Our Curriculum Areas

The curriculum is divided into curriculum areas to ensure that all aspects of the curriculum are appropriately covered, sequential, fun and engaging, based on latest guidance and thinking and are suitably challenging and aspirational for all our learners, including the oldest and most able​,

Much of our teaching and learning happens in a cross-curricular way but there is still plenty of focus on specific skill development in particular areas where this is necessary and relevant. This more holistic approach to teaching and learning is essential for the majority of our learners, especially our emerging and early learners but helps all our learners to build connections between their knowledge, skills and understanding​.

Our curriculum endeavours to create learning experiences which are rooted in purpose, meaning and the real world and prepares our learners to be not only fully recognised and valued members of the communities in which they live but active and ‘fully paid-up’ contributors to wider society in whatever way they can​.

EYFS, Primary and Secondary Phases

In line with the statutory framework for this stage, pupils in the Early Years and Foundation Stage access the 3 Prime Curriculum Areas: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development and the 4 Specific Curriculum Areas: Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design, Literacy and Mathematics through continuous provision and some adult-led sessions.

PSED helps children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others. We aim to support children to be confident and as independent as possible. Activities support children to develop their social skills, a respect for others and the curiosity to want to explore and learn.

CL supports children to develop their understanding and expressive language. A language rich environment is provided and differentiated to meet each child’s individual needs. Developing communication skills linked to speaking and listening is a key part of the work done in Early Years.

PSED helps children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others. We aim to support children to be confident and as independent as possible. Activities support children to develop their social skills, a respect for others and the curiosity to want to explore and learn.

Physical development is an integral part of everyday life at Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy and forms a key part of our pupils’ daily routine. It encompasses both gross and fine motor development.

We provide many activities to support the development of reading and writing skills. We have a wide range of books and other reading materials which we support children to access according to their interests and motivations. The development of writing skills is supported not only via traditional writing activities but creatively through, for example the use of computers and messy activities. The foundation of reading is listening and attention, understanding of language and communication. To find out more about how we deliver reading and phonics, see the ‘Reading and Phonics’ page on this website.

Children are provided with a wide range of activities to help them to develop an understanding of number, using number and shape, space and measures.

Understanding the World provides children with the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. To help children to do this we enable them to use a range of tools and technology safely. We provide opportunities for them to encounter creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments and in real life situations. Children are supported to participate in practical ‘experiments’ and to explore a wide range of materials.

Expressive Arts and Design enables children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. Children are also provided with opportunities and support to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance imaginative and role play activities, design and technology.

All other pupils have access to the same curriculum areas – see below. Curriculum areas can be taught as discrete areas but much of the learning is cross-curricular. This is especially the case for our emerging learners and early learners who maybe working at a ‘non-subject specific’ level. Pupils will often also be combining their own personalised curriculums at the same time, e.g. carrying out numeracy lesson whilst in their stander.

The core skills that sit over the curriculum areas are often the focus of pupils’ personalised learning goals but whether this is the case or not, these life skills are encouraged and developed continuously in all areas of school life.

The curriculum weighting for each class varies slightly depending on the age and stage of the child.

Our Curriculum Areas

Communication is key to virtually any form of learning.  It is ‘the conduit between the individual and the world. It is the very cornerstone of identity formation, social engagement and human relationships.’  (Kate Bunning 2009) 

Most pupils at Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy have a speech, language or communication need, (SLCN). Ensuring our pupils leave school with an established means of communication is a core priority. In order to achieve this goal, we work hard to embed a child’s PMC (preferred method of communication) and their individual C & I learning goals into all areas of school life as well as model good communication and interaction skills.

A Total Communication Approach

At Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy we use a ‘Total Communication Approach’. This means that we combine and encourage a range of verbal and non-verbal means to communicate meaning. 

Means, Reasons and Opportunities

We use the ‘Means, Reasons and Opportunities’ when thinking about how we can support our children to develop their communication skills.  This is explained below or in this video. Communication – means, reasons and opportunities – YouTube 

Positive relationships are vital in helping children build communication skills. Children need to feel safe and listened to.  They need to be given time to process the language they hear, (receptive language) and the means and encouragement to express themselves, (expressive language) using their PMC.

We use AAC.  This stands for ‘augmentative and alternative communication’. This simply means a wide range of ‘tools’ that are used to supplement or replace communication for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of the spoken or written word.

