Pathway 4 – Personalised Formal Curriculum

Pathway 4

The young people with pathway 4 are likely to have learning difficulties alongside other needs such as autism. Young people in Pathway 4 may be ready to access formal learning but may have aspects of surface learning and splinter skills. We want our young people to have concrete learning in the real world and therefore we ensure that they have access to a wide range of locations that allow them to enhance and apply their learning.

Pathway 4 young people follow a core offer within our areas of learning which covers a blend of subject based learning, pastoral support and activity personalised to reflect aspirations, strengths and needs identified within the EHCP. Including work related learning and qualifications in KS4 and Sixth Form.



Young people in Pathway 4 are supported to develop their communication, language and literacy both functionally and for academic purposes through curriculum lessons and wider contextual learning.

In Pathway 4 within English lessons young people are supported to explore, analyse and evaluate language by studying a range of fiction and non-fiction texts to identify meaning and purpose from the perspective of the writer and its subsequent impact on the reader.

Young people will be immersed in reading through rich storytelling. They are exposed to a wide range of stories, books and pictures from different cultures, times and beliefs as well as encountering a range of genres over time which encourage a love of reading. Alongside this, functional reading development is supported through a range of appropriate and graded materials.

In Pathway 4, young people are taught to write for a number of purposes and for a variety of audiences. Writing is developed through a range of scaffolded tasks, allowing mastery and to become independent written communicators.

In Key stage 4 young people will select options based on their aspirations and interests. There will be an offer of academic and vocational learning. Qualifications include GCSEs, Functional skills and Entry level courses, vocational courses and those that recognise independence and work-related skills.

Oracy is threaded throughout the entire curriculum, allowing young people to gain confidence in expressing and sharing their emotions, beliefs and opinions as well as accepting those of others. Our Speech and Language Therapist works closely with young people who have identified communication needs within their EHCPs.

At Barbara Priestman Academy, we encourage young people to engage in ‘disciplinary literacy’, an approach to improving literacy across the curriculum. We recognise that literacy skills are both general and subject specific, underlining the value of supporting students in every subject by teaching them how to read, write and communicate effectively in those subjects; encouraging our young people to become confident communicators who can independently access the community allowing them to become well-rounded members of society.


Young people in Pathway 4 are supported to develop their cognition both functionally and for academic purposes through curriculum lessons such as Maths and Science as well as through wider contextual learning. Our aims are to strengthen the mathematical ideas and understanding that enables our young people to be as independent as possible and prepare them well for adulthood.

In Pathway 4 within Maths and Cognition lessons, we aim to enable students to understand the number system and apply that knowledge through a range of mathematical reasoning, problem solving and calculations. Students will apply number concepts such as to explore shape, space, measure and data.

Fluency and mastery are a focus in Pathway 4 as students will need to have secure knowledge of a range of number facts to be successful in their Maths learning.


At Pathway 4 young people follow a personalised formal curriculum.

The curriculum aims to develop young people’s science subject knowledge and scientific enquiry skills. It is a stimulating and engaging curriculum which looks to capture and maintain young people’s interest through awe, wonder and excitement. This is done with key concepts taught through Biology, Chemistry and Physics foci.

The curriculum is organised into different topics over a three year plan. Science is a spiral curriculum that gradually builds and deepens young people’s knowledge and ideas within science.

Learning is predominately practical and allows opportunities for young people to explore science in an environment that wants them to interact with the world they live in and gain an understanding of it. 

Young people are encouraged to develop and use subject specific vocabulary to show their level of knowledge and understanding. Thinking Frames have been introduced throughout the Pathway to support students in ordering their thoughts, developing knowledge and recording their observations.

Scientific enquiry skills are embedded throughout the curriculum so that our young people use a variety of skills to answer scientific questions/investigations. These are: questioning, predicting, planning, analysis of data, evaluating and communicating.

At Key Stage 4, we aim to enable young people to follow a science qualification. Qualifications are offered that suit the learning needs and abilities of young people.

The aim is to provide young people with opportunities to continue to learn and study the world around them scientifically, at the level of knowledge and understanding which allows them to grasp key concepts in life.

All learning is contextualised into real life situations. Through continued work in the 3 sciences, young people learn in a practical manner to continue to develop their love of all things science. Young people currently follow an entry level qualification in Science.

Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE)

In Pathway 4 young people follow a personal formal curriculum. This is underpinned by the PSHE Association SEND framework which is designed to support the development of PSHE; making it age appropriate and covering the statutory requirements to enable accessibility for young people with SEND. This includes age and needs related sex and relationship education.

Personal, social and health education supports targets relating to young people’s EHCPs and in pathway 4 particularly this is taught discreetly as well as through a cross curricular approach. Within the Ascent Trust curriculum, as a standard, young people are taught by stage not age. However, given the statutory and appropriate age of the PSHEC curriculum the framework is delivered through a KS1-2 and KS3-4 framework.

The framework covers Self-Awareness, Self-Care, Support and Safety, Managing feelings, Changing and growing, Healthy lifestyles and The world I live in. As a spiral curriculum, prior knowledge is built on and re-visited over time, allowing gaps in knowledge to be addressed as well as acknowledging the changes which occur both physically and mentally in young people during their childhood and adolescence. The PSHE curriculum offers opportunities to reflect on and address current societal issues and challenges that young people will face in their everyday lives; allowing them to become independent and responsible adults.

All young people access community independence sessions to support personal, social and health education; creating cultural capital opportunities as well as engaging with the local community through social networking.

At Barbara Priestman we are proud of our Rights Respecting Silver Award status which focuses on the rights of the child. This enables our young people to have active involvement in daily decisions both within their education and within the wider community. All of our young people are encouraged to represented themselves and their peers through the student council and Right Respecting Steering Group.

Physical Development

Physical Education develops young people’s physical competence, confidence and their ability to use these to perform in a range of activities. It promotes skilfulness, physical development and knowledge of the body in action. Physical Education provides opportunities for pupils to be creative, competitive, cooperative and face up to different challenges as individuals and in groups and teams. It promotes positive attitudes toward healthy and active lifestyles.

In Pathway 4 PE, we begin to look at wider aspects of PE in terms of Health, Psychological development, social skills and physical development. Young people will be taught to use motor skills, social & emotional skills to participate in a broad range of physical activities that promote enjoyment, health, fitness and stamina that enables them to engage in a range of competitive sporting activities. Young people access a range of different environments to develop motor, social and emotional skills such as through Forest school sessions and during social times and after school clubs.

PE opportunities may take place in the local community through accessing community facilities in order to prepare for adulthood.