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Curriculum Statement

At Co-op Academy Southfield we value our students and their uniqueness. We will never let anything get in the way of our high aspirations for them.

To make sure that they achieve all that they are capable of, we will ensure that our curriculum is literacy rich and is broad and balanced so that the students have exposure to a curriculum that engages and challenges them regardless of their background.

Our curriculum will be sequenced so that the students are taught firm foundations and that subsequent learning builds upon what the students already know and can do.

We want the students to become responsible citizens who can make positive contributions in adulthood and so we ensure that they are fully equipped with the skills and knowledge to thrive in modern Britain.

We will make sure that they are supported in a range of situations external to the school environment too so that we are contributing to their personal development as well as their academic development.

The Co-op Values will be the golden thread running through our endeavours and our approaches.

  • Self-help – helping ourselves to improve and make a positive contribution
  • Self-responsibility – taking responsibility for and answering to our actions
  • Democracy – having a say in how we run our academy
  • Equality – ensuring everyone’s voice can be heard
  • Equity – being fair and unbiased so that everyone has an equal chance
  • Solidarity – sharing interests and a common purpose

We do this using the Ways of Being Co-op

  • Succeed together – Cooperating is what makes us different; we’re better and stronger when we work together.
  • Be yourself, always – We bring our best self to the academy, so that we each contribute and respect others for doing the same. Of course, being yourself isn’t about excusing poor behaviours that contradict our other Ways of Being Co-op.
  • Do what matters most – What matters most is ensuring that our students achieve the best possible outcomes.
  • Show you care – We care about our Trust, our colleagues, our students, their parents, our Co-op and communities, now and for the future.

The curriculum at Co-op Academy Southfield has been designed by the school staff team to reflect our high aspirations and meet the wide range of students’ needs. The year group model which has been implemented ensures the curriculum content is clearly sequenced for each year group with specific endpoints, creating a bespoke learning journey for our students.  The curriculum is subject-based, all students have daily core lessons of Maths, English and Personal Social Development. The curriculum is designed to be literacy-rich including a diverse range of texts to inspire students, key vocabulary in every subject and daily phonics sessions.

The curriculum content seeks to inspire in pupils a love of learning, the motivation to be in school, and beyond this, curiosity and respect for their local community. The curriculum intends to give students knowledge of the locality and the opportunities that living in Bradford and Yorkshire can offer.  We want students to have a sense of responsibility and citizenship. The curriculum is designed to help students to flourish in their personal development. The curriculum is enhanced through a wide range of coherently planned, first-hand experiences, including educational visits, work experience and taking part in regional events. As students progress through the key stages, opportunities to learn outside of school increase. In this way, we also build our pupils’ cultural capital. Wider curriculum subjects also introduce students to role models, selecting artists, authors, scientists and designers from diverse backgrounds to reflect the makeup of our multicultural city.

The learning for each year group has a focus:

Year 7- All About Me

Year 8- My Amazing Human Body

Year 9- My Voice, My Choice.

Year 10- It's Risky Business

Year 11- Bradford, Britain & Beyond

Year 12- My Ambitions and Aspirations

Year 13- I am an Entrepreneur

Year 14- My Life Beyond Southfield

These provide a relevant ‘hook’ into a theme and a purpose for learning. Subject planning is written to ensure that there are high aspirations for the highest attainers, we never hold anyone back.  The curriculum is mapped against the National Curriculum to ensure it is broad and balanced. As pupils move through the key stages, the knowledge and skills become more challenging and complex. The curriculum has been designed to be ambitious for all pupils. Frequent retrieval opportunities are written into the planning documents, allowing for pupils’ learning to be consolidated and for any misconceptions to be addressed. Students have opportunities to gain accreditation for their achievements when they meet standards in Maths, English and Art and, alongside those in KS5 Catering and Hospitality. The school uses NCFE accreditation, the Arts Award and The Duke of Edinburgh Award.

At Co-op Academy Southfield, a main priority for all of our students is communication. We recognise that communication skills can reduce their safeguarding vulnerabilities and also optimise a young persons’ academic and personal development . By placing such a focus on communication, we give our pupils the best opportunity to succeed in the next step of their education. Opportunities to develop communication skills are in every subject area and the yearly focus themes are used consistently as a vehicle to develop these skills.

As well as the emphasis on developing pupils’ communication skills, safeguarding is a strong feature of the curriculum. There are opportunities to learn about safeguarding in each subject area, including predominantly Personal Social Development (PSD), which is taught through the areas of Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Sex Education and Living in the Wider World.  We focus upon teaching pupils to be responsible citizens and to have strategies and support to minimise risk and stay safe.

Our curriculum is designed to give pupils a sense of belonging in the academy and the wider community.  The Co-op Values are a golden thread running through our curriculum. These values have contributed to the curriculum design and encompass the headlines of our intent:

  • Value students’ uniqueness and have high aspirations for them
  • Provide a sequenced curriculum that is broad, balanced and literacy- rich
  • Teach knowledge that builds on what students already know and can do
  • Contribute to personal and academic development
  • Encourage students to become responsible citizens who make positive contributions in adulthood


Communication is vitally important for all students, but has an increased presence for students working at Early Cognition and Communication levels. Communication is threaded into all lessons to embed all skills and add to the breadth of the curriculum.

Due to the varying needs of the children here at Southfield, not one communication method is prioritised over another. Student’s needs are assessed, and then communication strategies are employed that work towards the strengths of the students to allow them the greatest access to their learning.

We promote the concept of Total Communication, which is a holistic approach which actively promotes all methods of communication to help students communicate and connect with others. We aim to empower all our students to communicate and express themselves to the best of their ability and as effectively as possible, using the most accessible methods to them, including non-verbal and language-based communication and symbol systems.

We use many different methods in combination to support our student’s understanding of spoken language and their ability to communicate by whichever method is the most successful in different situations.

The strategies that we use to assist our communication offer at Southfield include:

  • Intensive Interaction
  • Vocalisation
  • Touch cues
  • Transitional object cues
  • Photographs
  • PECS
  • E-Trans Frames
  • Switch skills
  • Music cues

The systems used by individual pupils will be written in their ‘This is me’ profiles under the ‘Communication’ section.