AAC comes in many forms. ‘Hi-tech’ devices are electronic devices which include eye-gazes and talkpads.  ‘Low-tech’ communication aids refer to strips, books or folders of laminated Wigit symbols.  Both forms vary in complexity and maybe used for everything from simple choice-making to complex sentence formation.  Other forms of communication that are used include Makaton, BSL and on-body signing, depending on what is right for the individual.  Our emerging learners may use ‘objects of reference’ as a form of communication.  These are tangible, multi-sensory ‘objects’ which represent an activity, a place or a person. For further explanation click here (kentcht.nhs.uk) Learners may progress onto tactile symbols which form a between objects of reference and conventional symbol  

Specialist Staff

School staff work very closely with Speech and Language Therapists, specialist teachers and intervenors for children with sensory or multi-sensory impairments and the SCARC team, (Suffolk Communication Aids Resource Centre Suffolk communication aids resource centre (wsh.nhs.uk)).    Most of these specialists are based on site.

These communication specialists help school staff to support children to access and participate in lessons. They support in a range of ways and prefer to work in class, alongside the class team, assessing, modelling good practice, leading sessions and introducing new methodologies. They advise in the setting of appropriate and meaningful long-term outcomes for the ECHP and help teachers break these down into short-term targets for the child’s Learning Map each semester. 

The SALT, SCARC, HI, (hearing impairment), VI, (visual impairment) and MSI, (multi-sensory impairment) teams also provide specific training for school staff and families, e.g. the programming of electronic aids. 

The focus of the morning break is social communication and interaction (SCI).  This focus ensures that social communication skills are practiced daily in consistent and familiar way in a context that is real and meaningful for our pupils. 

The Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy Roles and Responsibilities

Physical development is an integral part of everyday life at Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy and forms a key part of our pupils’ daily routine. It encompasses both gross and fine motor development.

Many children have complex postural management programmes and a range of physio interventions and exercises which are all designed to:

  • To increase function, and therefore independence
  • To reduce contractures and deformities, and therefore increase comfort and health
  • To reduce fatigue, and therefore increase their ability to focus and engage in learning

For many their daily routine comprises of frequent position changes, a range of specialist equipment and a daily diet of personalised exercises.  Failure to maintain these routines will impact on their quality of life and well-being.  They are therefore essential for health, comfort and happiness, essential prerequisites for learning.

Each child’s physical development routine begins long before they arrive in school but continues as soon as they step off the bus or out of the car. Pupils are encouraged to take themselves to their classrooms using walkers, powerchairs or self-propelling their manual chairs. Arrival in the classroom starts with PLI, (Positioning for Learning and Independence) and continues throughout the day with a wide range of activities promoting the development of both fine and gross motor skills.

Teachers work in close partnership with physiotherapists and occupational therapists to develop and carry out intervention programmes and physical development routines. Programmes may focus on bilateral integration skills, (using both sides of the body at the same time), core stability and trunk rotation. 

Children also follow programmes which support them in crossing the body’s mid-line. This important developmental skill is needed for many everyday tasks such as writing or mark-making, picking up an object or coordinating more complex movements such as hitting a ball with a bat. The failure to cross the mid-line, especially with the dominant hand results in poor development of fine motor skills.  It also makes visually tracking a moving object from one side to the other difficult or track from left to right.  This implications for this on a child’s ability to use a communication device, or to read are clear. 

Other skills this curriculum area may focus on include: manipulation skills, hand control and balance and coordination.

The other side of physical development is the delivery of our sports programme. The academy works with specialist sports coaches and providers to meet our children’s entitlement.  Pupils are taught how sport contributes to the healthy functioning of the body and a healthy life-style. The PD curriculum and sports programme are also used to develop other skills such as resilience, fair play, leadership, problem solving, teamwork and learning to evaluate and review performance. 

Staff are skilled in the adaption of games and competitions which allows all pupils to feel included and to experience the exhilaration of success, competition and taking part alongside others. By broadening, repeating and increasing these experiences pupils also develop other skills such as self-confidence, motivation and effective communication.

The academy has an excellent reputation for participation in competitive sports.  We have won a place in the Lords Taverners National Table-Cricket Finals on two occasions, most recently coming fourth overall. We have won gold, silver and bronze medals in many boccia tournaments.

For pupils who do not make it onto our sports teams, there are plenty of other opportunities to participate in sporting events outside of school which we do through our School Games Membership.  Activities children have accessed through this have included the Panathlon Challenge, sailing and gymnastics.  We also have a long-established partnership with the Woolverstone Project who deliver sailing each summer and the Emma Holloway Foundation who have enabled us to hold swimming galas.  We are always looking to increase our sporting and physical development offer and are currently hoping to expand our Rebound therapy provision and introduce Riding for the Disabled.

