Skip to content ↓

Forward Step 

In Forward Step the need for fixed term or permanent exclusions is eliminated through the delivery of an outstanding educational provision delivering support and a broad and balanced curriculum which meets the needs of each individual student, linking the academic and therapeutic through a wholly holistic approach. Learning is rich and rewarding across a range of opportunities which enable all students to fulfil their individual potential and inspire future aspirations. 
A large proportion of students who are referred to Forward Step begin their learning with significant gaps in their knowledge thereby making their needs extremely diverse. The curriculum is therefore highly personalised and is intended to give as interesting, broad and appropriate education as possible. The curriculum is continuously reviewed to ensure students’ needs are met both academically and socially. 
The curriculum has been designed in collaboration with core heads of faculty from the main school to ensure that it develops and build on skills which are essential for each subject thereby bridging the gap and maintaining links which will encourage successful reintegration.  

Forward Step Curriculum 

Our curriculum is the foundation upon which all success is built. Forward Step has developed a bespoke offer to meet the needs of the young people it serves. 

Curriculum Aims: 

  • To meet the SEMH needs of all students and ensure that every student has the skills to regulate their own behaviour and responses.

  • For all students to have the literacy and numeracy skills they need for life. 

  • For every student to understand how to keep themself safe in and out of school. 

  • To create a love of learning and inspire students to learn independently. 

  • To build an interest in the outside world. 

  • For students to successfully re-integrate back into a mainstream setting or to successfully transition to the next phase of their educational journey. 

  • For students to have enriched links with partners and external providers. 

Reasonable adjustments are made for all students, for example, students with English as an additional language may require interpretation services to ensure that the above is carried out effectively. 

Curriculum Intent/Rationale 

A broad, balanced and rich curriculum that meets the needs of individual students can significantly reduce suspensions and permanent exclusions.   

SEMH needs can have a profound impact on the learning journey of many students. The offer of intensive support within the centres is transformative in allowing all students to experience success within education.  

Learning is rich and rewarding across a range of opportunities.  Academic achievement and meeting the SEMH needs of learners will co-exist and students are met with the highest of expectations of learning as well as experiential personal development.  

Our students join us with varying gaps in their knowledge, making their needs extremely diverse. The curriculum is highly personalised, and continuously reviewed to ensure students’ needs are met both academically and socially.  This will provide the greatest opportunities for successful reintegration into mainstream classrooms or transition to next settings. 

For EAL pupils, simplified versions of texts and translated versions are made available and aid understanding. 

Academic Offer – KS3 

The curriculum has a focus on core subjects, including English, maths and science. This offer follows the National Curriculum in all areas. Students have access to subjects that are likely to be considered within their GCSE options and have high engagement levels, for example, catering, technology, art, and PE. All subjects are taught by experts that can deliver high quality teaching, providing lessons that are inclusive of the needs of all learners in the classroom.  

The intent, implementation, and impact of each subject offered is considered by the Heads of Faculty of the main school. Long-term planning and relevant documents are written collaboratively with all Heads of Faculty and follow a spiral model that builds on the golden threads of each subject. The spiral curriculum model allows knowledge to be taught and re-taught with a focus on retention of knowledge. 

Common Golden Threads are agreed by all Heads of Faculties. This model allows for students to successfully re-integrate back into the main school having gained core knowledge that is relevant. 

Many students learning within the centres will have gaps in their knowledge and intervention will play a key role in allowing students to become confident learners. These interventions are offered as group work or on a 1:1 basis. Gaps in learning from Key Stage 2 are considered and the curriculum offer will include an awareness of this and provide active opportunities to close these gaps through interventions such as phonics groups.  

Personal development (including RSHE): 

‘The curriculum provided by schools should extend beyond the academic, technical or vocational. Schools support students to develop in many diverse aspects of life. The personal development judgement is used by inspectors to evaluate the school’s intent to provide for the personal development of all students, and the quality with which the school implements this work. Inspectors will recognise that the impact of the school’s provision for personal development will often not be assessable during students’ time at school.’ (Ofsted Framework) 

Students within Forward Step have a robust offer of personal development activities that serve to enhance their academic learning as well as considering the students’ contextual needs and the context of the setting. The personal development offer will enrich the lives of the students and offer experiential learning that broadens their engagement with the world outside of school. 

The students may have varying vulnerabilities and contextual safeguarding needs. This is addressed through timetabled and robust Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (RSHE) lessons. Where appropriate Forward Step will liaise with outside agencies and external professionals to enhance this offer.  

RSHE is woven through all interactions with all students. Students will receive a programme of RSHE that prepares them with the knowledge, values and skills to live safely, healthily and happily in the modern world, so they can take full advantage of the personal, social and academic opportunities available to them. To support this for students with SEND:  

  • High-quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised is the starting point to ensure accessibility. Schools should also be mindful of the preparing for adulthood outcomes, as set out in the SEND Code of Practice, when teaching these subjects to those with SEND   

  • KLA is aware that some students are more vulnerable to exploitation, bullying and other issues due to the nature of their SEND. Relationships and sex education can also be particularly important subjects for some students; for example those with SEMH needs or learning disabilities. Such factors should be taken into consideration in designing and teaching these subjects.  The curriculum can be weighted to reflect individual needs.  

  • As with all teaching for these subjects, schools should ensure that their teaching is sensitive, age-appropriate, inclusive, developmentally appropriate and delivered with reference to the law. 

  • The DfE states “Schools should be alive to issues such as everyday sexism, misogyny, homophobia and gender stereotypes and take positive action to build a culture where these are not tolerated, and any occurrences are identified and tackled.”  RSHE provision needs to reflect this.  

