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Curriculum Offer

Our curriculum is designed to ensure our learners achieve their full potential, are able to communicate their needs, knowledge, choices and aspirations and enjoy their school experience. We value each learner highly as individuals and aim to personalise all their learning experiences as much as possible. We do this by using both their EHCPs and the National curriculum, which is adapted as necessary to enable the learners to access it, whatever their needs.

  • There are three main learning groups within the school: Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD), Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Multi-needs (PMLD).
  • Within these groups we have three learning pathways, identified as Ready to Learn (R2L), Bridging to Learn (B2L) and Learning to Learn (L2L).
  • Fundamental to any personalised learning pathway is the schools’ response to outcomes identified via Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) which are fully implemented in any one of the pathways being pursued.
  • Our learners broadly follow three different curriculum pathways:
  • Learning to learn Our pre-formal learning pathway
  • Bridging to learn: Our semi-formal learning pathway
  • Ready to learn:  Our formal learning pathway.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Pupils aged between two and five years follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This is taught in six subject areas:

  • Language and Literacy (pre and early reading skills, rhymes, stories, writing/pencil skills etc) and including communication strategies e.g. signing and PECS (Picture exchange communication system)
  • Mathematics (counting, shape, colour, sorting activities)
  • Personal and Social Development (self-help skills, play skills, co-operation and sharing etc)
  • Knowledge and Understanding of the World (early science and explorative play)
  • Physical Development (physical skills and co-ordination)
  • Creative Development (music and art, painting and drawing etc)

Learning through play is an important part of pupils' educational experience at this stage, giving children the opportunity to explore and discover and build on their skills and interests. Children work towards 'Early Learning Goals' which help develop the skills they will need as they grow older and move on to the National Curriculum.

Key Stages 1 - 4

Pupils between the ages of 5 – 16 have access to an appropriately differentiated National Curriculum. A wide range of teaching and learning strategies are used throughout the school in order to deliver it effectively. Some pupils are able to access the curriculum following a sensory approach through sight, sound, touch, smell, taste and movement. Specific curricular activities include hydrotherapy, massage, sensory communication and ICT. Our sensory rooms offer a high level of interactive equipment and every effort is made to ensure that work is age appropriate. Work is comprehensively differentiated to meet the needs of pupils.

As well as the National Curriculum subject areas, other activities form an important part of the school day – these may include physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, self-help skills, drama and music workshops, rebound therapy, day and residential visits, whole school collective worship, community and sporting activities, events such as Sports Days, riding and swimming, visits to local schools, colleges, churches, museums and art galleries.

Children with profound and multiple learning difficulties

Our curriculum framework sets out our ambitious aims determined for all L2L pupils; this framework is fully informed by the process we follow to secure & embed personalised learning for pupils between (Yr2 – Yr11). We recognise that as our pupils move through our provision & into P16, our offer will need to reflect on their post school placement; we have therefore, identified an additional offer to meet such needs.

The L2L curriculum enables our Trust schools to identify what we aspire for our pupils to learn building on this learning using information gathered via a pupil engagement profile & assessment of core areas of learning via the B² Engagement Steps. To translate this framework over time & to secure it holds meaning/relevance we have developed a structure for its implementation; this secures our offer is equitable in pupil access to the National Curriculum (‘vehicle’ for delivery) remains personalised. Such personalisation enables our schools to evaluate the progress pupils make in their concepts, knowledge & understanding can be evidenced ensuring all future learning is part of a well-planned sequence.

We recognise that our curriculum offer needs to prepare all learners well for their next stage, making sure pupil progression builds upon their current skills/ abilities developed (progress data). The design of our curriculum map evidences breadth/ depth in areas of study in the knowledge that all pupils will access this curriculum at different starting points based upon their engagement profile & EHCP outcomes.

The L2L Curriculum Offer will use whatever specialist techniques, teaching approaches, advice & guidance received which will motivate (interest led), support the needs/ improve access of any individual pupils. (Accreditation begins at Key Stage 3 and evidenced via the Trust's accreditation map).

Sixth Form/Post 16 provision

From Key Stage 4, pupils follow a transition course which leads to accreditation and qualifications where appropriate. The expectation is that the majority of learners leave Nancealverne school with a Qualification in ASDAN Personal Progress or Personal and Social Development at Entry Level, as well as accredited learning in other areas of ASDAN.

For those students who are able to, we also offer Entry level Functional Skills qualifications in English and Maths through  Edexcel 

ASDAN modules focus on skills including communication, numeracy, literacy and PSHE (Personal, Health and Social Education) as well as life skills which aim to develop individual personal autonomy and independence. The qualifications and accreditations are nationally recognised by the awarding bodies and demonstrates recognition of the students' achievements.

The students are encouraged to be as independent as possible and to be aware that their actions have implications not only for themselves and for others. During the year students will participate in focus weeks when the modules they undertake will work towards enterprise, industry, and work-related skills. These modules help to demonstrate to the students their roles and responsibilities as part of the wider community of which they are an important and integral part.

The school works with parents, Social Care and Careers South West to select and access post-school opportunities. A careers convention is organised annually where all providers are invited to the school. A link course is offered at the local college and students are encouraged to look at alternative placements from the age of sixteen. Visits to post 19 provisions are regular throughout the school year, and learners are encouraged to make choices about their future with the support of their family, the school and independent careers education and advice.

There are many local colleges and establishments offering suitable courses and placements for post 19. Students are given supported induction and transition to these different settings in their last year at the school.



1. Communication & Interaction

Imperative Communication

  • Can utilise communication strategies to make requests, express preference and have needs met.
  • Understands and responds to direction.
  • Is supported in a Total Communication, language rich environment.

Social Interaction

  • Understands social cues during interaction.
  • Can operate as part of a social group, engaging in coactive or collaborative play and exploration.
  • Recognises and responds to preferred adults and peers.

2. Cognition & Learning

Engagement & Participation

  • Engagement is triggered by motivating stimuli.
  • Can follow direction and expectation during learning opportunities.
  • Demonstrates curiosity during exploration.

Problem solving & Resilience

  • Exploring tasks and activities in increasingly complex ways.
  • Developed attention, including shared attention, switching attention between activities, turn taking and attention on independent tasks.
  • Increased frustration tolerance and persistence.

3. Social, Emotional & Mental Health

A sense of physical & emotional security

  • Builds trusting relationships with supporting adults.
  • Anticipates routine and structure, but can maintains regulation during unexpected changes.
  • Calmer during times of transition.
  • Engagement in learning is more easily triggered and sustained.

Wellbeing, regulation & reactions

  • Recognises, requests and responds to
    personal regulation strategies.
  • Reduction of fight/flight/freeze/sensory arousal.
  • Engages with personalised well-being plans and activities.

4. Sensory & Physical

Sensory integration

  • Has appropriate motor responses to sensory stimuli, such as turning towards the source of sounds.
  • Registers and processes sensory information, from passive exploration through curiosity and exploration to purposeful engagement, with sensory cues supporting working memory to retrieve information.

Physical development

  • Development of fine and gross motor operation.
  • Development of coordination, balance and agility.
  • Engages with structured physiotherapy plans which develop strength and mobility.


Whilst we follow the objectives of a structured subject-specific curriculum, we offer highly differentiated and personalised learning programmes. We deliver a specialist, high-quality, and relevant education. This focuses on personal skills and academic achievement, setting high expectations for all. We appreciate that students may not be working at age-related or key-stage expectations, and therefore measure progress from individual starting points.