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, we believe strongly in equipping our students with the literacy skills they will need to thrive in their futures. This includes the basic elements of reading and writing skills, as well as inspiring students to read for pleasure and enjoy literature.

The schemes of work follow the National Curriculum requirements and allow students to follow a pathway from developing basic literacy skills, to the opportunity to achieve nationally recognised qualifications.

All students are given baseline assessments on entry to the school to ascertain their level of ability, and classes are designed and delivered to target the students’ areas of need. Students are assessed in Reading and Writing on a half termly basis in order to track progress closely, identify areas of need and set challenging but achievable targets.

We strive to ensure that all of our students leave us as independent readers and writers and can apply these skills in a range of settings.

Year 7
As many of our students join us having had periods of absence from school, a strong focus in Year 7 is to ensure any gaps in knowledge are identified and addressed. This means ensuring that the basic skills are a key focus in this year. We believe in creating a strong foundation in the basic literacy skills from which students can build towards gaining qualifications in later years. Students receive dedicated SPaG lessons and weekly spelling tests, which are tailored to their needs and linked to the primary National Curriculum. They will study fiction and non-fiction writing and explore a contemporary novel, a Shakespeare play and a range of poetry.

Year 8

As with Year 7, a key area of the Year 8 curriculum is to ensure that any gaps in basic knowledge and skills are addressed, as many of our students join is in this year group. Students are given the opportunity to help to close any gaps in learning in relation their mainstream peers. The focus on building a strong foundation continues and students continue to receive dedicated and tailored SPag lessons, alongside the study of different styles and forms of writing. Students also study a contemporary play, a Shakespeare play and poetry from WW1.

 Year 9

Once students move into Year 9, they begin to receive the opportunity to achieve nationally recognised qualifications. They will work towards the Step Up to English Entry Level Qualification; this requires students to produce a range of independent written tasks and respond to texts, analysing language, form and layout, and using the skills of comprehension, inference and deduction. This qualification also includes a Speaking and Listening element in which students will take part in group discussions and produce their own short presentations. In order to continue to develop enjoyment of reading for pleasure, students will also study a novel and a play during this year. Any students who require further support will continue to receive dedicated intervention throughout the year.

Year 10 and 11
Throughout Years 10 and 11 students are given the opportunity to work towards Functional Skills Level 1 and 2, alongside GCSE English Language. Functional Skills is more practically based and looks at real life situations and non-fiction texts, students will study how to write a range of different texts effectively and use persuasive devices and effective, powerful language. They will also continue to study how other texts are presented and constructed and develop the skills to extract information and comment upon the effects of language.

GCSE English further develops writing skills to make writers competent and effective in fiction and non-fiction writing, deploying a range of devices and considering audience, purpose and form. The reading element looks at both fiction and non-fiction texts and develops students’ skills in exploring and commenting upon implicit and explicit meaning, alongside responding to and explaining the effects of language, grammar and structure. Students will also develop the skills to compare and contrast different elements of texts.

Both qualifications also include a Speaking and Listening element through which students will study appropriate levels of formality, effective use of tone and language, and presenting themselves clearly effectively.

As with all other year groups, regular assessment points ensure that any additional help that is required is delivered to students through tailored lesson planning and intervention.

Cross Curricular Literacy

As literacy underpins many areas of life and is vital for our students to have successful futures, we believe that key elements of reading and writing should be included across the curriculum. Staff training is delivered to ensure that all staff feel comfortable in assisting students to write independent, extended pieces and have the opportunity to read and respond to texts relevant to the subject area. Staff also ensure that students are comfortable with a range of key spellings that are of high frequency in each subject area, thus building the students’ skillset.


At Atkinson House we recognise that some of our students may have additional needs in relation to reading and writing, alongside needing catch up time due to absences from school. Therefore, we use half-termly assessment to identify areas of need for students and deploy intervention packages. These take the form of short, high frequency sessions across a half term, during dedicated time so that students are not removed from any other subject content. Students are then re-assessed to track progress and determine if intervention is still required.

As we recognise that students have different learning preferences, there are a range of different options that can be used for intervention. We like to focus on making learning enjoyable and use the online program Literacy Planet, which takes the form of games and quests to develop reading skills. We also use Teaching Reading using Games (TRUGS) cards as part of these sessions to develop skills in a non-intimidating and enjoyable way. Intervention takes place in our new, dedicated Intervention space, which creates a non-threatening and safe space for students to develop their skills.


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.

In year 8 students initially work on the basic calculation skills of adding, subtracting, dividing and multiplying whilst gaining an appreciation for other forms of values, such as decimals, fractions and percentages. Once they have a grasp of this, they will begin to convert fractions, decimals and percentages…and even add them up!

Students also look at handling data, using averages to determine sports performance by working out statistics like which student had the best ‘goals per game ratio’ at a football tournament. They use graphs to plot the success of the school’s cake sale – when did the cakes sell the quickest? What might be the reason for this? How much profit was made once costs were factored in?

Students explore shape, space and measure by looking at buildings and household objects to gain a deeper understanding of 3-D shapes and comparing them with 2-D shapes. What shape is a cereal box? A football? A glue stick? What does 3-D actually stand for? The angles of shapes are explored so that students are confident in measuring and identifying angles, including angles of rotation. How many degrees do you rotate when you do a somersault on a trampoline? Or a tail-whip on a scooter? They look at the area and perimeter of basic shapes by measuring the dimensions of the surrounding tennis courts and football pitches before working out the area & perimeter of composite shapes when they look at the most expensive 1-bedroom apartment in Newcastle!

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:

In year 8 students cover all three elements of the science curriculum – biology, chemistry and physics.

