Curriculum Guidance

Key Stage Results

Attainment overview

Ash Trees Academy currently has 151 pupils.  114 pupils included in whole school data analysis, EYFS are assessed using the EYFS profile.  All pupils who attend Ash Trees are working at below the national expected level for their age and have a Statement of Education or Health and Care Plan (EHCP).  We are confident that this year the majority of pupils are making at least expected progress in English and Mathematics against teacher predicted targets.  The school uses a range of measures to show progress, including Progression Guidance, CASPA, Classroom Monitor, EYFS profile and Footsteps for PMLD.

End of Year Data Results 2017-18

End of Year Data Results 2016/17


Teaching and Learning – Across the Phases

Teaching and Learning – Across the Phases:
At Ash Trees Academy we aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that pays particular attention to each pupil’s physical, social, emotional and educational needs. Across the phases we deliver access to relevant programs of learning and assessment to engage pupils, provide opportunities to achieve, enjoy and make progress.

In the Early Years, pupils access the Early Years Framework and are assessed against the early learning goals.

In Key Stages 1 & 2 we deliver access to the National Curriculum programs of study and methods of assessment as is compatible with, and modified or supplemented, to meet individual pupil needs and abilities.

Our pupils with PMLD have access to a carefully planned, highly differentiated and well-resourced curriculum which is assessed using ‘Foosteps’, a bespoke assessment tool.




At Ash Trees Academy, we believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right, and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.


A broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum is rooted in our child centered philosophy, in which the focus is the development of the individual as a whole person.

Active learning is at the heart of the developmental process, children learn best from hands on experience. We offer a well-planned indoor and outdoor curriculum.


Each child comes to our setting from a different starting point and planning the curriculum must take account of this.

Activities must be appropriate to meet the needs of the individual child. They must be flexible enough to take account of individual diversity as well as be relevant to the individual child.


The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is organised into 7 areas of learning;


3 ‘Prime’ Areas:

  1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  2. Communication and Language
  3. Physical Development


4 ‘Specific Areas:

  1. Literacy Development
  2. Mathematics
  3. Understanding of the World
  4. Expressive Arts and Design



Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others.

Phase 1:
PMLD: Our pupils with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties in phase 1 access the following daily timetable:

• Responding
• Interacting
• Communicating
Delivered through enrichment areas such as:
• Drama
• Story
• Music
• Poetry
• Intensive interaction

• Awareness
• Exploration
• Control and early problem solving.
• Sequence and pattern
Delivered through enrichment areas such as:
• Sensory
• Messy Play

• Body awareness
• Fine motor skills
• Gross motor skills
• Mobility
Delivered through enrichment areas such as:
• Art
• DT
• Soft play
• Rebound
• Messy play

Social interaction/reflection time
• Celebrating
• Sharing
• Relaxing
Delivered through enrichment areas such as:
• Massage
• Quiet time
• Good news

EYFS classes: Butterfly and Rabbit class follow ‘The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum’. Alongside this curriculum, we also provide a sensory curriculum that sits within the EYFS framework ensuring provision is tailored to each child and their needs. This ensures a broad and balanced education with a child centred approach.
While in Foundation Stage, the children are given opportunities for learning within the prime areas: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language as well as Specific Areas: Literacy, Numeracy, Understanding the world and Expressive art and design.
Throughout the school day, the children also have access to areas of play. These are split into areas of learning. This play is encouraged throughout the day, allowing children to learn and understand the world.




At Ash Trees Academy, we regard reading, writing and communication as a vital skills for life and for success. With this in mind, we teach communication (speaking & listening), reading and writing skills daily from our very youngest children to our pupils Year 6. We aim to deliver English in a fun, enriching and meaningful way.

Throughout Ash Trees Academy we endeavour to provide:-

    • An enriching learning environment and a wealth of experiences to provide pupils with opportunities to thrive in the key aspects of English:- communication, reading & writing
    • Support from multi agencies to enrich the learning opportunities for our pupils
    • Quality reading areas across the school, including our fabulous woodland themed library
    • Book displays featured around the school, including sensory stories, talking books, fiction and non-fiction texts
    • Enriching displays showcasing different types of writing are displayed around the school, both as a stimulus and as a celebration of pupil’s work and achievements


Throughout school, we teach phonics through Read, Write Inc. Parents can support their children in learning through the Read, Write Inc parent pages.

Alongside Read, Write Inc the school uses the Oxford Reading Tree and Project X as readingour core schemes for guided and individual reading. Beginning at the youngest levels with the adventures of Biff, Chip and Kipper up to the highest though to a mixed range of reading materials including Project X books.

We have a fabulous woodland themed library, which incorporates a variety of books aimed to support the curriculum and stimulate children’s interests.

