Skip to content

Subject Area Descriptions


Key Stage 3 English lessons are taught in form groups led by the form tutor. The English curriculum explores a range of text genres following the national curriculum statutory requirements. Each year group studies one novel per year, using this as a platform to study a range of non-fiction texts and develop reading and writing skills. The curriculum has been chosen to give students the skills needed to thrive in the real world such as learning to write emails, formal letters, reports, personal statements and articles using the correct form and style. A dedicated DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) session is scheduled daily to develop crucial reading skills and cultivate a love of reading. At Key Stage 4, a range of qualifications from Functional Skills Entry Level up to GCSE English are offered to students to ensure differentiated pathways, allowing all students the opportunity to reach their full potential.


Springwell Academy Leeds recognises the importance of Mathematics in both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.  Our younger students get the opportunity to follow a broad Mathematics curriculum that addresses their gaps in knowledge, builds on their prior knowledge and stretches them a little further each year, thus preparing them for Ks4 study and beyond.  Mathematics is taught 4 times a week and our vision is to create an environment in which all learners can make progress through a kinaesthetic, engaging, immersive and a creative approach.


Students in KS4 are working towards qualifications.  We have a range of these on offer from entry level through to GCSE, so that students can aim to gain a qualification that is achievable and tailored to them.


The aim of the elements curriculum is to foster a love of learning for pupils.  A theme is studied each half-term which is based on a Mantle of the Expert approach, we want students to emotionally invest in the Elements curriculum, so they are engaged and interested in the people, events and issues being studied.  The curriculum aims to provide rich and creative learning opportunities including drama, props, guest speakers, visits, the use of our immersive spaces and other technologies.  Topics covered this year will include ‘Where We Live’, ‘World Food’ and ‘Fashion and Culture’. Where relevant we will also make cross curricular links the arts subjects.

A key aim of the Elements curriculum is to promote social and emotional aspects of learning including teamwork, building relationships, resilience, empathy, self-confidence and communication.  This is key in supporting our students to develop their emotional literacy. A story or narrative forms the start of most projects which helps pupils to become confident in reading, writing, speaking and listening.  Every topic includes several extended writing tasks to develop our pupil’s literacy skills.


You will see from the topic overview and examples of student work the type of active learning students are involved in and how this supports our whole school ethos of a nurturing and inspiring learning environment for our students.


Science at Springwell Leeds contributes significantly to pupils’ enjoyment and understanding of the world and their place within it right from Key Stage 2 to 4. It is made accessible to all pupils through a focus on fun practical work, first-hand experience and STEM projects designed to inspire and engage learners. Teaching key skills such as making observations, predictions and evaluation of first-hand observations are of equal importance to knowledge and understanding.

Science is taught by specialist teachers and classrooms have dedicated science equipment which all pupils are able to access. Science is also incorporated throughout other subjects and relevant Elements themes. This ensures a holistic approach in the acquisition of scientific skills and knowledge.

The emphasis at KS3 is catering Science to student interests, curiosity and everyday life. Threaded through the curriculum is the breadth of science specialisms; Biology, Chemistry and Physics giving students a flavour of key concepts which help them think more deeply about the world around them. Where appropriate, DT and Elements themes are intertwined in Science lessons to help students see Science in a wider context.

Pupils at KS4 commence an AQA Entry Level Science qualification. This course provides an excellent introduction to the scientific concepts.

The learning of science is greatly focused towards building independent and problem-solving skills to allow pupils to develop their own ability to explore and find things out in science with enquiry-based learning.


During KS3 in Music, children will experience performing, composing and listening. They will also learn how to review and evaluate their own work. Pupils will have the opportunity to play various instruments such as keyboard, guitar, drums, ukulele and opportunities are also offered for students to sing. They will delve into various genres and cultures including Rock, Blues, Pop, TV and Film, Reggae, Dance Music and Chinese music. Children will learn how to read traditional notation as well at alternatives such as graphic score.

The school is well equipped in terms of instruments and music technology and all children are able to share and record their own and others’ music. The schemes of work taught are varied and very flexible, tailored to the needs of the individual. Emphasis is placed on progress and the importance of making mistakes in order to achieve this. Students are given the opportunity to gain Arts Award qualifications, these range from Discover and Explore in younger years through to Bronze and Silver award for older students. Music lessons are planned to cater for the variety of needs that our students have and aim to build confidence as well as foster positive relationships. For those that are interested we offer individual instrumental tuition for a wide variety of musical instruments. Regular concerts are held in school to showcase children’s hard work and achievements.


