The Hazel Court School Curriculum  

At Hazel Court School we pride ourselves in delivering an exciting and engaging curriculum which teaches our learners key skills in the core subjects in a way that is functional and relevant and which prepares them for their exit points and future adult lives. Our curriculum is taught through a range of topics which are the ‘vehicle’ for teaching subject-based learning and personal development / behaviour for learning.

The curriculum at Hazel Court School is constantly being reviewed, developed, and updated, as we embrace new developments and changes in teaching approaches, methodology and assessment along with the expansion of specialist knowledge. Careers education and work related learning are embedded in the whole school curriculum and the school currently holds the Investors in Careers Award Stage 3 – Full Award.

Our medium term planning informs the target setting process. Individual learning outcomes are set and evaluated six times per year and these include curriculum (subject) and personal development targets.

Curriculum (subject) learning outcomes are based on the assessment of individual attainment within the wider curriculum. Personal development targets are set collaboratively with parents / carers, therapists and other relevant professionals promoting a holistic approach to each learner's education. Opportunities for our pupils and students to develop their social, moral, spiritual and cultural development are coherently planned and underpin our teaching and learning.

We recognise that all of our learners have an entitlement to access a relevant and functional subject-based curriculum but for those with more profound learning difficulties and complex needs we believe that their personal development, behaviour for learning and communication development is of paramount importance.


 Accurate formative and summative assessment lies at the heart of the process of enabling good to outstanding learning for our learners. We use a range of tools including connecting steps and we are currently, under the assessment without levels agenda, developing our own bespoke assessment to measure progress in essential skills to reflect the specific needs of our learners.

Hazel Court Learning Wheel

We have developed the Hazel Court Learning Wheel which shows how the different aspects of our curriculum fit together with the learner at the centre of our teaching and learning.

 As indicated in the learning wheel, the following areas of learning underpin all elements of the curriculum.


  • Behaviour for learning
  • Independence Skills
  • PSHE / personal development

 The core subjects at Hazel Court School are:

  • English (Communication)
  • Maths
  • Science (at the Secondary Department)

 Please refer to the Learning Wheel to see all the elements of the curriculum at Hazel Court School

 Learner Voice

At Hazel Court School we have an ethos of learner choice and learner voice. We strive to support our learners' communication and their ability to express their views and opinions on all matters that concern them. We have a Total Communication approach at Hazel Court School and use a range of strategies including specific augmentative and alternative communication systems to support this.

The Pupil / Student Charter states:

  • Involve me in decisions that affect me. Encourage me to make choices and give me the opportunity to give my views.
  • Support my right to be a part of the community.

We have a Pupil Council at the Secondary Department and a Student Council at the FE Department and each meets once / term.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum (years 7-9)  

All learners follow a topic based curriculum which is organised into 18 termly blocks. The topics have been carefully chosen and developed to reflect the diverse learning needs of the learners, motivation, relevance and functionality.

We have our own ‘Hazel Court’ Key Stage 3 curriculum (incorporating elements of the Equals Curriculum) which we use within the topic framework to ensure that there is coverage of all the core areas of learning (refer to the learning wheel)

Key Stage 4 Curriculum (years 10-11)

All learners follow a Key Stage 4 topic based curriculum which is organised into 12 blocks. Some of the topics link to the ASDAN Personal Progress and PSD modules and they reflect the changing needs of the learners as they prepare for transition to our FE Department. There is a bigger focus on functional Maths and English, independence skills and vocational learning.

We have our own ‘Hazel Court’ Key Stage 4 curriculum (incorporating elements of the Equals Curriculum) which we use within the topic framework to ensure that there is coverage of all the core areas of learning (refer to the learning wheel)

Every learner in Year 11 will complete at least one accredited ASDAN Personal Progress (PP) or Personal and Social Development (PSD) module before they move to the FE Department.

The curriculum at Key Stage 4 is designed to support our older learners in the secondary department as they prepare for their transition to the FE Department and beyond.

Key Stage 5 Curriculum (Years 12 – 14)

At Key Stage 5 the learners move to the FE Department. Here they are taught in class groups for a proportion of the day but regularly mix into different groups and come together as a whole department throughout the school week. This is an essential part of the daily running of the department in developing their social, communication and self-awareness skills and their ability to manage the challenges they may experience from this.

The FE Department delivers foundation learning which relates to the relevant components of the 14 – 19 Curriculum which are:  

Vocational or subject learning  

Personal and Social development  

Functional skills (English, Maths, ICT)  

English, Maths, PSHE and ICT are delivered in a cross-curricular way in order to develop functional skills for real life situations. The emphasis is on teaching functional literacy and numeracy skills, interpersonal and self-regulation skills as well as independent living skills which will be of use to the learners in their next destinations and their future lives. Our aim is for our learners to leave us as well developed, confident and independent young people who are ready to move on to / access the next phase of their lives.

In years 12 and 13, learners are taught through a topic based curriculum from which they gain accreditation in Progress and PSD courses.These programmes are made up of assessed units of skills. Each unit has a credit value based on hours of study and qualifications are awarded according to the number of credits students accrue.

In their final year learners follow a bespoke Year 14 curriculum. This year is strategically planned to prepare our students for their transition to their post 19 placements and beyond. Each term has a specific focus and these are plotted to meet the key learning at relevant points across the year.

Many of our students progress to our local colleges and we work collaboratively with them to ensure that the curriculum we deliver and the PSD and Personal Progress units we have chosen to assess will prepare them for access to college courses post 19. Transition is carefully planned each year and is tailored to each individual student's needs. This includes the students attending visits, taster days and weekly timetabled sessions.

Work experience is offered to all students via a tiered approach.

Year 12

Placements are internal, the students work alongside Hazel Court staff.

 Year 13

Placements are community based, supported by members of Hazel Court staff.

 Year 14

Placements are designed to further develop our learners confidence, independence and social skills to help with their transition post 19. Our students work alongside members of the placement staff.