This area of the curriculum focuses on specialist approaches and sensory therapies which encourage our pupils to ‘practise the senses’, (Hirstwood, 2005).

Many of our children, but particularly our emerging learners, have difficulty receiving and processing the sensory information their body receives from their environment and, as a result, find it hard to make sense of the world around them and do things that others may take for granted.

Sensory integration theory recognises that we gather information from movement, body position and the pull of gravity as well as touch, vision, smell, taste and sound.  These additional senses are known as proprioceptive and vestibular senses.  Our vestibular sense gives us information about where our head and body are in space. It allows us to stay upright while we sit, stand, and walk.  Our proprioceptive sense tells us where our body parts are relative to each other. It also gives us information about how much force to use in certain activities, allowing us to crack open an egg without crushing it in our hands.  

Most activities require us to combine information from many different senses at the same time.  A child who has typical development learns how to take in and process all this sensory information at the same time and focus their attention on particular sensations while ignoring others.  Children who have difficulty with their sensory processing typically display either sensory seeking or sensory avoiding behaviours. 

Hyper (over) sensitive behaviours may include:

  • Fear of heights
  • Dislike of touch experiences eg nail cutting, messy play, hair cutting
  • Dislike of loud and sudden sounds
  • Avoidance of playground equipment (swings and slides)

Hypo (under) sensitive behaviours may include: 

  • Appearing to have no fear or sensation of pain
  • Seeking movement or touch opportunities (may fidget, rock, run about or lean on peers)
  • Mouthing or chewing things
  • Paying poor attention to the environment or people around them

Motor Planning (also known as praxis) may include:

  • Appearing clumsy
  • Having difficulty creating movement ideas
  • Having difficulty planning and executing new movements

Poor posture may include:

  • Slouching
  • Fidgeting or having difficulty sitting in one position for extended periods of time
  • Having poor fine motor coordination & ball skills
  • Having poor balance

Sensory Impairments

This area of the curriculum also addresses the specific needs of those children with visual or hearing impairments.  Academy staff work closely with the Sensory and Communication Service to support children with sensory impairments to teach a variety of specific skills.  For children with visual impairments, these may include learning braille or Moon, mobility training and habilitation training.  For children with hearing impairments, this may include additional time to practice their signing skills (whether Makaton or BSL) and signed English. 

Maximising independence is one of the most important parts of the work we do at Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy.  Independence means different things for different pupils. For some, it means learning to make a simple choice in order to express a preference, for others, it may mean learning to hang their coat on their peg, wash their hands after going to the toilet or recognising coins when out shopping.

Teaching independence skills is about providing the support and scaffolding necessary for our pupils to develop their skills in a safe and secure environment.  It is about giving them the time to work things out at their own speed, the encouragement to keep going even though they may find a task challenging, the confidence to know that they make decisions for themselves and the opportunities to try an ever-increasing range of tasks and activities. 

We know all to well at Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy, that it is very easy to over-support children and young people with SEND, creating a dependency on others for thoughts and words and actions. Teaching independence takes commitment and patience and very often requires the teacher to break down a task into very small, explicitly-taught steps. 

The Personal Care and Independence area of the curriculum focuses on several distinct areas, not all of which will be relevant to all children.  These include: personal organisation and daily routine, accessing the community, (e.g. shopping, travel, services and leisure), household management, (e.g. cooking, cleaning, laundry etc.), health, hygiene and appearance, (dressing, washing etc.) and budgeting and finance.

In addition to the time-tabled Personal Care and Independence sessions, personalised independence skills are practiced throughout the day at mealtimes, at home time, during personal care or simply when moving about the building. A child might take greater responsibility over getting themselves to a lunchtime club for example, resolve a dispute themselves in the playground or learn to put their own coat on.  They might be learning to tolerate a greater range of foods and textures, how to unwrap a chocolate bar or how to self-feed.

This curriculum area focuses on developing a pupil’s sense of self and their own identity in relation to the world around them.

It addresses many a number of statutory areas of the curriculum including Sex and Relationships Education, Citizenship and Drugs and Alcohol Education. 

Much of our social, emotional and well-being education focuses on relationships and cultivating attitudes and values that will carry our pupils through life, essentially preparing them to be “… safe, healthy and independent people who feel at home in the world; who can make and keep friends; who can face what life throws at them intelligently and cheerfully.” (Suffolklearning,gov.uk).