We deliver a cohesive and progressive five-year creative and nurturing learning experience, which meets the individual needs of all our students. The art curriculum allows our students to interpret and understand their world expressing themselves in both imaginative and personal ways. We do this through the following strategies:

  • Foster and encourage a lasting enjoyment and appreciation of the Arts from varied cultures and traditions from the past to the present day.
  • We develop and improve our students’ skills and confidence in building, making, imagining and creating in a full range of art techniques and mediums.
  • We inspire students with a love of creating art and looking at art for pleasure.
  • We encourage each student to feel the value and worth of themselves as well as others, so that each student approaches issues of race, gender and ability with tolerance and insight.
  • Guide students to become independent and responsible learners for life.
  • Equip students to reach and aspire to their highest possible potential.

Design Technology

Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils will design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs.

KS3 students are following the National Curriculum programmes of study and will attend at least one lesson per week. They work towards achieving the Explore or Discover Arts Award. KS4 students work towards AQA Entry Level Unit Awards and Arts Award Bronze and/ or Silver. Some students will also be following a STEM course. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics

Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of how to research, design, plan, make and evaluate. They will generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches and computer-aided design. They will improve their confidence and competency in a range of practical skills and techniques by selecting the appropriate tools, equipment and machinery. They will use a range of resistant materials to make their own product and will evaluate existing products as well as assess their own ability of themselves and the products that they will make. They will have opportunities to design and produce work using a laser printer and vinyl plotter cutter.

Examples of some KS3 projects include: Jewellery Box, Geometric Animals, Clocks, Desk tidy, Wooden Toy and Key Ring. In KS4 they will attempt projects such as small cabinets, table lamps and wooden artefacts.


In PE, we focus on developing knowledge of key themes as well as skill development. Throughout the year we cover topics such as

  • the importance of warming up
  • the effects of exercise
  • performance analysis
  • problem solving/team building

We use a variety of activities to provide a wide and varied experience in PE. Activities include:

  • Football
  • (Tag) Rugby
  • Cricket
  • Dodgeball
  • Volleyball
  • Fitness
  • Badminton
  • Table Tennis
  • Hockey

Pupils will also have the opportunity to learn vital first-aid skills, develop leadership skills and work towards achieving a level one sports award in key stage 4.

Our main focus in PE is to develop strong team work, communication and social skills, and give our pupils the confidence to try new activities in a supportive environment where every success is celebrated.

SEAL is a main feature of lessons encouraging self-awareness where pupils evaluate both their own work and work of others. Pupils manage their feelings by experiencing working in a range of environments using resilience when learning new skills and techniques and competing against each other. Pupils are also often brought to PE for sensory intervention which allows them to develop the basic skills which may have been missed in early childhood on a more personalised basis.

A select few pupils who consistently demonstrate the values not only of PE, but of Springwell as a whole will compete in cross-site sports fixtures. These will be a fantastic opportunity to apply all the core values which we instil every day at Springwell.


PSHE is a key part of the curriculum that supports students in increasing knowledge and developing skills for life.

The PSHE curriculum supports students in developing their knowledge and understanding in drug education, financial education, sex and relationship education (SRE) and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle. The content is taught by class teachers as well as using external speakers and agencies to deliver specialist content. This content is also supported in other areas of the curriculum such as English, Elements, meal times and nurture times. This cross curricular approach helps students to see the importance of the subject matter and how it applies to their lives.

The PSHE curriculum supports students in developing skills for learning, through opportunities for group discussion and listening to the ideas and opinions of other students. It encourages students to show empathy and develop their self-awareness and confidence in discussing subject content.


Personal Learning

Personal learning is used to support student academic learning as well as review and work towards SEMH targets. It comprises of careers education and guidance, supported reflection and improvement time, academic and emotional interventions, and SEAL activities.

During personal learning, students will engage in a range of activities. This may include setting targets with their class teacher or other adults about their academic progress or SEMH targets. This time will also be used to develop important skills to support student next steps, looking at independent living, cooking, team activities, discussing topical issues in the news or working on personal projects and interests. This key part of our curriculum helps class teachers to support students in recognising their successes as well as setting targets for further improvement.

Personal learning is a time where students receive personalised intervention to support their development both academically and emotionally. Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) are supported through Personalised Learning. Class teachers and other adults speak to students and engage them in activities to develop their self-awareness, managing feelings, motivation, empathy and social skills.