The Pilgrim School - Curriculum Policy Statement


We believe:

  • That learning is the most important activity which takes place in the school;
  • That pupils have the right to achieve the highest levels of learning that they can in the time that they are at the school;
  • That pupils have an entitlement to have their learning environment as personalised as possible - their curriculum is an integral part of this;
  • That the curriculum provides a structure and framework for learning to take place;
  • That there are moments of formal and informal learning;
  • That learning here is holistic - between pastoral and academic, affective and cognitive and that each aspect of learning is mutually reinforcing rather than mutually exclusive;
  • In the collective efficacy of staff and pupils to make the learning in this school count, regardless of individual circumstances;
  • That an important part of the curriculum is the developing of cross curricular skills in literacy, numeracy, thinking skills and strengthening the pupil's resilience as a learner.


All pupils taught within centres have the opportunity and entitlement to full time provision, if their medical needs allow.

There is a three pathway approach to learning (see appendix 1). Essentially this comprises of:

  • Pathway A: Pure GCSE route with entitlement to the English Baccalaureate.
  • Pathway B: GCSE Maths / GCSE English as the core with optional qualifications at GCSE and level 2 VRQ / Alternative qualifications. This provides opportunity and entitlement for pupils to achieve level 2 threshold (5 GCSEs including English and Maths and no more than 2 non-GCSE qualifications to count)
  • Pathway C: Foundation learning - either GCSE Maths and English and /or Functional Skills in English and Maths and / or Cambridge Progression Units. This is complemented by level 1 foundation qualifications or GCSE. This allows pupils to have a "spiky profile" of achievement. It provides opportunity and entitlement for level 1 threshold (5 D-G including English and Maths)
  • There is also an enrichment block of time which allows intervention activities to take place, school wide reading programme and music and sport. It is also a time where specific learning and qualifications for individual pupils can be pursued.
  • Wednesday afternoon is the time for Resilient Me! which is the school's bespoke emotional wellbeing and PSE programme.


Whilst the school, as a community special school for children with medical/mental health needs, is exempt from the national curriculum, it is still broadly followed. The following underpins the provision:

  • Focus on core skills: pupils need to develop and make outstanding progress in Maths and English, sometimes from a very low base.
  • Focus on engagement: pupils will be unwell and may have been disengaged from learning for a significant amount of time. Consequently, the curriculum can be changed and amended to encourage pupil interest, engagement and participation.
  • Focus on a broad and balanced curriculum: within the context of meeting individual pupil needs and personalisation, pupils at Key Stage 3 need to access a balanced curriculum of core literacy and numeracy, foundation subjects and the education for personal development.
  • Education for Personal Development: within the context of exemption from the national curriculum, we believe that education for personal development can be crucial in helping to remove barriers to learning and preparing pupils for transition. Consequently, PSE is delivered as part of the core humanities and pupils also have access to Resilient me!

Pupils have an entitlement to full-time provision as long as their medical condition allows. In some centres, where there are sufficient numbers, KS3 pupils will be taught discretely. In other centres with fewer pupils, they may be taught as part of a mixed Key Stage group.

Management of Time

Since the DfE commencement order of May 2011, with effect from September 2011, pupils who are medically unfit are entitled to full-time provision, as long as their medical condition permits this. However, at KS3 the main focus of our work with pupils is for them to reintegrate back into their mainstream schools.

A nominal 25 hour provision would entail:

300 minutes per week each for English and Maths

200 minutes per week for Science, Humanities and Enrichment

100 minutes per week for Creative Learning/Languages, PSE and Resilient Me!


Assessment at KS3 is in line with whole school assessment policies. This means that:.

  • All pupils are assessed using GOAL in English, Maths and Science as a baseline assessment.
  • From September 2013, there will be an accelerated reading screen for all pupils.
  • Staff are required to provide a progress check within English, Maths and (from 1 January 2013) Science 3 times a year.

Staff are required to keep an individual record (a mark book) for other subjects.

Meeting Individual Needs

Within the context of a KS3 curriculum, we will endeavour to meet pupil needs. This will be achieved by:

  • Concentration on core subjects
  • Varying the amount of time that pupils can have within school depending on medical needs.
  • Developing a pupil's identity as a learner.
  • Concentrating in PSE on issues to do with the pupil's personal development
  • Adapting teaching and learning to meet individual medical needs.

