At the Fountains Federation the curriculum has been designed to promote and sustain a thirst for knowledge and understanding, whilst ensuring that all learners are promoted to be as independent as possible.

As well as covering a wide range of subjects, we also provide opportunities for creativity, enterprise and sporting excellence. That said, wherever appropriate, emphasis is also placed on acquiring, developing and applying core skills in English and Maths. Our excellence is reflected by quality marks gained by the school, which subject leaders use to guide improvement work and evaluate the impact of their actions.

Our Values-based education philosophy underpins our work to actively promote fundamental British values of democracy, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those from all faiths, backgrounds and cultures. A rounded programme of assemblies and events promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, enabling them to develop their own moral and ethical compass to guide what is right and what is wrong.

Pupil progress and attainment is tracked through the progression they make in the P levels and National Curriculum levels. In addition to this, pupils are given Individual Target Plans. Homework is also set regularly in school and at a level which meets the needs of a diverse range of pupils, in line with our Homework Policy.


Throughout the curriculum there is a running theme of Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS). This provides a framework for describing the qualities and skills needed for success in learning and life.

Please read our school curriculum statements below. To find out more about our programs and curriculum, please contact us.

High School Curriculum

Key Stage 3 Curriculum (Y7-9)

Specialist teaching teams in Literacy, Numeracy, Science and Foundation subjects with functionality at its core. Baseline assessments are carried out by each class teacher to assess all areas of the subject and functional skills. Pupils are ability grouped based on these to ensure support and extension opportunities in the core and wider curriculum ICT and creativity is embedded and mapped throughout all subjects.

Personal Learning Thinking Skills are embedded with recognition and rewards for pupils achievement in their values, attitudes and learning.

Some pupils access Individual Learning Programmes, Nurture, Social and Emotional Learning Skills to address specific needs such as anxiety, attachment issues and social skills

Individual intervention programmes and extension opportunities are planned and delivered.

These include:

  • Subject gifted and talented pathways

  • Integrated studies - Enterprise

  • Gross Motor Skills

  • Fine Motor skills

  • Physiotherapy

  • Sensory Diets

  • Social and Emotional Learning Skills

In Enterprise and Integrated Studies sessions pupils learn to be innovative and practical. This develops skills in the areas of finance, marketing/research, advertising and production.

A weekly rewards assembly celebrates pupil’s achievements.

Interventions such as 1:1 curriculum support, support for dyslexia, reading, nurture and social skills

There are termly theme days e.g. Science day, Africa week to enhance the curriculum as well as offer more intensive spiritual, moral, social and cultural learning experiences.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum (Y10-11)

The principle which underpins this key stage and its related curriculum is based on the need to build upon the knowledge, understanding and skills from KS3 learning and preparing students for KS5, college, work related skills and independence.

This is achieved through an academic, vocational and creative curriculum with enrichment activities and extension pathways.

In the academic curriculum all students study a combination of GCSE, Entry Level, ASDAN Transition Challenge, WJEC pathways or Personal Progress Awards. The school offers GCSE/L1 courses in English, Maths, Science, ICT, Humanities, Art and Duke of Edinburgh in PE.

Entry Level pathways are offered in all these core areas together with Humanities, Art, Music, Drama, Media Studies, PSHE, Food Studies and Land Studies.

Work Related Learning and the Vocational Curriculum options provide enrichment and extension opportunities through WJEC Vocational Pathways, AIM Awards SEFL and WJEC Creative Pathways units. Vocational Options also enable students to choose other interest areas such as PE, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, Health and Social Care, Entry/GCSE Level Art, Food Studies, Land Studies, Retail Studies or College taster sessions. This is an important step in student’s transition, vocational and work related skills progress.

Work experience is offered in both Year 10 and Year 11.

Personal Learning Thinking Skills is a key element and students are encouraged to use higher level thinking skills such as reasoning, problem solving and critical thinking.

