The Bridge School

New Prospects

The curriculum at Key stage 4 takes on board the experiences and early trauma that the vast majority of our young people have experienced. The vast majority have been excluded from a mainstream school or have been disengaged from mainstream learning for considerable time. Some have significant mental health needs and others have an EHCP in place for SEMH needs.

 As leaders we have a solid consensus about the knowledge and skills our young people need in order to take advantage of opportunities, responsibilities and experiences in life – now and later. Staff delivering this curriculum are skilled in working with young people who have experienced significant trauma, who have missed vital parts of their education and learning through being disengaged with mainstream school. The curriculum has been carefully designed to ensure that whilst it is broad and balanced and ensures that young people continue to have a core focus on key skills in Maths and English, it is also relevant to engage young people, it is designed to build confidence, self-esteem and enable young people to develop their own character.

The curriculum is underpinned by Personal Development and our core values which are designed to enable and empower our young people to succeed at whatever they set out to do. Careers education is a core thread for all young people. It is designed to give a blend of academic studies alongside vocational subjects which ensures young people are prepared for Post 16.

Research tells us that learning can only happen when children feel safe and secure. It is then that they will take risks and open themselves up to new challenges. This can be difficult for children whose early life has been impacted by trauma. We have therefore designed a curriculum to help our most vulnerable children break the cycle of deprivation and bridge learning gaps with the intent of equipping them with skills that will enable them to be good citizens and ultimately reengage with their education and life beyond. We believe that there is far more to education than just looking at exam results as the one simple metric for success – we want to grow inquisitive minds and show our young people how their subject knowledge explains the world around them.

Many of our learners arrive having suffered significant trauma. Our students need to experience life skills and emotional development that will redress earlier negative experiences and will aim to break the cycle that led to ACEs. We know that children with 4 or more ACEs are 20 times more likely to go on to be incarcerated and that people who have experienced ACEs in their life are at an increased risk of poor health, including mental health issues.

Integral to our Key stage 4 curriculum is the option to bring alongside Key Stage 3 young people who have not been able to return to a mainstream school following a permanent exclusion. This is decided on an individual basis, thinking what is right for each individual. Where it is felt they would be better suited to the New Prospects curriculum, there is a Key Stage 3 strand which provides the pre-requisites to the Functional skills and/or GCSE programmes in Key stage 4.