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Arboretum Primary School

Reach for the Stars

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At Arboretum want all children in Apples to be independent, able to communicate and ready for the next stage in their journey


Early Years Foundation Stage

Apples at Arboretum take children from reception age however due to the cognitive needs of the pupils, many others experience an Early Years provision.  

We ensure we are meeting these requirements by:

  • Having clear EYFS guidelines
  • Apples use Julian Grenier’s Early Years Foundation Stage: Principles into Practice which directly links to the EY framework and the Development Matters document to support with planning and establishing bespoke curriculum
  • Teaching through bespoke curriculum and play based learning opportunities ensuring teachable moments are being captured and utilised
  • Working openly with other professionals and parents and information sharing where possible. This included offering training, support and advice to parents to enhance development for the children
  • Ensuring inclusion is at the core of our practice by offering an open and accessible education to anyone from any race, gender, disability or religion.


The intent of the curriculum within Apples is to give each child the voice to get their needs met, develop their independent and self-regulation skills. Children within Apples are enriched in a curriculum which enables to have the skills which prepare them for adulthood and ensure that all pupils acquire independence in a broad range of skills such as making choices, engaging with those around them and successfully getting their needs met. Furthermore, our curriculum equips pupils with the essential life skills, developing their executive functioning, knowledge and cultural capital that they will need to become the most independent and happy version of themselves.



Our curriculum is implemented through a creative, cross-curricular, engaging approach which is based on each pupils’ starting points. The Apples approach enables pupils to discover new things, make choices and develop their communication by providing engaging opportunities for children to explore and manipulate. Engagement opportunities are provided to explore which supports pupils to notice and engage with the world around them, building upon their realisation. Routine and a total communication approach support pupils to develop their ability to anticipate familiar activities or events. Staff model and play alongside pupils enabling them to build upon their persistence and sustain attention. The approach used provides a structure for pupils to learn to initiate play, communication, and interaction. Children will be exposed to new opportunities (smells, tastes, sounds, textures) and these early learning experiences will provide the fundamentals for the very early stages of learning which are pre-subject specific. Furthermore, children will begin to develop their knowledge and understanding and make connections with what they have discovered and to the world around them. Children will also have access to formal learning opportunities to further deepen their knowledge and understanding for specific subject areas alongside the opportunity for new experiences.



Within Apples, we measure the impact of the curriculum using the children’s EHCP targets alongside with the “Brackenfield assessment system”. When assessing against the children’s Education, Health and Care plans, the assessment of pupils is divided into key development areas which reflect the 4 broad areas of need listed in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years:

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • Physical and Sensory

Children will develop skills across all areas of need and focus on what has been identified for each them within their Education, Health and Care plans. Through this approach, pupils learn skills and strategies to self-regulate, access the community and interact, play and socialise with others without high levels of anxiety. Pupils develop their ability to make choices and develop preferences. Furthermore, children will have developed their executive functioning and independent skills to allow them to transition to their next step in their journeys.


We also use the following sources of information and strategies to capture the IMPACT of our curriculum and the progress that our pupils make:

  • Observations of pupils learning
  • Feedback from teachers/TA’s
  • EHCP reviews
  • SEND Plan, Do, Review meetings
  • Parents voice including information from class dojo, coffee morning sessions and parent survey
  • Phonics trackers
  • Reviews and observations from specialist practitioner’s e.g. Occupational Therapists, Speech And Language Therapist, School Nurse, Educational Psychologist, Social Care, STEPS team
  • Behaviour and attendance information
  • Early Learning Goals
  • Sensory profiles
  • Pupil ‘wows’


Personal Development

Personal Development plays an integral part of the wider aspect of our curriculum, providing quality opportunities for all pupils to develop their personal character, talents and interests.