Curriculum Introduction

 Our Curriculum Vision

Our curriculum gives our pupil’s broad and balanced opportunities to improve their knowledge and skills in preparation for life beyond school.   The curriculum promotes pupils ’academic and personal development and enables pupils to develop their independence to take their next steps with confidence and resilience to cope with their new challenges.’ 

If you require further information about our Curriculum, please contact Hannah Parry, Assistant Headteacher -


In order to meet our pupil needs, we have 2 pathways broken down into different curriculum areas, this supports pupils at different learning stages.

Curriculum Drivers

  1. Thematic Curriculum: All aspects of learning are linked through our theme creating opportunities for deep learning across the curriculum.
  2. We have placed great importance on the learning of PSHE which is broken down into the development of: Life Skills, Social Skills, Mental-health and Well-being, Self-Care, Relationships and Sex Education. The aim of this curriculum is to not only extend into other areas but to be as practical as possible to give our pupil’s the opportunity to develop the necessary skills for life through contextualizing learning where possible.

 Speech and Language

We recognize that our pupil’s need help to enable them to communicate their wants and needs in the most effective way, our Speech and Language Therapy Team support all the communication needs of our pupil’s and work effectively with our teachers to embed this into the pupils everyday learning.

 Winchelsea School Structure: 

  • The school caters for pupils from 4 – 16 years. 
  • There are 14 classes ranging from Reception to Year 11. Classes have a maximum of 12 pupils, with at least 2 teaching assistants. 2 of these classes are taught off-site in our satellite provisions. 
  • Satellite Provision:

Old Town Infant School: KS 1

Canford Heath Junior School: KS 2 (Yrs 5- 6)

Magna Academy: KS 3 (Yrs 7- 9) 

  • Pupils are taught in classes based upon ability, age and social dynamics. Classes will generally have a mix of between two and three year age groups. 
  • The school mostly operates on a Primary Model where pupils are taught by their class teacher for Math, English, ICT, PSHE, RE and ‘My World’ (History, Geography and Science). They are taught by specialists for PE, Creative Arts, Forest Schools and in KS 3 Home Cooking. 
  • Pupils in Year 10 and 11 are taught in separate classes for English and Math which are relevant to their ability. 
  • Pupils can have access to 1:1 therapeutic support during class time, from one of our intervention teams. 
  • Speech and Language support is available to the whole school through all lessons, as a school we recognize that this is instrumental to their learning. 
  • Speech and Language support can also be given either in 1:1 therapeutic sessions or in small groups. 
  • Classes are reviewed annually, however where necessary pupils may move classes due to need identified during the year, this is within current legislation and guidance and taking into account best practice within special needs education. 
  • Due to the need and age of our pupil’s we provide different curriculums to meet pupil need and therefore assessments within those curriculums are also different. 
  • All curricula aim to give our pupil’s a broad and exciting curriculum to prepare them for the world and through all areas there is greater emphasis and time allocation given to PSHE/Life Skills.     


Curriculum Intent   


Explorers: Oceans

Pupils begin their learning journey following the EYFS curriculum in Reception.  The focus is on developing the three prime areas on the EYFS curriculum: Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal and Social Development whilst developing the specific areas through the thematic curriculum.  This is a developmental curriculum, which not only focuses on pupils achieving their early year’s goals but will also prepare pupils for the curriculum moving forwards, a readiness and desire for further learning.   Additionally children will develop curiosity, independence, resilience, risk taking, relationships, a belief in themselves, and a genuine and lasting love of learning. 

Seekers: Starfish

Starfish class continue pupils development towards their Early Learning Goals and prepare them for either the Discovery Curriculum (life skills learning) or Early Enquirers (subject specific learning). Additionally children will develop curiosity, independence, resilience, risk taking, relationships, a belief in themselves, and a genuine and lasting love of learning.

 Early Discoverers: Octopus, Puffin

This curriculum recognises that many of our pupil’s have a range of complex learning difficulties and disabilities; and it is the combination of two or more of these difficulties that the curriculum is designed to meet through a personalised learning approach.  Pupils learn best when learning is related to their own experiences. Some pupils may learn through structured play, this approach encompasses engagement and the development of thinking skills, creative learning and movement and is designed to be developmentally appropriate.   Where there is a need for specialist provision such as sensory approaches to learning, targeted speech and language sessions and where relevant occupational therapist support.  It enables all pupils to take part in activities that are engaging, meaningful to them and provide relevant and challenging goals. 

