GSO Test

GSO Test


Curriculum Intent

Our students have severe, complex and/or profound needs, including autism, and as such have a range of different starting points. Their complex needs have a significant impact on their emotional and cognitive development, especially the way that they are able to develop their long-term memory, understand knowledge and generalise skills. Our curriculum is centred around our student’s individual needs, to best support them to reach their individual potential and prepare them for adult life.

Walton Leigh School is committed to:

  • providing every student regardless of their disability, with the opportunity to succeed and thrive
  • maximising opportunities for communication, developing independence and life skills
  • fostering a love of learning and curiosity in the world around them
  • embedding fundamental British values and social, moral, spiritual and cultural purpose
  • promoting enjoyment, fun and engagement in school and in the community
  • equipping students with:

o communication skills to promote self-advocacy and self-expression

o personal and social skills which enable them to develop, maintain and manage relationships

o independence and self-help skills

o the ability to apply knowledge and skills in real life situations

o the ability to transfer the range of physical, social, emotional and cognitive skills they have developed during their school life, to their adult life


The Walton Leigh curriculum is: 

Each of our students has an Education Health and Care Plan (ECHP) and we recognise the importance and value of providing a curriculum that emphasises the Key Areas of:

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Physical and Sensory
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Working with students, parents and carers we identify the most important individual next steps in these areas for our students, and our curriculum provides the context for progression, generalisation and independence in these areas. 

Curriculum Implementation

Our curriculum is implemented with a central focus on a student’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP), taken from the 4 Key Areas of their EHCP.  This is supported and underpinned by our vision and values, subject specific schemes of work and therapy provision.   

Our curriculum is implemented with a central focus on a student’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP), taken from the 4 Key Areas of their EHCP.  We work alongside other professionals (therapist and social workers) as well as parents when setting individual ILP targets for each student.  Teachers meet parents 3 times a year to consult when targets are set and evaluated.

This ILP focus is supported and underpinned by a broad range of subject specific learning, our vision and values, and therapy provision and Positive Behaviour Support. 

Our school wide values last for a half term (on a 2 year cycle) and is supported by a  set of ‘non-negotiables’ focused on learning, professionalism, the learning environment, life-skills and independence and what we expect to be upheld and implemented  by all in the school community.




Walton Leigh Non-negotiable:


Walton Leigh School is structured into:

  • Lower School (Years 7 - 9) and
  • Upper School (Years 10 – 14). 

Classes are grouped depending on individual learning need so are not restricted to year groups. There may be some movement for students between classes and their time in each key stage. Any movement is always carefully considered based on individual needs to help each student reach their full potential.

Lower School

Upper School

Painshill Class -Year 7-9 students with SLD/ASD

Wisley Class - Year 7-9 students with SLD

Kew Class - Year 7-9 students complex PMLD/SLD

Richmond Class - Year 7-9 students complex ASD/SLD

Horsley Class - Year 7-9 students with PMLD

Polesden Lacey class - Year 10-14 students with complex SLD

Claremont Class - Year 10-14 students with PMLD

Runnymede Class -Year 10-14 students with complex SLD

Sandown Class - Year 10-14 students with complex PMLD/SLD

Hampton Class - Year 10-14 students with SLD

Clandon Class - Year 10-14 students with SLD


All students follow one of the following curriculum pathways for the subject specific curriculum, depending on their primary needs. Students generally follow a single pathway but can move between pathways in certain topics when appropriate: 

  • The PMLD pathway is for students working at very early developmental levels. They will learn to engage with their environment and explore their world, anticipate repetition, and communicate choices and preferences consistently. There is a key focus on opportunities for interaction and independence given their profound and multiple needs. This pathway does not prioritise linear progress but allows staff the flexibility to identify achievements in a number of areas simultaneously.   
  • The Informal pathway is for students who need frequent and varied opportunities to rehearse and demonstrate skills in different subjects and contexts. It supports students to communicate about their needs and preferences, respond to repetition and requests, and interact with their environment preparing them to be as independent as possible.   
  • Semi-formal pathway for students who can practise skills and retain knowledge in a more linear context so they can make sense of their world, learn to recognise and interpret information to use in real life contexts.  They are supported to become independent thinkers and learners


Subject Specific Curriculum Guidance

English, Maths and PSHE  (including Sex and Relationship Education, life skills and Work Related Learning) are core subjects at Walton Leigh as these provide students with essential skills and knowledge needed to access their wider curriculum and prepare them for adulthood.  These subjects are therefore taught throughout Y7 to Y14 and are formally assessed twice a year.  There is opportunity for revisiting and consolidating knowledge and skills as well as appropriate challenge.  Students can progress at their own pace and reach their own potential.  Key Knowledge and Skills aspirational outcomes/end-points for English, Maths and PSHE in each of the three pathways have been identified.  Both Schemes of Work and End Point documents have been triangulated with the WMV assessment criteria for these core subjects


All other subjects provide opportunities for students to gain knowledge and skills but they are not formally assessed.  These subjects provide cultural capital and enhancement and act as a vehicle to enable students to focus on their ILP targets. 


LOWER SCHOOL – the curriculum follows principles of the primary and KS3 National Curriculum programs of study and runs on a 3 year rolling programme  *

Core Subjects – discrete lessons

(1-2 hours per week of each subject      depending on need)

Theme Subjects – combined lessons

(3-4 hours per week of combined subjects  depending on need)

  • English
  • Maths
  • PSHE - incl. RSE and Drugs Education
  • PE – including on and off site swimming
  • Music
  • Computing
  • Art
  • Design & Technology
  • Geography
  • History
  • Science
  • Citizenship/WRL  
  • RE Surrey Agreed Syllabus

* The school dis-applies students from MFL at Key Stage 3/4 and records this in their Statutory Review Form. Whilst acknowledging that teaching another language can be of benefit, our students have significant challenges with the acquisition, understanding and processing of language.


