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Venture Academy

MacIntyre Academies

Venture Academy Curriculum


The vast majority of learners who attend Venture Academy have experienced trauma and have had a wide range of previous learning experiences. Many of them have also had negative experiences of school and/or multiple placements which has led them to have:

  • Significant periods of time out of school
  • Negative views about school resulting them in them having significant barriers to learning and lack of ambition
  • Complex social and emotional needs which have impacted on their mental health and well-being

Our Educational Philosophy

Our Educational Philosophy is aligned to our core values:

  • Compassion - We focus on the positives
  • Ambition - We challenge ourselves (pupils, families, staff and schools)
  • Partnership - We are better when we work together

'Why crush behaviours when you can grow them with love?'

Paul Dix 2017

It is also based on our belief that our young people excel when they are happy and feel accepted for who they are. We are ambitious for and on behalf of our young people and are committed to ensuring that all our young people receive a high quality education.

Venture Academy aims to equip pupils with the skills and knowledge to develop key learning and life skills that prepare them ready for life.  We aim to create:

  • Successful learners who enjoy learning; make at least good progress and achieve.
  • Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.
  • Responsible citizens who can make a positive contribution to society.

'Metacognition and self-regulation approaches to teaching support pupils to think about their own learning more explicitly, often by teaching them specific strategies for planning, monitoring, and evaluating their learning'

 We ensure our curriculum is current, relevant and engaging to the pupils within our school, taking account of British values of democracy, tolerance, mutual respect and individual liberty.

A curriculum which:

  • Creates an aspirational high achievement culture.
  • Takes into account individual needs and learning styles.
  • Allows everyone to experience success.


  • Raises standards of attainment.


At Venture Academy all pupils have an EHCP which identifies them as having additional Social Emotional and Mental Health needs. Our admission critieria outlines that we expect all our pupils to have the potential to reach at least reach age related expectations in learning.

Our goal is for all our pupils to develop holistically, ensuring progress in both academic learning and in managing their own emotional needs. 

At Venture Academy, pupils’ access:

  • The National Curriculum that provides both academic rigour and enrichment through visits, visitors and focus days.
  • Theraputic provision, personalised to their individual needs with the outcome of removing barriers to learning.
  • Teaching and learning that takes into account different learning styles and personalisation for pupils.
  • The Arts, to develop skills, interests and confidence.
  • Physical activities, to develop co-ordination and teamwork as well as promote a healthy lifestyle.
  • Off-site visits and activities to develop pupil’s social interactions, independence, self-reliance, confidence and skills for the future.
  • Extra-curricular activities during lunchtime such as art, engineering and sports, to develop their interests.

Breadth and balance.

Our curriculum is developmental, ensuring prior learning is reinforced and new learning increases in cognitive complexity and greater depth.  Pupils will see the same topics throughout their learning journey, with each encounter increasing in complexity and reinforcing previous learning. We recognise that our pupils arrive with gaps in their learning which impact on their ability to develop new skills and knowledge. Our school systems aim to identify these gaps promptly and teachers then plan carefully to address these learning gaps, at the same time as building pupil confidence in learning.

Key Stage 2:

The National Curriculum is used to plan, teach and assess pupils in Key Stage 2, in all subjects.

Pupils are taught throughout the week in individual lessons for English, Maths, Science, PE, Cooking, Forest School, Humanities, PSHE and Personal Development.  Pupils are taught through engaging termly learning themes.

Learning themes empower staff to ensure that skills can be taught in the most creative, current and relevant contexts for pupils and can be led by the cohorts’ interests and needs.

Key Stage 3:

We operate a two-year Key Stage 3, delivering a broad and balanced curriculum which will be clearly mapped to the National Curriculum. Year 7 and 8 will provide a clear transition into a secondary model of specialist teachers. We believe that the essential workaround attachment and relationships within Years 7 and 8 will enable pupils to approach Year 9 and the start of their accredited learning with positivity. Year 9 will have a focus of transitioning into Examinations where students have the opportunity to sit their Entry Level exams in English, Maths and Science. 

Pupils are taught throughout the week in individual lessons for English, Maths, Science, PE, Cooking, Forest School, Humanities, PSHE and Personal Development.  Pupils are taught through engaging termly learning themes.

Key Stage 4:

We operate a two-year Key Stage 4. We ensure pupils access enrichment days every half-term to ensure breadth of experience in contrast to a narrowing curriculum.

Pupils will access a core offer of working towards accreditations in Maths, English Language, English Literature, Science.  Our core offer also includes PE and PSHE. Pupils chose options from accreditation in either: Tourism and Hospitality, Health and Social, Digital Media, Sport, Land based studies, Business Studies, Preforming Arts, Creative Arts and Construction.

It is our aspiration that pupils attain GCSE’s, although pathways to alternative accreditations are available for pupils who require this personalisation.

For more information on Curriculum Design, specifically implementation and impact please see our Curriculum Policy  here

You can also contact James Bowater (Head of School) Shelley Molley and Layla Noel (Assistant Principles in Curriculum, teaching and learning) or for more information by calling the school on 01564 792514 or emailing

You can also use the 'contact us' form  here