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Curriculum Policy


The Curriculum at Access School fully supports the Family Care Group education values of helping all of our pupils achieve and realise their full potential. It gives our pupils the opportunity to learn and develop in a supportive and creative environment in which there is a focus on recognising achievement and supporting progression and in which pupils feel safe and are happy.

The curriculum is individualised, creative, innovative and flexible allowing for the needs of each pupil to be met. It aims to promote the social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of the pupils as well as their intellectual and physical development.

The school is committed to providing a broad and balanced curriculum, based on the National Curriculum for those pupils of compulsory school age. This is blended with opportunities for pupils to develop functional skills, independence skills and skills for working life as appropriate in line with the Curriculum at key stages 1, 2, 3 and 4. Some subjects are taught discretely while others are covered via a creative curriculum approach. The timetable and Curriculum are reviewed annually to ensure compliance with current legislation and guidance and taking into account best practice within special needs education. There is continued focus on functional numeracy and literacy at all key stages.

We endeavour to provide opportunities and interventions for pupils who are identified as having Special Educational Needs developing their skills and abilities in the area of challenge or difficulty. The curriculum is planned to provide continuity and progression. It enables pupils to make connections and transfer skills and to think creatively and solve problems. It also develops pupils’ capacity to work independently and collaboratively. Our pupils have complex needs which requires creativity within the curriculum but also ensures fairness of access to a balanced education. In addition to the academic curriculum, their individualised timetables provide opportunities for pupils to withdraw from some lessons to participate in therapy sessions or 1:1 interventions with identified focus. Our pupils are happiest and achieve most when their routine is clear and when their learning opportunities build on their particular skills and talents. To this end, we tailor the curriculum to help pupils make progress in a way that best suits them.

  • That pupils make outstanding progress against personal targets
  • That pupils acknowledge their achievements and have a sense of pride
  • That pupils have opportunities to participate in a range of enrichment activities
  • within and beyond the curriculum via outdoor education and rural skills. Also working with professionals within the community for example: sports coaches, musicians, gardeners and so on and by visiting places of interest.
  • That pupils develop communication skills 
  • That pupils develop their social and emotional skills 
  • That pupils develop reading skills through phonics based reading scheme
  • That pupils develop skills for independence
  • That pupils use and development of ICT is encouraged
  • That pupils develop a greater awareness of their local community and make a
  • positive contribution
  • That pupils learn a range of skills for life beyond school
Literacy and Numeracy

Literacy and Numeracy are taught discretely and consciously reinforced throughout all aspects of the curriculum. Literacy and Numeracy are taught throughout the day and form part of the pupils' daily routine. Pupils' reading skills are developed by the use of the phonics reading scheme"Dockside" which provides a structured age appropriate and engaging scheme to support reading and comprehension skills.

Literacy at KS1 and KS2 is supported by specialist staff trained in Read Write Inc through both group and 1:1 sessions.

Numeracy is supported through the effective use of Dynamo maths used in both group and individualised sessions.

Creative Curriculum

The Creative Curriculum approach provides pupils with the opportunities to cover a range of learning outcomes and develop Personal Learning and Thinking Skills within a topic based framework. It also allows for cross curricular teaching so as to create a more rounded and individualised curriculum for the pupils.

Many of our pupils arrive at Access School functioning below their academic, emotional and social age range. One of our main aims is to challenge and support the development of our pupils so that they can achieve functional literacy and numeracy along with other core and creative subjects. 

As far as is possible we aim that pupils will develop their skills as:

  • Independent Enquirers
  • Team Workers
  • Effective Participants
  • Self Managers
  • Creative Thinkers
  • Reflective Learners
  • Functional learners
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Curriculum

Both Key Stages 1 and 2 are delivered in accordance with the full national curriculum providing our pupils with a broad and balanced education. Key Stage 1 and 2 are supported by a highly structured plan of group and individual interventions to build and encourage functional ability.

To further enrich the education experience for these pupils they also take part in outdoor education and rural skills. There are also structured play and social times to encourage participation, group work and social ability.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Key Stage 3 is delivered in accordance with the full national curriculum providing our pupils with a broad and balanced education. Key Stage 3 is supported by a structured plan of individual interventions to build and encourage functional ability in numeracy and literacy.

