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Castle School

Castle School

Long term plans

Overarching therapeutic goals 

All of our long-term planning is underpinned by the following areas of development, which we aim to teach in every lesson:

  • Cognition: using imagination; creative, logical, abstract, critical, and sequential thought; seeing different perspectives; developing empathy 

  • Emotional wellbeing: receiving and giving care, learning to play, identifying managing emotions, managing difficult feelings, anger/anxiety management, developing empathy

  • Sensory integration: understanding and managing our needs, expression of bodily sensation/emotional experience through visual, tactile or musical expression 

  • Independence and interdependence: life skills, motivation, executive function, managing separation, developing cooperative skills, developing a sense of competence 

  • Communication: maximising potential. Using eye contact, gesture and other non-verbal communication. Becoming skilled communicators. 

  • Social skills and interaction: initiating interactions, responding, managing relationships, metacognitive skills, using different types of talk, ability to engage in play 

  • Engagement: exploring (showing interest, having fun), realisation (interaction with people and objects in new ways), anticipation, persistence, initiation 

  • Self-regulation: understanding and expressing one’s own needs, understanding the relationship between emotions and behaviour, conflict resolution skills, coping with setbacks, transitions and change 

  • Physical wellbeing: fine and gross motor skills, awareness and understanding our body, developing healthy lifestyles 

  • Sense of self, sense of belonging: developing a sense of identity, of being separate from others, a sense of community and ability to contribute    


Pre-formal strand 

KS1, KS2, KS3

KS4, KS5

We currently have two classes for KS3 pre-formal students - some will go to Deal class and some to Edinburgh class.

Semi-formal strand 


KS1, KS2


Secondary - sensory branch





Secondary - subject-based branch

KS3, KS4, KS5

In secondary, our semi-formal pathway is currently split into two branches: a sensory branch, which is more topic-based and cross-curricular, and a subject-based branch, where learning is arranged into more discrete sessions with some elements of formal teaching. Depending on the needs of our cohort, this may change in future years.

Formal strand 

KS3, KS4, KS5

The formal strand starts in KS3. Some students in upper KS2 will be preparing for the formal branch: their curriculum can be found in the semi-formal planning.