Key Stage 1 and 2

Importance of Primary education.

The Primary Stage continues to build upon the knowledge gained during the Foundation Stage. As well as considering academic and medical needs, maturity and emotional needs will also be taken into consideration when planning a suitable provision.

A wide range of activities is offered that gives the children the opportunity to thrive and develop in a safe and secure learning environment. In the Primary phase this environment is usually the child's own home. It is still vital that parents and teachers work together effectively as this has a positive impact on the child's development and learning. A successful partnership needs a two-way exchange of information, knowledge and expertise.

Curriculum and Resources

Although we have a small number of Primary Age children through the school each year, we endeavour to meet their individual needs. A teacher from the Pilgrim School will liaise with the child's own teacher(s) so that there is continuity of provision. It is anticipated that the child's own school will offer relevant work so that, even while out of the school environment, the child will still be accessing the curriculum that his or her peers are following; if this is not the case, Pilgrim can offer a bank of resources to its teachers so a pupil can continue with their learning journey. Staff can also access help from the Primary Coordinator within Pilgrim School who is familiar with the Primary Curriculum. When planning work, teachers will take account of each child's individual needs. Any activities will be well structured, ensuring the children learn in a safe and challenging environment, while having the opportunity to develop as an individual.


Current assessment levels either received from the school or undertaken by the Pilgrim staff ensure that lessons and activities are planned on an individual basis, with very short term, achievable targets. Assessment against the NC Level Descriptors will be considered alongside the individual targets set. These targets are recorded on an Individual Learning Plan, which is shared with parents and the child. While a very young pupil may find accessing the ILP difficult, the targets are put across to the pupil in a child friendly manner that is relevant to the age and stage of development. A progress report will be compiled on a regular basis, and shared with parents and pupil, which will give indicators of the child's progress.

Latest News

Celebrating Success - D of E Update

On Wednesday 7th March we had the official ceremony that declared us an official centre for the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Mick Hoare who is the East Midlands Operations Officer for Dof E came to the Sleaford base and met with some of the pupils who have embarked on bronze so far and then presented the framed certificate. We were pleased to have governors in attendance in this occasion too.

Celebrating Success - Visit to Bunkers Care Home

Just after half term, two of our year 11 pupils from Lincoln, ET and MH, visited the Bunkers Care Home as part of their Health and Social care course. The pupils sat with around 10 residents and completed craft activities with them. They achieved their objectives for the BTEC course but also were able to use the opportunity to grow their confidence in visiting new places and their communication skills in meeting new people. This is what therapeutic education looks like in practice! We received very positive feedback from the care home who would like to be able to host more of these visits. Many thanks to HS (RSO) for accompanying the girls and to NB for setting up the experience.

BLESMA Charity Workshop

The school has arranged for a visit from the charity BLESMA, the limbless veterans, to deliver free workshops from veterans to inspire and motivate pupils. 

The aim of the workshop is:

  • To inspire pupils with the BLESMA members stories.
  • Understand what it is to overcome adversity and promote how to be resilient.
  • Encourage healthy behaviours.
  • Improve confidence and self-esteem, and make individuals realise that we all go through tough times.
  • Improve interpersonal relationships and skills.

YMCA & Rotary Club Supported Easter Holiday Club'

We are very pleased to inform you of an exciting opportunity for our pupils.

We have been working with the Showroom in Lincoln and the local Rotary clubs to be able to deliver our first ever ‘holiday club.’

This will take place from 3rd - 6th April from 10am until 3:30pm.

This is a fantastic opportunity to consolidate learning, build resilience and bridge the gap of an extended school holiday. In the first instance, places will be limited to 20 pupils.

Wellbeing Mark

Wellbeing Mark

The Pilgrim School is currently working towards achieving a special quality mark for mental health and wellbeing.  As part of this process we will be working with staff, pupils and parents about how they feel mental health and emotional wellbeing are thought of and supported across the school community.  This process will allow us to make judgements about how well we do this and help us to think about and plan what we can do to improve so that we are offering the best possible support in every aspect of the school community.

Please read full letter via the link from our Pastoral Page.