The Curriculum


Our ethos is based on care, responsibility and mutual respect and our nurturing environment leads to brighter futures for our pupils.  We promote positive mental health and well-being through the holistic nature of our practice so that ‘together we can achieve’.

Our curriculum is personalised, which reflects the background, needs and experience of our pupils so that we consider not only what, but also how the pupils learn.   Our proactive behaviour management ensures that all decisions are made in the best interests of the children and bespoke to their personal needs, preparing them for the next stage of their education. We engage our children with a curriculum that enhances learning and social experiences and gives them an opportunity to embrace challenge and achieve personal fulfilment.

We enrich our curriculum through a variety of trips, cross-curricular links and stimulating and inspiring experiences. We make purposeful use of our outdoor area to provide an opportunity to meet unique interests and talents to ensure all our children are at the centre of a broad, balanced and varied learning experience.


Curriculum Intent

To ensure an ambitious, quality curriculum that has high expectations of our pupils, we promote a love for learning through the use of a range of teaching styles that include the personalised needs of each pupil.  Cognition and learning develop through our theme and topic based curriculum and we use person centred plans to adapt ways of learning to build knowledge, skills and understanding.

Staff pay close attention to the specific needs of our pupils and adapt planning and teaching so that the best outcomes are achieved for each individual child.   This at times requires flexibility to accommodate the many and varied mental health needs that need to be supported throughout the school day.

We set challenging targets for our pupils, linked into their personal aspirations, whilst promoting the  academic, spiritual, moral, cultural and physical qualities of all pupils.

Our curriculum is enriched through the effective use of cross-curricular links, setting learning in real life contexts wherever possible so that learning is relevant .Our focus is outward-facing and we celebrate the diversity of our school community in order to emphasise unity and inclusiveness for all.  Our cohesive approach includes pupil and parent voice, which help to enhance both the learning and social experiences of pupils to the benefit of all.

We develop confident individuals who build effective relationships for communication and interaction to promote increased skills both emotionally and socially for use in the wider world.  Many of our pupils have had adverse childhood experiences and we encourage emotional and sensory regulation, often through the use of over-learning, to build confidence, kindness and resilience to help them to connect and respond appropriately to their environment and beyond.  This allows children to consider the cause and effect of their behaviour and recognise the impact they make on their immediate environment and others, including their peers.  We have developed a Growth Mindset model to allow for flexibility of thought to help encourage a readiness for learning that will then transfer to other areas of the curriculum and personal experiences.

We make decisions in the best interests of the pupils, and all stakeholders are part of the learning journey.  Our whole school approach includes multi agency support such as CAMHS, OT, SALT etc. Any barriers to learning are identified early and addressed accordingly so that learning can continue to be developed. This helps to create successful learners who take an active part in school life, so that they enjoy it, make progress and achieve to the very best of their ability.



Curriculum Implementation

At Gilbrook, our personalised curriculum and range of approaches and learning styles has a focus on effective communication to enhance social and emotional health.   We use Cornerstones curriculum which is an interactive, practical, 3 year rolling programme covering all aspects of the National Curriculum and topics are chosen to suit the needs and interests of our pupils.

Differentiated planning takes into account emotional regulation interventions that need to be included in order to promote a love for learning, leading to academic and social progress.  Physical and sensory needs are also taken into consideration and we look for discrete ways in which children can learn skills alongside knowledge, ensuring that both are developed.

Staff have a good awareness of prior learning through effective assessment and data reporting and this is reflected in the regular reinforcement of key skills and knowledge. Our themed and topic based approach means that that many skills are reinforced as a result of cross-curricular teaching in the context of many other subjects, including our Outdoor curriculum.

We aim for a depth of learning and breadth of coverage, where good staff subject knowledge links components of knowledge to broader, conceptual learning. Opportunities to practice skills and knowledge are built in to the curriculum to secure a deep understanding of what pupils have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.

Team curriculum planning leads to a layering of knowledge and concepts delivered in a range of styles so that all pupils can make progress.  Staff systematically check pupil’s understanding to identify misconceptions and provide clear feedback for ways forward to make progress.  Clearly set out ‘I can’ statements and success criteria are used effectively to gain intended learning outcomes.  Effective questioning techniques develop higher order thinking skills and support the retention of knowledge and understanding, as staff strive to offer as many recall and application activities as possible.  We regularly refer to current research and use the new findings to update our own practice and improve our skills to support our pupils and their varying needs.

We use a variety of interventions to support emotional literacy skills with regular sessions timetabled in and we have the use of a sensory lodge to nurture positive mental health so that learning can continue successfully.  We have excellent home/school links and specialist roles such as our Family Liaison Officer who helps to support all aspects of family life through 1:1 support and through our Parent’s meetings where help and advice is given as needs arise.

We actively take into account the health and well-being of pupils and their families and staff make an extra effort to include families in decisions that affect their children. Staff also seek and take advice from families and outside agencies to see how best to support our children, so that we can have the best outcomes for their futures and nurture their progress.



Children make excellent progress during their time at Gilbrook academically, socially and personally and as a staff we are proud of the many comments from Parents that indicate how Gilbrook has transformed their lives and given them hope for the future.

Subject leaders regularly share data about their subjects with children, parents and staff, celebrating the many examples of progress as a result of the effort undertaken by our pupils, staff and family support.

Thorough scrutiny of subject data leads to further planned interventions as needed and quality of teaching is regularly monitored through learning walks, book scrutiny and lesson observations.  At Gilbrook we regularly undertake pupil, parent and staff surveys in order to monitor and improve our practice at all times, to develop pupils who thrive during their time at school and to encourage brighter futures for all.



Class Structure

Pupils are grouped into 7 classes according to age, ability and/or additional needs.

Mrs Jo Chapman Roberts leads English
Mrs Lisa Campbell leads Maths
Mr Martin Blakeborough leads Science
Mrs Lil Day leads Humanities and MFL
Miss Steph Wilson Leads Art and DT
Miss Sarah Merrill  leads ICT and Music
Mr Darren Caveney leads PSHE and RE

All children are continuously assessed and parents/carers sent information on their achievements in an annual report and are invited to the Annual Review.

If you would like additional information of the curriculum for each subject, please contact
Mrs Brown, Headteacher on 0151 522 3900.