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Headteacher's Welcome

It is a pleasure to welcome you to Forest Park School, a Hampshire local authority maintained special school. We provide education for children and young people aged 2-19 years with severe, profound and complex learning difficulties. In addition, the majority of our pupils have co-occurring needs including Autism, Down Syndrome and physical disabilities.

Forest Park is split across two sites, one mile apart. We have a Primary School in Ringwood Road, Totton catering for around 100 children and a Secondary School in Commercial Road Totton, catering for around 40 young people with the most profound and complex learning difficulties.

At Forest Park we are committed to providing a highly personalised curriculum and stimulating learning environment, which starts with the individual needs of each child and young person. We seek to prepare every member of our school community for the next significant phase in their lives, whatever that might be. In addition, we are dedicated to ensuring that our pupils enjoy school, are happy, confident and proud of themselves and their achievements.

In school we are supported by and work in collaboration with, a range of professionals including School Nurses, Speech and Language therapists, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists.

I hope you enjoy your journey around our website and look forward to welcoming you to our wonderful school at some point in the future.

Ashley Oliver-Catt


Forest Park Curriculum


At Forest Park the core principles for our curriculum are Communication and Independence. All aspects of our teaching and learning focus on these two areas and then develop from this basis. We strive to make our curriculum motivating, engaging and supportive of children making progress to the best of their ability. Our curriculum ensures that differentiation for each phase is transparent so that pupils, who may be with us for a number of years are not repeating the same thing. Our curriculum supports our pupils to understand and find the relevance of the world we live in.


Our Curriculum aims to:

  • Provide every pupil with opportunities to learn and achieve through a broad, balanced and relevant education which promotes educational, moral, spiritual, cultural and physical development.
  • Enable pupils to access the subjects of the National Curriculum but focussing on having
    their individual learning priorities met.
  • Prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.
  • Be flexible in order that it can be tailored to meet the needs of each and
    every pupil, for example access to therapy programmes.
  • To provide the context for all pupils to develop and generalise Communication, Literacy, Numeracy, Personal and Social skills.


Our Curriculum divides into:

Early Years

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 2

Key Stages 3

ASDAN Transition Challenge for KS4

ASDAN and AQA Horticulture for Post 16

A non-subject based Sensory Curriculum for our most complex pupils


Early Years:

EYFS – ‘Development Matters’

  • Characteristics of Effective Learning weave through all areas of the curriculum • playing and exploring • active learning • creating and thinking critically
  • Unique child + positive relationships + enabling environments = learning and development

7 areas of learning subdivided into the following

Prime areas

Main heading


Links to NC subjects

How do we teach the areas?

Personal, social and emotional development

  • Making relationships
  • Self-confidence and self-awareness
  • Managing feelings and behaviour


English (speaking, listening)

Building relationships with staff and peers, establishing class routines and rules (esp. snack, meal times and toileting), transitioning to different rooms, using class schedule, learning how to play (with adults modelling), scaffolded parallel play, supported conflict resolution.

Physical Development


  • Moving and handling
  • Health and Self-care

PE, Writing


Weekly PE lessons with in hall with large and small apparatus, horse riding, swimming, bikes and trikes and outdoor play, climbing, action songs and rhymes, fine motor skills activities e.g. threading/tracing/playdough. Increasing independence in toileting and hygiene, targets through tablemats at lunchtime, food tasting.

Communication and Language

  • Listening and attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking

English (speaking, listening)


Snack time – choosing symbols, singing time, choosing songs, Phase 1/2 phonics games and activities, good morning/afternoon songs, Attention Autism, Noisy Feely Bag, music games, role-play, puppet show, constant modelling of speech and Makaton with symbols to support understanding.

Specific areas

Main heading


Links to NC subjects

How do we teach the areas?


  • Reading
  • Writing

English (reading and writing)

Phase 1/2 phonics games and activities, daily alphabet and phonics songs, reading books sent home with diaries, book corner sharing sessions, class stories and nursery rhymes with props, handwriting patterns and letter formation, fine motor and mark-making activities indoors and outdoors, writing in play e.g. role play.


  • Numbers
  • Shape, space and measure


Numicon, matching numerals to sets of objects, counting, recognising and ordering numbers to 10 with visual and practical objects, use of toys and compare bears, number songs with puppets and props, songs, games and activities on the whiteboard. Play with 2D/3D shapes making arrangements and models, shapes in the environment, mystery bag, soft play room shape tasks, jigsaws.

