Curriculum planning in all-age special schools

See how 3 special schools plan curriculum opportunities based on their pupils' needs. Get expert advice on medium-term planning and use our CPD resources to help staff secure the best outcomes for pupils.

Last reviewed on 31 August 2023
School types: Special · School phases: All
Ref: 4878
  1. Set a curriculum according to pupils’ needs 
  2. How an ‘outstanding’ school plans for pupils with severe learning difficulties 
  3. How one school adapts and differentiates its curriculum 
  4. What to consider when medium-term planning 
  5. Use our CPD resources to develop staff knowledge

Set a curriculum according to pupils’ needs 

Fiveways School in Somerset works with many pupils for whom the age-related expectations set out in the National Curriculum aren’t appropriate. The school was rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted in April 2023.

Some of the school's curriculum isn’t subject-specific. Instead, it includes a range of activities to help its pupils develop and progress socially, emotionally and physically. The school structures its curriculum according to pupils' communication and interaction needs.

The curriculum also includes:

  • Work with the school's mechanical horse 'Thunder', used to help pupils develop core physical strength and/or communication skills
  • Music therapy
  • Swimming
  • Dance and drama sessions
  • Yoga and physio sessions
  • Trampoline lessons

Review and adapt your curriculum

The school regularly reviews and adapts its curriculum to ensure it's meeting its pupils' needs.

If a year