Skip to content ↓
Castle School

Castle School

Pre-formal reactive learning pathway

For learners working consistently and over time at the earliest developmental levels​.

The pre-formal curriculum is for pupils who have profound and complex needs, whose learning may not follow a straight, linear pathway because of their individual needs and strengths.

The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of pupils through a personalised approach and depending upon the Key Stage follows; Routes for Learning, Castle Sunflowers, Equals Moving On and, for all learners, The Engagement Model.  It is a curriculum that focusses on the early communication, social and emotional and cognitive skills that are the foundation of learning. So, our learners will revisit the same learning for an entire term to develop these skills, before moving on to a new activity or topic.

It is a curriculum that recognises the importance of movement and play in a child’s development and the need for sensory and multi-sensory approaches to learning.


Classes follow the termly topics from the relevant department Long Term Plan, creating sensory activities linked to the topic.  We liaise with multi-agency professionals to ensure our learners have their medical goals factored into their daily routines.

Lessons may fall broadly under one subject area but will probably include elements from other areas in addition to the main focus, e.g. a story session could fall under the main subject area of Communication Skills but may also include the pupils working on bench sitting (Motor Skills), interacting with a peer (Social Skills) and visual tracking (Sensory Cognitive Skills).

With the curriculum is taught through activities such as the Sensology workout, massage stories, dance massage, TacPac, resonance board work, parachute activities, object exploration and object permanence, and use of technologies such as iPads, floor projectors, switches and soundbeam.


Target Setting:

We challenge our pupils based upon their EHCP targets, which we take directly from the Routes for Learning Routemap, Castle Sunflowers and Equals Moving On, as well as targets implemented by multiagency professionals. The routemap allows for us to develop our pupils communication and cognition targets in a clear developmental route, in order to establish their current level and what we may be working towards, whilst also being able to note whether or not we may witness regression. The routemap focuses on development towards contingency awareness, object permanence and problem-solving skills. With the ability to navigate this route via a variety of pathways, our pupils are given the opportunity to work towards these skills in different ways.


For more information on each class in the pre-formal reactive pathway, click on the symbols below.

Primary Key stage 3 Key stage 4&5