North Star Academy Trust we believe that every student should have the education, opportunities and experiences to prepare them for a happy, fulfilled, meaningful life. They should be confident, broad-minded and have a range of skills to allow them to succeed in society.  


Our overall intent is for young people to reengage in education and to foster a sense of curiosity and a love of lifelong learning which develops the knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes to make good progress and succeed.  We work with them and others to enable them to overcome barriers and achieve their full potential. 



Our curriculum intent is underpinned by these values, offering a board and balanced curriculum.  It is designed to offer all our students a wide range of learning experiences, enabling them to become independent, integrated, self-actualized members of the community. Whilst we acknowledge success is a relative concept, our curriculum does not preclude our students from achieving their chosen destination. To ensure this, we intend to: 


  • Teach our students how to keep themselves safe physically and emotionally to   promote their welfare and wellbeing.  Effective education will be tailored to the specific needs and vulnerabilities of individual children (KCSIE, 2024)  
  • For our students to be socially and emotionally literate, able to demonstrate resilience in the face of challenge and equipped to build healthy relationships and maximise independence. 
  • Give our students a broad, personalised and ambitious curriculum that offers a breadth of study that will prepare them well for the next stage of their education.  
  • Develop key Literacy and Numeracy that will enable them to access the wider world as an adult. 
  • To empower students with the knowledge to enable them to navigate the digital world safely.  
  • Enrich our students with the cultural capital experiences they need to understand what Britain and their local community has to offer.  
  • Provide a wide-ranging careers education program ensuring our students can make informed decisions about their futures and promote life-long learning 
  • Offer a personalised blend of Academic, Functional and Vocational qualifications, ensuring all our students experience a high sense of achievement.  
  • To equip our students with the knowledge, understanding and critical thinking skills in order to live healthy and active lives  
  • To ensure that there are opportunities to develop self esteem and confidence.  
  • Teach our students about protected characteristics, ensuring as a school we celebrate individual identities (Equalities Act 2010).  
  • To equip our students to value tolerance, democracy, liberty and law. 


Whole School Curriculum Implementation:  

  • Children are taught in small class sizes and their needs are met through  personalised strategies aimed at supporting them to overcome their individual barriers to learning. 
  • In KS1, 2 and 3, students are taught within the primary model, maintaining a nurturing environment. This enables our students to develop positive attachments in support of their social and emotional and mental development. 
  • In KS4, each teaching group has a designated key tutor ensuring all students and their families have access to continuous pastoral support. However individual curriculum subjects are taught by subject specialists, in well-resourced curriculum areas. This enables our students to have access to high quality teaching and learning so all students progress and achieve well. 
  • Students have access to a wide range of relevant accreditations including primary statutory assessments (where appropriate) that are well matched to their level of ability and chosen destination. Accessibility is further supported by the strategic implementation of access arrangements that is in line with their “normal way of working”. This ensures our students are not precluded from achieving their chosen destination.   
  • To support the transition between key stages we work collaboratively with feeder schools and local post 16 providers. Within school we have information sharing evenings, implemented through career events, parents’ evenings and curriculum open days. At every stage our students will be well informed about their decisions and its potential impact. 
  • Each teaching group has a “daily tutor time”. Students are taught a blend of social skills, careers education and current affairs. There is a wider focus on PHSE and RSE such as the contextual safeguarding needs of our older students.  
  • To implement a wide range of learning experiences, our subject leads plan for subject specific cultural capital visits. Students are taught through our specifically designed enrichment curriculum, exposing them to new experiences and enriching their access to the wider world.  
  • Our weekly assemblies are linked to SMSC, world awareness days and culturally significant events, broadening our students’ cultural understanding. 
  • To encourage our students to lead healthy lifestyles we implement a full program of extra-curricular activities during and after school. This ranges from competitive sports, healthy cooking classes, social clubs and accelerated learning.  
  • To ensure we develop a functional competence in literacy and numeracy, within our curriculum design we have structured timetabled interventions, Literacy and Numeracy sessions.  
  • We have a strong focus on Literacy and Numeracy across the curriculum, each subject makes explicit links to the development of Literacy and Numeracy. This enables students to contextualise the importance of how literacy and numeracy links to real life examples. 
  • Our curriculum is supported by our HUB team and specialist teaching staff who implement a program of targeted interventions based on EHCP-specified provision, robust baseline assessment and the continuous assessment of need.  This ensures we respond to any emerging needs responsively and flexibly.  Targeted interventions may include Speech & Language, emotional coaching, precision teaching and ESSA.   
  • We support students to develop emotional literacy skills utilising their Personalised Provision Mapping.  We encourage student participation in the design of these to ensure they have a sense of control and choice over their lives. 
  • To support students in their understanding of careers and the world of work, we have a whole school careers and employability skills program. Implementation is supported through working collaboratively with Bristol Works, Careers Hub, Independent Careers Advisors and Employer Engagement services.  
  • Subject Leads are responsible for the subjects they teach, high standards are implemented through the Guidance and Appraisal Process and a systematic approach to the deep dive methodology. This ensures the continuous improvement in standards, reviewing and refining our approach to pedagogy and curriculum intent. 
  • To support a high standards culture, we value the professional development of all our staff.  Through the annual skills auditing process, we adopt a targeted approach to CPD, supported through the NSAT CPD portal.  
  • Acknowledging the increasing demands of modern society on our students, all our staff have training based on the contextual needs of our students. We implement our curriculum through proven scientific methods. In particular the latest trauma informed practices and the latest theory on teaching pedagogy-Thinking Schools.  


Whole School Impact: 

It essential our curriculum impacts positively on preparing our students for adulthood. 


  • Next Steps & Employment- Our students will secure their next step in education including post 16 destinations which enables them to follow the path of their choice 
  • Independent Living-Our students will have choice, freedom and control over their lives. They will know how to access support and are able to secure sustainable living arrangements.  
  • Community inclusion– Our students will be able to form healthy and positive relationships, living safely through a network of supportive relationships that enable them to contribute to the local community.  
  • Healthy Lives- Our students will know how to lead healthy active lives. They will know how to eat well, exercise well and have a range of protective factors in place to support their overall wellbeing. 
  • Our students will be able to communicate effectively in a range of different contexts, protecting themselves from marginalisation and exploitation.  
  • Our students will have developed a range of employability skills that enable them to achieve sustainable and meaningful employment. Preventing our students becoming NEET. 
  • Our students will achieve a range of skills and qualifications, that includes functional levels of English and Maths, preparing them for life in labour market. 
  • Our students will embody a community spirit, characterised by British Values. 
  • Achieving ambitious goals – our students will be equipped to set and reach their aspirations.  

Key Stage 2 

Click on each subject to find out more.

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