The past twelve months has been an exciting time for the vocational department with the development of the barn to include distinct areas for the trade skills on offer.

Within the department we aim to enable a student to discover their own natural talents, helping them to progress with confidence in a supportive and safe learning environment. When we see a young person progressing their skills and gaining satisfaction from what they have achieved, it’s a great feeling.

From brickwork to plastering, plumbing to electrical work; the City and Guilds “Introduction to Basic Construction Skills” qualification allows the Construction Department staff to create a course that is individual to each student and focuses on their strengths and abilities. The course offers our students a two year head-start on other school leavers hoping to move into the construction industry whether through an apprenticeship or through further education.

The Construction facilities are open to all year groups with the younger pupils able to participate in a wide range of practical activities in readiness for the City and Guilds qualification when they reach Year 10.


The Horticulture department offers the pupils an opportunity to not only work towards a qualification but to also develop the site as well as the department. The qualification is run through City & Guilds and is a Level 1 Diploma in Horticulture skills.

The qualification itself is split into three levels; this allows all learners to achieve a qualification dependant on their individual needs and abilities. Each level is equivalent to a number of credits. The qualification is a practical based qualification which is well suited to many of our learners. All pupils who take the course will come away with a qualification.

The three levels of attainment within the qualification are: Award (6 credits), Certificate (18 credits) and Diploma (37 credits). The course is run over twelve months and the pupils work towards specific units/credits. Each unit is then practiced by the pupil and then assessed internally towards the level of qualification they are working towards.

The department is very well equipped. We have a forty foot Polly tunnel, a greenhouse, a potting shed, a tool and store shed as well as all the tools and equipment necessary to run the full Diploma. The pupils learn all aspects of horticulture and grow their own vegetables, some of which are used by the school kitchen.

The pupils also develop the site and are responsible for all the construction work as well as repairs and upkeep of the department. They are also encouraged to make decisions on the purchase of plants and materials as well as the development of the site. This course is therefore very well suited to those pupils who prefer practical based qualifications.


Crookhey Hall School currently offers a combined humanities curriculum for Key Stage 3. Included in this topic based course are elements of Geography and History.

Physical, Human and Environmental Geography are studied in different topics e.g. Ecosystems: Rainforests, Tectonic processes, Economic activity and tourism. Pupils gain an understanding of the world around them and how human interactions can affect the planet/place.

In the history topics pupils will be encouraged to discuss what they know about historical events and people. Topics included in the history part of humanities are the The Vikings, Making of the UK 1500-1750, Medieval Realms and World War II.

Pupils will be encouraged to take a wider view of the world around them and the history that has made us who we are, and the world what it is today.


At Crookhey Hall we embrace a whole school approach to improving literacy. We see it as central to our philosophy and commitment to help our pupils achieve their potential. As part of this commitment, the school operates the Excel programme whereby pupils identified as requiring additional support receive one to one input from a team of teachers and support staff to target identified areas of difficulty. Literacy progression is carefully monitored by the school SENCo and support adjusted as appropriate. Pupils requiring additional support are provided with their own folder of work based on need and this is supported and driven by the school SENCo. All staff are required to provide input towards the IEP process and their maintenance and as such, there is a whole school drive to promote literacy as key to success across the curriculum.

At Key stage 3 we encourage pupils to be imaginative and explore the use of the English language using written and verbal tasks. Some of the previous topics used have been designing their own superheroes and writing a survival guide if they were stranded in a desert. The pupils that have taken part in these topics seem to have thoroughly enjoyed it and have learnt that they can express themselves better than they ever imagined.

At Key Stage 4 we offer a range of qualifications in English including Functional skills from entry level 1 through to Level 2, Level 2 being the equivalent of a GCSE Grade C. We also offer GCSE accreditation  in this subject to all our pupils. Functional skills are offered to allow our pupils a head start when they leave Crookhey and enter a college, where all pupils undertaking a vocational diploma need a functional skills qualification, whether they have a GCSE in English or not. These qualifications work well with the vocational curriculum that Crookhey Hall offers.

The newly formed literacy team are keen to ensure that all the pupils who pass through Crookhey Hall are given the best possible opportunity to achieve a qualification in English and more importantly gain the literacy skills needed for life outside of school.

Maths and Numeracy

Our overall aim is to present Maths and Numeracy as a challenging, exciting, relevant and creative subject.  The Crookhey Hall School Maths department believes very strongly in enrichment, trying to provide the pupils with every possible opportunity to explore mathematics beyond just preparing for exams. Mathematics at Crookhey Hall School is a vibrant and popular subject.

In Maths, we strive to make sure that our students enjoy lessons while being encouraged and challenged at all times and always with measurable progress in mind. The students are offered material that allows them to think about Mathematics in a creative way, functionally and with heavy emphasis on Key Skills and Skills for Life.

Mathematics at Crookhey provides opportunities for pupils to develop and acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes relevant to the changing world they live, for example the key skills of:

  • Communication
  • Application of numbers
  • IT
  • Working with others
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Problem solving
  • Thinking skills
  • Financial capability
  • Enterprise and entrepreneurial skills
  • Work related learning

The subject is taught in a very structured way, so that previous learning is built upon and enhanced. The needs of those who find Mathematics more demanding are considered at all times. They are taught in very small groups and the caring and encouraging approach of the Maths staff allows the pupils to blossom and overcome any misapprehensions they may have previously had about the subject.