This aspect of learning is how we fulfil our statutory duty to deliver Sex and Relationships Education, (SRE).  We aim to deliver a ‘…caring and developmental Sex and Relationships Education programme…[which is]…more than just biology and the fundamentals of reproduction…[and is about giving our children and]…young people…reassurance about their body image, behaviour, feelings and relationships…[as well as the]…knowledge and skills appropriate to their level of maturity and developmental needs.’ RSE & Health Education, DfE 2019

Our SRE therefore places considerable emphasis on the development of personal skills such as developing self-esteem and self-confidence. We want pupils to feel able to talk, listen and think about feelings and relationships. We aim to foster an atmosphere where pupils feel able to ask for help and guidance. It is important that pupils understand and develop skills to cope with social relationships and we focus on the family, friendships and the relationships with others in school with the aim of encouraging pupils to develop a healthy and safe lifestyle, make informed choices and decisions and recognise those skills and qualities in themselves and others that will help them maintain and develop relationships.

Developing our pupils’ social understanding through SRE helps our pupils develop their understanding of what it means to be members of families and communities at a local, national and global level. Through our Citizenship Education, our pupils learn how to relate to others and to work with others for the common good.  They explore what it means to belong to different communities and much of their Citizenship Education focuses on teaching them the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes needed to make an active contribution to their communities.

The Arts includes anything that has an element of creativity.  This may mean music, painting, drama, dance, photography, or story-telling to name just a few.  At Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy, we work with a whole host of external agencies and organisations from music therapists and visiting artists to the New Wolsey Theatre, Aldeburgh Music and the Suffolk Music Service to provide pupils with a whole range of opportunities in this area.

Music Therapy and Music

Music therapy is based on the understanding that every one of us is musical – we are all able to respond to music, no matter what our age, impairment or psychological situation.  Music is a powerful medium which can affect us all deeply. It may help us to relax. Alternatively, it can stimulate and motivate us. Music therapy is an excellent tool for helping children with cognitive, communication, emotional and behavioural difficulties to express themselves, become aware of their feelings and interact more easily. The music therapist is trained to improvise music spontaneously with the child. There are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ notes in music therapy. Instead, the person is encouraged to use a variety of musical instruments to find their own personal ‘voice’ and to develop listening, communicating and relating.

The music therapist liaises closely with staff and parents to provide an experience that best meets the needs of the individuals. The therapist works with both individuals and small groups depending on what is required. 

There are many benefits to music therapy: increased self-esteem, confidence and dignity, a sense of control and choice for people who have very little or no control over other aspects of their lives, a lowering of anxiety levels and improvement in co-ordination skills, a spiritual dimension that can help to give people’s lives meaning and purpose, psychological and emotional support for individuals experiencing difficult life situations and fun and enjoyment to people who may not be able to participate in other activities.

There are many other ways that our pupils access music at school on a daily basis. These include: musical terms of reference to help children and young people with more complex needs ‘locate’ themselves through association with an activity or key time of the week, more formal music lessons where pupils are introduced to famous pieces of music or learn about how to create music of their own, enrichment opportunities such as visiting orchestras and other musicians or participation in musical events such as Snape ‘A Celebration of Schools’ Music.

Dance and Drama

All our children have an opportunity to participate in simple in-house drama productions from a very young age.  Classes may act out their favourite story in assembly or take part in a Christmas play for their families. Role-play is an important tool for teaching key ideas across the curriculum. As pupils move up the school, they are given more challenging opportunities and always at least one opportunity to perform on a public stage. Whether through topic-linked or one-off enrichment opportunities, pupils have also taken part in a wide range of enrichment opportunities working with organisations such as Dance East and the Red Rose Chain.

Dance and drama help develop a whole host of skills in a fun and engaging way from communication and confidence to critical awareness, decision-making and analytical skills.

Drama and dance are also covered in other curriculum areas, most notably PD and Literacy. Enrichment opportunities may include pupils watching drama performances and visiting dancers.

The Visual Arts

Art helps pupils to organise their understanding of the world and gives pupils the opportunity to develop their creative intelligence. It gives time for pupils to take stock of, and intensively investigate the sensual world though observation and imagination; working with a broad range of media, each within their own potential and limitations. There are no ‘correct’ responses or ‘incorrect’ ones and it therefore celebrates and actively encourages divergence and variety.  At Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy, pupils are taught to combine practical manipulation of media with their own ideas and the knowledge and understanding they have learnt through the study of artists’ work.  The visual arts brings many other benefits too from problem solving and the pursuit of possibilities to the sense of control and ownership it gives pupils over their own learning. 

