The Shrubberies School

Lower School



The Shrubberies Lower School Curriculum is focused on ensuring that the pupils have a highly individualised and creative curriculum in a happy, safe, nurturing environment to support them to become successful learners.

The curriculum aims to inspire pupils to explore, engage and learn, removing any obstacles or barriers to learning, therefore ensuring pupils are able to become successful communicators, learners and problem solvers.

Lower School is the first step to prepare pupils for their learning journey and preparation for independence.

Our Pathways provide a flexible framework with each individual pupil's needs being responded to. 

The framework is stimulating and is able to build on pupils interests.

The curriculum is underpinned by the Early Years Foundation Stage approach and Development Matters, which is used to deliver an appropriate curriculum to all pupils..

The Pathways focus is on developing key skills of communication, cognition, independence, physical development and self-care. Pupils need to be able to make choices, self-regulate, have some control and independence in life.


Pupils are:

  • treated as an individual
  • valued in school, wider community and able to interact positively and safely with others
  • have the best possible physical and emotional health and healthy relationships
  • able to make choices and have some control and independence in life
  • supported to communicate and their voice to be heard
  • actively engaged in learning experiences that are meaningful, functionable and enjoyable



Lowers School realises the importance of the EYFS approach, and this is used to deliver an appropriate curriculum to our pupils, alongside the Curriculum Pathways.


Curriculum Pathways


Curriculum Pathways





Please click on the link to view the rolling programme of topic themes

All children need opportunities to play, learn and explore and the Prime Areas taken from the EYFS curriculum are embedded within the department to ensure that the pupils are ready to learn.

The three Prime Areas are:

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

These areas cannot be taught in isolation and overlap with each other. The Specific Areas- Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive  Art and Design- also interlink and are taught alongside the Prime Areas.


A variety of learning approaches are used are are varied according to each child's needs.

Learning experiences are delivered in a range of different contexts and all moments are learning opportunities:

  • play
  • snack
  • lunch
  • toileting
  • transitions
  • visitors
  • visits
  • themed days and special occasions

Monster Phonics


Phonics is taught through the Monster Phonics Scheme.

Monster Phonics is a whole-class systematic synthetic phonics scheme with decodable books.

It teaches pupils to read by enabling them to identify individual graphemes and blend the sounds (phonemes) together to read a word. It is a fun way to teach phonics and a highly multisensory scheme which creates interest and engages pupils.

A holistic approach to the curriculum is embedded with a range of approaches and interventions offered, some are identified below:

  • Total Communication
  • signing club
  • Attention Autism
  • swimming
  • Rebound therapy


What difference does our curriculum make?

The Lower School Curriculum ensures that the pupils begin their journey to learning through a range of opportunities, activities and experiences.

The impact of the learning will be reflected through:

  • the emotional well being of the pupils through emotion check ins and regular attendance
  • parental engagement
  • behaviour
  • small step achievements within EHCP outcomes
  • achievement of EHCP outcomes
  • Earwig evidence
  • pupils being independent and making choices
  • formative assessment through marking, annotation and observation
  • Engagement Profiles (where appropriate)
  • assessment using the Early Learning Goals

Development and progress are shared with parents and carers regularly via telephone calls, meetings, discussions, Earwig and more formally during parents' evenings and EHCP meetings.

Lower School aim to provide all their pupils with a positive, stimulating environment and a personalised learning approach to unlock pupils potential.

This enables our students to be:

  • Healthy
  • to feel safe
  • to be happy
  • to achieve and have success
  • to feel valued

If you have any further questions with regards to the Lower School curriculum then please contact Sarah Williams, Head of Lower School.