You are here:

Last reviewed on 27 March 2018
Ref: 34639
School types: Special · School phases: All

Some special schools develop their curriculum around a theme. Get inspiration when developing your own curriculum with examples of thematic approaches in special schools.


Ash Lea School in Nottinghamshire teaches its 'semi-formal' curriculum in both primary and secondary phases using a termly thematic approach. Themes include:

  • Transport
  • Animals 
  • Seasons and weather 

The thematic approach is outlined on page 18 of a document on the school's curriculum.

Ash Lea School is an all-through special school for pupils with complex learning difficulties.

Curriculum, Ash Lea School


Meadow High School in Middlesex has developed thematic curriculum matrices for Key Stages 3 to 5. They include English, maths and science.

Curriculum planning in all-through special schools

Find out how 4 special schools plan their curriculum using alternative approaches in another article from The Key.

More from The Key


Bitesize training with a big impact

Our on-demand training has your whole board covered and lets them learn at a time and pace that suits them.

Help your new governors hit the ground running with our expertly-designed induction training, and our role-specific courses support your link governors develop key skills and confidence in their role.


New eLearning: DSL refresher training

Your DSL’s training should be refreshed at least once every 2 years. 

Designed in collaboration with safeguarding experts, our 2.5 hour online refresher training course reminds DSLs how to put their knowledge into practice, with in-depth, real-world scenarios.


The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.