UPPER SCHOOL -  the curriculum is based on the EQUALS ‘Moving On 14+’ programme and builds on the learning and experiences of lower school with a preparing for adulthood and functional skills focus. 

The curriculum runs on a 5-year rolling programme.

Core Subjects

(1-2 hours per week of each subject depending on need)

Moving On 14+ Subjects - options

  • English
  • Maths
  • PSHE - incl. RSE and Drugs Education
  • Daily Living Skills/WRL  
  • PE /Leisure and Recreation - including on and off site swimming
  • ICT / Computing
  • Educational Visit
  • Creativity
  • Technology
  • Science
  • Foreign cultures/Humanities



Religious Education (taught in 2 RE weeks)

Accreditation in Personal Progress and Personal and Social Development

(through ASDAN) at Entry 1-3 is gained through the above subjects



Enrichment and Extra-Curricular Opportunities

All students take part in key stage assembly and in-class mindfulness sessions on alternate weeks.

Assemblies focus on:  the value of the half term and special days/events. 

Mindfulness sessions focus on:  self-regulation, being calm, increasing tolerance, resilience and a good sense of well-being.  

Providing regular opportunities for students to learn outside of the classroom is a key part of our curriculum and our PSHE/Citizenship subject area. Individual classes access learning in the community on weekly educational visits and special enrichment and celebration events are an important element of each student’s school experience.

Examples of our wider curriculum offer include:

  • ‘Kids Out’ Day
  • Christmas Carol Service at the local church
  • Music Concerts
  • School Show
  • PMLD Sport Day
  • Swimming Gala
  • Panathlon sports event
  • Charity Events – e.g. McMillan Coffee Morning, Red Nose Day, Children in Need
  • Feeling Good Week (Children’s Mental Health Week)
  • Boating on the Thames
  • Access to a Local Sensory Room
  • ELSA
  • Music Therapy
  • Drama Therapy


Residential Offer – all students are offer a residential opportunity when in Lower School and again in Upper School

Lower School

3 day 2 night -  High Ashurst, Surrey

Upper School

5 day 4 night - Tile Barn, Hampshire


5 day 4 night - Calvert Trust, Devon

Surrey Special School Ski Trip

7 day 6 night ski trip to Italy

Residentials provide students with the chance to experience learning outside the classroom; to enhance social skills, friendships and practice life skills in a different context to gain confidence and take risks.  For some students it is their first chance to be away from home in a secure environment with trusted and known adult.


To further support preparation for adulthood, we enhance the Upper School curriculum by providing additional opportunities to access and learn in the community.  These sessions provide additional context for ILP targets and accreditation opportunities.

These include:

  • Post 16 Adult Education Courses (e.g. Media, Up-cycling, computing)
  • Post 16 Work Experience Placements
  • Post 16 College link courses at Brooklands and Merrist Wood
  • Using a local gym 
  • Sailing with Sailability


Curriculum Planning

Subject Leads are responsible for preparing 3 year / 5 year subject overviews and writing/reviewing termly Schemes of Work for their subjects.  We differentiate Schemes of Work into our 3 pathways;

  • PMLD pathway - approx. 25% of pupils use this pathway
  • Informal pathway - approx. 55% of pupils use this pathway
  • Semi-formal pathway – approx. 20% of pupils use this pathway


Students usually follow one pathway but can dip in and out of different pathways in all subjects if the need is required.


Teachers (except ECTs) are responsible for leading one or more curriculum subjects.





 Weekly Timetables

Weekly timetables will look different depending on the needs of the students in each class.  Classes for children with more physical and complex needs will have a significant part of their day timetabled for Physiotherapy, physical based activity and activities to aid sensory regulation (under the heading of PSHE).

Students will also access specific therapy including Speech and Language therapy, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy as well as music therapy, art therapy and individual ELSA sessions as part of their individual offer.

Some students may find it difficult to remain in a class environment for longer periods as part of a larger group and may need more individualised schedules to: 

  • support them to engage and learn during periods of difficulty. 
  • using different resource rooms,
  • taking learning breaks,
  • regulate and get back on track


A student’s need for a more individualised timetable will be reflected and recorded in their Emotional and Engagement Support Plan (EESP) which identifies their specific needs, interests, motivators and preferred learning styles.  It supports them to remain calm, regulated and engaged, and removes barriers to learning.


Assessment and Achievement

Walton Leigh assesses progress and celebrates achievement wherever possible.

Monitoring is thorough and integral to our process. 




ILP targets evaluated twice a year

Parents consultation evenings three times a year

ILP key area coordinators monitor outcomes and support those making less than expected progress

Star of the Day awards

English, Maths, PSHE assessed twice a year against Attainment Levels

Mid-year core subject data monitored to support those making less than expected progress

Achievers of the Week Awards in every class


Annual EHCP review – outcomes adapted when achieved


Emotional and Engagement Support Plans (EESPs) once a year / as needed

Swimming Award certificates

Therapists reports / feedback

Attendance data

Head Teacher Awards

PP and PSD assessment

Annual Staff and Parent/Carer Survey

Accreditation certificates

ELSA reports

Behaviour Watch data – extra support put in place as needed

Annual Maths, English and Attendance Certificates


School council – vote on school issues and events



Learning Walks / Lesson drop-ins



Staff training needs and training received



Governor monitoring



Safeguarding audits



ILP targets are set with parents (and therapists as appropriate) in the autumn and spring terms and individual student progress assessed in the spring and summer terms.



Curriculum Impact


The desired impact for our students is that they: