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 Staff are highly skilled at adapting the curriculum to meet pupils’ very different needs. Pupils make excellent progress and achieve well.

Ofsted Outstanding 2022 

Southview School Curriculum

Southview School is unique in being the only PNI provision in Essex. We cater for children and young people with varied and complex needs from 3-19 years. The range of abilities varies from pupils requiring a sensory curriculum throughout their journey at Southview, to those able to attain examinations in academic subjects. The challenge for us as a school is meeting that wide range of abilities and ensuring that pupils’ academic learning is part of a holistic approach. Pupils’ physical, social and emotional wellbeing, and independence with communication, are considered in equal importance. Our curriculum reflects this. It is fluid, cross-curricular and multi-layered. We consider communication and physical wellbeing as the foundations of learning here at Southview. Pupils are unable to access lessons if their physical or medical needs are not being met. This may require multiple changes of position and medical interventions during the day. Likewise, they are unable to access learning until they have the means to communicate, so these two areas underpin the work that we do here. This is explained in our model - Southview Pillars of Curriculum (SPOC) and is reflected in their EHCP targets and provision. Many of our pupils have life-limiting and medically complex conditions. We have incorporated PLI-positioning for learning and independence, and PCI-personal care and independence into our timetables. We value the importance of PLI and PCI to the learning and wellbeing of our pupils here at Southview.

Each class is broadly ability grouped and can comprise of children from different key stages in order to best meet their needs. Learning here at Southview takes many forms. In addition to giving our pupils access to a more formal curriculum, we also focus on skills such as courage, resilience and preparing them for adulthood.

Pupils here at Southview are nurtured to become as independent as they can be: physically; socially and communicatively by providing a challenging and varied curriculum. By doing this we give each pupil the opportunity to achieve their academic potential.

We have our EYFS, school and College curriculums running concurrently across the school, which meet the needs of all pupils irrespective of age and ability. Each of these curriculums have intent, implementation and impact clearly mapped out. (see Southview Curriculum Intent, implementation and impact document)

Our journey to our curriculum

The curriculum at Southview is driven by the needs and interests of the pupils. By asking pupils what they enjoy learning about, we have endeavoured to create a varied and captivating rolling programme, whilst also ensuring that it is broad and balanced, apt and relevant. Pupils were given a variety of means to communicate their opinions including using hi-tech and low-tech communication devices to aid comprehension and expression. In response to a questionnaire sent to all parents and carers, self-esteem and the ability to express needs and wants were seen as very important. Many of our young people spend a lifetime having their physical needs met by family and care givers, and their right to be seen as autonomous free-thinking and assertive young people is seen as vital. This is an aspiration shared by pupils, staff and parents/carers. Life skills, and giving young people the tools to live safely and fully within society, are also key components of this evolving curriculum. We have a thematic approach to the curriculum and this is deliberately left quite open so that teachers can tailor lessons to the interests and ability of the pupils within their class.

The way our curriculum is broken down

This is explained in detail in our curriculum overview.

We follow the EYFS curriculum within Sunshine Class, and this is adapted for those children with a visual impairment as it was recognised that, for this particular cohort, progress was not being recognised using the usual learning goals. We have also removed the age expectations, which is inappropriate for our pupils, and replaced them with levels. This has been fully embedded within this phase of school.

Within the main part of the school, we have developed a new and innovative curriculum which covers national curriculum subjects adapted to the ability of the pupils. This is taught thematically and broken down into KS1&2 and KS3&4 ensuring it is age appropriate and relevant to the pupils within that phase.  

Firm foundations

This is a specialist PMLD curriculum for those children working at early developmental levels and who need a sensory curriculum. It was developed by a member of our leadership team and recognises that children with PMLD have distinctly unique abilities and ways of learning.

Building on

This curriculum focuses on skills which relate broadly speaking to the old P levels 3-5.

Reaching higher 

This focuses on skills relating to old P levels 6-8 and beyond, and extra content has been added for those pupils able to access greater academic studying. Within Key Stage 3&4, pupils also have access to a variety of ASDAN courses. Where appropriate, pupils will follow individualised programmes, for example, functional skills, entry level, or GCSE syllabuses.


Following in depth meetings with all stakeholders, comprehensive, challenging and personalised targets are set in seven key areas of learning and development, namely;

  • Communication
  • Community links and participation
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Managing and Developing Relationships
  • Functional Maths
  • Enterprise and work-related skills
  • Creative Development

In each of these areas students experience a range of appropriate activities thoughtfully planned and designed to promote their independence and creative thinking. They practice these skills in the class, in other areas of the school and out in the community in real life situations. This provides students with real life opportunities to practice and transfer their skills and become more self-confident and independent. The Enterprise and work related skills area focuses on a different skills set which gives students an insight into different vocational areas. Running a College Café, setting up a Christmas Catalogue and organising Fundraising activities have all been important activities to promote a more adult environment and way of learning giving students an insight to work and activities they would like to pursue beyond Southview. The ASDAN short course options have allowed students to trial new pathways which may interest them and to gain certification at different levels. Running alongside the College Curriculum is the essential element of developing relationships and social skills. College provides social occasions such as a Prom and residential trip to promote and embed these skills in a safe and measured environment.

If you need any further information please contact

Carol Park:
Fiona Read:

  • School Address: Conrad Road, Witham, Essex, CM8 2TA / College Address: Conrad Road, Witham CM8 2SD

  • School: 01376 503505 / College: 01376 425372