We expect all our children to read regularly during the week and share a book alongside an adult. Please ensure you sign the reading logs to confirm this reading is taking place.


We seek to scaffold children learning and support them in their journey to become independent writers.

Developing the writing process is a layered approach, consisting of:-

Familiarisation (exposure to many samples of a writing genre- stories, rhymes and poems, lists, recounts, instructions, reports, persuasion…)


Problem-solving (exploring text genre; role play, storytelling, singing, trialling out)


Modelled writing (writing for children- staff model how to do it)


Shared writing (writing alongside children, taking on board their ideas and using them to formulate words, phrases and sentences- leading to texts)


Guided writing (writing with/by children)


Independent writing (writing by children- becoming an author, letter writer, poet…)

Please keep checking back as we will be celebrating writing through our ‘Writer of the Week’ celebrations. Examples of pupils work will be regularly uploaded to our school website.

Read Write Inc.

In January 2014 we launched Read Write Inc throughout school. Read Write Inc is a systematic synthentic phonics programme which is an inclusive literacy programme for all children within school learning to read from Foundation to Year 6, currently reading at National Curriculum level 2b or below.

Read Write Inc is not only taught in classes but also as a small group intervention. During this term we will be holding Parent Workshops to promote Read Write Inc and to give families a better insight into how the programme is used.



We work closely with other agencies, such as Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, and Community Nursing Teams to ensure all your child’s needs are met.

Communication is a major focus and staff are trained in delivering and teaching alternative and augmentative communication techniques such as picture exchange communication system (PECS), Makaton signs and voice output communication aids.

Our pupils are encouraged to voice their wishes, experiences, learning, feelings and question those around them




At Ash Trees Academy we view Maths as an integral part of our children’s lives from providing opportunities to explore, investigate and understand the world around them. The potential to apply the skills of making comparisons, identifying differences, investigating relationships and establishing connections reflects the importance of the subject across the curriculum during their school lives and beyond.



Mathematics is vital in everyday life as it encourages logical reasoning and the ability to think in abstract ways. The experiences help them to approach problem solving situations with increasing confidence and flexibility, to move from random to trial and error responses, and on to anticipate and predict. In this way, mathematical skills and understanding are taught and embedded throughout the curriculum.

Mathematics is taught discretely each day in every class, while concepts are further developed throughout the curriculum throughout the day providing purposeful and contextualised learning opportunities.



Children are assessed and monitored through P-levels and the National Curriculum termly. For those children operating at below P-level 4, we use the Footsteps assessment framework focusing on basic cognition skills at that child’s individual developmental level, around activities that take account of their individual interests. Children achieving P-Level 4 and above follow the whole school Mathematics curriculum, which was developed using the Key Learning in Mathematics documents. Each unit is broken down into 4 week blocks, each with focus on number and another mathematical element. Children follow the long term plan that best meets their level of understanding and achievement whilst providing challenge to facilitate progression.

Long term curriculum plans:

P-Level Long Term Curriculum Plan

Year 1/2 Long Term Curriculum Plan

Year 3/4 Long Term Curriculum Plan

Children who will be sitting SAT’s in Year 6 receive personalised intervention support additional to their daily mathematics lessons.


We seek to provide a high-quality science education to each of our pupils. We provide the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives through the centuries and continues to do so.

Our pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science, relevant to their age and ability. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.



Physical Education

We offer a high-quality physical education curriculum that inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. We provide

opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. We also offer opportunities to compete in sport and other activities which build character and help to embed values such as fairness, leadership and respect.

We aspire that students across the Key Stages will;

* Begin to master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities.

* Play competitive games, modified where appropriate including; badminton, basketball, cricket, fencing, football, handball, hockey, netball, rounders, softball, tennis, volleyball and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending.

* Take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team.

* Swim competently, confidently and proficiently up to or over a distance of at least 25 metres, using a range of strokes effectively including front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke.

* Take part in competitive sports and activities outside school through community links or sports clubs.

* Evaluate their performances compared to previous ones and demonstrate improvement across a range of physical activities to achieve their personal best.



At Ash Trees Academy aims to create a stimulating, safe and exciting curriculum for all learners that prepare them for the real world challenges they face once they leave us in KS2. The curriculum is based around the National Curriculum guidance.

As an academy, we are well resourced and have a fully equipped ICT suites and a digital media suite. We also have a large number of portable devices, including programmable and switch devices and computers available in every teaching class. This enables us to integrate Computing into all other subjects within the Academy to improve student’s digital literacy.



Within Geography, we aim to provide the necessary tools for pupils to learn and develop key geographical skills. We study Geography through a creative curriculum model, with each class developing skills suited to their needs in many ways. Some classes will develop self-awareness skills and key people, areas, or places involved within their lives through sensory and play based. Other classes will discover geographical language and skills through sensory and play based learning. While a few classes study Geography as a standalone subject to develop skills in recognising key areas of the Earth, lands and sea, mapping skills and identifying landscapes both human and natural.



