In late Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 the Yellow Pathway builds on the foundation years and works towards the greater diversity offered at Key Stages 3 and 4. The emphasis of the Yellow pathway is on developing key skills and knowledge whilst fostering a real love for learning, focusing on the core subjects of English, Maths, PSHE and Science. The aim of giving these areas a more prominent role is to enable the children to develop skills that will allow them to access a more diverse curriculum when moving into Key Stage 3. A range of topics are studied within each of these curriculum areas which rotate over a two year long term plan. Examples of these include ‘Stories from other cultures’ in English and ‘Time’ and ‘Money’ in Maths. We recognise the need to utilise practical, multi- sensory activities and resources with our students, in particular those with additional sensory needs.  Throughout our curriculum development we have worked with the students to get their opinions and interests to ensure it is relevant to students needs.

Our curriculum is designed in a way where topics are selected according to students interests.  As learners progress through the Yellow pathway each year there is a gradual building of knowledge.  The curriculum is planned so that year on year learning is reinforced and built upon with progression of learning through different subjects.  For example students learn about light and sound sources in Lower Key Stage 2 and will build upon this knowledge in Upper Key Stage 2 by learning about light and sound waves.  Skills taught and reinforced in a spiral manner building upon previous skills and helping students to develop new ones.  The application of this knowledge forms the basis of secure understanding of the curriculum areas.

Students study a wide range of subjects in the yellow pathway with a broad and balanced offer.  Subjects include English, Maths, Science, The World (Geography, History, RE, MFL is KS3 onwards), Technology (DT, Food Technology, Computing), Creativity (dance, Art & Music), PSHE & RSE and PE.  Students also learn how to independent and creative citizens encompassing our learning values in everything we do.  Click the links for information on each of the subjects.

We have considered carefully the need for progression in skills and knowledge and this is illustrated within the long term curriculum planning and subject overviews.  We have also developed teaching progression frameworks for the core subjects in order to demonstrate how learning progresses over time.  These guides are also a useful tool to parents and carers as they illustrate the methods we use at school within our teaching.

Calculation Progression

Ratio and Proportion Progression

Geometry and Measures Progression

Reading Progression

Writing Progression

Science Milestones

Communication is a key skill which we recognise our learners need to develop whatever learning pathway they are on.  The attached document demonstrates the wide range of opportunities our Yellow Pathway learners have to develop.  If students require any additional specialist intervention this can be provided by our Communication Teaching Assistant or via referral to our attached speech and language therapist (SALT).

Communication Across the Pathways

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Alongside this emphasis on core skills is the recognition that children will thrive when given an opportunity to explore all areas of their creativity and abilities. We therefore include a wide variety of foundation subjects and ‘special’ curriculum areas that provide stimulation and help to meet the individual needs, including the physical needs, of the children. Opportunities available where appropriate include input from specialist sports coaches, music teachers and therapists and specialist TAs who lead on communication and structured teaching approaches. Where appropriate students have access to specialist literacy interventions which focus on promoting further progress in early phonic and reading skills. Progress is monitored through classroom observation, students work and contributions in lessons. This evidence is recorded within our Evidence for Learning platform with progress being measured according to our Highfield Developmental Assessment which informs our teachers of the next steps for our pupils.  Progress towards students Education Health Care Plans is also tracked and monitored closely as a main method of assessment.


The Key Stage 3 National Curriculum document provides the basis of topics taught.  As the programmes of study for Key Stage 3 are not fully covered at Highfield in that Key Stage, we have incorporated some Key Stage 2 topics, especially in humanities, into our Key Stage 3 curriculum. The framework is a guide of what is to be taught during the three years that pupils spend in this Key Stage.  We ensure a breadth and balance across each term, each year and the whole Key Stage to ensure appropriate coverage of the National Curriculum. 

Key Stage 4

We aim to develop learners as individuals, be able to stay safe and participate in the community life.  In Key Stage 4 students will continue to learn and consolidate skills for independent living, further education and working life.

Most topics will follow programmes of study created and accredited by ASDAN, Pearson Edexcel and AQA.  These bodies are curriculum development and awarding organisations who provide flexible and engaging programmes and qualifications that help young people develop skills for learning, work and life.

There is a balance between continuing to develop key skills and introducing a greater emphasis on work related learning and life skills. 

All students follow courses accredited by examining bodies - at present these are via ASDAN and Pearson Edexcel. All other work is credited to the AQA framework which gives comprehensive recognition of the knowledge and skills the students have gained to be recognised by future employers.  These courses are based on work completed in school and involve a wide variety of relevant opportunities.  Here's some information about the progression in learning and different level qualifications that can be achieved in English and Maths.

English Progression KS4

Maths Progression KS4

Take a look at the Upper School area of the website for more information on opportunities within Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form.


Preparing for Adulthood

Preparing for Adulthood and developing key life skills are a key part of the curriculum for all Highfield pupils.  These skills are embedded within each of our pathways and taught at the most appropriate level for the learner.  This is the basis for our work related learning strategy and as our strap line states it prepares learners for the next step in education, life or work - whatever is appropriate for them.

Careful and highly individualised curriculum planning across the school is related to students EHCP Outcomes as well as the respective Preparing for Adulthood frameworks.  It aims to give all pupils the opportunity to experience and learn to prepare for real life situations, such as shopping, crossing the road, meal planning, writing a letter and posting it, or even growing and eating their own food.  Take a look at our strategy and how we incorporate this into our curriculum here.

Yellow Pathway End Points and Transition from Highfield

Outcomes for learners on the yellow pathway varies according to the individual progress they make in their time at Highfield through the curriculum frameworks and against their EHCP outcomes.  All students are entitled to leave with qualifications at an appropriate level.  In the yellow pathway, we offer Functional Skills English and Maths at Level 1 and 2 (equivalent to lower GCSE levels), as well as Entry Level 1, 2 and 3.  Students also study ASDAN Personal and Social Development as a qualifications base to develop their personal self involving all of our learning values.  There is also an option to accredit learning according to the AQA Unit Award scheme.

Learners in the yellow pathway are likely to stay on roll until the end of Year 11.  Discussions on moving on begin at the same time as learners on our other pathways, from at least the year 9 annual review.  This is coupled with careers education, careers guidance interviews and moving on events.  Our careers page has more information.

Nearly all yellow pathway learners will transition to a local mainstream college to study within specialist college courses at an appropriate level, taking into account he level of study they accessed at HIghfield.  The programmes of study at college include Maths and English alongside a range of vocational options that they can in turn take into employment.  A minority leave HIghfield and gain employment without accessing college first.


Here is an overview of the Yellow pathway (best viewed full screen):



Take a look at our curriculum maps below:


Yellow Lower KS2                               

Yellow Upper KS2                               

Yellow KS3 1                                                                                       

Yellow KS3 2                                        

Yellow KS3 3                                         

Yellow KS4