Complex Learning & Physical Needs

We offer a curriculum for our students with complex needs that is extensive, inclusive, and personalised to their individual requirements.

We support and develop their specific communication strategies to enable them to enjoy interaction with others and advance new skills. We pride ourselves on the curriculum that is provided for these young people.


Students work towards Life and Living Skills qualifications in many areas of the curriculum. They develop skills and work towards objectives in 3 units per year in order to build on and apply their communication skills, alongside their learning or experiencing of new skills. They build up a portfolio where skills are developed and refined across the curriculum. These objectives are achieved through the delivery of subjects including:

  • Literacy/Sensory Stories
  • Numeracy
  • ICT/iPad/Interactive whiteboard 
  • Breakfast Communication
  • Art
  • Sciences such as Horticulture and Sounds Interesting
  • Performing Arts/Sensory Drama
  • Living Skills/Cookery
  • Music and Movement
  • Accessing the Community

Students are individually assessed and each class has a progress wall which visibly demonstrates the daily/weekly/termly progress that our learners are making. This is an ongoing journey for our students and enables them to see how they are developing cognitively over time. We love to celebrate and share their success through newsletters and coffee mornings with parents and carers. This provides opportunities for students to showcase their exemplary work. 


Communication and Literacy development are fundamental to our approach with all subjects placing an emphasis on this. This ensures that our students are able to express themselves through making good choices, sharing thoughts and feelings, and having a ‘voice’ in the wider community. It is vital that our staff have an in-depth understanding of our students and their very individual communication systems and strategies. We work closely with speech therapists and our Communication Team to develop and provide opportunities throughout the college. We develop communication systems using a range of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) strategies such as Makaton sign, symbols, pictures, photographs and objects.

Physical management

Students have personalised physical management programs, devised by physiotherapists, sports and swimming instructors to maintain and develop individuals mobility, fine and gross motor skills, and body awareness. This is enabled through a number of activities including:

  • Physiotherapy Sessions
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Rebound therapy
  • Music & Movement
  • Sensory Relaxation and Physical Management

Opportunities are made available in ALL lessons to develop these skills too.

Self-Care and Independence

These skills are reinforced and developed during break times, lunch times, during personal care, hydrotherapy and community involvement. This is focussed around developing individual communication skills to enable individuals to make good choices about their lives and promote self-esteem. In students with a good range of gross and fine motor skills, self-care techniques are taught such as eating, drinking, dressing, undressing and personal care.