Providing Positive Experiences for Children

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school-competition_2497402bThe Curriculum

The ‘basic’ school curriculum includes the ‘national curriculum’, religious education and sex education.

The national curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by primary and secondary schools so children learn the same things. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject.

At Holly House, all pupils follow the National Curriculum, but adapted to meet their needs and their previous learning experiences. There is a 7 period day with lessons lasting 40 minutes. All classes start their day with Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar in their form groups. Apart from the main subjects there are opportunities to experience a broader curriculum based on developing social skills and improving behaviour. Holly House also offers Life Skills and Outdoor Education mainly with our KS3 pupils. This is aimed at preparing pupils for life after Holly House, you can find further information about Outdoor Education in our ‘Outdoor Ed’ section of the website.

Key stages

The national curriculum is organised into blocks of years called ‘key stages’ (KS). At the end of each key stage, your child’s teacher will formally assess their performance to measure your child’s progress.

Age Year Key stage Assessment  
3 to 4   Early years    
4 to 5 Reception Early years    
5 to 6 Year 1 KS1 Phonics screening check  
6 to 7 Year 2 KS1 Teacher assessments in English, maths and science  
7 to 8 Year 3 KS2    
8 to 9 Year 4 KS2    
9 to 10 Year 5 KS2    
10 to 11 Year 6 KS2 National tests and teacher assessments in English and Maths  
11 to 12 Year 7 KS3 Teacher assessments  
12 to 13 Year 8 KS3 Teacher assessments  
13 to 14 Year 9 KS3 Teacher assessments  
14 to 15 Year 10 KS4 Some children take GCSEs  
15 to 16 Year 11 KS4 Most children take GCSEs or other national qualifications  

Assessment of progress

There are no longer levels of attainment attached to the National Curriculum. At Holly House we recognise that pupils are admitted at a fairly low starting point. We assess on entry their reading, comprehension and spelling age. We also assess their skills in maths. In Year 7 we also use Cognitive ability testing as an indicator set against national norms. To measure progress at Key Stage 2 we use the Age Appropriate National Curriculum content as a guide and use ‘ages’ to show where they are in comparison. At Key Stage 3 we have a learning objective based system using the 3 E’s. For each learning objective pupils can be ‘Engaged’ (orange – they have been experienced the learning) , ‘Embedded’ (green – they have been able demonstrate they have learnt the objective) or ‘Exceeded’ (blue – they have gone beyond the objective and extended their learning). This is then summarised for parents using a 5 point scale. 

Special Educational Needs

All pupils at Holly House have a Statement/EHC plan. Their primary need will be SEMH (Social, Emotional or Mental Health) with Behaviour being the main priority. Pupils may well have additional needs and diagnosed conditions. For more information on Special Educational Needs you can visit the Derbyshire Website or follow this link to the SEND Local Offer.


To view our current Curriculum Policy, click the link below:

Curriculum Policy 2018

We also have Curriculum Statements for English and Maths. Please click the links below to find out more

English Curriculum Statement

Maths Curriculum Statement

Contact us

Holly House School

Church Street

Old Whittington


S41 9QR


Tel: 01246 450530

OUT OF HOURS EMERGENCY CONTACT Ring 07398 940499 or check for more options by clicking on the 'Home' tab above.

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