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Curriculum by subject


The English curriculum covers a wide range of areas. 

Communication is an essential skill for all of our pupils and we use a wide range of augumentative communication systems such as PECS , Eye Gaze . Pro Loquo software and Communicate In Print symbols to enable our non-verbal pupils to have a voice, communicate socially, express their needs and evidence their learning. 

Our verbal pupils develop their Speaking and Listening skills via the National Curriculum syllabus. 

Writing is delivered in a varied way , ranging from early markmaking and sensory self-expression, through to spelling, punctuation, grammar and phonics. Creative story writing is taught, with some pupils using software and symbols and others independently writing. 

Reading is also taught across a wide range of need , from PECS and symbol recognition through to more complex texts for Functional Skills and Entry Level Qualifications. 


At Hill Park we aim to encourage children to have a positive attitude towards reading, and to develop an interest and enjoyment of books.  We teach reading through immersing the pupils in a wide variety of texts with ‘Letters and Sounds’ being used as a basis for teaching phonics and early reading skills. Pupils are supported to find pleasure in hearing stories and using sensory experiences to bring the stories to life. Some pupils are supported to read key words independently using InPrint software and matching words to pictures, with picture symbols provided to support understanding and familiarity. Alongside this, reading can also encompass a wide range of contexts to support some pupils including; discrimination of symbols, PECs use , Eye Gaze image selection and identifying symbols on switches.  Therefore, opportunities are given to develop word reading and decoding (reading individual words) alongside comprehension (understanding of texts) with an approach tailored to the needs of the child. 

Pupils are encouraged to read different types of ‘texts’ including non-fiction books, fiction books, poetry, magazines, articles online, newspapers, letters etc.  Our English lessons are based on the use of quality, rich and engaging key texts. Please see the PowerPoint below to find out more about our whole school approach to reading. 

We use Letters and Sounds to teach phonics. We also use RLI and A Busy Day reading interventions for specific pupils. 


Maths Portfolio whole school video.wmv

Experiential Learning

Some of our pupils enjoy hands on experiential learning of mathematical concepts such as large/small , heavy/light etc. They also gain an understanding of number through experiencing quantities and counting sets of objects. All of our pupils cover the National Curriculum in a way that is meaningful and appropriate to their abilities. 

We use augumentative communications sytems, software and Powerpoints to engage pupils and make meathematics meaningful. 

ill Park school we offer opportunities for students to gain OCR Functional Skills qualifications at Entry level 1, 2 and 3 that meet the Functional Skills criteria approved by Ofqual. A key aim for Functional Skills mathematics specifications is that they enable the student to gain confidence and fluency in, and a positive attitude towards, mathematics. Students will convey their confidence in using mathematics when they can demonstrate a sound grasp of mathematical knowledge and skills and apply it to solve mathematical problems. 

Purpose of Entry Level Functional Skills in Mathematics: 

  • To demonstrate a sound grasp of the underpinning skills and basics of mathematical skills appropriate to the level, and the ability to apply mathematical thinking to solve simple problems in familiar situations. 

Our qualification enables students to: 

  • Develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of fundamental mathematical methods and concepts 

  • Acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques to solve problems 

  • Reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences and draw conclusions 

  • Comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context. 

We have also started offering Functional Skills at Level 1 and 2; these qualifications are suitable for students who wish to be recognised for their achievement of a wide range of mathematical skills for use in everyday life. 

They enable students to: 

  • Develop an understanding of functional skills in maths at Level 1 and 2 

  • Develop their skills and competences in maths 

  • Achieve a nationally recognised qualification 

  • Prepare for employment 

  • Progress to further study. 


Art is an essential part of the curriculum at Hill Park as it enables all pupils to access the world in a sensory and emotional way to enrich their lives.

The ways that our pupils express themselves through Art ranges from markmaking and sensory exploration through to independent drawing and painting using different techniques.

For each Topic, a focus Artist is linked so that classes can explore that Artist and recreate their Art. This ensures that we cover statutory requirements and giving our pupils a wide range of experience and activities. 

In KS4 some pupils are able to follow the Bronze Arts Award accreditation. On the upper site we have a specialist Art studio and a kiln and a specialist art teacher.

