Our Curriculum

The Spaghetti Bridge curriculum model meets our students where they are, and challenges them to reimagine their potential to learn and thrive within an education setting and beyond.

Our Curriculum

The Spaghetti Bridge curriculum model meets our students where they are, and challenges them to reimagine their potential to learn and thrive within an education setting and beyond.

Background

We know that the current system of education does not work for everyone, as evidenced by increasing absenteeism and school refusal, rising rates of mental health issues for children and young people, and growing lack of student self-confidence in their ability to learn. 

That is why we have designed our curriculum around students whose needs are not being met by the wider education system. Many of our students have had extended periods out of education, have negative views of school, and do not see themselves as capable of learning. We feel that too often the curriculum for students with special needs is not ambitious enough and that, with the right support and approach, all students can achieve their full potential.

We call our approach “Enterprise Learning”, this captures the excitement and curiosity that is lacking in many approaches to education today.

Enterprise Learning 

Enterprise learning is built from the idea that every student has the right to become themselves and change the world. Students develop an understanding of their own strengths, ambitions, interests and aspirations; and develop this potential on their way to making a difference in their communities. In order to enable this, our curriculum focuses on fostering a lifelong love of learning, connection to community, and living healthy and well and is delivered through practical, experiential learning.

Enterprise Learning allows students to rebuild their confidence in their ability to learn and engage in education, feel safe and supported within the school environment and gain the skills, knowledge and understandings that will enable them to meet the challenges of tomorrow and thrive in the world of the 21st century.

Curriculum Implementation 

Accredited Learning

In addition to GCSEs and Functional Skills exams, Spaghetti Bridge students are offered a number of accredited occupational qualifications. These include NCFE Enterprise Skills, Business and Enterprise, and Occupational Studies for the Workplace qualifications and AQA Project Qualifications

Preparation for and Pathways to Adulthood

The unique nature of Enterprise Learning, with its focus on real-world learning, community activities, Industry Experts, Driving Questions, the experience of work-environments, and a project-oriented curriculum, means that students are prepared for life beyond school throughout their time at a Spaghetti Bridge school. All students are also provided with Independent Advice and Guidance throughout their Spaghetti Bridge journey.

However, as they approach the time of their transition to a post school destination, it is important that our students’ curriculum begins to focus more on deciding and preparation for a specific post-school destination through our “Pathways to Adulthood” programme. While each student’s wider curriculum continues, the Pathways to Adulthood programme focuses on students’ development of specific skills and knowledge in the areas of Continuing Education and Employment and Independent Living. At this stage, each student also has a transition plan that details the steps needed to successfully transition to their life after leaving school.

PSHE, SMSC, RSE and FBV

The Spaghetti Bridge Three Phase curriculum and our Relational Approach ensures that PSHE, SMSC, RSE, and FBV are integrated throughout each student’s curriculum in an individualised and student-centred manner. In addition, we have developed a yearly PSHE and RSE curriculum, consisting of termly and weekly themes, a bespoke target cache, and group and individual sessions.

In order to ensure that our students develop their cultural capital, each school has a cultural calendar which links PSHE and SMSC themes to events and activities in their community.

Mathematics

Mathematics is about so much more than simply getting the answer right. Instead, we believe that mathematics can facilitate a new perspective on the world and foster creative and analytical thinking, a growth mindset, and confidence in one’s ability to learn. Therefore, our mathematics curriculum contains three areas: mathematical content, mathematical thinking, and mathematical mindset.

Mathematical content consists of the twelve areas of learning that form the conceptual structure of a mathematics curriculum.

Mathematical mindset is about how students relate to mathematics, are resilient in the face of mathematical challenges, view themselves as capable of mathematics, and see mathematics in a positive light.

Mathematical thinking is the way in which students use logic, reason, and divergent thinking to solve mathematical problems and how they apply their mathematical learning across the wider curriculum.

Spaghetti Bridge schools deliver mathematics both as part of Enterprise Projects and through discrete mathematics sessions. We believe in teaching mathematics across the curriculum as a key part of all subjects.

Spaghetti Bridge schools do not follow the National Curriculum in literacy, but instead have adapted this curriculum into our Mathematics Pillar, which allows us to assess, plan, scaffold and sequence each student’s individualised curriculum.

All students have the opportunity to pursue accredited mathematics outcomes, including GCSE and Functional Skills exams.

Spaghetti Bridge has developed our approach to mathematics through collaboration with the Jurassic Maths Hub.

