New Directions Curriculum

New Directions Curriculum

Environmental Science

These practical qualifications are designed to help students gain the skills needed to work in the environmental sector, with a focus on knowledge and skills relating to animals, plants and the outdoors. A range of horticultural, fish and the aquatic environment and animal husbandry units are available.
Further study and career progression could include such roles as Marine biology, horticulture, Dog handling, RSPCA inspector and Tree surgeon. There is currently a shortage of skilled workers in the Environmental sector and there are good opportunities in gaining apprenticeships and employment.

Students have the opportunity to experience a range of practical activities taught on and off site. Our aim is to introduce students to a varied programme of practical and written work with links to Maths and English.

Students are assessed through a range of practical skills and a portfolio of written and illustrated evidence e.g. photographic evidence. The course is teacher assessed and there will be no final exam.

The course leads to a BTEC Entry Level 3 and/or Level 1 in Land Based Studies with possible progression on to other courses.

Mathematics Department

Aims and Objectives

Mathematics teaches us how to make sense of the world around us through developing a young person’s ability to calculate, reason and solve problems of a mathematical nature.

It enables young people to understand and appreciate relationships of the core components of Number and Algebra, Shape, Space & Measure and Data Handling in their everyday lives.

Through their growing engagement, knowledge and understanding, young people learn to appreciate the contribution made by many cultures to the development and application of mathematics.

The aims of mathematics are to:

  • Re-engage students with mathematics in a way that appeals to them relating it to everyday practical applications and their future aspirations.
  • Promote enjoyment and enthusiasm for learning through practical activities, exploration and discussion.
  • Promote confidence and competence with numbers and the number system.
  • Develop the ability to solve problems through decision-making and reasoning in a range of contexts.
  • Understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life.

We provide suitable learning opportunities for all students by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies including group work, practical activities, problem-solving games, paired and differentiated work.
During Year 10 and / or Year 11, most students will sit Functional Skills exams in mathematics at Entry Levels 1 to 3, Level 1 or Level 2, according to ability. At the end of Year 11, students can sit GCSE Mathematics.

The Art Department

The Art department aims to provide a structured and enriching learning experience that builds on the individual student’s prior knowledge, interests and skills. Students are encouraged to take creative risks and grow as individuals in a supportive and nurturing environment.

Students use a variety of media and techniques, including painting, printing, sculpture and textiles. They learn about the work of other artists and use this knowledge to inform their work. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively as well as individually, and are given the opportunity to learn important skills and techniques in order for their work to be successful.

Our Art department aims to expose students to new learning opportunities including educational visits, cross curricular projects, and participation in exhibitions and collaborative work with other creative professionals and organisations.

Students joining us will focus on learning about and experimenting with the formal elements of art, and will work in a mixture of two dimensional and three dimensional techniques including painting and mixed media artwork. Students will initially work on a series of projects which aim to quickly build up self-confidence, knowledge and technical skill. Students are encouraged to be ambitious and imaginative, and to experiment with materials they may have not used before. Towards the end of the year, students will self-assess their strengths and undertake a personal project.

The department currently delivers the BTEC in Art & Design at E3 and Level 1.
In year 11 we discuss careers in the creative industries and work on building a portfolio of work for progression post 16.


English Department

The over-riding aim of our English curriculum is to ensure that each student, whatever their ability, reaches their full potential. We recognise the importance of developing students’ English and Literacy skills so that they can access the wider curriculum on offer at New Directions.

Students develop their communication through reading, writing and the spoken word, equipping them with the skills required for life and work. The English Department strives to foster a positive attitude towards English by presenting it as an interesting, creative, challenging and useful subject; the topics and themes we explore promote fundamental British values and develop our students culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually through literature and language.

Throughout Key Stage 4, all of our students, regardless of their individual starting points, will study for both Functional Skills and AQA English Language GCSE qualifications. Students have a personalised programme of learning in English, including differentiation in class, study clubs, homework or literacy intervention programmes.


Business Studies

The BTEC Level 1 Introductory Certificate and Diploma in Business is an opportunity for students to engage in discussion about the world around them and become responsible citizens who make positive contributions in society.

Students engage in a range of practical tasks that encourage them to develop transferable skills, attributes and behaviours needed for progression into further study and eventually employment.

Students will engage in practical and written curriculums, and engage with Business through educational visits and mentor workshops. The course has strong cross curricular links to English, Maths and other vocational subjects.

Course content:
Core A1 – Being organised
Core A2 – Developing a personal progression plan
Sector B5 – Finding out about a business in your area
Sector B7 – Branding a product
Sector B8 – Creating a visual display

The course will enable students to explore and review techniques to improve their own organisational skills and explore skills and behaviours needed to meet personal progression goals. Students also research and report on local businesses, and develop their own brands a market and audience.

Food Technology Department

Food Technology is a subject that impacts on everyone’s lives, and aims to improve the health and wellbeing of our students through developing their understanding and knowledge of food and nutrition. The Food Technology curriculum enable students to develop the basic cooking skills and principles of healthy eating. Students also develop a broader consumer awareness and knowledge of food safety, enabling them to becoming more independent young people who are able to make informed choices now and in the future.

The Food Technology curriculum enables students explore what constitutes a healthy sustainable diet, hygienic food preparation and storage methods. Students also develop their knowledge of food production and its impact on our health and the environment. Our aim is that pupils leave New Directions equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary for them to lead healthy lives by showing them how to plan, prepare balanced meals as part of a healthy diet.

The BTEC Level 1 & Level 2 Awards in Home Cooking Skills gives learners the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy cooking meals at home. Learners gain an understanding of how to economise when planning meals to cook at home. The course encourages learners to transfer skills learnt to continue cooking for themselves and their families and to inspire others by passing on their knowledge.
The course is based on the chef Jamie Oliver’s proposition that being able to cook is an essential life skill which empowers people to make changes that have benefits to health and wellbeing.