Understanding the World

  • People and Communities
  • The World
  • Technology

RE, PHSE, History

Geography, Science

Computing, DT

Links with parents – daily books, stay and play sessions, talking about family traditions, friendship stories about similarities and differences, stories about the past, bus trips to pony riding, navigation around school environment, variety of books from different cultures available, visits to the library, use of small world to construct, outdoor natural world exploration in sand, water and nature linked to weather and seasons, cooking and food tasting, a variety of sensory activities based on exploration, Noisy Feely Bag (electronic toys) use of class ipad, visits to computer suite and controlling equipment in the Light Room,

Expressive arts and design

  • Exploring and using media and materials
  • Being imaginative

Art, DT

Drama, Music

Weekly painting/collage/printing creative activities, sensory exploration of texture, music and drama games, visits from music service, daily singing session on whiteboard, musical instruments available outdoors, small world play and construction, singing and dancing sessions during PE, role play and puppet show activities, acting out stories with small world figures.


Continuous Provision: all the toys and resources that you have in class across each area that are always there e.g. Numicon, blocks, puppet show, bikes – ideally open continuous access.

Enhanced Provision: the extra activities that you add in each week linked to L/O e.g. small world with a story or activity related to topic.

There should be a high degree of choice and child-initiated activity balanced with teacher-led input.

Adaptations/differences at Forest Park for our children:

  • Less child-initiated learning due to delayed play skills and limited/rigid interests. As the children find play difficult, we spend a lot of time modelling and scaffolding this. As the year progresses, child-initiated play will take on a bigger role.
  • We tend to bring out 4/5 choices for children to choose from for group work and group play as children become overwhelmed with a large choice.
  • We cannot leave out toys/resources due to health and safety issues (water tray, small parts can be eaten or are a choking risk) and overstimulation/distraction.
  • We have indoor/outdoor sessions rather than free flow, due to staffing, personal care needs and health and safety. We are currently re-modelling the outdoor area which will be themed into curriculum areas.


KS1, KS2 and KS3

Our core curriculum of Literacy and Numeracy are taught every day and are a key focus of supporting all of the pupil’s learning. Personal and Social skills are addressed in specific lessons but also as part of everyday life at Forest Park School.

We focus on phonics and reading skills for Literacy in KS1 and progress through, dependent on pupil needs in the other two key stages. We have a strong focus on number for Numeracy.

The developing of Physical skills is covered in weekly PE lessons and daily therapy programmes.

All other National Curriculum subjects (Science, Humanities, Art, Music, RE, DT and Languages) are taught through a range of topics or themed days. These subjects link to the topic heading, where appropriate, to support the pupils in their understanding. In some topics some subjects are taught discreetly. There is a link to real life within the topics so that pupils can relate the activities to their own experiences whilst also being supported in gaining new ones.

Example of topic-based work:

Topic heading “Fire, Fire, Fire!”

Science- flames, fire safety and use of water

Humanities – The Great fire of London

Art- Fireworks

Music- Camp fire songs

RE- fire as a symbol

DT- Making a Guy

All topic-based activities will develop the subject skills, but the main focus for the pupils is to ensure the topic matches their needs in the sense of promoting communication and independence.


Key Stage 4

Within years 10 and 11 pupils study Transition Challenge (either introduction & progression or sensory).

  • This is a scheme of work containing lots of practical activities covering all subjects within the curriculum with a focus on moving these skills onto being more functional for future adult life.
  • Transition Challenge Introduction and Progression is aimed towards our SLD learners.
  • Transition Challenge Sensory is aimed towards our PMLD learners.
  • Over the two years studied, the pupils aim to achieve all the modules within the Transition Challenge book.


Post 16

How is the Curriculum taught in Post 16?

Students study modules within their selected ASDAN pathway (Towards Independence or Personal Progress).

Subjects are not taught discretely.  We use modules to develop functional living skills alongside subject skills.  The aim is to promote generalization of skills learned throughout the pupils’ school years to support independent living skills. 

We are also preparing the students for future adult placements whether it be college or adult day services.


Towards Independence:

  • Towards Independence provides a framework of activities to develop and accredit personal, social, work-related and independent living skills. Towards Independence offers formal recognition for small steps of achievement towards a larger goal.
  • This framework is split into modules which students’ study within their three years in Post 16.
  • At Forest Park our students with PMLD study Towards Independence.  We also have SLD students using these modules if they are more appropriate.


Personal Progress:

  • ASDAN Personal Progress modules have been developed for learners working towards and at Entry Level 1. 
  • These Entry 1 level qualifications are made up of units in the following areas: Literacy, Numeracy and IT; Independent Living Skills; Personal Development; Community Participation and Preparation for Work.
  • Pupils study a variety of units throughout the three years within Post 16.


Specific Sensory Curriculum

With a number of pupils their needs are so complex that we deliver a curriculum designed to match their needs. This includes a much greater emphasis on sensory experiences and engagement. We give each area a topic heading to support teaching and engagement. We have a number of topics so that pupils do not repeat them regularly.

Example of Sensory topic-based work:

Topic heading “School of Witchcraft and Wizardry”

Science- Exploding bottles, bubbles

Literacy– Sensory stories and for older pupils a link to Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Drama- Cauldorn spells and dressing up