Our Curriculum Intent Implementation and Impact

Hayfield is a local authority, specialist school that strives to bring the highest quality of teaching and learning to pupils with social communication needs/autism, (including some with mainstream ability), or to pupils with moderate learning difficulties, (often with additional needs). But most importantly, we ensure that every child is respected and treated as an individual. We try our very best to see the world as the child sees it, and work from their starting point. You can download our Curriculum Intent Implementation and Impact statements below

Curriculum Rationale

You can download our Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact rationale below


Our Curriculum rationale is based on our school ethos and mission statement:

Learning to Live and Love Life together’

At the core of our curriculum, and underpinning all areas of learning are the shared values and skills we wish our children to develop and attain. These key shared values arose from whole school discussions with staff, children, parents and carers and governors.

Key Values and Skills at Hayfield School

We want all our school community to:

  • Take responsibility for our own Learning and recognise the links with life in the outside world
  • Develop Thinking Skills and Reflection in order to make good choices and solve problems 
  • Be confident and Independent 
  • Respect ourselves and others and take responsibility for our own behaviour and demonstrate tolerance

What do we mean by Curriculum?

At Hayfield a heavy emphasis is placed upon teaching children the skills that they need in order to be more independent and ready for learning through a developmental and creative curriculum. Without developing the skills which support learning first, academic learning is not achievable nor is it maintained over time. We support learning for our children from the minute they enter school, and we define ‘curriculum’ as all the learning experiences of the children at Hayfield; whether they happen in lessons, during extra-curricular activities, through homework, within the community, on educational visits. We see that every interaction between adult and child, from all adults in the school, are an opportunity to learn and develop the values and skills above.

Teaching and Learning 

All pupils at Hayfield have an Education Health Care Plan. Over time the school population has changed; we are now a school who aims to provide a curriculum for children with a wide range of abilities and learning difficulties; all of which have their own highly individual needs.

Children with an Autistic Spectrum Condition

A significant number of children at Hayfield have an Autistic Spectrum Condition. Cognitive ability within this group primarily ranges from children with Learning difficulties within the moderate range ( and sometimes children with more complex learning difficulties); to those who, cognitively are of average ability. All our children who have a diagnosis of ASC ( whether those with complex learning difficulties, moderate learning difficulties, or those who are of average ability ALL experience problems relating to three fundamental areas of life

  • communication
  • social interaction 
  • flexibility of thought and behaviour.

As well as these three areas, these children also experience significant difficulties in Sensory processing.

Children with Moderate Learning Difficulties ( and additional needs)

A smaller population of children at Hayfield have moderate learning difficulties and additional needs. A significant number of these children have additional needs relating to Attachment Disorder

For ALL children at Hayfield Teaching and learning approaches are used to reduce barriers to learning enabling, all pupils to make progress. The school aims to create a learning environment that can be clearly understood by all pupils, including those with autism.

Curriculum Pathways

In order to meet the diverse needs of the children at Hayfield, we have designed three curriculum pathways. These are currently referred to as the Pre-formal Curriculum ( Early Years), Semi-Formal Curriculum ( Lower School)  and Formal Curriculum (Upper School) 

Hayfield’s  Pre-Formal and Semi-Formal  Curriculum

Children following this Curriculum pathway are primarily the younger children. This Curriculum is underpinned by the philosophy and pedagogy surrounding the Early Years Foundation and in some classes the SCERTs approach ( Social Communication Emotion Regulation and Transactional Support). Some children at Hayfield benefit from this curriculum approach into Key Stage two; other children may initially access learning through this approach and then ‘migrate’ to a more formal approach to learning. This curriculum primarily aims to support children in developing the skills that are a prerequisite to accessing more formal and traditional leaning

Hayfield’s Formal Curriculum

Children following this curriculum pathway tend to be the older population. This curriculum is underpinned by all the pedagogy associated with good practice for children with learning difficulties and Autism. The curriculum is clearly defined and pupils are given opportunities to develop their learning and skills A cross-curricular approach is used to deliver some subjects. This supports pupils 'understanding of how a skill learnt in one situation, can be applied in other situations.

All curriculum pathways have the shared outcomes already referred to in this document, and all  curriculum pathways share some approaches. For example, all children at Hayfield have a curriculum where there is an emphasis on visual learning, where the use of graphic symbol and pictures with clear labels help pupils understand. Staff recognise the need to deliver concepts visually and to manage learning by ‘chunking’ these concepts into smaller steps. Depending on the needs of the child; other media of communication, such as computers, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and MAKATON are available to the pupils. Where needed, and not necessarily exclusive to children with a diagnosis of ASC; elements of a TEACCH approach are used to structure the learning environment to support understanding and enable some pupils to work independently.

Hayfield School Curriculum Pathways 2022-2023


Key Skills

Functional skills and Key skills such as literacy, language and communication, numeracy, problem solving and personal and social skills thread through all curriculums (but particularly in the Formal Curriculum) in order to develop pupil understanding as to how skills can be applied. All children at Hayfield have an Individual Support Plan that focusses on learning skills, knowledge or understanding unique to them. These skills and areas of learning identified from the Aims specified on their Education Health Care Plan. Where possible these areas of learning thread through the curriculum; and are also taught in 1:1 or small group sessions.


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