Accreditation results are very good at all levels with a real sense of achievement for students preparing for KS5.

Key Stage 5 Curriculum (6th Form Y12-13)

Independence, basic core skills, work related skills and a personalised curriculum is at the core of the teaching and curriculum in the key stage.

Progress is based on prior achievements, functional skills baseline data and knowledge of the students. Students and parents are consulted on the aspirations of each individual when annual targets are set during the Annual Review process.

Functional English and Functional Mathematics are the core subjects alongside Personal Social Development and Independence targets. Personal Progress is used to recognise the achievements of students working at Entry level 1 and below, and includes units covering basic skills as well as developing knowledge and understanding in a range of experiences

Students study for Functional Skills Literacy and Numeracy as well as ICT L1 and L2 qualifications. Pupils are given opportunities to retake GCSE exams if relevant and appropriate

ASDAN Personal Social Development (PSD) is also an integral part of the vocational and independent skills curriculum and facilitate the implementation of applied learning and

Personal Learning Thinking Skills

Students with more complex learning difficulties follow ASDAN Personal Progress as their core curriculum with Functional Skills Literacy and Numeracy for targeted pupils

Vocational, Enterprise and Micro Business projects have again proved a great success with the, Coffee Bean Cafe, Potting Shed and Fountains Cracking Eggs Company all successful and practical vehicles for work related transferable skills with literacy and numeracy. In all these, our students run their own business enterprises. These are excellent not only as a vocational opportunity but also to develop life and independence skills

Students attend college- Derby, Burton, TORC and Rodbaston College - for link courses every week. College placements provide an opportunity to study in that environment as a stepping stone for transition at 18/19 years old.

Vocational Options provide enrichment and extension opportunities with students able to choose interest areas including PE, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, Health and Social Care, Entry/GCSE Level Art, Food Studies, Land Studies, Retail Studies or College taster sessions.

All pupils take part in work experience, world of work week and a variety of Challenge Days to encourage communication and teamwork skills. Extended work experience is organised for students every Tuesday

Supported work experience for SLD students is organised through the Cracking Eggs Company and the vocational provision offer.

Some students are offered Travel Training with great success for their independence on public transport.

As part of the Post 16 (Sixth Form) Curriculum there is chance to study at both Fountains High School and Burton College as part of a link offer. It is a very exciting opportunity for students to extend their learning in the core Functional Skills as well as a range of Level1/2 courses from the Cambridge Technicals Suite including Applied Science, Art and Design and Health and Social Care taught by Fountains staff but at Burton College. Moreover, Burton College will also offer our students a range of taster courses leading to full courses in Fashion and Design, Motor Vehicle, Construction, Performing Arts and ICT Coding in their new Lego Innovation Centre.

This will be a 5 day per week offer for 2 groups from Fountains High School and involve the following:

  • Room based on Burton College SEND Pathways Courses corridor/area
  • Use of all Burton College facilities including social spaces, canteen, pathways courses corridor and outside social spaces
  • Independent travel to Burton College for those students who can and staff meet there 9.00am – 3.00pm. A small group transported by FHS minibus if needed
  • Burton College Group 1 base Burton College Mon, Tues, Wednesday and FHS base Thurs, Fri.
  • Burton College Group 2 base FHS Mon, Tues and Burton College base Wednesday Thurs, Fri
  • Vocational/taster courses at Burton College including Motor Vehicle, Fashion and Design, Construction, Performing Arts, Early Years and ICT Coding in the Lego Innovation Centre
  • Fountains High School to deliver in an options offer L1/2 courses from the Aim Awards or the Cambridge Technicals Suite in Applied Science (GF), Health and Social Care (AH) and Art and Design (LF). These would be based at Burton College.
  • Functional Skills English and Maths E3>L1/2
  • GCSE English and Maths resits
  • PSD and Preparation for Adulthood
  • Independent Living Skills
  • Community Offer is new and would be based around Burton town centre with life skills
  • Social Skills and extended schools offer
  • Travel Training
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
  • Work Related Learning with extended work experience, vocational enterprises, Supported Internships at Hobby Craft and Derby Royal Infirmary for some students
SENCo transition support and careers support from Fountains High School team

Year 14 Curriculum

This is dependent on the student’s needs and offers a bespoke transition course to college.

