Our aims

At Hamilton School pupils experience a creative and purposeful curriculum. The curriculum underpins our values of being Inspirational, Aspirational and Transformational. It is important that our curriculum equips our pupils with the skills they will need to become the best versions of themselves. This is done through learning that is purposeful and personalised. We see the curriculum as all of the planned experiences that we provide for our pupils that are useful and/ or interesting, whilst reflecting the diversity of our pupils’ lives. Ultimately we need our curriculum to help our pupils to be happy, independent and inter-dependent learners whom are given the knowledge and skills to manage their own life as they get older. We equip them to grow up in British Society and have high aspirations for the future possibilities.

Currently our curriculum is under review. We have a strong emphasis on personalisation and ensuring the subject matter is interesting and motivating for the pupils as well as developing and underpinning knowledge and skills they have already acquired. We do this through a thematic approach incorporating topics we know will be motivating and inspiring for the pupils.

With our current expansion into secondary it is more important than ever to ensure that pathways are clear for progression and that learning is seen to be sequential as well purposeful, motivating and aspirational.

With this in mind we are looking to ensure we have three clear pathways that consider the needs of all pupils across the school. As a school we acknowledge that the pupils’ Educational and Health Care Plans (EHCPs) are a vital document and the curriculum needs to be a vehicle to ensure individual outcomes are planned for and there is clear progression.

Our curriculum is built on knowing our pupils needs, not only academically, but also socially and emotionally. The curriculum is developed by all the teaching and learning staff and takes into consideration the learning styles of our pupils, all of whom have a diagnosis of Autism. It is co-designed with staff, and pupils get options and choices within it. We seek to provide curriculum opportunities that will also benefit families. With this in mind we have created our Learning Circle which is reflective of the language used in the EHCPs.
















Developing hobbies and interests is a key priority for our curriculum. For example, we work closely with the Music Services for Education to provide personalised opportunities for pupils who have real talents in this area. We have partnerships with The Albion Foundation and The Aston Villa Foundation to enhance our Physical Education provision in school.

As a school we offer lunch time clubs for pupils such as ‘gaming club’ and ‘transport club’. These are run by our pastoral team and enable pupils to explore their special interests outside of the classroom.

How we do it

The curriculum is organised in a way that supports our curriculum aims. The subject areas of English and Maths are taught in a very structured and discrete way but we always look to develop cross-curricula links so that pupils can apply their learning between subject areas and to real life situations. This is a particular challenge for our pupils. Within the different segments of our learning circle themes are used to increase engagement for pupils. Independence and engagement underpin the whole curriculum.

The curriculum is structured into curriculum areas which link to our Learning Circle – see the above diagram. Within each of these areas are the topics we teach. As mentioned previously our curriculum is under review and our topics and pathways are subject to change however this is an example of one of our current curriculum cycles:





Foundation Stage

Autumn Days


Sand and Water

Come and Join the Celebrations


Let’s Get Active!

(could incl. sports, bodies and movement, dance, sports day prep, international sports e.g. world cup)

PSHE Focus

Independence and Self Help

Eating and Drinking

Hygiene and Changes

Key Stage 1


(interests, hobbies, bodies, faces, differences)

We Can Build It!

(could incl. different types and textures of buildings and materials, Lego)


Come and Join the Celebrations

It’s a Bug’s Life

(could incl. Flowers and Insects)

Let’s Get Active!

(could incl. sports, bodies and movement, dance, sports day prep, international sports e.g. world cup)

PSHE Focus

Independence and Self Help

Emotions and Relationships

Use of Technology

Key Stage 2; Developers

Under Attack

(could incl. superheroes, aliens, animals)

Neighbourhood Watch
(could incl. local community, school community, British values, independence skills)

Under The Sea

Come and Join the Celebrations

Me, Myself and I

(could incl. about child and family, my body (PSHE Link), differences, interests and hobbies)

Let’s Get Active!

(could incl. sports, bodies and movement, dance, sports day prep, international sports e.g. world cup)

PSHE Focus

Hygiene and Changes

Independence and Self Help

Emotions and Relationships

Key Stage 2; Explorers

Magic, Wizards and Witches

Our Planet

(could incl. volcanoes, weather, natural disasters)

Space and Sea

Come and Join the Celebrations

Imagination World

(could incl. dinosaurs, superheroes, fairy tales)

Let’s Get Active!