Pupils across the school have the opportunity to visit exhibitions and develop skills creatively in drawing, painting, sculpture, animation, ceramics, screen printing and textiles.


Design Technology

D&T and Food Technology are essential life skills. Pupils develop these skills from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 4.

In D&T pupils learn about design, function, construction, tools and equipment.

In Food Technology pupils experience a wide range of foods and develop new skills and gain confidence with food, learning about nutrition and health and safety. 

We now have a scheme of work that supports our teachers in delivering D&T to our pupils, called Equals. This is seen on all the Topic Webs and teachers use this to support the pupil's development in D&T. This ensures that we are covering the curriculum and offering a wide range of experiences and opportunities for D&T, including Food Technology.


Science and investigative learning

At Hill Park we meet the statutory requirements of  Science in different ways to meet our range of cognitive abilities. Some pupils follow an Investigative Learning curriculum which encourages exploration and experiential learning in a physical way. Other pupils follow a more formal approach and carry out experiments and record results. 

science 2


At Hill Park, Drama is an important part of the curriculum; promoting self-confidence and encouraging social co-operation and creativity. We use story as the foundation of Drama work across the school. It primarily supports 'speaking and listening' but also has links to humanities, citizenship and ICT. Most classes have a designated drama lesson with a specialist drama teacher.

Some pupils experience Drama through sensory stories and interactive storytelling. Others, if and when they are able, have the opportunity to develop skills in film-making, animation and puppetry as well as learning more traditional drama skills like speaking in role, stage fighting and improvisation. Work is tailored to suit and interest the particular class.

At Key Stage 4 (year 10 and 11) most pupils will work towards a formal qualification in drama. Some will gain an Arts Award qualification and others will gain AQA awards.

We are keen to create opportunities for pupils to perform if they choose to. We have two Christmas productions (KS3 and KS4) every year which showcases drama and music work with live production and film. In addition pupils might want to participate in fashion shows, talent shows or Dance at the Dome. Every two years our Secondary pupils take part in Shakespeare for Schools. In addition, pupils get the chance to watch productions in and out of school as much as possible.


Music is highly valued at Hill Park; it is embedded in delivery through daily routine and the curriculum in Key Stages 1 and 2 and in Key Stages 3 and 4 is taught by a specialist Music teacher. In addition to this, Hill Park students are supported by two Music Therapists (1 to 1 and small group sessions) and has fantastic links with Brighton and Hove Music and Arts and Brighton Early Music Festival.

Students have a wide range of opportunities to explore, appreciate, perform and create Music. We use a variety of resources and approaches to reflect pupils' interests, cover statutory requirements and ensure all pupils have access to a rich and varied musical curriculum.

Music plays a key part in enabling our pupils to communicate and express themselves and, where appropriate, cross-curricular links are made to reinforce learning. Working With Others strategies are embedded in teaching so that pupils have plenty of opportunity to learn to work together collaboratively.

Individual musicians and ensembles from different genres of Music regularly come in to school. For example, we welcomed back ex-pupil and rap artist, Spraxa, to lead lyric writing workshops and enjoyed a performance by the early music ensemble, Istante.

In Key Stage 4 students have the opportunity to complete the Bronze Arts Award; evidence for this can gathered purely in Music or in combination with Art and/or Drama.

It's not just the students who benefit from this whole school approach as we now have a staff choir that meets regularly to sing together

music 2


All pupils at Hill Park have French on their curriculum. 

Primary and Secondary SLD and PMLD pupils have Modern Foreign Languages in their Topic Cycle. Within this they may study France and they will experience French music, foods, and imagery with some pupils learning a few simple phrases or words.

Secondary MLD pupils have French lessons delivered by a specialist teacher where they learn vocabulary and simple conversational French. 

In Years 9, 10 and 11, students at Hill Park build on the language skills they’ve learnt in Lower KS3 with a particular emphasis on listening, speaking and responding. Lessons are taught by a specialist language teacher to those students who are able to access the learning of a second language at this level.  

In KS4 (Year 10 and 11), children have the opportunity to work towards an AQA accreditation.  Pupils demonstrate their understanding of words and phrases relating to a given topic, and show that they can use some key vocabulary in both spoken and written French. Vocabulary is presented in a variety of ways with lots of games and fun activities. Links are drawn with other languages, including English, and role-play enables students to consolidate language structures and to work well with others.  Topics include 'Myself, family and friends,'  'Hobbies' and 'Animals.'