In biology students classify plants and animals, defining what it is to be a ‘species’ and using sets of rules to differentiate between various species, such as fish, mammals and crustaceans. Students look at our circulatory system, its structure and function, and how we can make it more efficient by changing the way we live our lives (smokers pay attention!). This leads onto the next topic on ‘drug abuse and the body’, where students explore the effects of various drugs on different parts of the body. Genetics, evolution and lifestyle is explored so that the students gain a grasp of what qualities we are born with, what environmental factors are involved and how much we can change about ourselves. Why are elephants being born without tusks in Africa? Why did moths in London change colour during the industrial revolution? Why can one twin be fat and another one thin?

In physics students look at our world in context, where does it sit in the solar system? Where does our solar system fit in the universe? How big is the universe? How long have we been here for? They then look at our planet and its immediate surroundings, what does an Earth day and an Earth year represent? What do we use the International Space Station o the Hubble telescope for? What is it actually like being an astronaut in outer space? Forces are explored by looking at how an F1 car stays on the track when it goes round a bend at 100mph, why a bowling ball and a feather dropped from 20m in NASA’s zero gravity chamber will hit the floor at the same time and why planes have wings.

In chemistry we look at materials and their properties, categorising them before looking at why particular ones seem to be used for the same purpose all the time. Why is rubber used in tyres so much? Why is steel used so much in buildings these days? We look at states of matter to distinguish between gas, liquid and solid. What does the molecules in each look like? How do they change their state? Is ice cream a liquid or a solid? What about jelly? We look at the rules that decide these things!

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.

Year 7 topics

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

Year 8 topics

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

Year 9 topics

  • Health & Safety. Review
    • Handling Tools/Awareness
    • Woodwork Principles.
    • Review Marking Out.
    • Box/Container Manufacture
    • Design and Make Principles.
    • Further Electronics
    • Graphical Techniques

At KS4 we look to develop the practical abilities further, with opportunities to make products of their choice.


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 & GCSE / ELC Key Stage 4

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
Community Work Team

West Moor Community Centre

We were asked by the community centre if we could dig a pond out for their bio-diversity area. The students loved this project as it was hands on work and labour intensive. The students were very professional in their approach to the project. They completed this project with ease and dedication, some even giving up their rewards on a Friday to go and finish the project. The community centre was really pleased with the finished product.

Lynemouth Park View .

We were asked by Karbon Homes if we could come and have a look at the community gardens at Lynemouth Park View Sheltered accommodation. We arranged a consultation day and took the Community Work Team to meet the residents. Prior to this meeting Myself and Mr Forster spoke to the students about what we could do in the garden , aiming at sensory and colour inspiration in our design. The residents were really pleased with what we suggested, and impressed with the behaviour and attitude of the Community Work team.

West Farm community help .

This is our next project. We have been asked to clear a garden of all plants and paving apart from the main pathway. The students came up with different designs. I showed these to the client. So our task once we have cleared the garden is to. Lay membrane with gravel on top and pave a small seating area, where a bench can be placed and areas for colourful plant pots with seasonal planting in.

Remembrance ,Memorial Garden.

2018 marks a hundred years since the end of WW1.To commemorate this; our community work team thought it would be nice to design and hopefully get to build a remembrance garden. This is still in the design stage and we run sessions where we have been writing letters to potential locations for our garden and potential suppliers and sponsors . The design we have so far looks amazing and everyone is contributing to the sessions.

Areas of the curriculum covered……..

Maths -Measuring, and costing up to stay in budget.

English -writing letters and descriptive language.

Science- learning about plant growth and horticulture.

PE- Physical Work & Manual Handling.

Geography- learning about the local .

History- WW1

PSCHE– learning about loss, remembrance and how to deal with it.

Engaging & communicating with the public.

Construction- learning a wide range of skills and safety.

MVM – Basic Machine Maintenance .

Food Technology

Food Technology, over a student’s life at school, will offer a broad based knowledge of cooking incorporating over 200 recipes from around the world. They will learn how to work in a kitchen using equipment that is there competently and safely.  They will learn how to plan and cook meals independently that will help them when they eventually leave school.    They will also be offered the opportunity to again nationally recognised certificates in food hygiene levels 1 and 2 that could help them gain employment in the catering industry.

Year 7: Pupils will be introduced into the kitchen, how it is laid out and the equipment they will be using.  They will be taught how to use equipment safely while also learning basic cooking skills.  Over the year they will learn basic cooking skills.  Over the year they will learn basic home cooking and build up their confidence over time.  During the summer term the pupils will be sitting Level 1 Food Hygiene.

Year 8: Pupils will spend this year building on their home cooking skills that will encompass a full range of baking and cooking techniques.

Year 9: Pupils this year will further enhance their home cooking skills.  They will be taught about the benefits of healthy eating and how to achieve this.

Year 10: Pupils will be taught this year how to cook independently with a range of meals.  They will learn how to prepare these meals on a budget that could help them in the future.

Year 11: Pupils will continue with independent cooking learning how to prepare nutritious and healthy meals.  During the latter part of the year the pupils will be sitting Level 2 Food Hygiene.



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.

Course Available & Accreditation
GCSE : Maths, English, Science, Physical Education, STEM
Functional Skills

Level 1

Maths & English
Functional Skills

Level 2

Maths & English
Entry Level Certificate Physical Education, English (Step Up), Science
Unit Award Scheme Physical Education, Human Biology, Humanities
Duke of Edinburgh


Bronze, Silver
Food Hygiene Level 1 & 2
ONE Award (NOCN) ICT  – Level 1

Award & Certificate

ONE Award (NOCN) Vocational Studies

Level 1

Award & Certificate

ONE Award (NOCN) Developing Skills for Employment

Level 1

Award & Certificate