Curriculum Intent


At Abbot’s Lea School we design our curriculum in conjunction with our Philosophy of Education: the ASD model ©

The ASD Model ©
• Academic Progress
• Specialist Therapeutic support
• Development of Life Skills

The curriculum at Abbot’s Lea School is designed to be broad, balanced, challenging and personalised to the needs of the students. We keep at our heart of learning, that we are teaching the adults who will lead our society; we might just so happen to be teaching them when they are 10! At Abbot’s Lea School we place equal emphasis on the three aspects of our Philosophy of Education. Our curriculum is a rich menu of learning experiences, where students see the links between their subjects.

The curriculum prepares students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences which they will encounter after leaving Abbot’s Lea School, whilst promoting spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. It is designed to promote students’ emotional well-being and mental health. A clear emphasis is placed on exploring other’s belief systems and enabling the students’ exploration of their own beliefs, spirituality and morals.

We have a clear commitment to our delivery of Life Skills lessons and work in conjunction with families to ensure the learning is prioritised in a bespoke manner.
We also embed the Employability Curriculum from Early Years through to KS5. This is achieved through the careful planning and inclusion of employability onto mid-term plans and through standalone events.

Our blended approach means that we are able to deliver our learning online when required to do so. We also value using online learning internally, between classrooms in acknowledgment that this will be a crucial skill for our students to acquire ahead of their world of work.
Within the daily practice of the classroom, holistic and therapeutic interventions and support are provided to students. This may be as explicit interventions such as sensory circuits or it may be part of the implementation of a lesson. This provision is extended through the support of the school’s designated therapists.

Students can expect high-quality teaching and learning. Staff are highly skilled in supporting students to overcome their barriers to learning and social interaction so that they achieve academically, have confidence in themselves as individuals and know that they can go on to make a valuable contribution to society. In each classroom we adopt the model of a class teacher, HLTA and TA, delivering the entirety of the curriculum to the students. Through this approach we can offer a full complement of subjects that reflect the breadth of the national curriculum, whilst ensuring that relationships and pastoral support underpin everything that happens in a student’s learning journey.

General curriculum principles

Our curriculum at all stages will give students the opportunity to:

  • Understand the purpose and value of their learning and see its relevance to their past, present  and future
  • Explore the breadth and depth of the national curriculum
  • Learn within a coherent and progressive framework
  • Develop a rich and deep subject knowledge
  • Develop new skills through a variety of interesting contexts
  • Develop and demonstrate their creativity
  • Experience the challenge and enjoyment of learning
  • See clear links between different aspects of their learning
  • Understand themselves and their learning styles
  • Develop passions and interests which inform possible future pathways
  • Develop life skills in a bespoke and personalised way
  • Access all learning through personalised specialist therapeutic support

Sequencing and Ambition

The Schemes of Work at Abbot’s Lea School are well sequenced and designed in a way that allows for ambition. In all subject areas, topics build on prior learning as students move up the school. Where, on face value it might appear that topics are re-covered (for example – in maths, where money is covered twice a year every year) the school has a systemic approach to ensuring that whilst the overarching topic may be repetitive (to help students remember more) the specific learning objectives are personalised to achieve progression in the students’ learning. In the example of money, whilst the same topic is purposefully covered numerous times, one student might be learning to recognise coins, whilst another is calculating tax values.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Deputy Headteacher is responsible for all curriculum matters. She works with other members of the Leadership Team to ensure that our curriculum is well sequenced and ambitious.

EYFS Emily Tobin and Maria Hattersley
Art and Design Emily Tobin and Maria Hattersley
Computing Emily Tobin and Richard Hodgson
Design Technology Emily Tobin and Richard Hodgson
Employability Emily Tobin, Matthew Lyons, Ryan Mason
English Emily Tobin
Food Technology Emily Tobin, Matthew Lyons
French Emily Tobin
Geography Emily Tobin, Laura Gibney
History Emily Tobin, Laura Gibney
RSE/Citizenship Emily Tobin
Maths Emily Tobin
Music Emily Tobin, Maria Hattersley
PE Emily Tobin, Matthew Lyons
RE Emily Tobin
Science Emily Tobin, Richard Hodgson, Ryan Mason


Throughout all stages and Abbot’s Lea School, Our curriculum will give children the opportunity to:

  • Explore beliefs, experience and faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity and reflect on experiences
    Recognise right and wrong and respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues and offer reasoned views
  • Use a range of social skills to participate in the local community and beyond; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict
  • Appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain’s parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity
  • Be part of a system where everyone plays an equal part
  • Learn that all people and institutions are subject to and accountable for their actions and behaviour
  • Be free to express views or ideas
  • To respect and tolerate the opinions or behaviour of others

Well-being through the curriculum

Our curriculum will give children the opportunity to:

  • Recognise that people are good at different things
  • Build respectful friendships
  • Learn how to respect themselves and others
  • Develop self-esteem and confidence in their abilities
  • Follow their own interest and be themselves
  • Learn in a supportive environment
  • Be supported to learn how to self-regulate when anxieties become heightened
  • Find a way of being active that they enjoy
  • Support others in the school community and wider community

Student Voice

Pupil voice refers to pupils’ participation, contribution and influence in a school context (MacBeath, 2006). Various studies have confirmed the benefits of pupil voice: increased pupil engagement, improved relationship between pupils and teachers, better communication between pupils and the school, and providing the right conditions for the school community to become a learning community (Mitra, 2001 and Rudduck et al, 2003).

We recognise that some students have difficulties with expressing their opinions and therefore, we use creative and personalised ways to ascertain students’ feeling about things and their recommendations for making their experience even better.

Our curriculum will give children the opportunity to:

  • Say what they like and dislike about their learning
  • Express their opinions on a range of different topics and issues
  • Take part in democratic activities across the curriculum
  • Make choices about things that are important to them
  • Take part in age-appropriate discussions
  • Explore ways of becoming an active citizen
  • Make a positive contribution to the school and local community


All enrichment activities are woven into the heart and soul of our school day. We do not see enrichment activities as being distinct from learning. It is these rich experiences that make learning memorable. By ensuring that these enrichment offers are within our school day, we can ensure that all learners can access all opportunities. Through this, they begin to learn about themselves, their passions and their interests.

We will enrich our curriculum by:

  • Holding specialist curriculum days or weeks
  • Welcoming families to take part in children’s learning and experiences
  • Using quality resources in and out of the classroom
  • Developing partnerships with external providers that extend children’s opportunities for learning
  • Offering opportunities for children to learn outdoors
  • Providing on and off-site subject or topic related activities
  • Giving students a high level of access to technology as part of their learning offer (not limited to Computing)

Whilst, as stated above, we see enrichment as an every-day entitlement, we do have an enhanced level of enrichment on offer to our students each Friday afternoon as students enjoy a carousel of activities.

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