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The Curriculum & More

One Curriculum, Four Pathways

Whitefield has developed a bespoke personalised curriculum so that all pupils benefit from truly individualised learning with reference to the National Curriculum.

Teachers' planning ensures that pupils take part in activities which are meaningful and interesting for them and through which they address relevant and challenging learning outcomes. This enables all pupils to maximise their progress.

The curriculum is designed to help our pupils become:

  • Successful learners who enjoy learning and make outstanding progress.
  • Effective communicators who can express themselves, make choices and build positive relationships with other people.
  • Confident individuals who take a full part in activities within school and the community.
  • Responsible citizens who behave well and make a positive contribution to the school and the wider world.
  • Lifelong learners who leave school equipped for the adult world whether in paid employment, education or supported living .

Whitefield’s curriculum is designed around four interlinking pathways:


Pathway 1 – Reaching Out

A sensory curriculum for life and learning

Pupils with profound and complex needs learn through consistent routines, sensory experiences and interaction with adults. The curriculum supports pupils to:

  • Develop a sense of security through building positive relationships.
  • Develop an awareness of the world around them through sensory exploration.
  • Develop the physical skills through which they can control and explore their environment.
  • Establish behaviours through which they can express their feelings, make choices and communicate with other people.
  • Experience life within the school community, responding to other people and sharing activities with them.

Pathway 2 – Stepping On

An exploratory curriculum for life and learning.

Pupils learn through play, exploration, practical activities and community involvement. The curriculum supports pupils to:

  • Develop communication skills in speech, gesture, sign or symbol so that they can interact with other people, make choices, follow instructions and explanations and access the key concepts needed for learning.
  • Establish key skills in literacy, numeracy, science and ICT.
  • Learn to co-operate with other people, to build positive relationships and to take responsibility for themselves.
  • Learn the skills which will help them be more independent in adult life.
  • Learn about the world around them and the wider community.

The youngest pupils following this pathway will be working within the Early Years Foundation Stage framework.


Pathway 3 – Climbing Up

An academic curriculum for life and learning with provision for pupils’ specialist needs.

Pupils access the National Curriculum Programmes of Study, adapted and augmented in the light of individual needs. The curriculum supports pupils to:

  • Develop effective communication through speech or sign and to interact confidently with other people.
  • Study as wide a range of academic subjects as is appropriate for individuals, leading to accredited courses and qualifications.
  • Develop self-awareness, respect for others and a sense of responsibility, so that they can play their part in the school community and become active citizens as adults.
  • Develop confidence and personal independence.
  •  Learn about the world of work and develop the skills and understanding which will enable them to move into paid employment or voluntary work in adulthood.

All secondary aged pupils access accredited courses including GCSE, GCE and Entry Level where appropriate. Whitefield works  in partnership with local mainstream and other special schools to offer a range of courses to meet individual needs and aspirations.


Pathway 4 – Taking Off

A curriculum for post 16 pupils equipping them for future choices in work, college and independent or supported living.

Pupils continue to develop their skills within four key areas of learning:

  • The World of Work.
  • Well being.
  • Everyday living.
  • Creativity and spirituality.

Pupils continue to follow accredited courses as appropriate to their needs and their plans for life after school.