Curriculum Policy



Curriculum Policy



Review Date

June 2022

Review Cycle


Review Due

June 2025

Author / Owner

Hannah Parry



Our curriculum gives our pupils broad and balanced opportunities to develop 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.’


We strive to make learning a pleasurable and rewarding experience enabling all pupils to develop a high standard of achievement as well as being challenged to become as independent as possible. Together we provide opportunities for every child within school and in the wider community to grow in confidence and develop a love of learning.  At Winchelsea we see the curriculum as the sum of every activity and experience, both formal and informal, encountered during the day.





  • To meet the individual needs of each child.


  • To develop courageous, happy and confident learners.


  • To enable our pupils to communicate effectively.


  • To foster a safe, happy, inclusive and calm environment through effective safeguarding.


  • Ensure the personal development of our pupils within the curriculum as well as through the wider curriculum to contribute to their all-round development.


  • To maximise potential and independence.


  • Celebrate achievements.


  • To develop strengths and overcome barriers.


  • To respect and value differences.


  • To confidently sequence our learning for our pupils so that their next steps are clear and they are able to achieve the best possible outcomes.


  • Pupils are well prepared to transition to their next phase of education.


  • To work effectively with parents, other professionals and the wider community.


  • Work with others schools, where relevant to support the development of the school curriculum.



Curriculum Intent


Winchelsea School provides an education for pupils aged from four to sixteen years of age, and jointly with Poole and Bournemouth from 16 – 18 years.  All pupils have an Education Health Care Plan in place and therefore, the curriculum is planned to recognise and support the individual learning needs by differentiated tasks to ensure learning opportunities are both challenging and appropriate to all pupils.


Curriculum Pathways












Explorers Pathway - Ocean and Harbour Class.


The Foundation and Early Years team place a high value on parent partnerships and use the information gathered from discussions with parents to make sure that the curriculum is tailored to meet individual pupils needs.


All areas of the curriculum are delivered through a balance of adult led, adult initiated and child initiated learning (CiL) activities. Communication and play based learning is paramount and pupils experience a variety of learning opportunities from carefully planned sessions.   


In Year 1 pupils follow a bridging curriculum.  We recognise that many pupils will need further opportunities to develop skills towards their Early Learning Goals, we therefore continue to cover the Early Years framework as well as moving them on to the next stage of learning.  During this year we are preparing pupils to enter either the Discoverer’s Pathway for a life skills approach to learning or the Enquirers Pathway for more subject specific learning.


For subject specific information see Curriculum handbook.


Early Enquirers Pathway - Penguins Class


This curriculum provides subject specific learning at its very early stages.  We have placed a greater emphasis on the learning of PSHE, Foundation Motor Skills and Phonics as well as giving pupils the opportunity to have lots of practical opportunities to learn.  My World will often take place through visits out in the community and there are some opportunities to experience cooking.


Enquirers Pathway - Sea Lions, Sea Turtles, Seals, Manatees and Lobsters.


This follows the sequence of learning from the Early Enquirers curriculum and pupils will now also receive lessons in Careers.


Enquirers Accreditation Pathway – Seahorses, Manta and Orca


Pupils in Years 9, 10 and 11 follow accredited subjects based on their ability to support their next steps into Post 16. 


Pupils will take Functional Skills Exams in English and Maths and complete a range of  accreditations from the LASER AWARD across the wider curriculum subjects: PSHE, ICT and Careers.  They will also gain the LEAP Award through the option choice they select. In Art pupils will achieve the Arts Award and have the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and complete PE Entry Level.


Discoverers Pathway: Oysters, Starfish, Octopus, Jellyfish and Coral  


Pupils continue to develop foundation skills and will do this life through a practical and life relevant approach to learning. This curriculum has a big emphasis on language and communication. It is comprised of five areas:


My Communication

My Thinking and Problem Solving

My Physical and Sensory (including Forest Schools)

My Creativity

My World around me.


Threaded through the five strands are Independence Skills.


Post 16 Pathway – Extended Enquirers  


Pupils staying in Post 16 continue to work on qualifications and skills developed in KS 4, the focus is very practical, with greater links to the community.


