Pathway 1

Pathway 1 is for our most complex and vulnerable students. They are primarily non-verbal with complexities around processing, memory retention, personal care and forms of communication that can be expressed through behaviour. The adult to student ratio is high, generally 1:1, so that we can best support our young people. These students follow individualised timetables with an emphasis on speech and language and occupational therapy targets that best suit their particular needs. They work from a low arousal classroom, with easy access to an outdoor space. Transitions are kept to a minimum and teaching approaches are tailored to suit their needs.

The curriculum approach is a broadly primary model and is topic based, so as to ensure all our students are part of the greater whole. However the individual curriculums, work set and the structure of the day is very highly differentiated to ensure that good progress is made by every student. Most academic work is done with 1:1 support and group sessions are kept small so as to help the students regulate effectively.


  • Communication
  • Independence
  • Physical Movement / dance
  • Play
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Art
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Sensory
  • Attention Autism
  • Story massage

With this cohort, a highly structured school day is of paramount importance, however we also recognise that in a child led environment, learning can take place at any time and anywhere.

Our students may not be ready to, or willing to abide by an external structure so learning opportunities can also be grasped at any point during the day, with flexible materials and lessons that can take place anywhere necessary.

Key Stage 3 Topics

Term Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Y7 All about me Celebrations & Memories Our World Our community Down in the Jungle Best of British
Y8 My body Let’s celebrate Senses Growing and Caring for plants Healthy Living Under the Sea
Y9 Who am I? Let’s celebrate Where I live Rainbow Out and about Holidays

Approaches we may use:

  • Intensive Interaction
  • PECs
  • Interpretation of body language, gesture, facial expressions and vocalisations
  • Phonics
  • Play
  • Signing
  • Objects of reference
  • Choice making
  • Games (1:1 turn taking)
  • Reading
  • Theatre of Possibilities
  • Dance Interaction
  • Body Awareness
  • Symbols including eye pointing and exchanging
  • Call and response
  • Music (live & recorded)
  • Music Interaction
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Storytelling
  • ICT (switches, eye gaze, Ipad)
  • Sounds
  • Listening
  • Drama
  • Switch On Reading
  • Massage Stories
  • Scanning book
  • Sensory exploration with a wide range of stimuli
  • Mathematics
  • Snack time
  • Personal development/ self-help
  • Play
  • ICT
  • Science
  • Cause & Effect (both ICT & non ICT)
  • Choice making
  • Multi-sensory environments
  • Community visits
  • PE
  • Physical Challenge
  • Problem solving by sabotaging a regular routine, activity, event etc.
  • Cooking
  • Art

Wellbeing and Therapy:

Many students have sensory processing disorders (SPD) and they need adult intervention to help them manage these difficulties. If they are not comfortable or they are off their baseline, they will disengage with the world around them and this in turn will have an impact on their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Sensory processing disorders can present themselves in many different ways

  • overly or underly sensitive to touch, movement, sights or sounds
  • motor coordination difficulties
  • activity level unusually high or low
  • poor organisation of behaviour
  • delays in speech and language development
  • poor self-concept
  • difficulties in activities of daily living
  • difficulties in learning
  • challenging behaviours
  • unable to express emotions
  • anxieties
  • poor self-confidence and self-esteem
  • avoiding eye contact
  • overly affectionate
  • unable to read body language
  • frustration
  • difficulties coping with changes in routine
  • cries easily

We know our students’ very well and know when they need our help to promote their wellbeing. We use different approaches tailored to the student’s individual need.

Approaches we may use:

  • Sensory Diet
  • Walking
  • Weighted backpacks
  • Weighted blankets
  • Gym balls
  • Scooter boards
  • Brain gym
  • Sensory Circuits
  • Running
  • Weighted jackets
  • Wobble cushion
  • Peanut rolls
  • Trampoline
  • Chewy tubes
  • Differentiated learning activities
  • Calm classroom
  • Routines
  • Visual supports
  • Rolling on the floor
  • Oral motor activities
  • Low arousal classroom
  • Ear defenders
  • Ordered classroom environment
  • Hard foods at snack
  • Deep pressures


I think your school and staff are amazing – you have wowed me!

Parent November 2020


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