Find out all about our curriculum pathways at Northern Counties School.

The curriculum at Northern Counties School adopts a child centred approach and is arranged into flexible pathways; EYFS pathway, pre-formal pathway, informal pathway, semi-formal pathway, formal pathway, Key Stage 4.

Each of these pathways has its own teaching and learning approach which is then made bespoke to each child according to their need, ability and interest. These pathways have an element of flexibility meaning that some students are able to move through the models offering challenge and ambition for all learners.

The curriculum is taught through a thematic approach to ensure our learners are motivated, engaged, and excited about their learning journeys in order for them to succeed and reach their potential.

Our Pathways

EYFS Pathway

These learners experience an immersive play and learning environment. 1:1 staff encourage child led learning and exploration with a focus on developing enquiry skills and a love of learning. 

Pre-formal Pathway

These learners experience a wide range of cognitive, physical and medical needs and require at least 1:1 support. Their communication is often pre-intentional, and through staff responses we develop more purposeful interactions. Focus is on building skills for learners to be able to make choices, build relationships and exert control to enhance their quality of life.

Informal Pathway

These learners follow a ‘flow of the day’ approach to the curriculum, supported by staff usually on a 1:1 basis, sometimes a 2:1 ratio initially.  These learners are developing their relationships and joint attention.  Focus is on pupils making choices to enable them to access a wide range of learning opportunities.

Semi-formal Pathway

These learners take part in a broad, balanced and varied timetable.  Many learners may need 1:1 adult support to keep safe and may need to learn about environmental and situational dangers.  Communication may be verbal, but is supported in a Total Communication environment.  The continuity of staying with one teacher for most of the day helps reduce anxiety around many environmental changes and transitions.

Formal Pathway

The learners in the Formal pathway are learning to be self-reliant, manage everyday situations and resolve issues with more independence.  They will face individual challenges  and perform at a lower-level than age-related peers in a mainstream school.

Post-14 Pathway

These learners focus on developing the skills required to maximise their quality of life and independence when they leave school. They are encouraged to explore options and make choices, identifying interests and skills they wish to develop and in  preparation for applying their skills within post-16.

Post-16 Pathway

Integrating within the local community and exploring the world outside of  school is a key part of the post-16 curriculum. Opportunities are provided to participate in learning within a community context including using public transport, accessing local services and participating in work experience. These learners are preparing to move on to the next stage of their  lives and are prepared for this through individual transition plans. 

Thematic Curriculum

2022-2023 Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Cycle 1
Festivals and Celebrations Musicals Super Humans Potions, lotions and explosions Our Community The Sea, shipwrecks and treasure
2023-2024 Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Cycle 2 Once Upon a time... The Ancient World Where we live - The North East Inventions and Inventors Myths, Stories and Legends Olympics
2024-2025 Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Cycle 3 Wonderful world of Roald Dahl Trains planes and automobiles Where we live - The UK On Safari Food glorious food All the world's a stage

Our Facilities

“Capable environments support individuals effectively, by providing the best settings to support positive interactions and opportunities.” BILD 2015.

Find our more about the facilities at Northern Counties School.

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