Teaching & Learning

At Springhead School we want to be the best we can and to:  

Learn well today and every day  

Be safe  

Be healthy  

Enjoy our friends  

Look forward to tomorrow  

Prepare well for our futures 

Our curriculum at Springhead School is skill and context-based and encourages active engagement in learning. The curriculum focuses on developing the key skills of communication, cognition, independence, physical development and self-care, all transferrable skills that equip children and young people for life beyond school. 

The pupils’ learning difficulties at Springhead School cover a wide range of needs, including severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, through to profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where they are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment. 

Our curriculum strives to be responsive to each learner, and build on individual strengths and interests. Throughout the school, a rolling plan is in place, which supports a balance of stimulating contexts for learning through different learning experiences, themes and subjects. 

The basic content of our curriculum draws on a range of ideas. Elements come from approaches which lay emphasis on developmental checklists (for example MOVE and Sounds of Intent) and behaviour modification. Other aspects have been selected from National Initiatives past and present, such as: – 

  • The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (2021)  
  • The Primary Framework (2006)  
  • The National Curriculum Framework (Department for Education, 2014) 

We have also been heavily influenced by the direction taken by other schools such as Swiss Cottage Development and Research Centre (2015), Frank Wise School (2015) and Beckfoot Phoenix (2022).  From these rich curricula, we have blended our curriculum together using a developmental perspective on basic learning and life skills to meet the needs of our pupils, diverse in age and in their special educational needs. 

Curriculum Intent for Pupils 

  • To motivate and engage pupils so that they enjoy their learning 
  • To ensure success so that learners remember more overtime and learn to use what they have learnt within their lives. 
  • To give children the tools and knowledge to keep themselves safe and healthy. 
  • To develop confidence and resilience and build foundations for future learning. 
  • Within a positive and respectful culture to teach children to be kind and thoughtful and to use communication effectively to tell others what they need, what they want, and what they think. 

Curriculum Intent for Staff 

  • To provide a framework of teaching that enables staff to enjoy teaching great lessons. 
  • To scaffold learning with high quality subject knowledge so that children will make memories, learn more and be brilliant. 
  • To give staff confidence to enable learners to take safe risks and become increasingly independent whilst learning how to keep themselves and others safe and well. 
  • To enable staff to feel proud of the school, the progress children make and of the difference made to lives and families. 
  • To focus workload so that teaching and learning comes first. 

Curriculum Intent for Parents 

  • Curriculum content that is relevant and makes a difference to their child, their family and their community. 
  • Knowledge and understanding of their child’s learning journey and how it builds over time. 
  • Curriculum content that supports the teaching of children’s EHCP targets. 
  • Curriculum content that extends to home learning. 


The rationale underpinning our curriculum is in response to the Rochford Review and in consideration of the wealth of research underpinning effective pedagogy for pupils with SEND, utilising the engagement model. An acknowledgement that if pupils start and finish their academic careers at levels below or at best very near to the beginning points of the National Curriculum then hierarchical subject specific learning is not effective for pupils who are on the SLD spectrum. 

‘Schools have the freedom to use any curriculum they feel is appropriate to the needs and requirement of these pupils. They should also have the freedom to assess them in a complementary way.’ 

Taken from the Rochford Review October 2016