Curriculum Aims

Gateshead BSS intends to engage students who have often been disengaged from school through an interesting curriculum. It is intended to help students feel a sense of achievement and success. Practical approaches to learning are used frequently, including learning outside of the classroom. In KS3 we follow the aims of the National Curriculum in English, mathematics and science and programmes in humanities, creative arts and design so that students can re-engage with school whenever possible. In KS4 the curriculum aims to prepare students for work or further study through building certificated success in all courses – click on the Curriculum Pathways header for details of our different pathways. Developing the resilience and personal effectiveness of all students is a priority aim and will be supported by a programme of PSHE.  Where necessary, addition programmes are used to address particular needs such as drug/substance misuse, anger management or personal safety.


The way we grade our students in education is changing nationally from 2016. In KS3 we are moving towards a system where assessment will be made without levels and at KS4 grades A*-G are being replaced with grades 1-9 where 9 is the highest level of attainment and 1 is the lowest.

In order to make sure our assessment methods for our students are robust and effective, we have designed our new “Stepping Up” assessment system across our core subjects of English, Maths and Science. Each subject has created Step Up Ladders for the various topics in their subjects.  The steps are linked to the different levels of skill students will need to acquire throughout each topic.  At the beginning of the topic, students will make a baseline self-assessment of what they feel they already know, and then complete a reflective assessment with teacher guidance at the end of the topic, showing how they have progressed.  For example a student may start the “Volume” topic in maths on Step 1, but by the end of that child’s teaching, they may be on a Step 5, showing four steps of progress. This enables us to see what skills the students have not achieved or are still struggling with, allowing us to quickly and effectively intervene. It also gives us a much more personalised and detailed subject picture for each individual student.

Overall progress will be reported to parents in the usual way, through reports and parents evenings. If you have any questions or concerns about this new system, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with Mrs Adele Brown or Victoria Tipling (for students at InLearning)

For further curriculum information/enquiries please contact:

Mr Rhidian Nugent (Assistant Head Teacher) on 0191 4200606

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