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Curriculum Information

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum aims to:

  • Promote independence and a love of learning
  • Maximise the individual’s potential and develop a level of resilience.
  • Offer a wide breadth, balance, relevance, differentiation, progression and continuity that is suited to each learner.
  • Address the needs and requirements of each pupil’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This may require specific modifications of, or dis-applications from, various National Curriculum requirements
  • Provide a stimulating and engaging learning environment which promotes effective learning and enables the pupil to experience a sense of enjoyment and achievement throughout their school career

Curriculum Statement

The school has 4 Phases: Early Years, First School, High School and 6th Form. All pupils follow one of the following curriculum pathways, depending on their learning needs – Formal, Semi-formal, EYFS, 6th Form or Complex. We also have our 24 hour curriculum in our residential provision, Blossom House.

Vale of Evesham school adopts a quality first teaching model and has its own creative curriculum devised to meet the specific needs of our pupils. The curriculum provides opportunities for active learning and encourages independence. Vale of Evesham school has a sensory room, sensory gym and there are serval adaptions in rooms to support learning, e.g. cookers and sinks that lift up and down and tables that are height adjustable in the science laboratory.

Our Curriculum Aims To:

  • Promote independence and a love of learning
  • Maximise the individual’s potential and develop a level of resilience.
  • Offer a wide breadth, balance, relevance, differentiation, progression and continuity that is suited to each learner.
  • Address the needs and requirements of each pupil’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This may require specific modifications of, or dis-applications from, various National Curriculum requirements
  • Provide a stimulating and engaging learning environment which promotes effective learning and enables the pupil to experience a sense of enjoyment and achievement throughout their school career
  • Provide a 24-hour curriculum.

School Curriculum Model

Curriculum Pathways

Our curriculum has aspirational yet realistic expectations for all learners across the following pathways:

Curriculum Design

Early Years

In EY we follow the key principles of the EYFS with a focus on the Prime areas of development as well as Thinking and Literacy.

In the EYFS classes children are supported to develop through a balance of child led learning and adult led learning. Adults support learning through play and this is an essential part of learning for this younger group of children. During adult led learning adults support the essential early learning skills that allow them to sit and take part in adult activities as part of a group and to actively learn. As the children move into reception there is a gradual change of emphasis as they are encouraged to take part in more adult led learning activities.


The complex curriculum

The complex curriculum meets the needs of pupils who have profound and multiple learning difficulties and those who have complex learning difficulties (complex SLD)

We understand pupils with PMLD as being those pupils who

‘’are on a spectrum that indicates that they have profoundly complex learning needs. In addition to profound learning difficulties, learners are likely, though not in all cases to have other significant difficulties such as physical disabilities, sensory impairments and/or severe medical conditions. Learners require a high level of adult support, both for their learning needs and also for their personal care. They are likely to benefit from engagement across all senses and will need a curriculum which recognises that all learners will to a greater or lesser degree, have difficulties with object permanence, contingency awareness, declarative communications, making choices, learning by imitation and following instruction. Learners generally communicate by facial expression, body language and other non-verbal methods.’’

Imray and Colley, 2017

We understand pupils with CLD (complex learning difficulties) as being those pupils within the SLD spectrum who  alongside  their learning needs may have some additional difficulties that include

  • social communication, social interaction, and rigidity in behaviour towards thought and change sensory sensitivities
  • A tendency towards restricted personal interests
  • A need for support and direct teaching to engage in social activities
  • Difficulties in conforming to what may be considered conventional school behaviour which means much or all of the learning takes place in very small groups or on an individual basis.

Pupils with CLD are intentional communicators. Pupils use a range of communication strategies including body language, gesture, sign, symbols, symbol exchange and AAC. Some pupils may use a limited range of words or protowords – however most pupils with CLD are nonverbal or minimally verbal.


