About Us

Our Curriculum

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Thriftwood School & College is committed to providing a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum which engages, motivates, excites and challenges our learners whilst preparing them for the future. Our curriculum aims to prepare our pupils to be as independent as they can possibly be. Working with parents and other agencies, we offer a flexible approach to learning as well as teaching the skills to allow pupils to grow into resilient, confident adults who are able to achieve their individual best and participate in the wider community. We believe our pupils deserve the best provision possible and therefore we have high expectations and regularly review and evaluate the curriculum to ensure it is fit for purpose. 

 We strongly believe that the provision at Thriftwood: 

  • is broad and balanced with the flexibility to meet individual needs
  • reflects progression and is differentiated to support the range of learners that we have in school
  • promotes care and concern for the pupils themselves, others and the environment
  • promotes spiritual, moral, social, cultural and physical development
  • promotes creativity in learning
  • uses the local community to reinforce the work that we do in school
  • prepares pupils for the transition to adolescence and adulthood
  • engages parents in partnerships that will enhance the pupil’s cognitive, emotional and social development
  • operates within a clear framework of planning, assessment and reporting

 All of our pupils have a special educational need and our offer includes a specialised curriculum delivered through a range of teaching methods, interventions, approaches and strategies to promote and encourage good progress and access to the curriculum.

Fundamentals for the Future (FFF) - We have developed a Curriculum Framework called "Fundamentals for the Future" upon which all our subject areas are built. This framework consists of all the key skills we believe are essential for our pupils to lead an independent, healthy and purposeful life.

The framework is set out under the Preparation for Adulthood titles and links to the areas with Education Health Care Plans (EHCP). This framework is taught both discreetly and also within/through other subject areas. Pupil progress within the framework is tracked.

Through careful planning and delivery, our curriculum is personalised to meet the needs of our learners, enabling them to reach their full potential and prepares them to take their place in society. The curriculum is further spilt into areas of learning:

Functional Skills – reading, writing, maths

Creative Development - music, art, drama, dance

Physical Development - PE, swimming, football, horse riding, massage, forest school

Independent Living Skills- PSHE, food tech, key skills

Community Awareness - Travel Training, community visits, personal safety and road safety,

Knowledge and Understanding of the World - ICT, D&T, Science, History, Geography and RE

Phonics - 
At Thriftwood we follow the Bug Club phonics programme.  Phonics is taught regularly throughout the primary phase, and students are placed in ability groups if appropriate.  The sessions are short, and multi-sensory if possible to promote engagement and retention.  Phonics may also be taught as part of other sessions, such as Attention Autism or outdoor learning. 

The curriculum has 5 key intentions which will meet our aim of

developing independent, confident and healthy individuals who are able to lead a purposeful life.

Increased Independence (Independent Living)

  • Kitchen skills
  • Travel skills
  • Personal care
  • Tackling practical problems in life, e.g. cooking, shopping, getting the bus
  • Keeping safe – strangers, technology, road safety, possessions, risk-awareness

 Increased self-regulation and emotional resilience (Health)

  • Increased self-esteem and confidence
  • Coping with challenges and changes
  • Having a sense of pride in self, e.g. in work, appearance, cleanliness, dry/wet
  • Self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-motivation and self-control to function within society and to follow rules
  • Develop healthy habits of both body and mind, including a simple hobby or interest

 Increased social and communication skills (Community Inclusion)

  • To initiate and sustain a simple conversation
  • To have a purposeful 2-way interaction, in person and on the phone
  • To communicate to get needs met
  • Listening skills
  • Consideration of others
  • Sex and relationships education

  Increased core functional number skills (Employment)

  • Tell the time
  • Pay for things in a shop
  • Read numbers in environment
  • Measurements, e.g. clothing sizes, filling cups
  • Using technology to assist this – phone and calculator

Increased core functional literacy skills (Employment) 

  • Read a menu, timetable or notice
  • Complete a form
  • Recognise and sound all alphabet letters
  • Recognise own name and other personal information e.g. address, phone number,
  • Recognise environmental print, e.g. safety signs, police station signs
  • Using technology to assist this – phoning doctor, using phone and/or calculator, texting, emails


Our Curriculum Outline for 2023/24:-

(updates for Summer Curriculum Summaries are in progress and will appear on the website as soon as possible)


Pupils within Key Stage 2 will have the opportunity to swim weekly for part or all of the calendar year at school.  During these sessions, the focus is on gaining confidence in the water, following adult instructions, developing strokes and working towards achieving 25m unaided swimming.  We also use this opportunity to promote independence, self-help skills and social communication. 

Pupils within Key stage 3 have the opportunity to further refine these skills when swimming with the class in years
7 and 8.

I02Q4786 min I02Q6397 I02Q6438 min