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At Springside we believe that our curriculum should adapt for our learners, rather than our learners adapt to the curriculum. 

Therefore our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all our learners, offering a broad, balanced, differentiated and relevant education which maximises the progress of all learners.  Our curriculum ensures that our learners are developing the skills and knowledge required to enable them to prepare them for an appreciation of life in modern Britain.

On entering school each individual learner is assessed with reference to their Education and Health Care plan, this enables us to ensure they receive a personalised plan at Springside.  Each learner has a Personal Learning Plan that is regularly reviewed and updated to monitor their progress. Classes also send home Theme Webs each half-term to share with families how topics/themes are being taught to their child and how they can add to this learning at home - an example of these can be downloaded below.

We have recently redesigned our curriculum to ensure it is as pertinent, purposeful and engaging as possible.  As part of this redesign we now have three cohorts of learners, these are:

Experiential Learners - Within this cohort the learners develop through experiencing the world, these learners generally have Profound and Multiple learning difficulties and are working at S4 or below of the Springside Steps assessment system. Further information on this phase and their curriculum offer can be found by clicking here.

Exploratory Learners - Within this cohort the learners develop through exploring the world are them, these learners generally have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition and are generally working within S4 to S7 Springside Steps assessment system. Further information on this phase and their curriculum offer can be found by clicking here.

Investigative Learners - Within this cohort the learners develop through investigating the world around them. The curriculum and learning environments for these learners are increasingly more formal. The pupils in this cohort are generally working at S5 or above of the Springside Steps assessment system. Further information on this phase and their curriculum offer can be found by clicking here.

Learners at Springside School have a diverse range of learning difficulties and associated special educational needs. The curriculum aims to support the holistic development of all learners in a manner, which is appropriate to their individual needs and abilities and provide a sensitive response to the challenges they face. At its core it is designed to ensure all learners are happy, healthy and safe whilst ensuring they reach their full potential having access to a broad and balanced curriculum promoting independence throughout.

Springside School is a non-denominational school that aims to celebrate festivals and religious events from many cultures. Whole school and phase worship, beliefs and celebrations (e.g. Birthdays, Achievements, Eid, Christmas) reflect this. Learners are taught to embrace all celebrations, cultures as well as respect each other, their beliefs and differences; these are detailed on our curriculum theme mapping.

Our curriculum is set in the context of Equals multi-tiered curriculum approach, recognising that differentiation from England’s (or indeed any) National Curriculum, including the EYFS framework, is not sufficient to meet the needs of learners with profound, complex, severe or global learning difficulties. For these learners, who are all working consistently and over time below or very near the start of their national curriculum, curricula need to be different rather than differentiated, because the way such learners learn is different, and often very, very different from neuro-typical, conventional developing learners for whom the national curriculum was designed.

Teaching reading

Reading is recognised as a key skill for all learners.  Each learner has opportunities to develop their reading skills or the pre-requisite skills for reading which include the development of early communication.

The approach we have adopted to the delivery of systematic synthetic phonics is to use a combination of Jolly Phonics alongside Letters and Sounds.

We have a range of age and developmentally appropriate reading materials and share many of these with our parents through sending various books home.  Further information on this can be found on our Parents/ Carers page. We promote reading through pleasure and have recently introduced DEER - Drop everything except reading in each of the classrooms for 10 minutes per day, whether this is a time for the learners to explore the books as an individual or listen to a story book with a staff member.

Our learners in the Investigative Phase will read to our learners in the Experiential Phase, this promotes confidence and reading for a purpose. 


Integral to our school, curriculum and development of our learners is Inclusion.  We are devoted to providing all our learners with the communication and social skills required to successfully promote their inclusion in society. 

We have wonderful links with our co-located Primary School – Hamer Community Primary School.  This link provides us with the flexibility, support and opportunity to further personalise our offer to all learners.

We also have strong and supportive links with our local Secondary Special School Redwood, this is particularly important during the transition stage for our learners, further information on our inclusion partners can be found using the links below:

Hamer Community Primary School

Redwood Secondary School