To further enrich the education experience for these pupils they also take part in outdoor education and rural skills. There are also structured play and social times to encourage participation, group work and social ability

Pupils are supported through a planned transition into Key Stage 4 ensuring that they possess the skills required to go on to study in years 10 and 11.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

Key Stage 4 is very much designed around the needs of the year 10 and 11 pupils we have in school at any time. The curriculum and options remain broad and balanced whilst containing the support and nurturing required to achieve both certificates and examinations.

At Access School we deliver a range of GCSE’s, along with Functional skills and Entry Levels/Unit Awards to ensure that all of our pupils are able to achieve throughout Key Stage 4

We see the development of independence skills and Skills for Working Life as vital to

our pupils. To that end, there is a focus throughout key Stage 4 on life skills and preparation for post 16 education and training. In addition, skills such as basic

cooking are taught and where appropriate work experience. We provide close support for the pupils and families in the transition to further education.


PSHE is a timetabled lesson with each half term having a difference focus. An annual plan of significant dates in the religious and cultural calendar ensures that there is a focus, through assemblies and PSHE lessons on important cultural and religious festivals and commemorative days. The development of social and communication skills is also a key part of the PSHE/SMSC curriculum.

Religious Education

Religious Education themes and topics are covered in lessons as well as through assemblies and PSHE. Children of any faith and those of no faith are encouraged to value everyone and their beliefs equally. Shared assembly times focus on celebration and the worth-ship of all of those within the school community and aim:

  • To show interest in and concern for members of the school community
  • To celebrate special occasions together
  • To show concern for the daily happenings in school life, the local community and wider world
  • To share appreciation of worthwhile activities undertaken by groups within the
  • school
  • To reflect upon dimensions of human life, the wonderful, beautiful, joyful, heroic, humorous, tragic, ugly, sorrowful, solemn…
Sex and Relationships Education

Sex and Relationships Education is taught in PSHE lessons at a level appropriate to the level of understanding of the young people.

We liaise closely with parent/carers, partner organisations and therapeutic services for specialist individual input and support.

Parents may request that their child is excused from Sex Education.


The curriculum is enriched by educational trips and visits, local community links and opportunities within the timetable to engage with new experiences for example: canoeing, climbing, music workshops, gardening, educational visits.

Alongside these enrichment activities we also run rural skills as part of our curriculum allowing our pupils to take responsibility in maintaining our rural skills and looking after the animals in our school

Outdoor Education is provided to all of our pupils to further enrich their education.


Learning outcomes are accredited via AQA GCSE’s, AQA Functional Skills and AQA Unit Awards and where appropriate Entry Level qualifications


The Senior Leadership Team (Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher, SENCO) are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that Teaching and Learning is of a continually good/outstanding standard 
  • Ensuring that the Statements of Special Educational Needs and Education Health and Care Plans are maintained and current as directed by the Local Authority
  • The effective distribution of budgets and resources to ensure the effective delivery of the curriculum
  • The appropriate use of Pupil Premium Funding
  • The overall all effectiveness of the school

Class teachers are responsible for:

  • Long, medium and short term planning
  • Differentiation to meet the individual needs of pupils
  • Summative and formative assessment
  • Using a range of teaching and learning strategies, techniques and resources
  • Directing the work of Learning Support Assistants
  • Attending and contributing to training and meetings are requested

Learning Support Assistants are responsible for:

  • Providing academic support as directed by the class teacher
  • Providing emotional and social support as necessary and directed by any particular pupil
  • Providing observations of pupil progress and behaviours
Monitoring and Evaluation

The Head teacher and Deputy Head will co-ordinate the monitoring cycle. This will include:

  • Auditing planning
  • Moderating assessment data
  • Analysing progress data
  • Observing lessons
  • Learning walks
  • Work scrutinies
  • Curriculum development and planning
  • Initiating training/workshop opportunities with specific focus.

Resources are allocated in line with the priorities indicated in the School Development Plan.


All staff are provided with opportunities for professional development and training in line with the School Development plan and the organisational training needs analysis and strategy. Training needs will be linked to the school’s performance management process of termly supervisions and annual performance appraisals.

Equal Opportunities

The school supports the rights of all pupils to equal access and opportunities regardless of age, culture, religion, gender, ability, disability or sexuality. The school promotes an ethos of respect for everyone.


If you have any questions or require additional information regarding the curriculum at Access School please contact the Head Teacher using or call 01939 220791.

To find out more about Access School and the other services we provide across the UK please contact:
01939 220791 (8.45 am to 3.15 pm) or 01939 220797