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Key Stage 3 – Curriculum overview



We have designed a stimulating curriculum to engage and motivate our Key Stage 3 students, building upon the skills obtained at Key Stage 2. Our curriculum continues the thematic approach employed within Key Stage 2 but with built in opportunities for some subject specific learning for our formal learners.

Being a teenager can be a confusing time as students begin their journey through puberty, hence PSHE IS central to the curriculum at KS3. It also serves to address topical themes within society to enable the students to learn how to keep themselves safe in the wider world. Students have RSHE (Relationship, Sex, Health Education) lessons in preparation for adulthood with parental consent. The students are provided with many opportunities to use technology to support them in today’s technological world.

Being responsible for our environment and learning about climate change is an essential part in ensuring our students know how to be a responsible member of society. We ensure the students explore the local community and work with other organisations to gain knowledge of this important topic. We provide adventurous opportunities for our students to try things they may never have experienced before such as surfing, horse riding, climbing, biking, and preparing for the Jubilee Challenge. We also offer cultural experiences such as trips to the theatre, cinema and museums.

Our aim is to provide a safe environment where the students thrive, develop learning and independence skills, enjoying rich and varied learning opportunities. The Pathfield four pillars of learning, namely Communication, Independence, Community and Wellbeing remain central within our intent when planning at Key Stage 3.



At Key Stage 3, semi-formal and formal learners continue to follow a highly adapted and individualised curriculum. English is taught using Read, Write Inc in small groups with other children who are at the same level of reading. Writing and comprehension skills are taught systematically. The development of oracy skills are taught through the class texts. Relationships, Sex, and Health education (RSHE) forms part of the PSHE ‘Patchwork’ curriculum. (Parents are given the option of withdrawing their children and are supplied with the dates on which topics will be covered). The subjects of Mathematics, Religious Education, Computing, PSHE, PE and Forest School are delivered as discrete lessons, although there is some natural overlap with the thematic curriculum content.

The thematic part of the curriculum focuses in the main on communication alongside the subjects of Science, History, Geography, Music, Dance, Cookery (ILS), Art and Design & Technology.

To promote our love of reading, we have selected high quality texts that act as the inspiration for learning and build on the knowledge and skills from KS2. The range of texts within each theme are chosen because they provide good subject coverage. We have tried to create a list of books that are fun and engaging, by talking to our parents and students along with academic research and local knowledge. We have also grouped the texts into 3 main themes that run through the year and spiral over a three-year cycle.

Teachers plan subject coverage by creating a curriculum map for each topic and then medium-term plans are followed for individual subjects with links made between these subjects using the class texts. An example of a curriculum map can be seen below.

Please open the Wizard of Oz Curriculum Map here.



Our assessment process will demonstrate that students have retained knowledge and skills into their long-term memory and make excellent progress from individual starting points, both socially and academically.

By the end of KS3 our students have:

  • Built on existing communication skills to the best of their ability.
  • Learnt more strategies to make progress with self-regulation and wellbeing.
  • Navigated interpersonal relationships with familiar and unfamiliar people they encounter.
  • Known who they are as an individual and about the changes which happen during puberty.
  • Continued to progress in skills, knowledge and understanding across the appropriate areas.
  • Maximised independence at every opportunity by taking risks and making decisions.
  • Accessed the wider community and taken part in adventurous activities to build resilience and self-esteem.

When leaving Key Stage 3, we would like our students to be ready to embark on the next steps towards adulthood where they will begin to think about their hopes and choices for their future as they enter Key Stage 4.