Personal Development


Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) opportunities are embedded throughout the curriculum, and specifically in the subjects of RE and PSHE. 


Our SMSC calendar enable us to consider a variety of important World national, and local  events during school assemblies, as well as Religious events that are sometimes supported by visitors to enhance pupil learning and understanding.  Pupils of any faith and those of no faith are encouraged to value everyone and their beliefs equally.  Shared assembly times also enable us to focus on celebration, opportunities for pupils to take part in assemblies as well as sharing our thematic topic.   


Winchelsea is a Rights Respecting School and these values are clearly present through lessons and the school rewarding system and in assemblies.




  • Our thematic curriculum focusses on real life opportunities for relevant, fun and engaging learning. The theme is embedded across the curriculum and encourages vocabulary development as well as over-learning the topic in a variety of contexts.
  • Long term planning ensures a clear sequence of knowledge and skills in each curriculum area.
  • Medium term planning is an over view by the class teacher of the half term ahead.  Coverage makes sure that all levels of learning are well scaffolded across all subjects.
  • Progress against individual targets are recorded against for Discoverers on the Evidence for Learning App, In the Enquirers targets are written at the front of the book.
  • All staff have an important role to play in the assessment process.
  • Learning activities are sequenced to ensure progression.
  • Educational visits and computing resources are used to extend and generalise learning.


See Assessment, recording and reporting policy.









PLP’s are written at the start of Year 10 and reviewed at the end of each term, though information may be completed and renewed at any time.  The PLP demonstrates what the pupils have been involved in and the qualifications they are working towards or have achieved. 




A program is set up to deliver careers education to students from Year 7 - 11 following the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Gatsby Benchmark.  Pupils receive a Careers Interview with an Independent Careers Advisor from Year 9 to Year 11.  In Years 10 – 11 pupils attend work experience for up to a week, some pupils may take part in extended work experience if this is seen as appropriate. 


See Careers policy.




Our Play program, implemented by the Speech and Language team, runs at lunchtime to give pupils the opportunity to engage in a variety of activities that extend their learning and develop their play skills, attention and predominantly their social skills.  




At Winchelsea School we recognise the importance of learning outside the classroom and in the community.  This reinforces the work we do in school and helps our pupils to contextualise their learning.  Pupils all have opportunities to swim at the local sports centre, attend Forest School off-site and visit local areas through their thematic learning and life skills work.  We also invite musicians, storytellers, sports coaches and theatre groups into school. A three day overnight residential is offered to Year 10 and 11 pupils in the summer term.


The community provides a great place in which to generalise and transfer new and emerging skills. We are always interested in increasing the type of experiences that we can expose the children to as well as working with many partners in support of the development of community cohesion.


In addition to this, pupils have access to a number of targeted opportunities that support them in overcoming potential barriers to their learning.


  • Horse Riding – (Oceans and Harbour Class)
  • Sensory Integration
  • Intensive Interaction






Pupils have access Speech and Language Therapy through the curriculum at all times.  Therapists support teachers to use strategies in class to develop pupil communication skills as well as targeted therapy where relevant. Speech and Language Teaching Assistants also help to run programs in class, working closely with Speech and Language Therapists and class teams.

(See handbook for further information)





Pupils can be referred for Occupational Therapy (OT) support and following an assessment, pupils will may receive some therapy, guidance to school and home or strategies to support their needs can be implemented by the OT Teaching Assistant.  The OT helps to run whole class programmes to support areas of need related to OT and this will be implemented by the OT assistants in conjunction with the Occupational Therapist.




Small group and 1:1 sessions are offered to support pupils across the school with our ELSA trained member of staff. (This is done in consultation with the Pupil Participation Team).






Pupils can be given further support in English.  This is identified by the class teacher and a referral made.  Support generally takes place in small groups in class, focusing on developing reading, phonics and comprehension skills.




Pupils can be given further support in Math.  This is identified by the class teacher and a referral made. Support generally takes place in small groups in class, focusing on developing an area identified as needing further support through teacher observation, tests and end of term progress checks. 