Each case is considered individually.

The aim for students is:

    • To make further progress within the school setting.
    • To develop independence skills.
    • To consolidating skills and confidence already gained.
    • To enhance work related skills and transition to college.

We offer:

    • Opportunities to develop functional literacy and numeracy skills.
    • Increase work experience where appropriate, with a view to increasing this as the year progresses.
    • Experience of a wider range of colleges, such as Rodbaston and prepare for transition after school.
    • Transition opportunities to support students moving into their next setting.
    • Travel training, where appropriate.
    • Opportunities to develop life skills and skills for the work place.
    • Supported Internship Programme for 2018-20 with Hobby Craft in Burton. This was extremely successful in 2017-18 with all 3 students gaining paid employment on completing their internship and in 2018-19.
Additional Supported Internships are now offered through Project Search at Derby Royal Infirmary for 2 students in 2019-20

Enhanced Learning Provision Department – KS3/4/5

The complex needs curriculum at The Fountains High School focuses on developing the skills and confidence the students need to become as independent as possible in all aspects of their life. Our curriculum is based on six areas of learning; the students do not receive discrete Literacy and Numeracy “lessons” but take part in activities which give them opportunities to use and develop multiple skills. For example, a sensory story may incorporate Communication, Language and Literacy, Problem Solving and Life Skills along with demonstrating and developing appropriate Behaviour and Social Skills . Our curriculum is under continuous development. The 6 learning areas are:

Communication/ Language and Literacy

  1. Reading, writing, mark making, speaking, listening, ICT, PECS, Makaton, Intensive Interaction, PSHE

Problem solving, Reasoning & Numeracy

  1. Handling money, Shape, Space, Measure, Number, Problem solving, ICT, Spatial Awareness, PSHE

Awareness of Self, Others & the World Around Them

  1. RE, Geography, History, Science, ICT, MFL, Community skills, Personal Skills, Recreation, Intensive Interaction, PSHE

Creative Development

  1. Art, Music, Drama, DT, ICT, Recreation
  2. PSHE

Life Skills

  1. Self-help skills, Personal Care & Independence skills, Community skills, Sensory Integration, Behaviour & Social Skills

Physical and Sensory Development

  1. PE, Swimming, Hydrotherapy, Rebound Therapy, Sensory Integration, Massage, TACPAC, Fine & Gross Motor Skills
  2. PSHE

Students in Key Stage 3 take the ASDAN New Horizons programme over years 8 and 9, with external moderation for accreditation at the end of Year 9 if appropriate

There are progression routes into KS4 ASDAN Transition Challenge themes of Knowing How, Making Choices, Feeling Good, Moving Forward and Taking the Lead a

Personal Progress which includes communication, reading and writing skills is offered in KS4 and 5

KS5 ASDAN TI/Personal Progress themes of Early Maths, Skills for the work place, Self Awareness, Engaging with the World Around You are offered and there is an increasing focus on community and social skills

We value these skills and have Individual Targets are in place so that pupils, parents, governors and staff are able to measure and celebrate achievements. Individual programmes for pupils on sensory integration and intensive interaction including those in the high dependency needs are a key element in the progress of students. TEACCH strategies and principles are employed for those pupils with autism.

Enrichment and Support

The School runs a number of groups to enhance pupils education and independence, personalise their learning, meet their needs, provide extension opportunities and ensure inclusion for all pupils.