Literacy

At Spaghetti Bridge, we want our students to have a love of reading, the ability to understand and manage information, and communicate effectively. Our literacy curriculum contains content in five distinct areas: comprehension, word recognition, speaking and listening, spelling, punctuation and grammar, and writing. These content areas are supported by a vibrant reading culture and the fostering of a learning mindset.  Literacy is delivered throughout the curriculum, is embedded in Enterprise Projects and is integrated into all subject areas.

Each student has an individualised Reading Plan linked to their relationship to reading.

Our literacy programme is supported by a comprehensive phonics programme based on the Ruth Miskin Trust Fresh Start programme. For students on a phonics programme, their phonics is delivered through a bespoke curriculum, which may consist of 1:1 sessions or be integrated into their wider learning.

Each school has a termly reading curriculum that is linked to the wider curriculum map with links to the PSHE curriculum and the Driving Question for the term.

The Spaghetti Bridge literacy curriculum provides opportunities for accredited learning, including GCSE and Functional Skills exams.

Spaghetti Bridge schools do not follow the National Curriculum in literacy, but instead have adapted this curriculum into our Literacy Pillar, which allows us to assess, plan, scaffold and sequence each student’s individualised curriculum.

Spaghetti Bridge has developed our literacy curriculum in collaboration with the Cornerstones English Hub and the Right to Read Programme.

EHCP Outcomes

Every student at Spaghetti Bridge Schools has an Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP) and this forms an integral part of their curriculum. Our schools take a student’s EHCP outcomes and break these down into achievable termly targets as part of each student’s Individual Learning Plan. These targets are then integrated into the student’s projects and wider curriculum and assessed on a termly basis.

A Knowledge Rich Curriculum

Children and young people today have inherited a world in which they have access to more knowledge than ever before; however, the knowledge curriculum is often delivered without context or sense of purpose. We have instead designed our knowledge-rich curriculum using Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy to support students to not just gain but apply and create knowledge. Our curriculum map covers the subjects of science, human and social, creative and aesthetic, physical, and technology and design education, with termly topics in each area. The curriculum spirals every three years, ensuring that students revisit and build on prior learning through a sequence of three progressive tiers of knowledge for each topic.

This curriculum structure allows us to build individualised pathways for each student that support ambitious progress across the curriculum in line with their individual strengths and needs.

Skills and Understandings

In addition to our knowledge curriculum, our pillars also focus on skills and understandings. Skills are specific abilities that are linked to a particular subject and understandings concern the role that a specific subject plays in our world. Our skills and understandings are sequenced vertically and horizontally as part of our curriculum map and built into Enterprise Projects.

Enterprise Projects

As much as possible, our curriculum is delivered in the form of Enterprise Projects. In these projects, each student creates a piece of Beautiful Work of which they are proud. The projects are oriented around a shared Driving Question, which makes them meaningful, and are completed through Project Steps, such as brainstorming, creating models, doing field work, and presenting to the community. Projects are supported through collaboration with Industry Experts, who are professionals within a particular field and support our students to complete their Beautiful Work according to industry standards.

It is helpful to look at Enterprise Projects as the vehicle through which learning is delivered. For example, in designing and building a garden, students can learn any number of topics, such as botany, engineering, mathematics, etc. Reading is woven into projects through such steps as researching. Projects also enable students to work toward their EHCP outcomes by enabling any number of areas of learning, such as teamwork and cooperation, emotional resilience, executive functioning, and creative thinking.

Enterprise Projects give students a sense of purpose in their learning and build strong connections with their community, both within and outside the school.

The Three Phase Process

Our curriculum is structured by the Three Phase Process, which allows us to adapt each student’s programme to their current level of need and sequence all future learning.

Overcoming Barriers – students develop their sense of trust, belonging, self-image as a student, and sense of their own potential.  

21st Century Skills – each student’s curriculum broadens to focus more on the skills, knowledge and understandings that will enable them to thrive in the 21st century. 

Becoming Community Ready – the student’s curriculum prioritises more the steps that need to be taken in order to successfully transition to their life beyond school.

The Three Phases Process ensures that each student’s curriculum is individualised and ambitious and that they are supported and challenged at the appropriate level on the way to becoming themselves and changing the world.

The Three Phase Process

Our curriculum is structured by the Three Phase Process, which allows us to adapt each student’s programme to their current level of need and sequence all future learning.

Overcoming Barriers – students develop their sense of trust, belonging, self-image as a student, and sense of their own potential.  

21st Century Skills – each student’s curriculum broadens to focus more on the skills, knowledge and understandings that will enable them to thrive in the 21st century. 

Becoming Community Ready – the student’s curriculum prioritises more the steps that need to be taken in order to successfully transition to their life beyond school.

The Three Phases Process ensures that each student’s curriculum is individualised and ambitious and that they are supported and challenged at the appropriate level on the way to becoming themselves and changing the world.