Engagement is central to effective learning for pupils following the complex curriculum. We use the Engagement scale and profile (Carpenter et al, 2015) as a tool to analyse the learning and teaching experiences we offer and pupil responses to these activities. We acknowledge that there will be significant overlap in skills, knowledge and understanding between some pupils following the complex curriculum and those following the semi formal curriculum. How best to engage pupils and so maximise their learning is the dominant factor in deciding which curriculum pathway is most appropriate.

Semi-formal and Formal

Semi-formal and Formal pathways follow a topic based creative curriculum (see topic overview). There is an overarching whole school theme which are linked to the Fundamental British Values, which can be embedded to an appropriate level for the class. Whether that be by values board, class rules, collective worship and reflection or within the curriculum content.

The two pathways are parallel in design to allow pupils to transition from one pathway to another, where appropriate to the learner. The pathways run on a two-yearly cycle (three-yearly cycle for years 9-11), and this allows for skills to be developed through a spiralised approach to learning across all subjects. Where repetition does occur, this is to ensure the skills are embedded, developed and extended. Some areas may appear the same, however they will be taught at a different level appropriate to their phase. The topics are designed to reflect age-appropriate learning and development across the school.



Semi-formal Curriculum

The Semi-formal Curriculum is a specific pathway designed to support and nurture the needs of children with a range of severe and moderate learning difficulties. The Semi-formal pathway is mapped out with a variety of statements that are based around embedding key knowledge and developing key skills. We call these ‘Sticky Knowledge’ and ‘Sticky Skills’ and the premise behind these are that pupils on this pathway leave our school with fundamental knowledge and skills that ‘stick’ with them for life. The ‘Sticky Knowledge’ and ‘Sticky Skills’ are focused on promoting independence, keeping safe/healthy and engaging with/ enjoying the world around them; which is why we strive to provide frequent real-life opportunities for students to feel part of and understand their local and wider community. This curriculum pathway is designed to celebrate that each child has an individualised learning potential, and our high-quality teaching enables each learner to master a range of key knowledge and skills at a level suitable to them.


The formal curriculum is designed to meet the needs of pupils with moderate learning difficulties. The curriculum is designed to engage, stretch and accredit the work that pupils do. Pupils are placed on the Formal curriculum during Upper Key Stage 2. The curriculum is designed to give a breadth and balance of National curriculum subjects as well as supporting Independence. As pupils move through school and move into Key Stage 4, they are expected to begin qualifications tailored to their level of ability. The school offers a range of Entry level opportunities, from Entry 1 upwards as well as accreditation at national curriculum levels. Pupils are encouraged to become independent and curious learners, with a focus on promoting core skills and preparation for adulthood. The curriculum is designed to extend their learning and creates links to college and apprenticeship beyond school. Pupils have the opportunity to engage in a range of subjects that encourage them to develop knowledge and skills acquired earlier on in school. The school allows for a flow from Semi Formal to Formal for learners that may achieve as they come through school.


6th Form

At Vale of Evesham 6th Form we aim to support young people into adulthood and identify the Preparing for Adulthood Goals form the core strands within our curriculum.  The strands of employment, good health, independent living and friends, relationships and community inclusion are adopted for accredited links through Asdan programmes.  Please see the map of Asdan My Independence, Realising Aspirations for semi-formal learners and a map of Asdan Personal Social Development for formal learners, indicating links to PfA goals.  In addition to these we recognise the importance of a robust programme to support physical and fitness goals.  Duke of Edinburgh Award  provide a framework for this and can be adapted to individual need as outlined for learners in their EHCP’s.

Blossom House

Blossom House curriculum is designed to promote independence at its core, alongside preparing for adulthood and communication.

Blossom House curriculum is based around the following frameworks:

  • Household tasks
  • Shopping
  • Social Skills
  • Toileting
  • Dressing/undressing
  • Eating/food prep
  • Emotional Awareness
  • Personal Care
  • Safety
  • Communication



Early Years

Early Years have a continuous provision of what is available all of the time for the child led learning. Enhancements for this are detailed in the medium and short term plans relating to the topic, the needs and also interests of the cohort of children.  Adults support learning through play by observing and responding in that moment by playing alongside, modelling, commenting, supporting and encouraging play.

