Curriculum by Subject/Year

Vocational Qualifications

Construction & Motor Vehicle

At Atkinson House School we deliver an exciting and flexible range of vocational qualifications with the aim of progressing learners into further education and/or employment. Find out more about what is available during Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5


Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke of Edinburgh programme is a real adventure from beginning to end. Find out more about what is available to year 11 pupils.


English & Literacy

At Atkinson House School it is our belief that our young people must be motivated by the content, material and or topic that they are studying. As such any programme of study in English should be pertinent to their expected educational route when leaving in year 11. Therefore, the content of the English course must always strive to be robust yet personalized to the learner. We strive to engage our pupils with a route of study that will allow them to garner the fundamental skills, knowledge and concepts of English that will be essential in later life.

The schemes of work follow the National Curriculum requirements and reflect the N.L.S as well as the more formal APP model that has been adopted over the past four years. The application of resources can differ greatly between year groups and class groups and is designed to fit the pupil not for the pupil to fit around it. Where it is required and necessary we will and do follow the Primary Framework for our pupils. Any application of the Primary Framework is evidence via individual teacher planning.

To ensure that this relationship is facilitated as accurately as possible all pupils undergo NFER Reading and Spelling tests. This data helps to promote differentiation and give clear evidence of the pupil’s attainment level at the point of entry into and exit from the school. The tests are completed annually and intervention in Literacy is given to those who are found to be significantly below the base standard. Though there is no leveled requirement for this; the rule of thumb is that if a pupil has a reading age of less than seven at point of entry they will receive some formal intervention from the pupil progress team.

Year 7
All students will have the opportunity to follow the National Curriculum for English though this may rely heavily on the Primary framework. They will have the chance to study old and new texts such as Shakespeare and Morpurgo. They will look at important historical events and also look at the effect the media has on the world around us. Many students will have the chance for 1:1 intervention in reading and writing. These skills are the cornerstones of our teaching and learning and will offer the greatest chance of progress throughout the students’ time at Atkinson House School. Above all the English Department want our Year 7 students to feel welcome and comfortable in their new school and for them to learn the qualities of resilience and acceptance that will make them proactive learners in the future.

Year 8
Our Year 8 students will study a range of important local and international writers and have the chance to learn about important cultural and social changes. In the autumn, they will re-examine the role of the media and study how heroes are presented by film and other media. Later on in this term they will also study ‘Goodnight, Mr Tom’; a novel about the experiences of a small boy who is evacuated to the country during the Second World War. This title offers the chance for the students to study the effect of the conflict around the traditional time of remembrance. In the spring there will be the chance to study poetry and to study the local drama ‘Purely Belter’. The latter always interests the students as it deals with two boy’s attempts to try and buy football tickets for Newcastle United. In the summer students will study a topic decided by their class teacher. This is designed to focus on individual student’s needs and requirements at that point in the year.
The year 8 students will also have the chance to receive 1:1 intervention in English skills where required.

Year 9
In year 9 the quality and content of the work that we expect from students changes; we assume that by having had the opportunity to learn the cornerstone skills of learning our upper Key Stage 3 students begin to widen their field of study. In programme still has the chance for poetry, drama and a novel but they is a greater focus on the wider context and meaning of texts and the writer’s idea and intentions.  The titles the students’ will be studying include ‘Our Day Out’ by Willie Russell, ‘Millions’ by Frank Cotteril Boyce, ‘Clockwork Mice’ by John Redmond and Caribbean poetry. This year should be seen as a chance to consolidate the cornerstone skills that have been gained in the first two years at school and then to learn how to express their own personal opinion in an articulate and concise manner. Some students will still require intervention for the reading and writing and one lesson a week will remain set aside for private and group reading tasks.

Year 10 and 11
Over the two year course the student will have the opportunity to follow a course study that includes many great learning opportunities. The English Department delivers a programme of study designed to engage pupils through inventive use of ICT, creative ideas and Thinking Skills. In Key stage 4 (year 10 and 11) these skills become essential components in the production of controlled assessments for the GCSE course. Students will have the opportunity to study noted writers of the twentieth century, War Poetry, Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and/or ‘Othello’ and will have the chance to analyse Media texts. There will also be two creative writing units to complete which use a visual and textual stimulus to encourage students to show an emotional response to a character or event. Students’ will complete several focused speaking and listening tasks which will be added to their controlled assessment file as evidence of the progress they have made in this strand of the English National Curriculum.  The aim of this very diverse subject content is twofold; firstly, to get pupils excited about the three strands of English: Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening, secondly to suitably prepare the students for the rigours of an exam series. All students are given the opportunity to study for accreditation in Functional Skills and GCSE English. Some of our pupils have begun a short course in English Language through ASDAN. Our hope is to promote the positive benefits of Literacy through the enriching study of English.
Cross Curricular Literacy

Literacy is given a high profile throughout school. This is done through discreet lessons, staff training, the use of individualized targets and by creating a Literacy-rich classroom environment. The aim behind all of the above is promote Literacy as an entity that is separate from the subject of English and to promote the success that can be achieved by one who is able to use Literacy skills in whatever arena they choose.