All pupils study functional maths alongside Entry Level and GCSE qualifications. These encourage pupils to demonstrate their mathematical skills in a range of contexts and for various purposes. They are essentially concerned with developing and recognising the ability of learners to apply and transfer skills in ways that are appropriate to their situation. These qualifications help give our young people the best possible prospects for the future. All the Maths qualifications we offer at Crookhey Hall are recognised and highly regarded by Futher Education institutions, meaning our pupils leave in a fantastic position to access whatever future they may choose after leaving the school.

When pupils leave Crookhey Hall School, we hope their Mathematics lessons have helped develop and shape them to reflect understandings and processes that are meaningful, important and useful to individuals and society.


P.S.H.E is a part of the curriculum. Pupils should develop a range of skills over the key stages.

These include:-

  • Contributing sensibly to discussions and listening to the views of others
  • Researching and planning using a variety of sources and methods
  • Analysing and evaluating sources used, questioning different ideas and recognising bias
  • Questioning and reflecting on ideas, opinions and values especially when exploring controversial issues and problems
  • Developing key life skills

There are three core elements which define P.S.H.E, these are:

  • Personal Well-being – pupils will have opportunities to gain a better understanding of issues which may affect them and their decisions as they mature. It includes exploring lifestyle choices and behaviours and the effects on themselves, their families and communities.
  • Economic Wellbeing – pupils will gain a better understanding of personal finance including budgeting and exploring a range of products and services.
  • Citizenship – in citizenship lessons pupils will have a range of opportunities to explore and evaluate what it means to be a ‘citizen’. This includes exploring laws and how they are made and shaped by people and processes and the actions people can take to influence national decision making and beyond.

The programme in years 10 and 11 builds on the work done at key stage 3. The current assessment in P.S.H.E is through the  AQA Entry Level Certificates.


The National Curriculum has three statutory aims. It should enable all young people to become:

  • Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  • Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
  • Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society.

The study of science stimulates pupils’ curiosity about the world around them and offers opportunities to find explanations. It is delivered to engage learners at many levels, linking direct practical experience with scientific ideas.

Experimentation, discussions and modelling are used to develop and evaluate explanations, encouraging critical and creative thoughts.

Key stage three at Crookhey broadly follows the national curriculum taught in main stream schools.

It also lays down the foundation for key stage four, a period in which pupils will follow the GCSE pathway. Here Edexcel GCSE Science is taught with the intention of giving pupils skills to think, practically examine and relate topics to every day practical use.

We are also able to make strong cross-curricular links between science, horticulture and environmental studies, giving the curriculum meaning and relevance across a range of subjects.


The ICT department offers pupils a range Functional Skills qualifications that are designed to equip learners with the confidence and ability to use ICT systems and tools. To find, select, develop, present, and communicate information. They’re assessed by a single, external, paper-based test that’s completed at a computer.

The qualifications are designed to give learners the skills to operate confidently, effectively and independently in education, work and everyday life. They have been created in response to employers’ perceptions that many learners are not achieving a sufficiently firm grounding in the basics. The aims of these qualifications are to develop learner understanding and skills in: Using ICT, finding and selecting information, developing, presenting and communicating information.

Learners begin by working towards an entry 3 qualification then progress to level 1 then 2. Learners progress through the qualifications at their own individual level and may re- take exams. The school has recently installed a new ICT suite that includes interactive smartboard, super fast desktop PC’s that have Windows 10 installed, the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system. The room has been designed with students in mind and has black swivel leather chairs, stereo and digital headphones and printing and photocopying facilities. Students enjoy ICT lessons and also spending time in the ICT suite during enrichment activities.

Hair and Beauty

The Hair and Beauty Salon at Crookhey Hall School is a fully equipped professional salon. It has the facilities to offer all aspects of hair and beauty including; haircutting hairstyling and barbering, Perming and all colouring including tints and foils. Beauty treatments including eyebrow and eyelash tinting, eyebrow waxing, Gel nails, manicure and nail art. Skin treatments and Make-up for all occasions.

Pupils have a combination of theory lessons and practical lessons and follow the Pearson BTEC Level 1 Award/Certificate in Introduction to Hair and Beauty.

The courses have been developed to give learners the opportunity to: Engage in learning which is relevant to them and will provide opportunities to develop a range of skills and techniques, personal skills and attributes essential for successful performance in working life.

The 9-credit Pearson BTEC Level 1 Award provides an introduction to the skills, qualities and knowledge that may be required for employment in a particular vocational sector. The 15-credit Pearson BTEC Level 1 Certificate extends the work-related focus from the Pearson BTEC Level 1 Award and covers some of the knowledge and practical skills required for a particular vocational sector. The Pearson BTEC Level 1 Certificate offers an engaging programme for those who are clear about the vocational area that they wish to learn more about. These learners may wish to extend their programme through the study of a related GCSE, a complementary NVQ or other related vocational or personal and social development qualification. These learning programmes can be developed to allow learners to study complementary qualifications without duplication of content.

Pupils enjoy spending time in the Salon both during lessons and enrichment activities. It is an excellent resource for bringing students together and supporting one another in improving their outward personal appearances.