At Addington Valley Academy we specialise in providing a high quality learning environment, curriculum and specialist support for students with autism, and a range of complex needs.

Final H

We recognise that children and young people with Autism may encounter challenges with social communication, sensory processing and rigidity of thought. Alongside this, many of our students have significant and severe learning difficulties leading to complications around knowledge acquisition and memory retention. We know that our students have many talents, interests and passions and our curriculum ensures that we build on these. Our school and its staff have the expertise to support these students and our curriculum enables them to reach their own, personalised goals. Staff have completed training in TEACCH, Attention Autism, PECs, Team Teach, Makaton and other specialist approaches.

Our curriculum is built upon the four pillars that make up our school values. These areas are:





By developing student’s wellbeing, communication and independence, we ensure achievement and celebrate success.

Curriculum Overview 2024


Curriculum Implementation

Our personalised curriculum is designed to meet the unique needs of learners with Education, Health, and Care Plans (EHCPs). It is based on each student’s EHCP long-term outcomes, broken down into short-term goals, and draws upon various educational frameworks including EQUALS, DEYO, Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), and the National Curriculum. This holistic approach ensures that each learner receives tailored instruction to support their individual development and achievement.

Curriculum Components:

EHCP Long-Term Outcomes:

  • Identify and prioritise the long-term outcomes specified in the EHCP.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers, and therapists, to establish achievable goals.
  • Ensure that outcomes are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Short-Term Outcomes:

  • Teachers break down long-term outcomes into manageable short-term goals.
  • They align short-term goals with the student’s current abilities, interests, and needs, then regularly review and adjust short-term goals based on progress and feedback.

Personalised Curriculum:

  • Incorporate the appropriate curriculum, which provides a structured framework for teaching learners with complex learning difficulties and disabilities. This is the vehicle, which supports the student in meeting their outcomes.
  • We utilise differentiated instruction to accommodate diverse learning styles and abilities.
  • We adapt materials, activities, resources and support approaches to meet individual needs while addressing the core areas of learning.
  • We focus on implementing strategies for promoting independence, self-regulation, and problem-solving skills.
  • Multi-disciplinary collaboration is at the heart of our curriculum.
  • We foster collaboration among families, educators, therapists, specialists, and support staff to provide comprehensive support for learners.
  • We share expertise and resources to address the diverse needs of learners and promote consistency across settings.

Continuous Assessment and Feedback:

Typical progress is impossible to predict as starting points are so diverse however we aspire that all our students will achieve the outcomes described above, by the end of Year 13. We recognise and celebrate that progress looks very different from one student to the next, even within a pathway, and as such, we assess skill and knowledge progress and acquisition using MAPP.

The four strands of MAPP are:

  • Fluency
  • Maintenance
  • Generalisation
  • Independence

This means that progress can be assessed effectively at any level of granularity. These strands also reflect the process of memory retention that students with ASD and SLD require to acquire knowledge and skills successfully.

Our curriculum offer is supported by specialist approaches such as:

  • TEACCH concepts that provide a high level of structure, utilizes the strengths of student with Autism, and provides a physical environment that enables learning.
  • Attention Autism approach that supports engagement and group participation.
  • Intensive interaction strategies that are designed to build positive relationships and promote social engagement.
  • PECS & AAC communication systems, which support with students being able to express themselves in an effective way. In addition to this we also encourage and use Makaton sign language across the school to provide a holistic approach to communication and aid with receptive understanding.
  • Team Teach strategies to deescalate behaviours that challenge and support students with managing their own regulation.
  • Visual support for receptive and expressive communication
  • Embedded therapeutic support and approaches from SALT and OT.
  • Personalised communication support
  • Provide real life learning opportunities within a framework that is flexible, safe and responsive to individual needs
  • Enable and empower children and young people to identify and work towards their personal aspirations and their long term, EHCP outcomes.

Curriculum Impact

Through our intent and implementation, we know that by focusing on individual strengths, interests, and aspirations, we aim to empower each learner to achieve their full potential and thrive in their educational journey. This may lead to accredited qualifications, apprenticeships, college placements, increased levels of independence and community access.

More information can be found in our Teaching and Learning Policy.


If you require further information regarding our curriculum offering and the planned outcomes, please contact Anna Huzzey – Vice Principal, Head of Primary for Primary and Joe Shepherd – Vice Principal, Head of Secondary for Secondary and Sixth Form