PROUD of The Hatton Way; Learning, Growing, Achieving Together


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Over the last few years we have been reviewing our Curriculum with both parents and staff members. We asked the following questions:

  • What is working well in the curriculum now?
  • What would be even better if?
  • In the future what do you feel we should be teaching our children?
  • What skill do you think your pupils need to develop for the future?

We have continued to focus and develop this idea and have through the last year been pulling together a curriculum that will focus on what the children can do and also what skills will help them moving forward. We completed 2 consultations with staff and parents to look at what aspirational aims we would like the children to be working towards and this has helped to create a whole school curriculum vision.

Whole school curriculum vision (click here)

Within this curriculum we focus on -

  • Children who are spontaneous communicators and who are able to make a choice and interact with others.
  • Children will develop learning skills that are concrete and relevant to their levels of learning.
  • Children who are able to access and engage with personalised learning opportunities.
  • Children will access a curriculum that promotes the positive wellbeing and resilience of all pupils.
  • Children who are ready for the next stage of their education and learning.
  • Children who are able to self-regulate their behaviour and sensory needs, as well as keep themselves safe.
  • Children who are independent and confident.

The Hatton Curriculum focuses on 4 different levels –

  • Early years Foundation – (EYFS profile)
  • Pre-formal— (links to the engagement profile)
  • Semi-Formal
  • Formal


This curriculum will be delivered through subjects that are supported by a 2 year theme framework, and will be taught through seven focus areas, these are similar to the Early Years learning areas:

  • Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Health Education (PHSE) & Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSHE)
  • Understanding the world (Including Science, geography, history, computing, Cookery)
  • Religious Education & British Values
  • Expressive Arts and Design


Assessment—moving forward

In the past we have monitored and assessed the pupils’ progress using the P levels. These were levels that broke down early learning skills below the National Curriculum into smaller steps. These are no longer being used following guidance from the government. This has enabled us to look for an assessment tool that better fits the needs of our pupils and links to the changes in the curriculum we have made. We have been using an assessment recording programme called EARWIG over the last year and have been developing how this can record and monitor progress. It will enable us to link a child’s progress much more closely towards their EHCP outcomes, Early Years Foundation stage profile, Accessing learning through the engagement Profile, Pre Key stage Standards, National Curriculum attainment levels and as well we can build a learning journal for the children that will highlight their progress.   We have also developed our own assessment that looks at the Early Years curriculum, the national curriculum, other schemes of work and our teachers professional judgement to produce the Hatton “I Cans” that look at what children can do and this will help them move towards longer term aspirations (Curriculum Vision) in different subjects across the curriculum. 

Main assessments at Hatton – Assessment Profile

Maths at Hatton

At Hatton we use a sensory approach to teach Maths that breaks down the learning into progressive “I Can” steps. Children first learn new maths concepts using hands on materials (concrete). They then move on to drawings or using pictures (representational). The last step is to convert information into numbers and symbols (abstract). Children who struggle with maths often have trouble making sense of the (abstract).  For our children at Hatton, they also struggle to use, apply and transfer what they have learnt as well as generalising it into everyday life.

A sensory approach to teaching maths is not just limited to looking and listening, instead it tries to use all their senses. Sensory learning conveys information through touch and movement, called tactile and kinaesthetic elements, as well as sight and hearing. In sensory lessons, children will not engage with all the senses at the same time, but will often engage with the material in more than one way. The sensory approach to maths enables our children to be the visual, kinaesthetic and auditory learners.

A sensory approach includes the use of Numicon; based on a proven concrete-pictorial-abstract approach, Numicon encourages children to explore maths using structured imagery and apparatus in order to understand and explain mathematical concepts. If a child learns something using more than one sense, the information is more likely to be retained and transferred into everyday life.

Communication, Language and Literacy at Hatton

Gross/fine motor skills and early writing skills

At Hatton we break down children’s learning into small “I Can” steps using practical and play based activities.