  • School Council
  • Residential visits e.g. Sailing, France, Standon Bowers
  • Theme days e.g. Africa Day, Crystal Maze Day, Sports Festival
  • Harvest Festival and Carol Concert held at St Marys Church
  • Sports Festival and Competitions
  • Nurture Group and Social Emotional Learning curriculum
  • Individual Learning Programmes
  • Student Social Media Ambassadors
  • Dyslexia Friendly Status
  • Maths, English ,Science GCSE
  • Swimming lessons
  • Social skills for ASD pupils – individual basis
  • Music sessions to learn guitar through a link with a specialist TA

Information Advice Guidance

  • Individual Careers interviews
  • Work Experience on week block basis and day extended work experience in Y13 or where appropriate to needs and Supported Internships implemented for 5 Y14 students 2019-20
  • Social and independence skills taught on individual needs basis – travel training programme, community cased learning programme

Curriculum Summary Statement

  • A key feature of teaching and learning is the skills and functionality curriculum.
  • High expectations underpinned by creativity to meet the needs of the student in terms of their personal development and abilities is a core value.
  • Intent, Implementation and Impact of the curriculum is monitored and embedded by Key Stage Leaders and Subject Leaders
  • There is a strong drive for personalised learning, social and emotional learning and student independence have contributed to a skills based approach to learning in lessons and the development of the curriculum.
  • Enterprise and Work Related Learning with transferable skills into adulthood is a key curriculum pathway across all key stages
  • Marking is an integral part of assessment and teaching and learning in the school with a clear marking policy. Expectations are high and regular feedback to pupils improves progress
  • Fountains has developed a Pupil Progression and Achievement Continuum to analyse pupil progress and data. Pupil achievement in the curriculum is evidenced through an adapted software system ‘classroom monitor’ and teacher assessments.
  • Homework is set regularly which meets the needs of a diverse range of pupils. The homework policy sets out the requirement for homework. Students benefit from using the homework club in school or access information technology (ICT) to support their homework research.

English (Reading & Phonics)

At The Fountains High school we are very keen for all pupils to enjoy books and to progress as far as they are able to with independent reading. We teach reading using phonics and we also encourage pupils to engage with books of their own choice, this allows students to pick books which meet their interests and supports pupils to gain enjoyment from reading. Phonics is taught through the Dockside Reading Scheme. Dockside is a synthetic phonic reading scheme for readers who are aged ten and above. This reading scheme engages learners through books which are designed for the 21st-century. Storylines are age appropriate for our learners: the characters, stories and settings have been created specifically for older learners, using photo-real graphic novel-style artwork and storylines which include humour and references to everyday life. Elements of social and emotional aspects of learning are embedded within the stories to encourage discussion. A synthetic phonics approach to learning to read allows pupils to progress through a sequence of letters and sounds and develop their ability to blend and segment words for effective reading and spelling. This provides students with the base that they need to be able to cope with the demands of the secondary curriculum, functional literacy and to access a greater range of books and texts. All pupils are assessed to determine a reading age. This provides the basis for then grouping students appropriately for reading groups and interventions so that reading sessions are effectively targeting the specific needs of each learner. Students are then assessed at the end of each stage to determine next steps. Phonics lessons have three key parts: a skills-based session which focuses on practising and embedding known phonics, introducing new phonics and rehearsing high frequency decodable and tricky words a guided reading session which encourages pupils to read more each session and gradually become more independent in reading. These sessions explore vocabulary and encourage personal response a guided writing session which develops talk for writing before using writing frames to scaffold and support the development of writing skills Staff are creative in their approach to teaching phonics sessions to ensure that sessions are adapted to the needs of pupil. Students working below the first stage of the Dockside Reading Scheme are taught using the initial phases of Letters and Sounds, adapted accordingly.

Primary School Curriculum

EYFS Curriculum

All pupils between 2-5years old are taught within the Early Years Centre. The curriculum offer within this centre is an adapted Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which ensures that all of the needs of the pupils are met. The Curriculum focuses on the prime areas of learning which are: Communication and Language; Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development, alongside which are the specific areas of:
Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design. Pupils are given a firm foundation of understanding in their early years in school, upon which they can build and develop their own particular skills, talents and self-confidence. Progress is assessed through Development Matters and Characteristics of Effective Learning.