All subjects have a requirement to show how they promote Literacy within their teaching and learning. This can be done through staff observations or through notification in an individuals planning.


The importance of mathematics cannot be overstated and we believe that
the life chances of pupils will be greatly enhanced by being able to use the
mathematics they have learned in the real world.

At Atkinson House, we aim to ensure that all pupils:

Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that pupils
develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply
knowledge rapidly and accurately.

Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing
relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument,
justification or proof using mathematical language.

Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of
routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication,
including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and
persevering in seeking solutions.

All pupils at Atkinson House cover the following topics throughout the year:

· Number
· Algebra
· Ratio, proportion and rates of change
· Geometry and measures
· Probability
· Statistics

At Atkinson House, we give pupils a number of opportunities to gain
accreditation in maths to help them to achieve their potential. All year
9 pupils will complete an Entry Level Certificate in mathematics. Pupils
in years 10 and 11 have the opportunity to study towards achieving
both Functional Skills level 1 & 2 as well as a GCSE in mathematics.


Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 follow a curriculum which covers all three aspects in Science; Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Year 7:

They have been investigating the different types of materials found, whether they are natural or synthetic and there uses, especially in everyday life.

This coming term the programme will concentrate on the “human body”, investigating how we work, operate and some of our systems.

Year 8:

The class has been concentrating on cells and the introduction of genetics, which will be covered at a more in depth level at Key stage 4.

Year 8 will now be focussing on the solar system over the coming months, establishing how the system was formed, the planets in the system, orbits and natural satellites.

Year 9:

The previous term both year 9 classes have focussed on the reactions of metals and the products of these reactions.

We have also had in depth discussions/work on electricity, and how is it generated, the different types of fuels used in power stations and the alternatives, “renewable sources”. This area is important and will be completed at the beginning of the summer term.

Following on, the classes will look at how the body can be affected by diet, alcohol and drugs. The final topics will then be completed concerning forces and gravity.

Before the Summer ends they will have been introduced to the key stage 4 programme, which include areas which need to be covered and what is to be expected.

Key Stage 4

Year 10:

Both year 10 classes have continued with the key stage 4 programme and have completed work on the structure of atoms, crude oil and how it is refined into different types of fuels, including their uses.

The focus for the spring term will be types of forces, “work” and “power”.

During the summer term, they will investigate forces and the types of waves in relationship to light and sound.


Both year 11 classes are consolidating previously taught topics, e.g. the production of electricity, non-renewable and renewable fuels and non-renewable energy, cells, chemical reactions, etc. The students will be entered for their Entry Level Certificate or GCSE.

After Easter, the revision starts in earnest for the GCSE exams.

Feedback is given verbally, written or a combination of both with positive targets set in order to progress achievement.    

Useful Websites

Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4
BBC Bitesize Science KS3

BBC Bitesize Science – GCSE Biology

BBC Bitesize Science – GCSE Chemistry

BBC Bitesize Science – GCSE Physics

Design Technology

The Design Technology Department aims to allow students to combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking enabling them to design and make products. We aim to equip students with the skills to think creatively, be socially, morally and environmentally aware and solve problems as individuals, in pairs and as team members. Students will also be provided with the opportunity to develop their confidence in using a wide range of tools and equipment.

As a department we aim to contribute to the whole school policy of providing students with a broad and balanced curriculum which will equip them with skills that they can use in the future and prepare them for today’s world of rapidly changing technology


The Curriculum

The DT curriculum consists of two areas, Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.The departmental approach is essentially based on the concept of ”Technology for all” and aims to challenge pupils to design and make creative products.

At KS3 we try to develop the students’ confidence and ability through lots of individual focussed practical tasks with a limited amount of paperwork being completed. Pupils are encouraged to self evaluate and peer evaluate. Confidence in their individual practical abilities and teamwork are important areas that we are keen to develop for the group.  This leads onto more evidence based activities such as the Entry Level Certificate.

