young people messing around
Curriculum
The curriculum is divided into nine areas, each of which contributes to the development of the key skills, both academic and personal in order to be successful.

Our social curriculum is a fourth “core” subject and is essential for the holistic development and well-being for our young people.

English is central to our curriculum at  SMS Changing Lives School and here’s why:

  • English unlocks pupils’ access to all other areas of the curriculum.
  • GCSE English (or equivalent) is a core qualification needed to access opportunities beyond school.
  • Being functional in English is necessary for participation in society.
  • Reading great stories and literature is an important way to learn about ourselves, others and the world around us.

At  SMS Changing Lives School we have developed a robust curriculum which enables pupils to make progress, building on and revisiting material learnt in previous years.

The purpose of developing a specific maths curriculum is to:

  • Ensure students receive positive messages about Maths and build their confidence.
  • Ensure that students use their numeracy skills across the curriculum
  • Secure high standards and age related expectations across the school
  • Set out the school’s agreed approach to the teaching of numeracy skills across phases
  • Identify where pupils need additional support 

Science is an important part of the curriculum at  SMS Changing Lives School because it helps us to understand the world around us.

Everything we know about the universe, from how trees reproduce to what an atom is made up of is the result of scientific research and experiment.

Citizenship is more than just a subject it is a life lesson. It empowers students to become advocates of issues that are important and helps pupils be more informed and open minded.

This is taught through lessons covering democracy and parliament, law and justice, global issues like nuclear weapons and civil disobedience. Pupils also learn about their rights and responsibilities. They receive important lessons on critical media literacy, economy and finance.

students engage in debates about important topics in current affairs and they are encouraged to always challenge the idea and never the person. There are opportunities to enhance their learning on the subjects through visits to places such as the Houses of Parliament and Court of Justice.

At  SMS Changing Lives School, we believe that history is a vital part of an all-round education; it is much more than simply studying events from the past because students:

  • Learn unique historical skills such as ‘causation’ and ‘significance’.
  • Learn useful skills that transfer to other subjects in the curriculum, such as the ability to compare, describe, analyse and evaluate.
  • Express and justify their opinions.
  • Acquire useful skills for the workplace: critical thinking, weighing up pros and cons before making a reasoned decision.

Arts and culture are truly celebrated at  SMS Changing Lives School because lessons are tailored to allow all pupils the opportunity to explore the arts in their own way and to meet their diverse needs.

Our students take part in two or three art and design lessons a week. They work closely on the process of creating art mindfully by exploring different mediums – e.g. paint, oil pastel, sculpture, printing and photography.

At  SMS Changing Lives School we encourage students to be inquisitive and creative through music. Learning music enables pupils to form many cross-curricular links, as well as learning to be creative and expressive, and to collaborate with others in a variety of ensembles.

Music proudly brings our community together with regular performances to showcase our talents.

Students have weekly music lessons with a subject specialist teacher and our bespoke curriculum balances performing, composing, listening and appraising skills across a breadth of musical styles. Students learn the piano throughout, as well as other instrumental opportunities in units including ukuleles and guitars.

At  SMS Changing Lives School our PE curriculum has been purposefully designed in order to develop students overall health and well-being, fundamental movement skills, team and individual sports and water competency.

We build on from PE curriculum in primary school where students developed fundamental movement skills (FMS).

At  SMS Changing Lives School we follow a bespoke computing curriculum broadly based on the national curriculum. Students gain skills and knowledge in computer science, information technology (IT) and digital literacy. In computer science students learn a range of skills covering algorithms, decomposition and computational thinking. They are introduced to a range of programming tools including both block based languages such as Scratch and textual languages such as Python.

In our specialist food technology room we nurture the all-important life skill of home cooking. For our young students we have a weekly cooking club where we explore both sweet and savoury recipes, as well as the children’s own favourite recipes.

We develop the skills which lead to the students studying BTEC Level 1 and Level 2 Awards in Home Cooking Skills.