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Cliffdale Primary School


Together we persevere and innovate so every child is confident, enjoys learning and develops skills.

We are unrelentingly positive and care about everyone’s wellbeing.

We provide amazing opportunities and support families to improve our children’s lives and enable them to flourish.

Our Curriculum

Our curriculum is entirely personalised to meet the needs of every unique child. We have excellent knowledge of our pupils through thorough assessment and a collaborative approach with families and other professionals. This ensures that each child develops skills that enable them to make progress.

We design topics which enthuse and motivate the children, with real-world links. We expand children’s experiences through varied and exciting opportunities so they enjoy learning.

Values in the Curriculum

Our Cliffdale Values underpin our curriculum. We utilise every moment to teach these values and create learning opportunities.

Inspire Engagement

Before our children can learn, they need to engage in activities. It is our job to make learning irresistible, following every child’s interests to motivate and enthuse them. We can then inspire the children to watch, think and join in!

Build Relationships

It is so important for us to get to know all our children and their families. This ensures the children feel safe and confident when they are at school, and helps us understand every child’s strengths and needs. We enable the children to make friends and enjoy being part of a group.

Increase Communication

Our job is to show the children that communicating is worthwhile and fun! Most of our children find communicating tricky, so we have lots of ways to help them talk and reduce their frustration. For example, we use symbols to help children understand and help them ask for things they want.

Promote Independence

We want the children to be able to do lots of things by themselves – making them feel proud and capable. The children quickly learn how to carry their own things or move around school without holding someone’s hand. We will always support the children to be successful.

Encourage Resilience

Practising is the key to making progress, so we always encourage our children to try and try again! We help the children to tolerate situations they don’t like and gradually build their resilience with

Areas of Learning

We have incorporated National Curriculum subjects into Areas of Learning which are relevant and appropriate for our children. We ensure coverage of all the National Curriculum subjects, through our Long Term Maps. The curriculum extends beyond the classroom and in every Area of Learning there are opportunities to learn outside, off-site or in specialist spaces.

Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Every child who attends Cliffdale from Years R -6, has an EHCP. Children who attend Cliffdale Nursery are assessed for an EHCP and will have a plan in place by the time they reach Year R.

The EHCP forms the basis of every child’s personalised curriculum. We ensure that annual targets are relevant, appropriate and achievable. We set termly targets, called ‘Key Skills’, which break these aims down into smaller steps.

Key skill targets are taught through different Areas of Learning. For example, in a Creativity lesson, a child could be working on a Communication target such as requesting a colour of paint, or they could be working on a physical target such as making marks on paper.


There is a new topic every term for Early Years, Lower School and Upper School. The topics chosen are based on the children’s interests; what will motivate them and things they enjoy. This term the Early Years topic is “Time to Rhyme”, focusing on nursery rhymes and songs. Lower School’s topic is “Messy Mixtures”, with opportunities to explore and experiment. In Upper School their topic is “Survival of the Fittest”, with a strong focus on understanding the human body and physical activity. 





Teaching approaches

We make sure all of our children are ready to learn through our approaches to supporting behaviour.

Learning is practical, hands on and experiential. Children are given many opportunities to play and make their own choices throughout the day. Visuals are used throughout the school for children at all levels to support communication, learning and transitioning.

The Trust’s Bubbles Ethos is a consistent approach, to support children with their independence and learning, reassuring them with routines and structures.  The Bubbles Ethos also promotes a philosophy of work then reward, encouraging children to complete tasks they are not drawn to.

Children have frequent chances to repeat and practise their skills, which enables them to generalise and maintain their learning. To ensure quality, personalised teaching, every child works 1:1 with their teacher each day. All classes come together for large group learning for short periods of time during the day. Attention Autism or “Bucket time” is a highly effective approach to encourage shared attention.    

Learning continues beyond lesson times.  Children are taught essential life skills during lunchtime, playtime and toileting. Some classes will need longer periods of time for these essential skills.

Please read the documents outlining our implementation of the curriculum and its impact in order to gain a complete overview of learning at Cliffdale.

If you would like to discuss the curriculum further, please contact the school admin office on 02392 662601.