The Oswaldtwistle School Curriculum Rationale

Our curriculum sits at the heart of our Oswaldtwistle school life and is the key driver behind the quality of education our students receive and the experiences they gain. It’s clear intent is specific to our context and the vulnerable nature of the students we work with.


Whole School Curriculum Intent – Our distinctive features

  • Central to the curriculum is the development of our students' personal, social and emotional skills; their personal well-being and safety.  This is viewed, by all staff and stakeholders, as a vital component of our provision and is an important feature of both the KS3 and KS4 curriculum. We also appreciate that many of our students have very poor literacy & numeracy skills which in many cases underlies their inability to access the mainstream curriculum. As such literacy and numeracy are fervently promoted by all staff and intervention work features prominently in this area.


Whole School Offer – Our distinctive features

At both KS3 and 4 their curriculum experience is complimented by an additional programme of intervention Nurture sessions for targeted students and booster sessions in maths and literacy for students who have fallen behind. These consist of Bespoke Literacy Intervention, Specialised SEND interventions, Ninja Numeracy and Literacy, Individual Key Worker Sessions for every student and Mentoring for specific students.

Weekly Personal Development sessions participated in by all students; these allow students to look at strategies to help them with their social emotional needs. The meetings are between the student and their key worker and allow us to work closely with each individual in terms of their social, emotional wellbeing. A network of mentoring and counselling also acts as another layer of support for our students.




 Our KS4 Curriculum intent – We have a Main Site on which we-

  • Offer a balanced, accessible and relevant range of learning experiences for all students in an attempt to help each student to reach their potential.
  • Know our students; their strengths, interests and ‘needs’, so as to ensure they receive the most appropriate provision.
  •  Provide our students with the most up to date information, advice and guidance on post 16 opportunities in the local area, in an attempt to help secure meaningful destinations for them upon leaving The Oswaldtwistle  School in year 11.
  •  Develop our students not just as learners, but as well-rounded young people who can move on to their next destination with confidence and succeed.
  •  Promote British Values and pupils' SMSC development so as to prepare them for life in modern Britain.




Our Key Stage 4 Curriculum Offer – Main Site

Our aim of the Key Stage 4 curriculum is to maximise the chances of our students engaging positively in education, employment or training upon leaving The Oswaldtwistle Shool. On entry students are interviewed in terms of their aspirations and future career intentions, this along with their current academic standing, is then used to identify the most appropriate Learning Pathway; Academic, Vocational or Combination. (See appendix 1)

Our KS4 Core curriculum

  • Literacy and Numeracy: we place great emphasis on these in all subject areas and, for some students, targeted intervention is also offered. GCSE/Functional Mathematics and English occupy a large part of the timetable.
  • Science is also a part of the core offer and is available to study either as a single GCSE in Human Biology or as a dual award GCSE in combined science.


Our KS4 Foundation curriculum

The core curriculum is complimented by a range of accredited courses. Our Learning Pathways allow individual students to choose 3 courses, depending on their individual needs and interests, these include:

  • GCSE Citizenship
  • GCSE Art
  • GCSE Half- Course PE
  • GCSE Religious Studies
  • BTEC Construction
  • BTEC Health and Social Care
  • BTEC Looking after Children
  • BTEC Land Based Studies
  • BTEC Outdoor Education/Sports Studies
  • Princes Trust accredited units in PSD-(Personal, Social Development)

In addition all students access one Well Being class a week, one Citizenship lesson and a double PE lesson.

Information, Advice and Guidance: We go to great lengths to help our students to find the right post 16 destinations and stay in touch with all our leavers for the whole of their first year in post 16, tracking their progress and supporting them when needed.

Enrichment: An Enrichment programme takes place every Friday afternoon which gives students the opportunity to engage in a variety of activities including boxing, cooking, hair and beauty and woodwork.




Our Key stage 3 Curriculum Intent – On our main site we:

  •  Prepare KS3 pupils for a reintegration back in to a mainstream school or other appropriate educational centre
  •  Assess all pupils to identify additional needs & make appropriate and relevant referrals to support pupils on their return to school
  • Give pupils an opportunity to address the reasons why they are no longer in their previous school & to demonstrate that they are in a position to return to a mainstream environment
  • Support schools & pupils to give them the best opportunity to make a successful transition
  • Promote British Values and pupils' SMSC development so as to prepare them for life in modern Britain.



Our Key Stage 3 Curriculum Offer – main site

All our students are assessed on entry(various baseline assessments and information gathering) so that we have an understanding of their capabilities and needs. We also look at data from their previous schools to see what levels they have achieved and subsequently place them in one of our two KS3 groups; Pendle that comprises students who will be returning to mainstream education, and Winter that comprises students who present with more challenging needs, thus making a move into a special school environment more likely.



Our students in Pendle study a broad and varied curriculum,

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • Humanities
  • Art
  • Citizenship 
  • Well Being
  • Design & Technology
  • Physical Education
  • Outdoor education



Our students in Winter study the following subjects in line with Pendle,

  •  Maths
  • English
  • Well Being
  • Design & Technology
  • Physical Education
  • Forest Schools

The remainder of Winter’s timetable is devoted to the development of personal, social and emotional skills through Project Based Approach to Learning, underpinned by the principles of Nurture. It incorporates elements of science and the humanities with Art being central to its delivery. PIVATS and Personal Development Skills provide the framework for assessment for this component of the Winter curriculum.

Enrichment: An Enrichment programme takes place every Friday afternoon which gives students the opportunity to engage in a variety of activities including boxing, cooking, hair and beauty and woodwork.


On Our ‘Heys’ Site we offer a Bespoke Medical provision (KS3 and KS4) for Students

Our Curriculum Intent – Medical specific at The Heys

  • Our aim at our Medical provision is to ensure that all children who are referred to us by ELCAS are properly supported in terms of their physical and mental health, and can play a full and active role in school life and achieve their academic potential.


  • In support of the above all school leaders and teaching staff are aware of the each student’s condition and consult with health and social care professionals and parents to ensure that their needs are properly understood and effectively supported.


The Intent of The Heys Provison is the same ethos as the Intent for KS3 and 4 on the mainsite


Our  Medical Curriculum Offer

All students in both KS3 and KS4 study the following subjects.

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • Art
  • Citizenship 
  • Well Being
  • Physical Education

KS4 –GCSE maths, GCSE English, GCSE Science (Dual Award), plus GCSE Citizenship, GCSE Art, PE, well-being and Information, Advice and Guidance.


Our College Provision

Some of our year 11 students may wish to embark on a college course and there is an option to enrol with Accrington and Rossendale College to study a L1 vocational qualification and GCSE/Functional skills English and Maths. This is in an area of their choice or interest that we cannot provide onsite e.g. Travel and Tourism, Hair and Beauty or Catering.


Our Alternative Provision

Our Alternative Provision Intent –  To help individual students to identify and modify the behaviours that stand between them and their primary provision, with the aim being for them to return to this provision.

Our Alternative Provision Offer

A very small number of our students struggle to engage with their allocated provision and we provide a bespoke provision that is more suited to their needs and involves them either meeting daily with a member of staff for 1:1 tuition at the Civic Hall or small group tuition at The Hippings. This is always a temporary time-limited (usually 4-6 weeks) provision that is reviewed with students, parents/carers and staff regularly. Numeracy and literacy form the backbone of this offer along with targeted intervention to help remove the barriers that are stopping the student from being able to access their primary provision. In some instances students may find themselves accessing this provision for a longer period of time and if this is the case they will commence studies in BTEC Personal Development.




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