KS3 for students with complex learning needs

Prior to entry into KS3, students will have completed a period of transition to establish their needs and personal requirements and to enable them to settle into school life at Walton Hall.

In our classes where students have more complex learning needs, our main aim is to ‘learn by doing.’ Every opportunity is exploited to develop students’ knowledge, understanding and practise their skills by getting involved in a physical way and having fun. We act out our poems, we do experiments in science and we use objects of reference and undertake field trips in maths.


Students within these groups complete specific English, maths and science lessons. Topics are adapted for concrete/kinaesthetic learning which underpins our ethos- ‘learning by doing.’

Communication and language development skills are embedded throughout the curriculum, linking with the students’ EHCP targets, to develop understanding, attention, listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Subjects such as Forest Schools and Music Therapy enable communication to develop in a relaxed and stimulating environment.

Alongside the core subjects, students participate in regular lessons in ICT, humanities, cookery, art and craft and PFA Growth which are taught as integrated topics, including standalone lessons where appropriate.  PE is taught through swimming, specific PE lessons, horse riding and individual physiotherapy programmes.  Opportunities to develop independence and life skills are promoted within daily routines including lunch time, outdoor learning trails, horticulture, small animal care and educational visits. 


Students have opportunities to learn alongside other students across the school through participation in a range of activities such as the school choir; “Shine On”. The choir schedules regular performances  throughout the school year both within the school and the wider community.   Students in KS3 also have opportunities to visit the Post 16 café to socialise with others and develop their independence, communication skills and ability to handle money within a safe environment.

Individual Needs

We currently have two classes in KS3 for students with more complex and specific needs. These students follow the seekers pathways and the classes are grouped according to level of need. Increased staffing ratios reflect the level of support that is required. 

Students are taught by experienced staff using Makaton signing, PECs and Communication in Print according to the students’ ability.  Individual programmes for physiotherapy are delivered within PE lessons and students have input from Speech and Language Therapists and other outside professionals where necessary.