The negotiated curriculum

Alongside our focus on emotional well-being we also work hard to ensure our students re-engage with learning and continue their education. At Red Balloon we understand that we all learn in different ways and our Centres embrace this to allow our students to really thrive. That’s why we operate using a negotiated curriculum: we know that involving each individual in deciding what they learn and incorporating their interests is key to successful learning. Each of our students will have an individual programme of learning designed with their needs in mind to ensure their education is as interesting and inspiring as it can be.

Have a look at our video below to learn more.


The foundation of helping our students to grow as individuals and improve academically is ensuring they are supported with their mental health and personal well-being. Our staff team includes two therapists and mentors, and regular therapy sessions are offered to all of our students as part of their timetable. This ensures that throughout their time with us, our students have the dedicated help they need to heal emotionally and develop resilience against any hurdles they may face in the future.

The RB-Reading community

Happiness is key to doing well at school, and a huge part of being happy is feeling that you belong, that you are accepted for who you are, and that you are a valued part of the community of the school. Our small size and dedication to our students means the RB-Reading community is a welcoming, supportive environment, where students feel like part of the family.

Subjects available at RB-Reading

All our centres offer the core subjects of English, Maths and Science at a range of certification levels up to Key Stage 4, as well as additional subjects which can vary between centres.

The full list of subjects available at RB-Reading, and the qualification levels at which they are offered are as below:


ArtGCSE and Bronze or Silver Arts Award
English LanguageGCSE, Functional Skills, Entry Level Certificates
English LiteratureGCSE, Entry Level Certificates
MathsGCSE, Entry Level Certificates
Performing ArtsArts Award
ScienceGCSE, Entry Level Certificates


If a student is particularly interested in a subject not currently provided at the Centre we are sometimes able to provide additional subjects if suitable provision can be obtained.

Extra-curricular activities at RB-Reading

We know the measure of a successful education is not simply achieving high grades in exams – real accomplishment is about growing as an individual, improving your abilities and confidence over time, and building and maintaining relationships with your peers. In addition to subject lessons, PSHE, and well-being, RB-Reading has a focus on additional activities to help our students grow, as well as have some well-deserved fun. Various trips are run over the course of the year, as small groups or sometimes joining students from our other Centres. We also run an annual residential adventure trip to Ormside Mill, helping our students gain some experience in planning and team work while enjoying exciting activities such as canoeing and climbing.