Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Overview

Settlebeck School is an 11-16 academy which is at the heart of the mono-cultural rural community it serves. As a strategically resourced provision for ASC the school has a higher than national average number of students with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) at 37%. 16.5% of students have an EHCP compared to 3.7% nationally. The low level of disadvantage, which is below the national average, disguises the fact that some of our families are low income. Our community is proud of its heritage in agriculture and it is important that our students appreciate and value the benefits of living in a rural area and are active members within their communities. Our inclusive ethos, built on positive relationships, endeavours to create a sense of belonging for all members of our community.

There is a wide ability range within the student population from those whose complex needs who find learning difficult to those who are academically very able and progress to A’ Level study and Russell Group universities. Our students progress to a wide range of Post 16 providers from Sixth Forms, to colleges and onto apprenticeships. Our partnership with Sedbergh School has secured two fully funded places for A’ Level study annually.

The school’s values of respect, responsibility and aspiration underpin and inform our curriculum.

Respect – our curriculum, assembly programme, and achievement system encourage our students to demonstrate respect for others’ views, beliefs and cultures and encourages them to celebrate rather than tolerate difference. We aim to ensure our students can make a valuable contribution to their community and to wider society.

Responsibility – our curriculum aims to develop independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning and understand the importance of their own physical and mental wellbeing. It seeks to develop our students into well informed young people with a sense of purpose and self-worth and who know they can contribute to making the world a better place.

Aspiration – We are ambitious on behalf of all our students and the curriculum encourages our learners to be curious, have a desire to contribute and participate and be willing to challenge themselves to achieve their potential.

We are committed to creating an ambitious, broad, and balanced curriculum that enables all students to develop the knowledge, skills, and cultural capital they need to progress and which reflects their needs and the communities in which they live. When designing the curriculum, consideration has been given to the barriers and challenges faced by our young people, such as rural isolation, the local labour market, our mono-cultural setting, mental health and wellbeing, extra curricula opportunities within the wider community and the development of reading and vocabulary. Our highly experienced subject leads carefully consider the needs of our individual students, their context and what our students need to know, understand, remember and be able to do by the end of each half term, the end of each academic year, the end of each key stage and by the end of their 5-year journey at Settlebeck School. They use their subject specific expertise to sequence key concepts, knowledge, and skills to ensure that our students, including disadvantaged students and those with SEND have the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.

KS3 Curriculum

Our KS3 curriculum is inclusive, broad, and balanced and aims to develop the core knowledge and skills young people need to progress. Our students have the opportunity to study 13 subjects in Year 7 and 8. The 2-year KS3 curriculum aims to deliver the National Curriculum programmes of study. Students are taught within mixed age classes, allowing for setting within core and humanities subjects. In addition to the national curriculum programmes of study, all students study drama from Year 7. Our curriculum values academic, arts and technology subjects, with art and technology taught as discreet subjects rather than on a carousel. The curriculum is viewed as a 5-year journey with the national curriculum programmes of study informing the KS4 curriculum. The school recognises that KS3 is the ‘intellectual powerhouse’ of the curriculum and the current curriculum structure is under review. A comprehensive plan is in development to ensure that our curriculum is coherent and well sequenced and as such allowing all students to develop the skills, knowledge, and cultural capital they need for future study.

Our Foundation group in Year 7 and 8 is designed to ensure that the progress of students that are not yet ‘secondary ready’ is accelerated to ensure that they develop the necessary skills to access the KS4 curriculum.

KS4 Curriculum

The KS4 curriculum offers an incredible range of qualifications and subjects enabling students to have a variety of option choices which enhances a strong core curricular offer.  Students are guided to choose from a wide range of options and qualifications best suited to their individual needs, enabling a smooth transition to post 16 destinations. To offer an affordable curriculum at KS4 which offers breadth, our KS4 curriculum begins in Year 9. The breadth of the curriculum offer ensures that our students have the knowledge, skills, and qualifications they need to progress to Post 16 study whether at A’ Level, on Level 3 courses, Level 2 courses, and apprenticeships.

Curriculum offer

English Language

English Literature







Design Technology


Food Preparation and Nutrition






Religious Studies

Sports Science


Open Awards

The Co-Curriculum

The curriculum is everything a young person experiences throughout their school life. At Settlebeck School, our values of respect, responsibility and aspiration underpin and informs our extensive extra-curricular programme, educational visits, residential visits, our personal development and careers curriculum, tutorial programme and our excellent pastoral support systems.

The vast majority of subjects are taught by subject specialists. Subject and pedagogical content knowledge of our staff is further developed through the South Lakes Federation subject networks, membership of the National College, membership of subject associations e.g., the PSHE association and access to professional development courses.

Year 7 and 8

At Settlebeck School we teach Year 7 & 8 in mixed age classes. This allows our small school to set by ability in some subject areas whilst ensuring the needs of every individual student are met.