Curriculum and Assessment Framework

At Hexham Priory School we have such a wide range of abilities, needs and ages that we cannot have one curriculum to fit all of our pupils.

We believe that each Class Teacher, with support from their class teams and Heads of Department, are best placed to and should be allowed to design individual curriculum to suit either individual pupils or groups of pupils within their class.

The most effective and powerful curricula are those that are flexible, allow for responsiveness and continually change through evaluation, adjusted to reflect new insights and learning from our teachers, teaching assistants and classrooms

Each learner is unique and most children and young people across our school follow their own bespoke curriculum. There may be a number of different curricular for groups or individuals in each class and depending on their individual needs (age, ability, physical needs, learning needs and health) the curriculum will focus on varying proportions of each of the areas highlighted below. For example, a Sixth Form student would have a greater proportion of time dedicated to ‘Me and My Community’ as preparation for the next phase in their education, whereas a pupil in the Primary Department might have more ‘My Creativity’ or ‘My Thinking’.

Our choice of curriculum organisation has been developed around the starting point of pupil need and is contextualised to meet the specific needs of the pupils in our school and to support their personal development and welfare.

Five Areas of Learning throughout school

1. My Communication: English, Speech and Language

2. My Thinking: Mathematics, Science, Design and Technology

3. Myself and My Body: Personal, Social and Health Education (Sex and Relationships Education, Social Skills, self-care, behaviour), PE, Swimming, Rebound, Horse Riding, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Programmes

4. My World and My Community: History, Geography, Religious Education, Modern Foreign Language, Life Skills (Work Experience, Food Preparation, Enterprise) Citizenship, Careers Education, Information and Guidance

5. My Creativity: Art, Music, Drama


Although ‘My Communication’ is a discrete subject, we believe that it is at the heart of everything that we do and therefore runs through all curriculum areas.

Computing, PSHE, Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education also pervade all areas.

To help classroom teams to create a personalised curriculum around the needs of each learner and to inform them of the content of these individual curriculum we use;

Hexham Priory Curriculum Overviews- National Curriculum subject content matched to our Areas of Learning

Priory Planners-designed to offer distinct curriculum areas to directly address our pupils learning need rather than an adaptation of the National Curriculum

Barrs Court Curriculum for pupils working at lower P levels

OCR Entry Level specifications for students in Key stage 5

Equals Schemes of Work

The Primary Department have termly themes which encompass all areas and have been chosen to stimulate pupil motivation and enhance their interest.

The Secondary Department (Key Stages 3 and 4) have a rolling programme of topics for subjects other than English and Mathematics. This is used as a guide and may change to ensure that student interest and ability to learn are maximised.

Extra-curricular learning is diverse and pupils have opportunities to take part in residential visits, lunch-time clubs and after-school clubs


Our curriculum has been designed and organised to ensure good or better progress for all learners.

Teachers have and take ownership of progression for pupils and school does not have curriculum leaders. Each teacher is seen as an expert in the curriculum for the pupils they teach. Teachers are encouraged however, to develop interests, specialisms and skills and to support colleagues through the sharing of best practice.

Learning intentions are clearly stated in teachers’ planning, supported as appropriate by EYFS Foundation Stage Profile and Phases 1-7 across all 5 Areas of learning.

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 with five targets, usually two ‘My Communication’ targets and three chosen from the other Areas of learning, although this is flexible as appropriate to the individual child.

For those pupils who would benefit from additional intervention in their learning to support their continued progress, school offers Emotional Literacy sessions, Drawing and Talking Therapy and Music Therapy, in addition to the delivery of Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy programmes.

School has a robust Assessment Framework clarifying further our current assessment processes for teaching and learning.

In Autumn 2017 we started working with an online pupil assessment tracker for children with special needs. This allows pupil progress to be easily recorded with the evidence uploaded as we go along.


Curriculum Overview


Download Our Ofsted Report