(could incl. sports, bodies and movement, dance, sports day prep, international sports e.g. world cup)

PSHE Focus

Hygiene and Chagnes

Independence and Self Help

Emotions and Relationships


Our intention is to provide a curriculum that nurtures our pupils and is rooted with the knowledge and skills that they can apply in the real world whilst being relevant and engaging.

In our teaching we use Autism specific strategies, such as Attention Autism, as a way to increase engagement and sustain attention. We have members of the extended leadership team who have attended the official Gina Davies training and they have provided further training to all staff. This approach is also supported by our SaLT team.



In order to ensure that pupils are making progress in all areas of the Learning Circle we use a variety of assessment methods:

  • Formative assessments – these are made daily based on discussions, observations and annotations. 
  • Summative assessments -  we use an online assessment platform, SOLAR, to capture the progress of pupils in the core subjects of English, Maths and Science. This platform breaks progress in these subjects into small steps that we can assess against. These are our H-levels as well the National Curriculum, as appropriate depending on individual learning levels.
  • Engagement Model – for pupils working below the National Curriculum this model is an assessment tool to help us gain a greater understanding of what motivates pupils to access their learning. The model has five areas; exploration, realisation, anticipation, persistence and initiation. We are capturing evidence against these five areas using Evidence for Learning (EfL).
  • EfL – as well as capturing evidence against the engagement model this is used to evidence progress against each pupil’s individual EHCP outcomes.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

In the EYFS at Hamilton School we aim to develop and broaden the range of learning experiences in order to give the students opportunities to develop skills in each of the 7 areas and 17 Early Learning Goals outlined in the Early Years Outcomes. At the end of the Foundation Stage we inform parents and carers as to whether or not your child has met each learning goal, has exceeded the learning goal or are still at the ‘emerging’ level of development on a particular goal. The majority of students who attend special schools will be at an ‘emerging’ level of development in each early learning goal.

All students at Hamilton School experience difficulties in communication and we aim to ensure that all activities are underpinned with providing opportunities for students to develop their communicative skills and give them the tools to enable them to communicate at whatever level is relevant for the individual child.

Outdoor activities are planned for students throughout the day and are based around teaching students basic play skills, encouraging students to interact with one another and with adults and teaching students to explore their environment in relevant and meaningful ways.

Pupil voice

It is important to us that we give our pupils the opportunity to have their voice heard. We are doing this through Pupil Council. Representatives from each class meet to discuss ideas around curriculum development or extra curricular activities. This may, for example, include choosing the theme for different lunchtime clubs.

Work with Therapists

We work closely with both our Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) Team and our Occupational Therapy (OT) Team to ensure their expertise influence the curriculum delivery in the classrooms. Most recently our OT Team (which has included some input from Physio Therapy students) have helped to develop our Physical Education Curriculum. This captures elements of the concept of sensory circuits whilst developing their Attention, Balance and Coordination skills (the ABC programme).


Home Learning principles

Our curriculum can be reinforced through effective home learning. We take a broad view of what we mean by home learning.  If we are striving to transform lives by working together, it is vital that there is a strong relationship between the home and the school.  We are looking for a consistency of approaches so that our pupils are best placed to learn really well.  We are explicitly focusing on the wider aspects of our pupils’ development alongside subject specific home learning.  For example, it is really important that pupils have effective bedtime routines so that they can sleep well and are ready to learn.  We work together to try to implement strategies.  Our curriculum is underpinned by the principles of independence and engagement and home learning should seek to develop these areas. 

For many of our pupils, at particular times in their development, traditional approaches to subject based home learning aren’t appropriate.  It is important that we are working alongside families in other aspects.  For many of our pupils, subject based learning is appropriate and we will provide personalised activities in line with what we provide in class time.  These activities will support knowledge and understanding of learning that is happening in class at the time or may help to develop skills.  The frequency and quantity of home learning will be agreed between the class teacher and the parent/carer. Feedback will be provided quickly for home learning activities and we will work alongside families so that they are able to support their child effectively.  Home learning should support pupils’ development and not become something that can reduce enjoyment of learning or increase stress levels to dysfunctional levels.


