Curriculum Statement

At Hinderton our curriculum provides a range of relevant educational activities and experiences which meets the needs of all our pupils and helps to achieve our ‘vision’ for Hinderton. Our National Autistic Society Accreditation Review held in 2021 indicated the Curriculum to be an area of strength where practice meets and exceeds NAS standards.

“ The curriculum at Hinderton school is carefully considered and suited to the pupils’ needs. The breadth of activities offered ensures that the children are valued as learners and as individuals. The range of activities provided takes account of strengths and areas of special interest and provides access to excellent learning experiences. The curriculum nurtures social and emotional growth”.

We recognise the need to put ‘Autism’ at the heart of the curriculum and have developed a curriculum that demonstrates progression in learning and that has the essential skills for learning and life at the core for all our pupils with autism.

Our Curriculum - The Big Picture

Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum applies to children attending school from the age of three years to the end of Reception year when they are five years of age. The EYFS is made up of seven areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Communication and Language

  • Physical Development

  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Understanding the World

  • Expressive Arts and Design

All areas are delivered through a balance of adult led and child initiated activities. Activities are determined by the individual needs and interests of each pupil.

Key Stage One and Two

Our Formal Curriculum consists of:

  • English

  • Mathematical Development

  • Science

  • Geography

  • History

  • Computing

  • Design Technology

  • Religious Education

  • Foreign Language at Key Stage 2 (French)

  • Art and Design

  • Music

  • Physical Education

  • PSHE ( Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) and RSE (Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education)

Our curriculum is based on an adapted version of the national curriculum. Planning for curriculum subjects is carefully developed within each class when considering activities, ensuring that they are valued as learners and as individuals. We accept the need that some pupils require repetition and overlearning opportunities for revision and consolidation of previously learnt material, to enable them to apply and use their learning in other contexts. Planning reflects this need to revisit topics where appropriate and this approach may also be used to support a child in reducing anxiety, or when embedding behavioural strategies. The academic curriculum is careful planned within each class to reflect on the ‘spiky profile’ individual pupils may have.

Our Essential Skills Curriculum of:

  • Social Communication

  • Emotional Regulation

  • Joint Attention

As well as subject specific teaching, our curriculum nurtures social and emotional growth with a focus on essential skills forming part of our core teaching practice at Hinderton. Our planning format for all curriculum subjects reflects this, in identifying key areas of our essential skills curriculum which must be taught to enable pupils to access more formal subject specific learning. The focus of these key essential skills in each class’s planning is personalised dependent on the individual levels of need of the pupils within each class.

A Cheshire Essential Skills Syllabus (CHESS) has been produced by Cheshire SLD Schools’ Behaviour Consortium. This document includes a syllabus of essential skills that need to be included in all teaching programmes if our pupils are to develop as successful adults.

The autism specific learning environment at Hinderton employs a range of approaches to support individual learning. A SCERTS Model ( Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, Transactional Support) is a multidisciplinary approach to enhance communication and the social and emotional abilities of all our pupils. Staff complete yearly SCERTS assessment and together with the CHESS document informs target setting for individual personal learning plans.

Literacy and Phonics

At Hinderton we use a synthetic phonic approach ‘Read Write Inc.’ developed by Ruth Miskin.

Read Write Inc. is a systematic and dynamic literacy programme rooted in Phonics teaching. Five key principles underpin all the Read Write Inc. Phonics teaching; Participation, Praise, Pace, Purpose and Passion. Also,

  • Each child’s phonic knowledge is assessed and begins to read books that match their phonic knowledge

  • The 44 sounds and corresponding letters are introduced and taught systematically

  • Children use short ‘ditties’ to practise early reading and writing and are taught more letter/sound correspondences

  • Children read a series of levelled decodable texts , both fiction and non-fiction.

  • There is ongoing assessment to ensure the best progress for every child.


At Hinderton we focus on key skills required in the development of handwriting. Planned support programmes focus on strengthening muscle tone, developing core stability, spatial awareness and gross and fine motor skills, all of which are precursors for successful development of handwriting skills.


Letter-join is a new whole school progressive handwriting scheme which uses animations of all of the letters of the alphabet, along with a spoken commentary, to enable pupils to develop a consistent handwriting style.

Through daily lessons pupils use interactive resources to develop and refine their handwriting skills. A combination of patterns, letters and words are used for pupils to develop more fluency in the formation of lowercase letters. Pupils will understand how to form letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place.

FUNS for Everyone

At Hinderton School physical education and physical activity are important aspects of our curriculum. Children with autism may exhibit a variety of physical sensory needs as well as difficulties with core strength, balance, coordination and agility. As a result physical activity is incorporated across the curriculum, throughout the day in order to address these needs. We have also implemented the FUNS for Everyone multi skills programme into our physical education schemes.

Medium-Term Plans

Samples of Curriculum Planning from across the school.

Curriculum Overviews

Details of how each subject is covered in each year group.