Pupils can be referred for extra music sessions from our music teacher following a teacher referral, either to support a sensory need, development of skills or because they are recognized as gifted and talented.  They may receive small group or 1:1 support.




Pupils can be referred to support development of Core stability often recognized in OT and Physio reports, but also through their PE lessons.  Pupils will receive support in small groups.




  • All classes have TA support, this varies from 2 – 3 depending on the need of pupils in the class.
  • In order to deliver the curriculum effectively pupils are grouped as much as possible according to their learning needs as well as chronologically within the appropriate key stage.  The delivery of the curriculum is defined by the subject leader’s long-term plan to develop knowledge and skills of the learners and this is taught by the teacher in the most appropriate way.




  • The class, therapeutic and curriculum timetables are reviewed annually and changes will be made as necessary to ensure compliance with current legislation and guidance and taking into account best practice within special needs education.


  • In reading this policy reference should also be made to the Curriculum Handbook as well as policies for Assessment, Careers and Individual Subject Policies. 




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




There are some pupils whose progress may be affected because they have EAL in addition to their special educational needs. Whilst it is important that these pupils can be assessed within wider statutory assessment arrangements, additional advice or guidance may be required to help teachers make their assessments accurately and effectively.






Lessons are observed through ‘teacher talks’ where subject leaders and the Senior Leadership Team are expected to view lessons and discuss learning as well as a focus of particular areas of development.  This is frequent and involves feeding back to the teacher.  Further to this support might be required or it might be suggested that other staff would benefit from the opportunity to share the outstanding practice that has been observed or receive further support where required.  


Monitoring is a vital way to identify strengths and areas for development across the school.  Monitoring outcomes form the basis for discussion and further action planning.


Throughout the course of an academic year, the following monitoring activities will take place:


  • Teacher talks
  • Learning walks and ‘Drop ins’
  • Work scrutiny
  • Planning scrutiny
  • Student discussions
  • Moderation
  • Cross curricular work scrutiny
  • Case Studies


All monitoring activities will have a specific focus relating to the department action plan or whole school priority. Specific feedback is provided to individual teachers and general feedback is given to the whole department.


The Impact of the curriculum is identified through the monitoring and evaluation of learning and teaching.


All external sessions with Curriculum or Therapeutic Support outside of class report back progress based on an identified target(s) to the teacher and termly to the Data Lead.

See assessment policy and handbook.



There are three formal opportunities for parents/carers to discuss their child’s progress and targets during the academic year. All pupils will have an Annual Review meeting and two parent/carer evenings.  Parents are encouraged to contact the class/subject teacher if they have any concerns in the interim.


Written reports are sent home annually for all pupils.


(See Assessment Policy for further information.)




Professional development is met through the delivery of INSET and attendance at courses (including local Subject Leader forums where established). Subject Leader Meetings and Department meetings allow the Subject Leaders to discuss information together and disseminate relevant information about new initiatives to teaching staff.


Roles and Responsibilities


Governors                   Have an overall responsibility to be continually involved in reviewing an                            maintaining an up to date policy that is made available to parents and     



Headteacher               Is responsible for the implementation of the policy and liaising with the

                                    governing body, LA, parents, carers and other appropriate agencies.


Curriculum Lead         The Curriculum lead, together with the headteacher, has a general  

responsibility of supporting Subject Leaders in the formulating, up-dating and  implementation of this policy.  They will disseminate information and provide required training relating to the Curriculum. They must maintain and develop their understanding of Curriculum developments where relevant and look to enhance their skills in order to be most effective in their role.


Teachers                     Responsible for the implementation of the policy as well as planning,                                            resourcing, delivering and recording pupils levels in relation to the

descriptors for each area. Teachers are also involved in curriculum

development process and training is made available where appropriate.


Parents and Carers     The school recognises that the parents/carers are key figures in helping their

children to cope with the emotional and physical aspects of growing up. Parents/carers are encouraged to support the school’s curriculum and have access to this policy.


APPENDIX 1: Curriculum Handbook (available as a separate standalone document)