 Discoverers: Dolphin and Otters

Pupils are working fundamentally on a life skills approach to their learning, they are beginning to follow some subject specific learning at the lower developmental levels as we aim for pupils to become a literate communicator, a mathematical thinker as well as acquiring early learning skills, pupils will learn more effectively through functional activities and topic-based approaches.  There will be opportunities to complete accredited courses where relevant, and where there is a need for specialist provision such as sensory approaches to learning, targeted speech and language sessions and where relevant occupational therapist support. 

Early Enquirers: Penguins and Coral

This curriculum is the beginning of subject specific learning, pupils will be developing their early skills on the learning ladders through practical application.  Through the thematic curriculum pupils are developing their skills in phonics, reading, fine motor skills and developing their key concepts in Maths.

Pupils are given extended time in PSHE to develop their early life skills.

 Enquirers: Sea Lions, Lobsters, Seahorses and Stingray

Development of the Early Enquirers to show greater depth of learning through the learning ladders  

of each subject specific area of learning.  There continues to be a strong emphasis on PSHE and pupils at this stage begin their Careers program. 

KS 4 Navigators Curriculum: Orca and Manta

The accreditation curriculum is to enable pupils to gain qualifications across the curriculum in areas where they have mastered skills to prepare them for further education and employment.   The two classes represent the two ability groups and accreditation is different within these classes.  The careers programme includes; transitions, college visits, careers interviews and work experience also helps to prepare them for their next steps with life beyond Winchelsea.

Curriculum Provision 

Explorers: Early Years Foundation Stage 

Ocean learners follow the EYFS curriculum.  The key areas on the EYFS curriculum are Communication, Language and Literacy, Physical Development and Personal and Social Development.


This continues the EYFS development and plays a diagnostic role in establishing which of the two Winchelsea Pathways the pupil will follow.

Pathway 1

Early Discoverers

Engaging and responding


Life Skills based Curriculum

Pathway 2

Early Enquirers

Beginning formal learning


Subject specific learning focus: life skills.

Key Areas of Learning

My Communication


My Problem Solving


My World around us

Community Visits/ PSHE/RE

My World

History/ Geography/ Science

My Play

PSHE/Life Skills

My Physical and Sensory

PE/Forest Schools/Swimming

Physical Education
PE/Forest Schools/ Swimming

My Creativity

Arts Award: Art/ Music/ Drama

My Creativity

Arts Award: Art/ Music/ Drama

ICT is integrated across both pathways

My Future Pathways

Year 7 upwards.

Accreditation Curriculum: Key Stage 4



ASDAN Accreditation

Complete units in

English, Maths, PSHE and Employment Skills through a life skills approach.


Functional Skills: Maths, English, ICT

Additional English

Asdan: Employability

BTEC Home Cooking L 1

 Navigators: Pathways 1 and 2

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Bronze Award

OCR: PE Entry Levels

Arts Award: Discover, Bronze.

RE: Core curriculum

PSHE/Life Skills: Core Curriculum

 Curriculum: Time Allocation 

Explorers Curriculum 

Time allocation to different curriculum areas.

Physical Development


6 hours

PE/ Swim or Forest School / Horse Riding



6 hours

Phonics/ Story/ Vocab/ Circle Time/ Rhymes/FMS/ Joint attention time.



2 hours

Across all subjects.

Expressive Arts and Design


3/4 hours

CiL – across all areas.

Understanding the World


3 hours

Community Visits / cooking

Math Concepts 


2 hours

Taught through the other areas


Times are approximate, the learning of the discrete subjects happens throughout all areas of the curriculum.  Learning of the different EYFS framework strands happens through Adult or Child initiated Learning.  Snack time and changing time are also used as purposeful learning opportunities to develop all strands of the Early Learning Goals. 


