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North Gosforth Academy

North Gosforth Academy

Our Curriculum

"Since we cannot know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned."                                      John Holt

Please see left sidebar for more information on particular subjects.


The curriculum in maintained schools must follow the law and statutory guidance and include the requirements of the National Curriculum. Governing bodies are required to make a curriculum policy statement, which is regularly reviewed and made available to parents. 


The Seaton Burn College Curriculum aims to:

  • develop values in our students to help them become successful, confident and responsible;
  • ensure that students develop essential literacy, numeracy and ICT skills to support them in playing a full and effective role in society;
  • provide all students with a full and rounded entitlement to learning;
  • foster students’ enterprise skills by developing their creativity, initiative, risk-taking, independence and self-reliance;
  • promote a healthy lifestyle;
  • inspire students to enjoy learning now and  for the rest of their lives;
  • promote high standards in all learning and teaching;
  • promote community cohesion;
  • ensure all learners make the best progress they can, narrowing gaps in achievement between groups

The College curriculum follows statutory requirements and the requirements of the National Curriculum.

It is balanced and broadly based; promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of our students and of society; and prepares our students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.  The curriculum at SBC includes:

  • opportunities for students  to acquire and develop skills in speaking and listening, literacy, numeracy and ICT;
  • personal, social, health and citizenship education, reflecting the College's aims and ethos; this includes an emphasis on community cohesion and British Values
  • spiritual, moral and religious education;
  • appropriate IAG (careers guidance);
  • appropriate programmes of activity for students who are above the compulsory school leaving age;
  • enterprise education.

Equal Opportunities

Entry to all programmes of study is based upon their academic suitability and appropriateness, regardless of students’ gender, race, disability, religion or belief.

Disabilities: In accordance with statutory requirements the College aims to make the curriculum accessible to all students as far as is reasonably practicable. 

Differentiation and Personalisation

A variety of differing teaching and learning methods and materials are used in all courses to suit students’ different individual needs.  For example, students who are in need of improved literacy or who are particularly able, have their needs identified and learning tailored to meet these needs.  Teachers and other adults who work with students in lessons use assessment information to help them tailor learning experiences which are sensitive to students’ prior learning and rates of progress in order to help all students progress as well as possible.  Staff recognise that there is a range of reasons why students progress at different rates and take these carefully into account in planning and delivering learning.

Subjects Offered

KS3:  The KS3 curriculum is designed to give Y7 & 8 students a challenging and stimulating beginning to their secondary education.  The curriculum builds upon skills and knowledge gained in KS2 ensuring continuity and progression in transition from primary school.  This is delivered through lessons in English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Spanish, Tutorial, Ethics and Philosophy, Physical Education, Music, Art, Technology (including Resistant Materials  and Food and Nutrition), Information and Communication Technology and a differentiated language element of either a second MFL (French) or enhanced literacy focus. 

KS4: In KS4 (Y9 – 11) students have the opportunity to study for a range of Level 1 and 2 qualifications. All students study for GCSEs in English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science and have access to a broad range of additional Level 2 option courses; National Curriculum entitlements in RE, Citizenship, Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education; Physical Education are also part of the curriculum.

Post 16: A broad range of Level 2 and Level 3 courses, exceeding the North Tyneside agreed entitlement and making use of partnerships with other providers

14-19 Vocational Learning Pathways enable students to follow courses suited to their needs and preferences (eg  Vocational pathways, routes into Apprenticeships)

Option Systems

At the end of Key Stage 3 (Summer Term of Y8) students are guided to choose 4 Option subjects appropriate to their abilities and interests from a range on offer at Key Stage 4.

In addition, students also choose a one year option that is studied in year 9 only and then assessed

and certified at the end of the year.

At the end of Key Stage 4 it is hoped that students will continue into the Sixth Form, where they are offered a broad range of courses through the collaborative post-16 arrangements between SBC, Longbenton Community College and George Stephenson High School. Entry to Level 3 courses requires a minimum of 5+A-C passes and Grade C or more in the subject in question; entry to Level 2 courses has no minimum requirement.  The College provides a full range of information to students on other Post 16 options and supports them in selecting the choice option for their ongoing study or employment if they choose not to remain at Seaton Burn College.


In accordance with the law, the College has the right to respond to individual needs by modifying National Curriculum programmes, or disapplying the National Curriculum for the duration of Key Stage 4, to:

  • allow a student to participate in extended work-related learning;
  • allow a student with individual strengths to emphasise a particular curriculum area; and
  • allow a student making significantly less progress than other students of his/her age to consolidate his/her learning and progress across the curriculum.

Decisions about any of the above will only be made after discussion with the student and parents.

Religious Education

Religious Education is available to all students.  Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education.

In Year 7 – 9, Religious Education is delivered through our Ethics and Philosophy course. At KS4 Religious Education is delivered through modules in the Tutorial programme; modules within the broader curriculum; and on specific curriculum focus days.

Careers Education

The school has a close working relationship with Connexions, giving students access to the most up to date advice and careers information as well as the opportunity to spend a week with a local industry, business or service. Numerous other opportunities see students interacting with adults from a range of employment sectors, including University Departments, and some students are targeted as part of the NU Entry Advocate Programme initiative in order to prepare them for higher education opportunities.

Sex Education

The College provides Sex Education in the basic curriculum for all students, in which they are encouraged and guided by moral principles and taught to recognise the value of family life.

A full statement of the college Sex Education policy, which has regard for the government's guidance in Sex and Relationship Education Guidance (0116/2000) is available to parents.

In accordance with the law, the biological aspects of human reproduction remain compulsory for all pupils, but parents may withdraw their children from any other part of the sex education curriculum provided without giving reasons.

Political Education

The promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in College is forbidden by law.  Political issues are introduced in a number of courses and are presented in a balanced manner.

PE And Games

All students are expected to take part in the College Physical Education and Games programme.  The College observes the recommended 2 hours of PE lessons across the Key Stages.

Community Cohesion and British Values

The government expects that the College will work through its curriculum to help create a society in which there is a common vision and sense of belonging by all communities; a society whose diversity of backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and valued; a society in which similar life opportunities are available to all; and a society in which strong and positive relationships exist and continue to be developed in the workplace, in schools and colleges and in the wider community. Seaton Burn College endeavours to support this expectation throughout its curriculum; through its commitment to equality and diversity; and in all the work it does.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The College provides a wide and varied programme of study support and cultural and sporting activities that take place outside the formal curriculum.  All students are encouraged to take part in the programme (see also the College Charging policy).

Independent Learning

The College expects homework to be set and completed as agreed and sees the setting of homework as an essential part of developing students’ learning skills, organisation and self-discipline. 

Additional Needs

The College has a special educational needs policy for statemented and non-statemented students.  The College determines appropriate courses and support in consultation with parents.

More Able Students

Specific curriculum adjustments are also made to meet the needs of the more able, for example access to two Modern Foreign Languages and Triple Science.

If you would like further information about the curriculum please contact the College.