Religion is a large part of our curriculum because of the influence of religions and beliefs on individuals, culture, behaviour and national life. Most religions and beliefs offer answers to life’s deepest questions and our pupils study a variety of this. There is a cross over in lessons from History, Geography and PSHCE into RE, which links into our topics.


PSHE Education

PSHE education is a subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepare for life and work in modern Britain.

We aim to promote the development of self-confidence, self-esteem and practical strategies required to make choices and resist inappropriate pressure.

We seek to foster the development of positive and supportive relationships.

At Ash Trees Academy, we deliver a tailor made PSHE curriculum to meet the varied needs of each of our pupils, this curriculum includes aspects of SRE.



Within our History lessons we aim to ignite enthusiasm and interest in events from the past, specific to each pupil’s level of understanding. Events from the past can include events that took place yesterday or daily routines. We also look at significant events in Britain’s development and in the wider world.
We aim to make History an enjoyable experience for those who have standalone lessons, and as relevant to their lives as possible allowing them to make links and understand the vocabulary and skills required of them. We also aim to provide practical activities to help recreate artefacts from the past. The children are encouraged to build and develop skills such as understanding, interpretation, enquiry, questioning and reasoning.



In Art we provide a wide range of activities, tasks and projects that promote pupil development against the above key areas identified within the National Curriculum.

By removing the fear of failure and embracing diversity, pupils explore a wide range of artists, techniques and materials, engage in collaborative projects and discussions and problem solve within a safe and engaging environment.



Using a ‘Design, Make, Evaluate’ approach, children will collate their ideas to make a particular creation for an intended purpose. During reflection time, children are given opportunities to both self – assess and peer assess in order to collaboratively improve their designs. These Design tasks may be topic-based learning; linked directly to the theme from our Creative Curriculum, or it may be following a whole school initiative to boost creative thinking and DT skills such as our ‘It’s not just a box’ project.

Modern Foreign Languages

Learning a foreign language provides an opening to other cultures. We endeavour to encourage our KS2 pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Our curriculum and T&L sessions enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond.

paris flag


At Ash Trees Academy our pupils who are considered to have Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) irrespective of their physical abilities will follow a sensory based curriculum. Pupils who are described as PMLD are likely to remain within developmentally early intellectual parameters for the whole of their school lives and the curriculum needs to be adapted in a different way than for those who have a higher cognitive ability.

The sensory based curriculum acknowledges our pupil’s unique abilities and different ways of learning, therefore, we strive to create a personalised curriculum around the pupil’s identified needs and specific interests. The pupil remains at the centre of the educational process, where the professionals providing the curriculum ensure that it is flexible enough and adaptable enough to meet the needs of each pupil in the class. We recognise a pupil with PMLD will spend a large proportion of the day maintaining and consolidating their existing knowledge and understanding, so as not to lose skills and function. New concepts and skills will be taught, when appropriate, in the framework of a familiar and structured session or activity.

The curriculum is realistic and flexible to ensure the complex inter-linked needs of the pupil’s are met to enable their personal sensory impairments, motor disabilities and medical problems do not prevent them from maximising their skills and reaching their full potential.


The curriculum takes an informal approach to learning which focuses on the experience pupil’s gain through completing activities as opposed to the “end product” that is produced. It focuses upon developing pupil’s communication, engagement and experiences.

Pupils work on individualised cognition and communication targets throughout all the curriculum subjects, where we ensure that the pupils have focused learning opportunities in all areas of school life. Pupils follow the whole school long term creative curriculum topic plan to ensure broad and balanced curriculum content, while developing new experiences. Curriculum areas support the context of the learning while being driven by basic skills and IEP’s, which is assessed using ‘Footsteps’, a bespoke assessment and recording framework.

Class staff work alongside a multi-disciplinary team to emphasise the importance of physical movement and positioning, using the ideology of MOVE. MOVE is an activity based program, which uses the combined knowledge of education, therapy and family to teach children with physical disabilities and/or complex needs the skills of sitting, standing, walking and transferring.

Sensory Room

At Ash Trees Academy we have Sensory rooms that students may choose to access independently. The Sensory rooms are calm spaces where sensory programmes are fulfilled and where 1:1 work can be carried out.

When using the Sensory rooms, the safety and well-being of the pupil must be paramount. All staff must be aware that the welfare and safeguarding of the pupil in their care is their first priority.

To prevent deprivation of liberty, students and staff will have access in and out of these rooms at all times.

Guidance for parents & carers: Relationships & Health Education in School

Understanding Relationships and Health Education in your child’s primary school