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Curriculum: Intent, Overview & Assessment

Culverhill Curriculum Intent

Our journey towards an outstanding curriculum offer began with pupil voice. Our pupils are ambitious in their drive to succeed in life and require an aspirational and holistic curriculum offer through personalised pedagogical approaches and pathways. In order to support pupils’ aspirations, Culverhill School has developed a specific, bespoke curriculum offer to support individual pupil needs whilst responding to an ever-changing community and educational landscape.

The purpose of our curriculum at Culverhill School is to provide an inclusive learning experience which addresses the needs of all learners, regardless of special educational need, ethnicity, gender or ability. We are ambitious and aspirational in our approach, promoting the core values of Inspire, Nurture and Thrive at every opportunity. We also believe our curriculum should be reflective of the community that our pupils live in, and responsive to the changing priorities both nationally and internationally.

Culverhill School defines learning as acquisition of knowledge and skills that are retained within long term memory (Tulving, 1972; P C Brown, H L III Roediger, M A McDaniel, 2014). Our vision is that pupils learning will be applied in a variety of different situations throughout their lives.

Our ambitious curriculum is holistic, learning is sequenced, building over time through repetition and over-learning, meaning pupils gain a set of skills for life.  The curriculum is fundamentally designed for developing our pupil’s long term memory. Learning is invisible in the short term and happens gradually over time (Quigley, 2019). Considering this, our curriculum interconnects and scaffolds learning meeting the complex needs of all our pupils in the following concepts.

• Social, Emotional, Mental Health (Resilience and Well-being)
  • Opportunity to develop resilience and a sense of self place in the world
  • A focus on developing strategies to deal with challenges of the modern world and real life concepts
  • Appropriately interact with peers
• Communication and Interaction 
  • Model and learn to have a high quality channel of communication between peers, staff, families and outside agencies
  • Team work, valuing diversity and connecting with others.
  • Learn expressive, receptive language skills and social use of language in all areas of the curriculum
• Self-care and Independence (Preparing for Adulthood)
  • Opportunities to develop independence including how to stay safe
  • Reflection and ability to share and celebrate their work and their peers
• Physical and Sensory
  • Opportunities for learners to utilise effective sensory strategies to maximise learning about one’s self
  • Opportunities to develop the concept of healthy living and physical well being
  • Recognise links between physical and mental health
• Cognition and Learning
  • Develop a passion for lifelong learning
  • The ability to see mistakes or setbacks as a learning opportunity
  • To positively respond to feedback as a pathway towards learning.
Curriculum definition
  • Thrive – Pathway for those students exceeding INSPIRE outcomes with a focus on higher order thinking skills
  • Inspire Curriculum – Core curriculum offer
  • Nurture – Functional skills pathway. 

Inspire, Nurture, Thrive is at the heart of everything we do. We recognise that our pupils have had varied experiences of education before moving into their Culverhill education. We aim to build on their prior successes through a focused and differentiated curriculum which presents relevant and stimulating learning opportunities that prepare our learners for adulthood. We will foster creativity, celebrate awe and wonder moments to ensure our pupils develop as well-rounded individuals. Through Educational Health Care Plans we work with pupils, families and outside agencies to create meaningful goals that prepare our learners for next steps in their education and future lives.

If you would like to know more about our curriculum, please contact Chris Walker, via the School Office.


E Tulving, Episodic and semantic memory. In: Tulving E, Donaldson W, editors. Organization of memory. Academic Press; New York: 1972. pp. 381–403. [Google Scholar]            

C Quigley, ‘The Essentials Curriculum: Threshold Concepts for Long-Term Memory’ (2019) 5th Edition, first published as ‘Essentials: Full Spectrum Curriculum (2013): UK, Chris Quigley Education Ltd.

P C Brown, H L III Roediger, M A McDaniel, ‘Make it Stick. The Science of Successful Learning’ Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press, 2014