KS1 & 2 Generic Curriculum

Pupils who are educated within this department follow an adapted National Curriculum, which is broad, balanced, inclusive and differentiated. It is our aim to provide a challenging and active environment which involves all of our pupils and awakens them into the love of learning. The curriculum offered to all pupils comprises the core subjects of English, Maths and Science, all of which are taught discretely alongside Computing, Modern Foreign Languages, PSHE, Physical Education and Religious Education.
Other subjects (Music, History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology) are taught through a creative curriculum. Progression is assessed through the P Levels and National Curriculum Levels. Enrichment activities also take place and include visits from members of the community, theme days and educational visits outside of school.

KS1 & 2 Complex Curriculum

Pupils who are educated within this department follow a bespoke curriculum which has been devised by the Complex Learning Needs lead teacher. Within this curriculum pupils are taught a range of subjects at a level appropriate to their individual needs. The curriculum has been split into 6 six core areas: * Communication, Language and Literacy * Independence, citizenship and social development. * Physical Skills and Sensory Development * Mathematics and Computing * Science and the Wider World (This comprises History, Geography, RE and Languages) * Creative Development (This comprises Art, Music, Design and Technology) A pupil may be taught more specifically on an individual basis with time for reflection, consolidation and generalisation of skills during pupil initiated opportunities. Pupils may also be encouraged to work within a small group directed by an adult. This curriculum is extensively supported by: Sensory Integration Therapy; Rebound Therapy; TEACCH, PECS (The Picture Exchange Communication System); Physical Opportunities; Makaton and Intensive Interaction. Therefore, the classroom is organised in a highly structured way through a visual learning environment. This enables communication interventions to be consistently and widely used, promoting independent learning. Enhanced staffing ratios ensure intensive individual support and personalised learning takes place. All of the pupils's progression is assessed through the recording of small steps which feed into the P Levels and National Curriculum Levels.

English (Reading & Phonics)

We are very keen for all pupils to enjoy books and to progress as far as they are able to with independent reading. We teach reading using phonics and Book Banded books. We also have large, well-stocked libraries with a wide range of books for pupils to browse and choose themselves, with support from staff.
At Fountains Primary, the phonics scheme we use is called ‘Read Write Inc’ (RWI), a structured synthetic phonics programme that teaches both reading and spelling. The pupils progress through the scheme according to their individual needs. A lot of revision and repetition is built in, as well as the application of phonic skills in all reading and writing.
Due to the needs of the pupils in our school, we run RWI alongside Book Banding. This is a finely graded approach to the teaching of the wider skills of reading and enables pupils to apply what they have learned in phonics lessons. These books also give the pupils a very meaningful approach to reading, using pictures, whole words and their own experiences. The books have been banded together by the Lead Teacher for English, using a range of books from various reading schemes. This ensures that we have our own bespoke reading scheme in school enabling all needs to be met.
Every pupil, even ‘non-readers’, have a Reading Record Book which goes home so that parents/carers can support reading at home at the level appropriate to their pupil. This includes sharing self-chosen library books which encourage the enjoyment of reading. Reading is regularly assessed and monitored by class teachers and the Lead Teacher for English.
Parent Workshops on reading are offered at least every year, so that parents/carers can learn more about how to support their pupil with reading.


We encourage pupils to develop their understanding of mathematical concepts through practical, experiential learning. We use 'Numicon' to support this. Numicon is a visual and tactile learning resource which enables children to understand number relationships, spots patterns and make generalisations. It also supports the communication of mathematical thinking, working together and solving problems. The children enjoy working with Numicon and feel successful in maths, which helps them to develop a positive attitude to numbers and learning.


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