Our Curriculum

Our curriculum is designed to ensure pupils build on their strengths with a robust foundation of knowledge and skills that will prepare them for adulthood, increasing opportunities and enabling them to thrive in life. Our values and ethos permeate our curriculum.


We believe learning, when it is fun and engaging builds our wellbeing and encourages further progress. The Collett School is a happy one.

Social communication

Whilst our curriculum is based on a modified national curriculum, it is unique in the focus throughout all elements of the curriculum on the development of social communication skills

Specialist curricula

Our curriculum applies the National Curriculum, with subject teaching in relevant areas of learning that seek to engage, inspire and establish skills and knowledge to be creative and evaluate - making the abstract concrete where possible with transferable learning. We identify the specialist areas of; learning to learn, independent living, keeping safe, ambition, and understanding self.


We enable our pupils to gain appropriate, nationally recognised qualifications (including Entry level, BTECs, GCSEs and City and Guilds) that support our young people in developing pride, achieving results and to springboard from at college and in adulthood.

Learning in the Community

Whether at the end of the school day, or when leaving school at 16/17 years old, our pupils are part of our mainstream world. As such, we emphasise the importance of teaching and learning functional skills across a range of settings.

Work-Related Learning

We strongly value functional learning skills and the acquisition of employment related skills and experiences. We won several awards within Hemel's Dragon's Apprentice for innovative business projects that raised nearly £3000 for our charity, Pepper Foundation. We have a mobile café to support children learn work skills and the children are fully engaged in our fundraising for the school.

Curriculum Learning Foci

Communication, Personal & Social Development and Kinaesthesia guide learning throughout the pupils' schooling


Our curriculum nurtures each young person's strengths, giving them a reason to learn and building their sense of value, worth and belief in the importance of what they can achieve.

Click for details of how our curriculum is set up:
The Structure of Our Curriculum
Learning Interventions
CAPPS - Collett Assessing Pupil Progress Scheme

Curricula Activities to Support Learning

There are many philosophies and theories about teaching and working with children with complex learning disabilities. Our staff research and apply research to the teaching environment, innovating on a daily basis to ensure the individual child's needs are met and exceeded. There is a blending of strategies and application of these according to need. Teaching and Support Staff are trained in these areas, both in-house and through certified training. The more prevalent strategies used across the school include:

SPELL philosophy

The evidence-based NAS SPELL philosophy (evaluated by Tizzard Centre at the University of Kent) was developed through autism specialist education and is based on ethos of respect for every pupil.
SPELL stands for:
  • Structure (to reduce anxiety resulting from rigidity of thought)
  • Positivity (recognise autistic intelligence to enhance self esteem)
  • Empathy (seeking to recognise the perspective of the person with autism)
  • Low arousal (to reduce anxiety related to sensory differences)
  • Links (to other intervention and to the wider community)


    TEACCH aims to increase independence and reduce anxiety through ensure the young person understands what is expected of them. There is a particular focus in TEACCH on:
  • Physical structure of the environment
  • Personalised visual schedules
  • Independent work-systems
  • Visual instruction jigs


    SCERTS facilitates the development of
  • Functional Social Communication skills
  • Emotional Regulation and coping strategies (including recognition of the role of behaviour in this)
  • Through the use of transactional supports (complimented by TEACCH)

  • Positive Behaviour Support

    This is used to understand behaviour whilst respecting the individual through a five step process (which relates to an assessment cycle). PBS is used by psychology and behaviour teams when usual strategies are unsuccessful in addressing a behavior. Through PBS, there are:
  • Functional analyses
  • Behaviour support plans that identify proactive strategies (including environment modification, skill teaching and reward use) as well as reactive strategies
  • Implantation through direct support
  • Monitoring and collecting data
  • Evidence based evaluation

  • Social Stories and Comic Strips

    These are visual and text based scenarios that help children understand a sequence of events - in the past or forthcoming. They are particularly helpful in supporting:
  • the understanding of social situations

  • PECS

  • PECS provides children with limited verbal communication with an alternative visual means of communicating starting with exchanging a photo for the desired item

  • Sensory Circuits

    Sensory circuits:
  • Series of short activities that support the student through a physical and sensory medium
  • Helps develop balance, coordination and bodily awareness
  • Such regular exercise can reduce incidents and promotes self esteem

  • Sensory Diets

    These specified programmes support children with OT-specified needs and sensory based experiences that in turn support:
  • Children's self regulation
  • Children's behaviours and interaction with others/resources