In order for children to develop their writing skills we first focus on their Gross motor skills and fine motor skills, then move on to writing using a pen or pencil. Without having good gross and fine motor skills children lack the strength and control to use mark making tools functionally and appropriately.

Children practise their gross motor skills at Hatton through play, which helps with physical development and provides children with the abilities they need to explore and interact with the world around them. Through gross motor skills we enable children to perform everyday functions, such as standing, walking, running, and sitting upright. This also includes hand-eye coordination skills such as ball skills (throwing, catching, kicking).

Alongside the gross motor skills we look at functional approaches to using fine motor skills to further develop hand-eye coordination. This enables a child to complete important tasks such as writing, feeding or doing up buttons and zips. At Hatton we develop these skills alongside early writing skills so that children can learn to develop a good tripod grasp when holding a pen or pencil. We also regularly lease with the OT at Hatton in order to seek advice and strategies to further support children with their gross and fine motor skills.

Shoulder exercises work on improving the strength and stability of the shoulder muscles. This helps the hand and arm to function correctly.

Activities to develop shoulder stability

  • Using a paint brush and easel
  • Ball games /pushing a therapy ball up a wall
  • Leopard crawl / pushing against each other
  • Hand pushes for 5 seconds
  • Playground - Encourage children to climb and pull on a rope

Reading and phonics

Sensory Stories: Many teachers use sensory stories to engage their class in books and make them more relevant to their needs. These sessions are carried out with the whole class or in smaller groups depending on the needs of the children. A range of props are used to bring the story to life (these can include sounds, smells and visual aids as well as tactile and physical props). Many teachers will also simplify the texts to meet the needs and levels of understanding within their class and some re-write the text using Communicate in Print to further develop how accessible the book is to their class The children respond well to this sessions and it is great to see them engaging with the story through the use of props.


Communication across the day is a focus across the school with the aim of embedding communication across the school day (in whatever way is suitable for that child – PECS, Makaton, verbal language etc.) and ensuring consistency amongst staff in terms of use of symbols and visual aids. It is expected that communication should be a focus in all areas of the curriculum (not just discrete sessions) and adults are collecting data throughout the week for each child in their class (regardless of their mode of communication). Planning has also been adapted to include more detail on expected/possible communication in each activity and part of the day. We have 2 PECS implementers in school who spend time in classes supporting and advising teachers and class staff, working with children on a one to one and small group basis and troubleshooting ideas and strategies for children who are not progressing in their use of PECS. Many of our pupils use PECS as their main means of communication with some using electronic communication devices such as the Grace app or Proloquo2go. We also have some pupils who use Makaton to communicate as well as those who have verbal language. A variety of strategies and teaching activities are used to further developing pupil’s communication skills – these can include discrete PECS sessions, SALT sessions, Colourful Semantics, Play sessions, etc. All classes use schedules to ensure that children know what is happening throughout the day (these are personalised for individuals and classes) as well as visual aids such as first/then and ‘I’m working for’ cards, break, wait, critical communication boards and adults critical communication symbols.

Phonics Schemes

The main phonics scheme used throughout the school is “Letters and Sounds” providing a 6-phase teaching programme to teach children how the alphabet works for reading and spelling.  This is complemented with other schemes where necessary.

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers.



Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segent longer words with adjacet consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Phase Five

Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase Six

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.


Reading Scheme

At Hatton we encourage children to develop an enjoyment for books and to understand that print has meaning. We aim to make the teaching of reading as individualised as possible. Our Children have access to a wide variety of books that are appropriate to all readers, and we use the  Oxford Reading Scheme Books and resources for all ages and reading levels, which focus on skill development.  Children take part in shared reading using ‘big books’ and topic books, and these are brought alive by making them multi-sensory.  Books are also supported with the use of “Makaton” signing/symbols and “Communicate in Print” to support our learners access the meaning. 



Information on data, statistics and research, including KS2 results can be found by clicking here” 


Through the year we will focus on the skills that the children need to develop and work on as identified through their EHCP Outcomes and Educational attainment.  If appropriate this will be linked to the Theme Cycles below -

Year 1-6 Theme Cycle –

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