There is a long-term plan with topics to and to focus on to ensure all areas of development are supported.

This is then broken down into medium term plans for each topic each half term with focuses for the areas of development and individuals next steps and SaLT targets. Adult led activities will happen within a familiar routine and have a high level of structure. Details for the adult led sessions will be broken down in the short term planning and observations of the previous week will feed into the short term planning for the subsequent week.

We work closely with other professionals and parents to support the learning at this early stage of development.


Lesson structure

Pupils with PMLD and CLD learn in different ways from their peers therefore for them to learn effectively lessons will look different. Learning is likely to be individualised rather than differentiated. Effective lessons may involve all of the pupils doing different things, sometimes supported by an adult, sometimes exploring an enabling environment independently. Some pupils may be learning at the table, others may be learning on the floor or whilst moving around the classroom.

Pupils following the complex curriculum often have difficulties with sensory processing and in managing arousal levels. They may be taking part in sensory diet activities to allow them to access learning. Effective lessons following the complex curriculum may allow for periods of activity and periods of apparent inactivity. Effective engagement is key in providing high quality learning experiences, this engagement may ebb and flow during a lesson.

Pupils following the complex curriculum will have delays in their attention. Lessons should be short (30mins unless an offsite activity or one involving travel.

Breadth and Balance

We recognise that to maximise engagement and learning we need to give our pupils a rich and inviting range of learning opportunities. We use themes to ensure pupils have a range of experiences as they progress through the school year and through their school career. We concur with Imray and Hinchcliffe 2014 ‘’for the most complex (learners) let’s focus on the things that matter. This is why we advocate a very different personalised curriculum for some learners, which might be broad and balanced when we can make it so, but above all, is relevant’’

The impact of learning opportunities is assessed on an ongoing daily basis through careful staff observation. Impact is evidenced using the Evidence for Learning online system. We use the engagement model to assess pupil engagement across the range of learning opportunities given to pupils following the complex curriculum pathway.

Progress in communication is assessed termly using the Vale of Evesham routes assessment tool. A small minority of pupils following the complex curriculum pathway who have literacy as an area of strength may also be assessed using the Vale assessment framework (v levels).

We work collaboratively with parents and other professionals including speech and language therapists to set long-term communication targets as part of pupil EHCP reviews. All pupils will have at least 1 target around their communication needs.

Semi-formal and Formal

For each curriculum area teachers are provided with a subject overview and long-term plan. This is to ensure all areas of the curriculum content are covered and the number of hours are relevant to age and phase. This also ensures topics relate and do not overlap, ensuring the pupil has a progressive learning pathway throughout their school life. This allows the pupil to build on previous knowledge and experiences providing a sequential approach to learning throughout the school. Teacher will track and access pupil progress through Evidence for learning.

6th Form

The weekly programme consists of:

  • English/ Literacy and Maths/ Thinking Skills and Numeracy – dedicated English and Maths lessons to teach the skills which are honed in the practical settings.​(includes appropriate accreditation)
  • Café – a setting where Communication and Numeracy skills can be rehearsed and embedded in addition to skills relevant to the work-place. Food and retail are major local employers, so skills developed here can be applied directly in work experience placements and are relevant for post-school employment.
  • Grow 6 – An allotment and horticulture area. A fruit, vegetable and decorative plant growing project teaching students skills relevant to local employment
  • Community – learning how to travel around the local community safely and accessing local facilities for health, leisure and interest.
  • Self – Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), Relationship and Sex Education (RSE)
  • Home – developing the skills required to run a home or to be part of a shared living placement
  • College Link – engaging with local colleges with school support so that transition to college is fully understood by students and retention rates are improved
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award –An internationally recognised programme for developing resilience, community engagement, endurance and leadership



Blossom House

Blossom House curriculum is integral to pupil’s placement in the setting.  The foundations of the curriculum are weaved through the daily routines and activities in Blossom House. Through keyworker sessions and pupil voice sessions.