The timetable is written by the centre manager and is tailored to the needs of the cohort of learners.  

Creating a positive learning climate begins each day as students arrive. Breakfast is an opportunity to support our students’ physiological needs while providing the chance for staff and students to engage in conversations and structured activities in an informal setting.  This helps to build those crucial relationships where students feel loved, valued and cared for.   

Unstructured times such as break and lunch will have a tailored offer of activities. These are developed in collaboration with the cohort of students. Activities can include walking to the local shops, cooking for themselves, playing board games, structured discussions/debate.  

Academic Offer - KS4 

As with everything, timetabling and individual lessons must have flexibility built into them and repeated spiralling to ensure that students over learn all aspects of the curriculum. This is especially important when a student’s bespoke timetable will mean that they are not present in the centre for every core lesson. 

The core curriculum focuses on the fundamental aspects of each taught subject rather than following a rigid curriculum. The aspiration is for all students is to attain GCSEs. For students with English as an additional language a GCSE in the child’s first language may be available.  The EAL/EDC team can be contacted for advice on this. 

Academic Offer 


English is the centre of the curriculum, providing the gateway to all other learning. Knowing how to read and write allows access to our lives in modern Britain. Knowing how to communicate effectively through speaking and listening allows us to better understand ourselves and others. Knowing and understanding our Literature brings a richness to our lives and develops a cultural capital, allowing us to better understand our world; it is delivered through carefully chosen engaging extracts from a wide range of texts specifically selected to engage reluctant readers and EAL readers. 


  • Comparing non-fiction texts 

  • Poetry (GCSE Anthology) 

  • Analysing language, form and structure in narrative unseen texts 

  • Shakespeare (Home school text – livewire / extracts) 

  • Spoken Language 

  • Pre 1900 text (Home school text – graphic / extracts) 

  • Explicit and implicit understanding 

  • Using a range of sentence structures 

  • Language terminology and techniques 

  • Structure of a comparative essay 

  • Planning, construction and organisation of a narrative 

  • 20th Century text (home school text – graphic / summary / extracts) 


Science is taught on a three-week rotation Biology – Chemistry – Physics to ensure that all students experience spiralled exposure where key knowledge is repeatedly revisited. 

Science is taught primarily through practical work to ensure that all required practicals and additional experiences are covered; each week is structured: 

  • Introduction of practical 

  • Practical lesson – gathering data 

  • Analysis and conclusions 

Each practical focuses on one key area: 

  • Developing scientific approach and enquiry 

  • Developing an understanding of the natural world 

  • Learning how to use laboratory equipment 


  • How all living things work, including our own bodies.  

  • Materials around us 

  • Scientific discovery and innovation 

  • How the physical world works 

  • Scientific measurements and data 

  • Understanding and balancing risk and benefit 


Our curriculum aims to empower students to develop and apply problem solving skills focusing on overarching and spiralling mathematical components: Algebra, Number, Ratio, Geometry, Statistics and Probability 

Students are encouraged to develop mathematical behaviour and develop deeper understanding to make links across curriculum areas.  


  • Algebraic thinking 

  • Place value 

  • Applications of number 

  • Directed number 

  • Factional thinking 

  • Lines and angles 

  • Reasoning with number. 

  • Proportional reasoning 

  • Representations 

  • Algebraic techniques 

  • Developing number 

  • Developing geometry  

  • Reasoning with data 

  • Reasoning with algebra  

  • Constructing in 2D and 3D 

RSHE (Delivered within personal development): 

Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) helps students to gain the knowledge, skills and values they need to keep themselves healthy and safe. The curriculum is spiralled with all areas revisited frequently to ensure a saturation for the most vulnerable students as they prepare for life and work in modern Britain. 

RSHE supports students to develop the skills, knowledge and values they need to thrive both as individuals and as members of society. It encourages all students to develop healthy lifestyles, manage their mental wellbeing and build positive relationships.  It supports students to make appropriate post-16 plans. 

The curriculum is underpinned by the key knowledge required by young people leaving secondary education but is tailored to the bespoke needs of both individual students, groups of students and the provision. Where appropriate the centres will seek to engage with outside agencies and external professionals to enhance this offer. 


  • How to maintain physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing. 

  • How to make informed choices about health and wellbeing matters. 

  • How to identify and access help, advice and support. 

  • How to develop and maintain a variety of healthy relationships within a range of social/cultural contexts. 

  • How to recognise and manage emotions within a range of relationships. 

  • How to deal with risky or negative relationships including all forms of bullying (including the distinct challenges posed by online bullying) and abuse, sexual and other violence and online encounters. 

  • The concept of consent in a variety of contexts (including in sexual relationships). 

  • To respect equality and be a productive member of a diverse community. 

Alternative Provision: 

Some students access local AP to supplement their on-site curriculum offer.  

Open Road West Norfolk – Training today's young people for tomorrow's technology ( 

Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance 

Aspiration is one of the central messages for students in Forward Step. All students from Year 7 upwards have a statutory need to access robust careers education, information, advice and guidance that meets the Gatsby Benchmarks. Students are offered independent advice that explores all avenues open (academic, technical, apprenticeships) and the team will ensure that students within the centre have access to independent careers advisers.  

 The curriculum has been designed to engender a sense of independence within its students. It allows all students to feel that any career path is possible and will cultivate a sense of ownership and confidence over their own skills and strengths. This will not exist purely within the academic curriculum. The personal development curriculum is rich in opportunities and will allow students with contextually low aspiration to see clear paths as well as explicitly teaching the skills needed to maintain further education or employment.