Chellow Heights is a generic special school. It caters for the needs of pupils aged 2 to 11 years with a range of learning, physical and sensory needs. As a special school, it needs to meet the expectations of a broad and balanced curriculum and the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum, whilst meeting the wider holistic needs of pupils.This is to ensure they can access learning, develop skills and knowledge and be prepared for the next stage of schooling and future life that is appropriate to their abilities.

For more information about the National Curriculum click here

For our Early Years pupils we follow the Early Years Statutory Framework 2014 updated September 2021 alongside children’s personalised learning goals identified from their EHCP.

Early Years Statutory Framework 2014 updated September 2021

The aim of the curriculum at Chellow Heights school is, to provide exciting, engaging and personalised learning opportunities which inspire independence and self-fulfilment, while always encouraging children’s individuality and uniqueness to shine through and be celebrated.

We are Chellow Heights; One Community, One Vision, New Heights


Curriculum Overview – Coming soon ready for September 22/23

Curriculum Statement

Chellow Heights recognizes the importance of a broad and balanced curriculum always working towards the pupil’s individual goals and school targets. We have developed our curriculum to meet the individual needs of our pupils. The aim of the curriculum at Chellow Heights school is, to provide the best learning opportunities for our children to make them:

  • Successful learners, who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve success
  • Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
  • Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

Our pupils needs are such that a personalised curriculum is often required.

Cognitively, most of our pupils are functioning at a developmentally pre 60 month old age and are therefore working below those expected of their mainstream peers.  We therefore have a developmental, skills based and creative curriculum with an emphasis placed on supporting children to develop the skills they need to be more ready for learning and independence. In addition we also incorporate therapeutic and/or learning interventions which we monitor for impact.

We believe that without first developing the skills which support learning, academic learning is either not achievable or not maintained over time. Learning which is maintained over time is our ultimate goal.

We provide our pupils a wide scope of learning activities to develop:

  • cognition an learning skills including academic competence
  • communication and interaction skills
  • physical skills and sensory awareness
  • social, emotional and personal skills including good behaviour and attitudes to learning

We do this through using an Early Years approach to learning which is adapted for the needs of our learners. This approach includes providing areas in classes of continuous provision and opportunities for learning through play.

Our curriculum is therefore based around Early Years Key Areas of Learning due to the developmental needs of our pupils. It consists of:

Core or Prime Areas

  • Communication
  • Personal and Social Development
  • Physical development

Specific Areas

  • Language and Literacy
  • Maths
  • Expressive Arts and Design
  • Understanding the World .

This wider curriculum is then refined into three broad areas dependent on the developmental needs of pupils. Staff in school will provide:

  1.  A Sensory, Experiential and Therapeutic Curriculum (SEAT)

Learners following this curriculum are functioning developmentally between 0 – 12 months. The SEAT curriculum allows them to encounter, develop awareness of, begin to attend to and respond to objects, things and people in their environment gradually engaging more and more in activities. They are also developing their early communication and social skills and their physical skills. They are developing through this curriculum from being passive pre-intentional learners to social partners who are beginning to respond and engage in activities with others and the environment.

  1. A Modified, Experiential and Therapeutic Curriculum (MET)

Learners following this curriculum are functioning developmentally between 10 and 30 months. Their MET curriculum allows them to participate and practice skills, to become more persistent in learning about the world and begin, to anticipate, to make connections and develop their curiosity. They are also developing their early communication and social skills and their physical skills. They are developing from being social partners in activities to early language users. They may still require therapeutic interventions to overcome barriers to learning

  1. A Modified and Supported Therapeutic Curriculum (MAST)

Learners following this curriculum are functioning developmentally between 31 and 84 months. The MAST curriculum supports them to discover things, build on their curiosity, initiate their own learning, begin to adapt ideas and become creative learners with enquiring minds who can investigate the world around them. The most able can even begin to explore and ‘research’ things for themselves. At this level they are working on areas of the National Currriculum.


Teaching and Learning 

The Two Year Planning Cycle

We have a creative curriculum on a two year cycle of themes. Teachers use the ‘topics’ to deliver the skills and knowledge through and topic evaluations to reflect the impact and coverage for all subjects.( Please see class pages for more details of what they are covering each term.)

Click the links below to open the long term planning cycles.

Through this we will meet the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum.

A number of commercial curricula are used by staff to augment their ideas and to support learning. This is to ensure that it is both age appropriate and individualised to meet the needs of learners.

The commercial curricula we will use to support teaching and learning are:

and any other curricula that we find to be appropriate for individuals and groups.

Chellow Heights aims to provide exciting and motivating lessons for our pupils which make them enthusiastic learners. Children are supported and encouraged to succeed at their own level. Achievement is celebrated, whether these are small or large steps.

Teaching and Learning on a day to day basis is led by Juliann on our west (Heaton) site and by Anne on our south ( Low Moor) site.  They are supported by Caroline and Beth who work across both sites.

Any queries or requests for more information about teaching and learning and our curriculum approach should be directed to them however, they can be directed to any of the senior leadership team.

Our long term planning  show the topics we cover over a two year cycle. Each class links the planning to the curriculum subjects they need to cover for their key stage and year groups. We monitor each class throughout the year to ensure that all subjects are covered.

You can find more details about the class specific learning on the class pages.

By clicking below you can see the school’s Long Term Planning

Long Term Planning

Our curriculum is currently under review and more information will be avaliable soon.

FUN Phonics – More information coming soon ready for September 22/23

Phonics and Reading Schemes

Many of the children at Chellow Heights are cognitively and developmentally functioning at pre phonics and reading levels. This means that they are not yet ready to learn these skills.

With these children we work on the pre phonics skills of:

  • attention and eye contact
  • engagement
  • listening skills
  • communication skills and
  • music skills which support them understanding beat, rhythm which in turn helps them to segment sentences and syllables the precursors to learning phonics.

We work on the pre reading skills of

  • attention and eye contact
  • engagement
  • communication and language skills
  • gross and fine motor skills – to support ability to look at a book and turn pages
  • curiosity – to develop an interest in the world around them and information finding

Whilst many of our children would not be regarded as ‘reading’ most of our pupils develop symbolic reading and understanding early in their time at Chellow Heights as they move from using Objects of  Reference to pictures of real objects to symbols. This,to us, is the beginning steps of reading and so they are beginning to develop reading skills before they really have an understanding of communication.

Phonics Schemes – Roll out of new phonics scheme ‘Fun Phonics’ coming in Sepetember 22/23 – More information avaliable soon.



If you wish to have more information about the school curriculum please contact

Anne Slack (DHT) on our south, Low Moor site.

Meet Our Staff

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