Discoverers and Seekers Curriculum

Time Allocation to curriculum areas

My Communication

5 hours

Reading, FMS, Phonics, Speaking and Listening

My Thinking and Problem Solving

5 hours

Maths Concepts /Practical maths number

My Physical and Sensory Needs

3 - 4 hours

PE and Swimming every week

My Creativity

2 hours

Art / Music / Drama

My World Around Me

2 hours

PSHE/ Life Skills

Forest Schools

1 ½  hours a week

Outdoor Education

Skills for Learning

1 hour a week

Optional Learning

Community Visit

2 hours a week

Linked to thematic learning and life skills


Early Enquirers and Enquirers Curriculum

Percentage of time allocation to subject areas


5 hours a week

1 hour phonics or SPAG

3 hours reading/ writing/ FMS

1 hour S and L


4 hours a week

Coverage: Number/ Geometry (Statistics where relevant)


1hr a week

Integrated where relevant across all subject areas

PSHE (inc. life Skills )

3 hours a week

Practical life experiences.


1 hour a week

Studying the four areas of Religion


2 hours  a week

Plus 1 term of swimming

Creative Arts

2 hours a week

Art / Music / Drama – Arts Award

My World

2 hours a week

History/ Geography/ Science


1 hour a week

 Enquirers only

Forest Schools

2 hours a week

1 term a year

Home Cooking

1 hour a week

KS 3: 1 hour a week

KS2: Within Life skills

Skills for Learning

1 hour a week

Option choices for learning – extending the curriculum.


Navigators Curriculum 

Percentage of Time Allocated to subject Areas


3 hours a week

 Reading and Writing

1 hour S and L

Additional English or

Literacy Skills


2 hours a week

WJEC Pathways - Entry 2/ 3



4 hours a week

Functional Skills


2 hours a week

Functional Skills


1 hour a week

ASDAN Short Course Accreditation

Life Skills


1 hour a week

Ascentis Life Skills: Entry 2


1 hour a week

Studying the four areas of Religion


2 hours  a week

OCR: Entry Levels, plus 1 term of swimming

Creative Arts

2 hours a week

Arts Award: Explore/ Bronze 


2 hours a week

ASDAN: Employability

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award


1 hour a week


Home Cooking

2 hours a week

BTEC Level 1/2



13 hours a week

English, Maths, PSHE, Employability Award.

Skills for Learning

1 hour a week

Option choices for learning – extending the curriculum.

Curriculum Planning

 There is an identified process of long, medium term and short term planning and we follow a three year thematic cycle.  A whole school overview document briefly shows the curriculum provision, this is supported by curriculum area overview documents followed by the subject areas long term plan. Planning in each curriculum area is adapted by class teachers due to the nature of the way the class is taught and what they are taught. 

Long Term Plans 

Subject leads set out a long term plan to sequence the learning in each curriculum area over each half term.  

Subject Content Plans 

Completed by Subject leads for each half term they give detailed information about the knowledge and skills that are taught at each curriculum phase.  An outline of the learning intentions is described at this level which will then be used for medium term planning by the class teacher.  

Medium Term Planning 

The class teacher’s overview of subject coverage over the half term period.  This is brief but gives the intended journey of the class over the 6 week period. 

Short Term planning 

Is completed on a daily/weekly lesson plan by the class teacher, it describes: 

  • The learning objectives for the pupils involved.
  • How it is intended that these objectives will be achieved for different groups of learners, for example, how the learning objective will be shared and evaluated (introduction and plenary), how the learning objective will be delivered and differentiated as part of main activities.
  • How the pupil will be involved as part of planned activities, for example, how pupils will be involved in evaluation, how independence will be promoted, will they work in pairs or groups, and how adults will support them?

Curriculum Impact and Pupil Outcomes


  • Pupils will develop knowledge and understanding in each curriculum area, as outlined by the subject leader. 
  • Some of our pupil’s will be able to express their own views and assess how well they understand their work. 
  • Pupils will develop resilience to be able to overcome their difficulties and seek support where necessary. 
  • Where pupils are not succeeding within their expectations teachers will proactively seek to offer further assistance or make a referral to seek further support for the pupil. 
  • Pupils have regular opportunities to develop their reading skills and listen to stories.