Humanities covers History  and Geography. The organisation and delivery of the National Curriculum is via topics , which gives the children an interesting context to learn within. 

For some of our pupils we offer an experiential curriculum where they experience the sensory elements of Vikings or Volcanoes through sound, sensory stories, tastes and smells. 

For other pupils we have more formal topic work where pupils record their learning in topic books or lively displays.

Physical Education

At Hill Park, regardless of physical disability, we believe that all pupils should have an opportunity to access a wide range of physical activities.

For some pupils PE provides a unique opportunity to improve an individual’s sense of self-esteem, develop skills to work as part of a team and to encourage a sense of fair play. For others it enables them to experience different ways of moving their bodies and being in a space, and developing new gross and fine motor skills. 

Pupils are encouraged to understand rules and to develop an interest in , or experience of, maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle.

We are fortunate to have excellent links with facilities in the local community. Pupils have the opportunity to swim at the King Alfred leisure centre in Hove, Wadurs in Shoreham or The Towers pool ,as well as the use the sports hall at Henfield Sports Centre and Waterhall football pitch.Some pupils enjoy horseriding or rebound therapy. 

On Friday mornings Secondary pupils on the lower site have Moving On sessions , where they experience a wider curriculum offer and enjoy bowling , cricket , golf , water activities at Hove Lagoon and rock climbing. The majority of these activities are accessible to less mobile pupils and pupils who are wheelchair users. 


ICT (Information Communication Technology)

All of our pupils use software and ICT to access a wide range of curriculum areas, preparing them for the moder world. All classroom have SMARTBOARDS or whiteboards so that pupils can engage with ICT based learning and resources, with Upper site  having a computer in every classroom and tewo banks of Wi-F laptop computers that can be used. Ipads are also available for use in classrooms

Some pupils use switches to operate communication devices, powered wheelchairs, computer software and games and toys and sensory equipment. Others use and communicate digital information so that they can use the Internet and other communications essential to modern life.

All pupils need to be taught about being safe when using all forms of electronic messaging, the internet and mobile phones and this is incorporated into ICT lessons.  All classrooms have adult filtering settings on the internet. 

Students  have access to the network and some secondary students have their own password. For many, as they learn to use the Internet and e-mail, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher. Students apply their skills at home by accessing websites that help with homework and leisure activities.    learning how to use online photo editing software to manipulate images to their desire as well as revisiting their coding skills in designing and creating their own video games. Some can also increase the range of friends and social contacts through e-mailing, while at the same time practising their writing skills.


Our students use the school virtual learning environment, DB Primary, to maintain online blogs and familiarise themselves in using email software in a safe environment. This closely links to building their knowledge and understanding of internet safety when using various forms of technology, thus ensuring our students have a strong understanding to keeping safe when online. 

The school endeavours to provide every pupil with the opportunity to leave school with a qualification in ICT, whether an AQA qualification in using switches or an Entry Level Qualification in Computing and Programming. In  Key Stage 4, students will gain the opportunity to achieve an ICT functional skills qualification. This qualification can range from between Entry level 1-3, where students learn how to apply ICT skills to everyday situations using real-life contexts. These take place in the form of an assessed task which can take place at various stages through the school year.


PSHE & Citizenship

We promote the spiritual, moral and cultural development of all pupils to prepare them for the diversity of the world, and support them in being caring and positive citizens. 

PSCHE covers independence skills, personal care and how to be safe and appropriately behaved in the outside world. 

Sex and Relationships Education covers puberty and it's physical and emotional changes . You will be informed when your child is going to cover this curriculum area and you can ask your child to be withdrawn if you wish. 

Religious Education

Religious Education is a statutory curriulum area which is delivered in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus, incorporating attainment targets and statements agreed locally by the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE).

The School has no particular affiliation with any particular religion or religious denomination and seeks to reflect the diversity of beliefs that make up our society. 

We respect the right of parents to request that their child be withdrawn from Religious Education and Acts of Collective Worship if they so choose. Parents should put such a request in writing to the Headteacher.

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