School Curriculum Overview

Play, Learn, Laugh, Succeed

At Fort Royal we provide a broad, balanced curriculum for all our pupils. It is based on adapting the National Curriculum to meet each child’s Special Educational Need. We include advice from Speech Therapists, Physiotherapist and other specialist staff.

Our aim is for all children

  • to develop confidence and enthusiasm for learning
  • to become responsible citizens by appreciating the needs of others and taking responsibility for their own behaviour
  • to develop effective communication skills
  • to be as independent as possible.

EYFS ( Early Years Foundation Stage ) Curriculum

In the Early Years classes at Fort Royal School our aims are:

  • To provide a structured, secure, caring and well-resourced learning environment: both inside and out which meets all the individual physical and developmental needs of the children.
  • To enable the children to be confident, motivated and happy learners and to meet their full potential.
  • To develop independence and individuality for all children.
  • To create a partnership with parents to support and enhance the development of the children.
  • To ensure that the school ethos of ‘Play, Learn, Laugh, Succeed’ is embedded within the curriculum and provision which is available to all children.

We recognise that children learn and develop in different ways and have their own learning styles. We value all areas of learning and development and understand that they are often inter-connected.

The prime areas of learning and development are particularly crucial for our children, due to the early levels of development that they are learning at. They are:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

This area of learning and development is about how children become confident and self-assured, manage their feelings and behaviour, make friends, share and takes turns.

Communication and Language (C&L)

This area of learning and development is about how children listen and pay attention, understand what is being said, communicate with others, develop vocabulary and speech.

Physical Development (PD)

This are learning and development is about how children move and use gross motor skills, develop fine motor skills, learn about healthy living and manage self-care independently.

Adults will support children in the four specific areas, through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas of learning and development are:

Literacy (L)

This area of learning and development is about how children enjoy reading, develop mark making skills and explore rhyming and phonics.

Mathematics (M)

This area of learning and development is about how children learn about numbers and counting, recognise the passing of time, explore measures, capacity, shape and space through their play.

Understanding of the World (UW)

This area of learning and development is about how children find out about nature and the world around them, learn about people and the local community, explore ICT equipment, investigate things that are the same and different.

Expressive Art and Design (EAD)

This area of learning and development is about how children enjoy being creative, sing, dance and make music, play imaginatively and use colour to express themselves.

Termly topics are planned on a three year cycle so that children will experience activities within each topic as they progress through the Early Years.  Planning takes place on a half termly basis and can be enhanced during the term to take account of the children’s interests. Each term various British celebrations, seasons and festivals from around the world will also be covered at an appropriate level for the children.

When planning and guiding children’s learning in the Early Years at Fort Royal adults always consider the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning. At Fort Royal the characteristics of effective learning are linked to dinosaurs.

  • Playing and exploring (engagement) – Explorasaurus
  • Active learning (motivation) – Stickosaurus
  • Creating and thinking critically (thinking) – Thinkosaurus

Adults are expected to take into account the characteristics of effective learning during adult led learning, when observing the children and when feeding back to them about their learning. Children are given stickers linked to the dinosaurs to help them understand what they have achieved.

At Fort Royal School, areas of learning and development also encompass specialist provision related to the specific educational, health and care needs of individual pupils. This may include the administration of medication, physiotherapy, speech therapy, hydrotherapy or any others specialised support services that form a necessary part of their education.

All areas of learning and development are delivered at a level appropriate to the developmental needs of the individual children within Early Years. For some children this necessitates highly differentiated, personalised and multi-sensory learning experiences.


Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)

The development of children’s PSHE skills is embedded across the curriculum and throughout daily life in school.  Our aim is for all children to be as independent as possible and to learn to accept and value differences.

