Shepherds Down School

Achievement, Fulfilment, Enjoyment

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Curriculum & Phonics

Our Curriculum


We believe that every child is entitled to an appropriate, relevant, broad and balanced curriculum,

We believe that any barriers to learning need to be addressed to ensure the curriculum is accessible to every child

We believe the curriculum should prepare all children for the opportunities and experiences of later life, ensuring that they can be as independent as possible, equipped with the necessary skills to be positively included in society.

We believe that whilst the aim of the curriculum will be the same across the school – to ensure children have the skills to be as independent as possible, the content and focus will be different for every child as it will be dependent on their starting point, needs and individual priorities

We believe that children learn best through practical, hands on activities and through outdoor learning opportunities and ensure that our curriculum is delivered in this way.

Shepherds Down Curriculum Map June 2022

Covid Recovery Curriculum (Autumn 2020)

The attached document details how we, as a school, intend to support our children upon their return to school in Autumn 2020.

Covid Recovery Curriculum September 2020

Curriculum Organisation

The curriculum at Shepherds Down school comprises the school curriculum and identified priorities for learning, the Foundation stage and the National Curriculum.

Core Curriculum

We prioritise the following learning and it forms our core curriculum:

  • Functional communication skills
  • Cognitive skills – Functional Reading, Writing and Number skills
  • Independence – organisational skills, toileting, dressing, eating, life skills (money, cooking, safety), generalising and applying skills
  • Personal and Social Development – interaction, turn taking, play, tolerance, coping strategies, emotions, sensory processing skills
  • Physical – physio, health and fitness, gross motor, fine motor, swimming, well-being

The core curriculum is directly taught for at least 60% of the school week (3 hours a day), and reinforced through all activities during the school day e.g. snack, playtime

We have 3 interconnecting pathways through the curriculum. Each pathway has the same aim of ensuring that all children have the skills to be as independent as possible however the content and delivery will be different in each one.

Pathways through the curriculum at Shepherds Down School


Pupils follow the Read, Write Inc programme for introducing phonics and reading.

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