Bennerley Fields School,
Stratford Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 8QZ


The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is made up of seven areas of learning and we give particular focus to language and communication, social skills, self-help skills and developing exploration and play skills.

The prime areas are:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Communication and language
  • Physical development

Specific areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Creative development.
  • Understanding The World

There is a multi-sensory approach to the curriculum and activities are carefully planned to provide all children with opportunities to develop a wide range of skills and concepts. Each term activities are based on a topic e.g. ‘All about me’ and theme related activities are planned to provide indoor and outdoor learning opportunities. Our 2-year themes are listed below.

Key Stage 1 and 2 follow a varied and multisensory topic based curriculum that covers all areas of the National Curriculum. Topics are shared throughout primary to encourage inclusive learning and bring the Primary Department together for shared experiences. The topics are motivating and allow the children to practice and reinforce key skills through a range of subjects. This year our visits will include:

  • Jeffery Jumper visit – What do Pirate’s do all day theatre performance
  • Community visits – Garden centres to see the lights.
  • Tamworth Snowdome – Christmas Experience.
  • A range of visitors with vehicles – Police, Fire service, St John’s Ambulance, Postal service
  • Church Service
  • Easter Egg Hunts around the school and local parks
  • Spring Walks
  • Visits to local farms – Bluebell, Stonebridge, Happy Egg company
  • Ancient Egypt workshops- -Meet a Pharaoh, paint a Cartouche
  • Local visits – Shipley Park
  • Shining Cliff Woods
  • Caving

In Primary, learning is very much centred around a whole-child approach to learning, focusing on skills that promote independence, effective communication and how to solve problems practically. We work hard to bring learning to life for the children and to encourage independent learning throughout both key stages. We enjoy a creative curriculum that allows us to express ourselves freely through song, music, movement and craft. Learning is interactive and aims to bring in real life experiences to enhance the curriculum. Visits to the local community and regular sensory or skill-based swim sessions at the local swimming baths. Pupils that are in Key Stage 2 have the opportunity to visit Lea Green and from Year 4 this becomes a residential visit.

Key Stage 3 follows a vibrant topic-based curriculum. Our pupils, staff and parents all had a role in choosing what we wanted to learn and that new curriculum is now entering its second full cycle. We follow all the subjects and aspects of the National Curriculum but within a wide and exciting range of new activities and themes.

In Key Stage 3, learning is very much centred on a whole-child philosophy. We encourage both independent and cooperative learning and are immersed in the use of ICT to support existing subjects and to engage with the new computing curriculum. Our dedicated staff are committed to ambitious progression targets in our core subjects but we also believe firmly in enriching the school experience and fostering confidence and self-belief.

Wednesdays are Curriculum Enrichment Day. All our pupils participate in Bushcraft, Adventurous Activities, cooking and extended ICT projects – as well as many other invigorating lessons. We use visits and adventure to enhance our pupils’ learning and allow them frequently to practice crucial new skills.

When our pupils arrive in Key Stage 4 they are thoroughly prepared for the independent learning they will need to leave our wonderful school with a good range of broad experience and qualifications.

Key Stage 4 students follow pathways that are personalised to meet their needs and accredited against either nationally recognised qualifications or our Beyond Bennerley curriculum.  Depending on the skills, interests and abilities of our students, these qualifications can range from Progress Units and Entry Level 1 awards to GCSEs. We work with a range of exam boards, education and alternative provision providers and community organisations.

Our students study English, maths, personal and social development (PSD), life skills, ICT, science and PE as part of their core curriculum.  However, our highly-personalised curriculum, which includes the Health & Wellbeing and Employment pathways, allows us to be flexible and responsive in our provision of education, training and experience.  For example, this school year we have been taking advantage of some excellent mechanics and digital music training for our students, which has been provided by Junction 16 in Derby.

Whatever our students study, however, we never lose sight of our school values and the importance of hard work and mutual respect.