The children work with a variety of adults within their class and work in small groups whenever possible. The curriculum involves focus on 3 key areas

  • Health and Wellbeing – this is closely linked to Science and children are taught self help skills and about healthy lifestyles.
  • Relationships – children learn to respect and value each other through assemblies and other school, activities. In Year 6 pupils are taught about sex and relationships in a manner appropriate to their understanding.
  • Living in a Wider World – children learn about the world first hand through such activities as school trips and visits. We also invite visitors into school, many of these linked to the theme the children are studying.

In both the Nursery and Reception classes the key focus is on the development of Personal , Social and Emotional skills, Communication and Physical skills. Each child will be following a programme designed to meet their individual needs and offering scope for learning both inside and outdoors. All classes have access to their own outdoor areas.

We teach using a thematic approach which allows the children to generalize their skills and apply them in different contexts.

Children in Nursery and Reception follow the same topics but the planning is adapted to meet the needs of the pupils in each class.

All staff follow the key characteristics of effective learning . These are

  • Playing and Exploring
  • Active Learning
  • Creating and Thinking Critically

Assessment is ongoing during the school day and staff use the outcomes from this to plan future learning opportunities. Children’s progress is also reviewed using the Early Years’ Pathway Profile, which was developed in conjunction with other Worcestershire schools.

Key Stages 1 and 2 Curriculum

Our core subjects for children in Key Stages 1 and 2 are :

  • EDS – Early Developmental Skills
  • CLL – Communication, Language and Literacy
  • PSRN – Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy

In addition to these subjects a strong emphasis is given to developing independence and self- help skills. We encourage all our children to “ have a go ” and celebrate success in all areas.

We assess the children’s progress using P levels. The school is in the process of revising the Assessment process for children working beyond P levels following the recent National Curriculum changes.

Early Developmental Skills ( P1i-P3ii)

This curriculum is based on promoting the children’s development through encountering different experiences, encouraging responses and gradually developing their skills in exploring objects and the world around them. Early communication skills are of vital importance as are the development of both fine and gross motor skills.

Children working at this level often respond particularly well to a Sensory Based Curriculum and this forms the basis of much of the work which is done in the classroom and the Sensory Room.

Communication, Language and Literacy ( P4 and above)


Speaking and Listening

Fort Royal is a total communication environment using Signalong ( a simplified Sign Language) and Communication in Print ( a system of symbols to aid understanding) in addition to spoken language. Communication, using the most appropriate method is at the centre of our curriculum.

We encourage all the children to express their ideas and ensure they have sufficient time to respond. We use a variety of differnet ICT devices to aid communication , a number of children have their own specialist communication devices.

Staff work closely with Speech Therapists who advise staff on approaches to meet children’s communication needs.


Reading skills are taught at the appropriate level, according to the child’s individual abilities. Reading is often supported by using puppets, toys, objects and symbols.

The school uses a structured phonics scheme and , where appropriate, children have daily phonics sessions. We also use “Action Words” to support children who learn best through a visual approach. We also aim for children to develop their comprehension and to relate their reading to their real life experiences.

We use a wide variety of different Reading Schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star, PM Storybooks and Project X. The school also produces its own symbolised texts for pupils.


We encourage all children to develop their independent writing skills wherever possible .Many children find using ICT a powerful motivator, often preferring this to using a pen or pencil. Very early writing skills are developed through children being encouraged to actively explore and make marks using a variety of media. We use photos, pictures and symbols to encourage children’s understanding and interest in writing.

Problem Solving , Reasoning and Numeracy ( P4 and above)



The teaching of number skills and their use to solve problems is of key importance. Our approach is based on meeting each child’s need and the majority of learning is supported by practical activities with the opportunities for children to apply their skills in different contexts, including Outdoor learning and Cookery.  We ensure the children have understood and are able to apply their number skills before moving on to more complex skills.


Children learn the vocabulary of measurement (long and short, wide and narrow) and the skills associated with measuring in different ways. As with Number, much of the work is practical and applied in other areas of the curriculum , such as measuring make a model in DT.

Play • Learn • Laugh • Succeed