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Our Areté Learning Trust curriculum is ambitious and based upon the evidence of how students learn. It exposes them to the best that has been thought and said so that they are challenged to be the best that they can be. Underpinning this, strong knowledge foundations and the highlighting of interdisciplinary links ensure learning is equitable for all. 


Rich first-hand experiences broaden horizons and create fulfilment and enjoyment. Ultimately, students thrive academically, personally and socially enabling them to become active and responsible global citizens.


Curriculum design and coverage

Northallerton School & Sixth Form College aims to provide students with a broad and balanced curriculum, building upon the knowledge and understanding gained at Key Stage 2. The school provides a three-year Key Stage 3 and a two-year Key Stage 4, however the core subjects of English, mathematics and science do begin their GCSE teaching in Year 9 once they are confident that the subject knowledge has been secured from Key Stage 3. At Key Stage 5 students are able to select from a good range of academic and vocational courses, some of which are taught in partnership with Stokesley School & Sixth Form College to maximise the course offer.


Here at Northallerton School & Sixth Form College we are very excited to offer students a unique approach to learning at Key Stage 3 called SAIL.

SAIL stands for Student Agency In Learning and is an approach based on the learning that takes place in a group of schools called Kunskapsskolan in Sweden.

Kunskapsskolan means knowledge school. The focus is on ‘student agency’ which is about students taking ownership of their learning, realising that education is not something that is done to them but instead, it is something that they are central to, have control of and responsibility for.


The SAIL approach is different in some key ways:


  • Learning is transparent.
    • This means that students know what they need to do to be successful at different levels. They know their own targets and can push themselves to achieve more.


  • Independence is nurtured.
    • We help students take responsibility for their own learning and their own organisation. What do they need to do? When? What help do they need? How can they make sure they are successful? We have workshop lessons for students to get on with their independent work, with help if they need it.


  • Coaching is key.
    • These are weekly conversations about learning with an adult; maybe their base coach, a volunteer or a sixth former. What goals do you have? What deadlines? What is working well? What could be better? How can we help? How can you help yourself?


  • Teaching is collaborative.
    • Most subjects work together on themes across the year.  This means that the learning feels more joined up. When they study the theme of ‘Who Are We?’ they will be looking at the same themes in different ways across lots of their lessons.
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