Year 7 topics

  • Health & Safety. Workshop Practices.
    • Handling Tools/Awareness
    • Boat Project
    • Jigsaw Project
    • Woodwork Principles – Joints
    • Review Marking Out.
    • Design and Make Principles.
    • Designing for Markets / Metal work
    • Basic Electronics
    • Steady Hand Games
    • Xmas Theme/Fair
    • Entry Level Certificate Awareness

Year 8 topics

  • Health & Safety. Workshop Practices.
    • Handling Tools/Awareness
    • Woodwork Principles – Joints
    • Review Marking Out.
    • Box/Container Manufacture
    • Design and Make Principles.
    • Coat Hook/Metal work
    • Basic Electronics
    • Vacuum Forming
    • Packaging
    • Xmas Theme/Fair

Year 9 topics

  • Health & Safety. Review
    • Jigsaw Project
    • Handling Tools/Awareness
    • Woodwork Principles.
    • Review Marking Out.
    • Box/Container Manufacture
    • Design and Make Principles.
    • Designing for Markets / Metal work
    • Further Electronics
    • Steady Hand / Thyristors
    • Plastic Key Fobs
    • Graphical Techniques

At KS4 we look to develop the practical abilities and design concept; leading to the Short Course GCSE in Resistant Materials.

The curriculum from January 2018 to April 2018 will be as follows;

Year 7 – Product Design incorporating basic electronics and packaging.

Year8 – Further electronics; looking at latching devices and timers.

Year9 – Entry Level Certificate – Product Evaluation

Physical Education

At Atkinson House School we teach a dynamic PE curriculum covering:

FUNdamental Play and ABCs – Year 7

Engagement, Enjoyment & Gameplay – Year 8

Transition – Year 9

Active Lifestyle Hobby Development & BTEC – Key Stage

Find out more about what is involved at each stage and how we deliver the activities


National Curriculum Computing – Key Stages 2 and 3 (for Years 7, 8 and 9)

Pupils will be taught to:

  • design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts;
  • use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output;
  • use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs;
  • understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration;
  • use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content;
  • select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information; and
  • use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.

Vocational ICT for Years 10, 11 and 12

NOCN Level 1 or 2 Award in IT User Skills (ITQ)

The ITQ qualifications will allow pupils to acquire IT skills that will help them work effectively and productively in their future studies, apprenticeships or employment.

Atkinson House School offers a wide choice of units, including office-based applications, IT security, and IT maintenance.  The ITQ offers a flexible route to achieve the skills needed for future studies, apprenticeships and work.  It is a tailored programme that can meet individual pupil needs.

Pupils will have the opportunity to achieve an Award (1 to 12 credits), Certificate (13 to 36 credits), or a Diploma (37 credits and above).

Curriculum Map – Years 10 and 12

Autumn Term


Spreadsheet Software

Spring Term

Improving Productivity Using ICT

Database Software

Summer Term

Database Software

Portfolio Building

Curriculum Map – Years 11 and 13

Autumn Term

E-Safety Update

Presentation Software

Spring Term

Word Processing Software

Summer Term

Finalise Outstanding Assessments

Portfolio Building

Useful Internet Links to use at Home

All these links are useful and safe to use at home.  By allowing your child to install/use at home you aid their technological development.  Simply click on link below!



Kodu Scratch (Cloud) Stencyl PythonTeachICT  Codeavengers Hackasaurus

Business IT

Prezi  Tux typing TouchTyping Google Drive Google Docs Open Office


Audacity PixlrSketchup GimpSerif


The study of geography stimulates an interest in and a sense of wonder about places. It helps young people make sense of a complex and dynamically changing world. It explains where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected. It builds on pupils’ own experiences to investigate places at all scales, from the personal to the global.

Key Stage 3
Year 7 topics

  • Gambia & School Links
  • Making Connections
  • Eathquakes & Volcanoes
  • People Everywhere
  • Flood Disaster – How people Cope?
  • Exploring England
  • World Sport

Year 8

  • Gambia & School Links
  • Rivers
  • Coastal Environments
  • Shopping – Past Present & Future
  • Weather Patterns over Europe
  • Investigating Brazil
  • Images of a Country
  • Can the Earth Cope?
  • Crime and the Local Community

Year 9

  • Gambia & School Links
  • What is development?
  • The global fashion industry
  • Tourism – Good or Bad?
  • Comparing Countries
  • Local Action Global Effect
  • Passport to the World

We aim to offer pupils the opportunity to learn and use French as a foreign language effectively for purposes of practical communication, to develop an awareness of the nature of language and language learning, to develop pupils’ understanding of themselves and their own culture and to offer insights into the culture and civilisation of the countries where a given language is spoken.