Curriculum Statement

British values at Hamilton School

Our school is made up of a range of different groups from different faith backgrounds and we are truly a multi-cultural school. Our focus is on preparing our pupils for life in British society. We have a clear set of values that can be seen in our ‘Vision and Values’ document.

Our curriculum is underpinned by the concepts of ‘Independence’ and ‘Engagement’ and by actively developing these things with our pupils, through a series of practical steps, we are aiming to prepare our pupils for life in British society.  We have a coherent approach to SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) aspects of school life. Religious Education sessions provide another vehicle to explicitly develop this aspect of our work.

We challenge pupils, staff or parents who express opinions that could undermine this approach.
There are a range of other things that we do through our day-to-day work that contributes to developing an understanding of ’Britishness’ and life in British society:


  • Pupils explore their own identity by describing themselves in terms of; groups they belong to, where they are from, what they like doing, what they are good at, what their ‘beliefs’ are and what clubs they attend


  • Promote respect for public institutions such as the police
  • Provide pupils with numerous opportunities to make choices throughout the day
  • Develop turn taking and waiting skills as many of our pupils find this difficult
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to become involved in decision making processes in school
  • The vast majority of our pupils have difficulties with social communication so we help them to express their views
  • Teach pupils the idea of ‘fairness’ in practical situations

Rule of law

  • Ensure that school expectations are clear and fair
  • Help pupils to distinguish between right and wrong

Individual liberty

  • Support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self- confidence
  • Encourage pupils to take responsibility for their own behaviour, as well as knowing their rights
  • Model freedom of speech and ensure the protection of vulnerable pupils
  • Act swiftly to prevent bullying

Respect and tolerance

  • Promote respect for individual differences
  • Help pupils to understand, and respect, their own and other cultures
  • Organise visits to places of worship
  • Develop links with faith communities
  • Discuss differences between people

Religious Education at Hamilton

Religious Education in Birmingham is informed by the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus 2007. The Agreed Syllabus is reviewed every five years and was last reviewed in 2022.

We base our school RE structure and approaches on Birmingham’s Agreed Syllabus and adapt it to the needs and learning styles of each pupil. Due to Speaking and Listening Levels of our pupils and their additional needs; related to Autism, it can mean our pupils are behind or significantly behind mainstream peers. As a result class teachers adapt learning approaches.

Our RE provision is enriched and underpinned by our school approach to Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC).


Traditional assemblies do not have any relevance or meaning to the majority of our pupils. This is due to significant barriers connected to their sensory processing and communication and interaction needs. Instead we look at ways to incorporate smaller ‘assemblies’ through circle and group times in class. They are appropriate to the needs and abilities of each class and celebrate pupils’ achievements in ways that are meaningful to them. Certificates of achievement are shared with families.

School Events and Community Links

Christmas is celebrated in a variety of ways within the school. Due to the current expansion and the increasing complexity of needs of the pupils, a whole school production is no longer appropriate. We are looking at creative ways for pupils to be involved in some form of production without the sensory overload of a whole school production in front of a live audience. We are looking creating a creative piece that will involve a filmed contribution from each class that will then be edited together to show case to friends and families at the Christmas fayre. For those pupils who would benefit from being able to perform in front of others, their contribution will be in the form of a musical performance supported by Music Services for Education. This will allow us to ensure there is a strong SMSC link. Each class arranges celebrations with the pupils in the form of a Christmas party and some classes will join together for this.

Due to the expansion of the school to include Secondary aged pupils, the majority will remain at Hamilton and so the assembly at the end of the Summer Term is now a Graduation ceremony (SMSC Link) which is a celebration of achievements through their Primary education.

Birthdays and other significant life events are a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to share and celebrate with peers and school community. For birthdays, families often support the classes with ideas for their child and every effort is made to make sure every pupil in the school has their birthday acknowledged and made special. Other life events of pupils and staff are also celebrated as appropriate within the school community.

Where families do not wish their child to be involved in certain cultural and/ or religious, celebrations such as Christmas or Birthdays, alternative learning is provided.

As previously stated we are a multicultural school and do acknowledge and celebrate other cultural celebrations such as Diwali, Eid and Chinese New Year.


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