In KS 4: 

  • Pupils will have the opportunity to develop detailed knowledge and skills through appropriate accreditation courses across the curriculum to allow them to achieve their expected outcomes. 
  • Where relevant, pupils gain qualifications that allow them to go on to the appropriate destination. (See qualifications and Pupil Outcomes section)
  • Pupils will have had extensive opportunities to read widely and often to develop their confidence and support our pupil’s’ independence skills as they transition to the next phase. 
  • Pupils will be prepared for the next stage of their education having followed a comprehensive Careers program that gives them all the knowledge and skills they require to successfully transition to their next phase. (See ‘My Future Pathways’ section) 

The impact of each curriculum area will be determined through different assessment opportunities at various times of the year.  These assessment opportunities are outlined in the Assessment Handbook. 

Our expectations for pupil’s attitude and behaviour is highlighted in the next section, ‘Helpful Choices for Learning.’ 


Helpful Choices for Learning 

  • To support our pupil’s to successfully access the curriculum.
  • To develop strategies to support pupils.
  • Develop positive learning behaviours through a consistent approach 

We have identified 12 ‘Helpful Choices for Learning’ that can be used in the classroom and wider school community to develop positive social skills, self-regulation and support children to engage in learning opportunities. We use the script of making Helping Choices for Learning so that the children begin to understand that these actions/behaviours will help them and that these are what staff are looking to see.

All 12 ‘helpful Choices for Learning’ can be applied to a variety of situations and scenarios but typically the following will be used for certain aspects of school life:


  • Ask for help;
  • Say what is in my head;
  • Say I don’t know;
  • Wait and Listen;
  • Take turns;
  • Have a go;
  • Use a strategy – examples of these would be Sentence Strips and Word Webs. 

Positive Social Interactions: (supported by the Speech and Language team) 

  • Ask for permission;
  • Take a break – removing oneself from something tricky;
  • Wait and Listen;
  • Take turns;
  • Think of others – the way in which we interact with others. 


  • Ask for help;
  • Say what is in my head – sharing a difficult feeling / experience;
  • Take a break – removing oneself from something tricky;
  • Use a Toolkit – the things that help someone calm and stay calm;
  • Think of myself – looking after myself and wellbeing.


Home Learning

 We see home learning as important to:

  • Develop reading opportunities and skills.
  • Provide an opportunity for either independent or supported learning at home.
  • Help pupils understand that extra study can result in higher achievement.
  • Help parents / carers feel more directly involved with their child’s progress.
  • When necessary assist in meeting the demands of the school’s external accreditation programme.
  • Raise self-esteem and confidence.
  • Support achievement of targets within their Educational Health Care Plan (PPT’s) and additional therapy programmes. 
  • Work closely with parents /carers in the development of self-help and independence skills and in the management of behaviour, where consistency between home and school is especially important.


Consists of:

Home Reading: Share books and stories

Develop Maths Skills: Dynamo Maths Programme

Spellings: Relevant classes

Targeted joint work towards specific EHCP targets


Explorers and Seekers Curriculum

We feel it is important for all parents and families to be fully involved in sharing and supporting the learning that their child undertakes at school.  With this in mind all pupils will be provided with a home/school book in order for communication to be passed on daily.

Parents/carers will receive regular information with suggestions of play activities that can be done at home with their child, and this will further support the areas we are developing in class.

Enquirers/Navigators Curriculum

In response to parental willingness to support their child in completing additional learning at home, class teachers will set tasks each week in the form of spellings, reading or activities related to the topic being studied.   Where possible, more than one night will be given to complete the tasks to give families some flexibility. We would not wish to put any pressure on parents /carers to ask for home learning.

Discoverers curriculum

All parents/carers are encouraged to read and play with their children. Activities may be sent home to share from time to time or families may be requested to support their child’s learning by sending in objects or photographs from home in connection with a specific topic. Teachers are always willing to give advice on ways of extending learning at home and will send specific materials if requested. The development of communication skills is a priority for all pupils. For those pupils using specific programmes such as Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECs) and sentence books, parents/ carers may be asked to extend this technique into the home environment.


















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