At Key Stage 3 students follow a scheme of work which caters for a wide range of abilities and ensures that there is a comprehensive coverage of all five strands of the MFL Framework:

• Words – teaching students to practise the meaning, spelling and sound of French words together.
• Sentences – teaching students how to write simple grammatically correct sentences.
• Texts: reading and writing – teaching students how to understand and write more complex texts using connectives, pronouns and tenses.
• Listening and speaking – linking listening and speaking to help students speak more accurately and authentically.
• Cultural knowledge and contact – giving students the opportunity to learn about the country and other countries which speak the language.

The curriculum from January 2018 to April 2018 will be as follows;

Year 7 will be studying houses and locations, rooms and furniture.  They will also be looking at family, pets and exchanging information about families. 

Year 8 will be studying towns, buildings and learning how to give and follow directions.  They will also be looking at clothing and weather forecasts.

Year 9 will be completing their Entry Level portfolio.  The unit this term is Media.

The curriculum from May 2018 to July 2018 will be as follows;

Year 7 will be studying and completing houses and locations.  They will then move onto studying food and drink.

Year 8 will be studying clothing and weather.

Year 9 will be studying towards their AQA qualification.

Food Technology

In Food Technology students follow a practical, hands-on, broad curriculum aimed at developing their kitchen skills.  Health and safety and healthy eating underpin the whole course and dishes include pizza, chilli, shortbread, pasties and curry.  All students will gain a valuable life skill.



In PHSE students explore how issues affect themselves, and people involved in what is being studied. For example, lessons will include areas of drugs awareness and students will investigate how drugs could affect them and how they have affected others.

Following this, students are encouraged to not only be aware of the impact of the areas of study on themselves but also to see things from another perspective. They may research how elderly care affects the older person and also how others are involved in this area for example care home employees.

Students can then study towards understanding their role and the role of others and begin to see the issues from the perspective of how it affects a, or many, communities and how these communities respond to that. This could be in the area of politics when they examine how taxes are collected and used and how this benefits the community as a whole, analysing the impact on groups within the community.

Some students may progress as far as developing and applying leadership skills to their understanding of communities and the issues within them. They will identify problems within communities and suggest solutions to these.

The aim of PHSE here is to equip students with the skills, knowledge and understanding of their place in the world, their connection to others and their communities and also to build the skills of those destined for leadership roles be it in the school community, business, the local area, government or within their own home.

The curriculum from January 2018 to April 2018 will be as follows;

Year 9 will be studying forms of prejudice and conflict, the causes of stress and how to cope with them and emotional well being.

Year 11 will be studying Healthy Living, looking at diet, exercise, eating disorders and improving heart and liver function.

The curriculum from May 2018 to July 2018 will be as follows;

Year 9 will be studying how to stay safe.

Year 11 will be working towards completing their Level 1 Award.

Religious Education

Religious Education provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.  It develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions and other world views.

It enhances pupils’ awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures

Key Stage 3

Throughout Key Stage 3, pupils extend their understanding of Christianity and the other five principal religions in a local, national and global context. 

• They apply their understanding of religious and philosophical beliefs, teachings and practices to a range of ultimate questions and ethical issues, with a focus on self-awareness, relationships, rights and responsibilities.
• They enquire into and explain some personal, philosophical, theological and cultural reasons for similarities and differences in religious beliefs and values, both within and between religions.
• They interpret religious texts and other sources, recognising both the power and limitations of language and other forms of communication in expressing ideas and beliefs.
• They reflect on the impact of religion and belief in the world, considering both the importance of inter-faith dialogue and the tensions that exist within and between religions and beliefs.
• They develop their evaluative skills, showing reasoned and balanced viewpoints when considering their own and others’ responses to religious, philosophical and spiritual issues.

Key Stage 4

Throughout this phase, students analyse and interpret a wide range of religious, philosophical and ethical concepts in increasing depth. 

• They investigate issues of diversity within and between religions and the ways in which religion and spirituality are expressed in philosophy, ethics, science and the arts.
• They expand and balance their evaluations of the impact of religions on individuals, communities and societies, locally, nationally and globally.
• They understand the importance of dialogue between and among different religions and beliefs.
• They gain a greater understanding of how religion and belief contribute to community cohesion, recognising the various perceptions people have regarding the roles of religion in the world.