Key Stages & Education

We provide a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum for pupils studying at Key Stages 3 & 4 with an emphasis on our pupils developing basic skills in Literacy and Numeracy. To support and enhance learning experiences we also provide enrichment activities through educational visits and field trips.

We believe in encouraging pupil’s self-esteem, which is often low when they start with us, by ensuring the curriculum and tasks set are challenging yet achievable, thus enabling them to further succeed and develop.

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Building Relationships

The high aspirations of our staff and their ability to genuinely connect with each pupil ensures that every learner feels supported, cared for and accepted. This approach enables pupils to progress socially and emotionally and go on to achieve a range of awards and qualifications. All this results in pupils looking forward to the next chapter of their lives with increased knowledge, experience and skills.

This ethos of building strong relationships also extends to the parents and carers of our pupils, who we work in partnership with to deliver the desired outcomes for their child.

Nurture Class

Transitioning from primary to secondary school is challenging for any young person and can become a barrier to learning. Our Key Stage 3 nurture classes provide a safe place for pupils to adapt to the change and seamlessly transition to the next chapter in education.

The dedicated classes are staffed by highly experienced staff who, for the majority of subjects, follow and teach the national curriculum. To help with the transition and to enable pupils to be at ease and feel comfortable subjects, such as PE, Art, Design Technology and IT, are taught by subject specialists in their dedicated classrooms, giving pupils the opportunity to interact with other teachers and explore their new surroundings.

The concept of the nurture class is underpinned by a therapeutic diet designed for pupils to self-regulate and access support throughout the academic year. The carefully structured setting steadily helps our pupils to transition to Year 8 and beyond, allowing them to make academic progress, as well as develop both personally and socially.

Outdoor Education

To gain an appreciation of the outdoors, pupils access outdoor education where they are given weekly opportunities to explore new activities in and around the local area and the North West. The school is in close proximity to Rivington Pike, a local landmark and part of the West Pennine Moors, which is steeped in history and is the perfect setting for walks. Whilst taking part in outdoor education, pupils can participate in a range of activities, including:

Activities include:

  • Climbing
  • Canoeing
  • Bushcraft
  • Cycling
  • Survival skills

Working together to tackle tasks, pupils develop a range of skills that are easily transferable into many aspects of their lives, including the classroom and their home environment. Participating in new and exciting activities enable pupils to take calculated risks that empower them, resulting in increased confidence and intrigue for their next challenge.

Working as part of a team also helps pupils to develop and sustain relationships with peers and teachers, so that they are able to work effectively and master new skills to complete tasks.

Our Therapeutic Support

We provide young people with unrivalled levels of therapeutic support, both in terms of the expertise and experience of our in-school staff and the wide range of therapies offered.

Our Therapeutic Approach

As required, young people have the support of our Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Counsellors, Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists.
Our commitment to delivering outstanding therapeutic support to all young people is based on attachment principles. We believe that unless a young person is able to feel emotionally secure they are less likely to fulfil their personal, social and educational potential.
Our unique approach to supporting young people allows us to achieve uniquely outstanding outcomes, which in turn enable our young people to go on to realise a future filled with aspiration and achievement.

Our Commitment to Therapeutic Support

We have an extensive Clinical Team, who are able to offer our young people within our school a truly personalised and comprehensive package of therapeutic support.

We will ensure that every young person develops resilience and releases their potential by providing the appropriate clinical support for their social, emotional and mental health needs.
We will make a young person ‘whole’ by supporting them to develop the competencies and abilities to help them become a capable young adult.
We will completely integrate the delivery of therapeutic support.
We will operate a direct delivery model of therapy offering universal services targeted to the needs of individual children and young people.


Our staff have a wealth of experience and qualifications in teaching and caring for pupils with Special Educational Needs. They have also received training from Witherslack Group’s Clinical Team, which includes clinical psychologists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and mental health practitioners.

Teachers and teaching assistants are extremely well equipped in providing appropriate support to meet the needs of our pupils and establish a positive and engaging learning environment. The education staff consists of a stable and experienced team and the professional development of teachers and teaching assistants is supported through regular internal and external training. This ensures extremely effective teaching practices are in place and lesson activities are well-planned to support learning.

The Pastoral Care Team develop excellent links with parents, carers and families, as well as professionals involved with a pupil. They also provide additional support, when required, to help pupils engage in classes.

Pastoral Care

We are dedicated to the development of the ‘whole child’, focusing on areas such as independence, self-esteem, resilience, making safe choices and communication.

All this support allows each child, whatever their needs, the opportunity to engage and enjoy their education.

The Pastoral Care Team ensure that all pupils’ well-being is constantly reviewed and developed, and that strong links are made between school and home.

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