The curriculum is focussed on the pupils learning to generalise their skills across a range of varied experiences that give opportunities for their learning to be embedded into their long term memory.


Topic/ Theme Year Rota

Teachers will follow the below rota as to which topic area they will be following. This is to ensure pupils do not repeat topics and areas of learning, ensuring a broad, balanced and spiralled curriculum.


Academic Year 2021/2022 2022/2023 2023/2024 2024/2025
Topic Year A B A B


Year 9-11

Academic Year 2021/2022 2022/2023 2023/2024 2024/2025
Topic Year A B C A


6th Form

Academic Year 2021/2022 2022/2023 2023/2024 2024/2025
Topic Year A B A B




Frameworks and Guidance


Framework Title Levelling System Phase Curriculum
Early Support- Literacy Steps EY EY
Early Support- CAL
Early Support- PD
Early Support-Thinking Skills
Early Support- PSED
Early Support- CoEL
Assessed Against  
Vale- Reading- Phonics V1-6


First/High/ 6th Form Semi Formal/Formal
Vale- Reading – Comprehension
Vale- Communication
Vale- Writing/Fine Motor
Vale- Maths- Number
Vale- Maths- SSM
Vale- Maths- Data Handling
Vale- Computing UKS2 onwards Semi / Formal
Vale-Science First/High Semi / Formal
Vale-PSHE First/High Semi / Formal
SMART Moves PE   First School onwards Semi Formal
Vale PE Skills Grid   First school onwards Formal
Foundation subject skills progression ladders   First/High


Semi / Formal
Sticky Skills & Sticky Knowledge   First/High Semi-formal
Assessed against      
Vale Routes Assessment Framework Vale Routes 1-10 First/high Complex
Intensive Interaction 7 Point interaction scale First/high Complex
Rebound Proficiency Grade 1 and 2 First/high Complex
Sounds of Intent Reactive



First/high Complex
Attention framework Years First/high Complex
Positive Looking   First/high VI
Steps to eating   First/high Complex
SEMH Autonomy   First/high Complex
SEMH Community   First/high Complex
SEMH Wellbeing   First/high Complex
Sensory   First/high Complex
PD   First/high Complex
PD/ Fine motor      
SATS- English/ Maths SATS UKS2 onwards


Entry Level English Entry Level 1-3 KS4 Formal
Entry Level Mathematics Entry Level 1-3 KS4 Formal
ARTS Award Discover



KS4 Formal
Entry Level Science Entry Level 1-3 KS4 Formal
Entry Level PE Entry Level 1-3 KS4 Formal
WJEC ICT Entry Level 1-3 KS4 Formal
Functional Skills English Entry Level 1-3

Level 1 /2

6th Form

(Some of our KS4 students will access GCSE English/ Mathematics where applicable)

English Language GCSE GCSE
Functional Skills Maths Entry Level 1-3

Level 1 /2

Mathematics GCSE GCSE
Duke of Edinburgh Award DofE



6th Form Semi/ Formal
ASDAN –My independence- Realising Aspirations ASDAN 6th Form Semi- formal
ASDAN- Personal, Social Development ASDAN 6th Form Formal
Blossom House
Assessed against
Household tasks R Level  



Blossom House Boarders

Shopping R Level
Social Skills R Level
Toileting R Level
Dressing/ undressing R Level
Eating/ food prep R Level
Emotional awareness R Level
Personal Care R Level
Safety R Level
Vale Communication V Level

Curriculum Statement

Topic Breakdown – Semi-Formal/Formal



Complex Curriculum Themes

  • The themes outlined below are to give breadth of experience for the pupils following the complex curriculum.
  • They are themes, not topics –there is no expectation that the pupils will learn skills and knowledge about the subject matter
  • The themes are to spark staff imagination in devising a wide range of activities to develop pupil engagement
  • Story sharing may follow the theme (see text map)
  • Sensory activities including messy work, art, music, dance massage, dance etc. may also follow the theme
  • Learning will be assessed using the engagement model, against learning intentions and using the Vale Routes assessment tool