Pupils in EYFS, who are engaged in subject specific learning, access the EYFS curriculum, consisting of 7 areas of learning incorporating the 17 strands:

• 3 Prime Areas of Learning: Communication and Language; Physical Development; Personal, Social and Emotional Development

• 4 Specific Areas of Learning: Literacy, Mathematics; Understanding the World; Expressive Art and Design
Those pupils not yet engaged in subject specific learning access the informal curriculum in 4 areas of learning.

Pupils still have the opportunities to participate in the seven areas of learning alongside their peers, but they are only assessed in their 4 areas of learning.


Beacon Hill is divided into First School, Middle School and High School, each with a Lead Practitioner.

At Beacon Hill School our curriculum now is divided into 4 curriculum areas:

Informal (P1-4);
Semi-formal (P4-8);
Formal (NC Level 1 and 2);
Key Stage 4 and 5 Curriculum

    • PMLD Informal Curriculum: 4 areas of learning

Process based curriculum

SCRUFY Targets: Student led, Creative, Relevant, Unspecified, Fun for Youngsters

SLD: Semi-formal or Formal: 7 areas of learning

Skills based

SMART Targets

Informal (processed based)Semi-Formal and Formal
(Skills based)
Communication and LanguageCommunication and Language
Physical DevelopmentPhysical Development
Personal, Social and
Emotional Development
Personal, Social and
Emotional Development
Cognition and learning
(sensory curriculum)
 Understanding the World
 Expressive Art and Design

Other teaching and learning

CareTeaching self-help skills
 Teaching eating and drinking

First school consists of EYFS, KS1 and lower KS2

Pupils in First School access either the Informal Curriculum or the Semi-formal Curriculum. The new curriculum will be divided into phases and stages:

• Phase 1 Stage 1: Informal Curriculum
• Phase 1 Stages 1-6: Semi-formal Curriculum

TLRs for PMLD and Communication, Literacy and Mathematics have further broken down the Development Matters document into curriculum statements to allow First School teachers to inform their planning in the following areas, phases and stages:

Cognition and Learning:

• Phase 1 Stage 1: (Informal curriculum)

Communication and Language:

• Phase 1 Stages 1-6: Listening and Attention; Understanding; Speaking


• Phase 1 Stages 1-6: Reading; Writing


• Phase 1 stage 1: Number; Shape, Space and Measure
• Phase 1 Stages 2-6: Number – Number Concepts and Quantity; Shape, Space and Measure – Discrimination, Problem solving inc matching and sorting

TLRs or Curriculum leads for PE, PSHE, Science, ICT and Creativity will then develop the curriculum statements for Physical Development, PSED, Understanding the World and Expressive Art and Design.

Middle school – upper KS2 and KS3

The Department includes 3 Upper Key Stage 2 classes and 2 Key Stage 3 classes and an ASC specific provision which has cross section of students and follows the Key Stage 3 curriculum.

It is our aim that we begin to use Development Matters objectives for the main body of the curriculum, with planning based around topics according to the whole school long term matrix for the Key Stage – See Below. Middle school timetable and curriculum will include up to 7 areas of learning for all students to give a greater breadth of curriculum, which include: PSED. Physical Development, Communication and language, Literacy, Maths, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts. PMLD students will be working on objectives from the informal curriculum Cognition and Learning but will have increased focus on physical development.

Streaming will occur in Literacy, Maths, Physical Development and Understanding the World to ensure students receive an appropriate curriculum in core subjects.

Groups will also take place to allow students to work with their peers across the department to develop social skills, however students will still be learning the specific skills they need to be working on developmentally.
The Development Matters objectives blended with TLR holders objectives are being developed in 3 key areas objectives to begin with: Communication & Language, Literacy and Numeracy.

This is our first step towards building a new curriculum which is appropriate for our pupils, these objectives will begin to be used in planning objectives for the key areas.


The Informal Curriculum and Assessment:

“Pupils with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities are on a spectrum that indicates that they have profoundly complex learning needs. In addition to profound learning difficulties, pupils are likely, though not in all cases, to have other significant difficulties such as physical disabilities, sensory impairments and/or severe medical conditions. Pupils require a high level of adult support, both for their learning needs and also for their personal care. They are likely to benefit from engagement across all senses and will need a curriculum which recognises that all learners will, to a greater or lesser degree, have difficulties with object permanence, contingency awareness, declarative communications, making choices, learning by imitation and following instruction. Pupils generally communicate by facial expression, body language and other non-verbal methods. They will be working academically, consistently and over time within p scale range P1-3, perhaps with some reaching elements of P4, throughout their whole school careers to the age of 19 and beyond”. (DfE Definition)

Curriculum: Pupils at the informal stage, who are not yet engaged in subject specific learning, access a process based curriculum in 4 areas of learning:

Cognition and Learning:

• Phase 1 Stage 1: awareness; exploration; control; sequence and pattern

Communication and Language:

• Phase 1 Stages 1-6: Listening and Attention; Understanding; Speaking

Physical Development:

• Phase 1 Stage 1: Moving and handling; health and self-care

Personal, social and emotional development:

• Self-confidence and self-awareness; managing feelings and behaviour; making relationships.

A Care Curriculum also runs alongside the Informal Curriculum, which ensures pupils have the time to be placed in the correct position for learning and have time for personal care and gastrostomy feeds or water flushes when required.

Pupils who access the informal stage do not typically make linear progress. There may be a period of lateral progress, in which a pupil does not gain new concepts or skills, but learns to apply existing concepts or skills to a broader range of contexts. Pupils may also make progress for a period of time, but then either plateau or appear to lose some of the gains they have made before progress starts to pick back up again. These kinds of patterns of progress are normal for pupils with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties. The way in which they are assessed needs to take account of such factors.

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