Pupils are given many opportunities to develop their skills in the visual arts and showcase their work through participation in events such as Felixstowe’s ‘Art on the Prom’, the Suffolk Show and private viewing events for friends and family. 

A wide range of strategies are used to teach literacy at Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy in order to best meet the needs of our pupils, many of whom have difficulty with auditory or visual processing, long and short-memory or other difficulties which are prerequisites to proficient reading and writing.

Pre-reading Skills

Developing pupils’ ‘pre-reading’ skills is an essential part of the literacy curriculum at Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy.  Pre-reading skills focus on teaching children to tune into sounds, remembering them and gradually learning to name them.  This is done in lots of different ways, e.g. nursery rhymes, sound based games, e.g. sound lotto or exploring the sounds different instruments make.


Phonics is taught across the school using the Letters and Sounds programme. This programme teaches phonics in a systematic way. Letters and Sounds promotes speaking and listening skills, phonological awareness and oral blending skills. A typical phonics session follows a set strucutre: Revisit and Review, (prior phonemes / graphemes)Teach (a new phoneme / grapheme) Practice, Apply and pupils typically revisit the same phonemes and graphemes many times so they become embedded.  We are therefore always on the lookout for how we reinforce our phonics across the school day.  We use the Big Cat Phonics reading scheme to help embed new phonemes / graphemes.  Each book is levelled to match the child’s reading ability so they are able to fully decode all of the words in that book. If a child has read all the Big Cat Phonics books within their level, but still requires extra practice they will move onto reading other phonetically decodable books, from the correct level. 

Reading and Symbolled Text

Many of our pupils will remain at a pre-reading level and not all of our pupils will learn to read through phonics or whole-word recognition.  Many go onto use symbolled text and, even for early readers, symbolled text is a useful tool in scaffolding their reading skills, allowing them to grow in confidence by reading more independently. To find out more about symbolled supported text, follow this link. 

Reading in unconventional ways does not mean that pupils do not enjoy books or make good progress with their reading. It just means we have be more creative in how we get pupils to demonstrate and develop their skills. We may load a book onto an eye-gaze for example, so a pupil with limited mobility can demonstrate s/he can turn a page independently. We may teach some pupils signed English.

At school we promote a literacy-rich environment and through our reading den, classroom reading corners, daily communication and literacy session, we provide access to a wide range of texts to suit all interests and abilities.

Programmes of Study

As an academy, we use the National Curriculum, to help structure our Programmes of Study for Literacy but draw knowledge, skills and understanding from EYFS, Key Stage 1, 2 and where relevant Key Stage 3.  We endeavour to make Schemes of Work age-appropriate and reflective of our rich cultural heritage, whilst remaining accessible and relevant to our learners’ wide range of needs and abilities. Our Programmes of Study cover poetry and prose ranging from Michael Rosen to Johnathan Swift, Shakespeare to Edward Lear and teach pupils to apply their literacy skills to a wide range of practical purposes and non-fiction text types.

A wide range of strategies are used to teach numeracy in Thomas Wolsey in order to best meet the needs of its pupils, many of whom have difficulty with processing numbers as well as problems with spatial awareness and long-term memory.

Pupils at Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy begin their early counting skills by listening to number rhymes, songs and stories and apply their developing skills to real-life contexts which present during the day, e.g. counting equipment out. They develop early concepts such as ‘one and lots’, ‘1:1 correspondence’, ‘transaction, (exchanging one thing for another’ and the concept of ‘big and small’.

As their skills develop, pupils start ordering numbers and counting objects with greater independence and combining groups of objects and make sets of 5, 10 or 20. Some pupils will learn to double and halve numbers. They find out about how to use their knowledge and apply it to higher numbers, for example, doubling the 2X table to make the 4X table.

Pupils explore measure in lots of practical ways. They compare the weight of objects by holding them or using balance scales, they compare the length of objects and how tall they are compared to their peers. They take part in water play activities exploring how much water different containers hold. They use measuring equipment including scales, spoons and rulers and also measure using non-standard measurements, such as, paces, hand spans and pencils.

Some pupils move on to learn about units of measurement and use them to solve problems, for example, doubling weights in a recipe. They carry out investigations to see who has the heaviest school bag and how much water a bucket or washing up bowl holds.

From an early age, pupils are encouraged to start naming simple 2D shapes and using them in their creative activities. They learn about the different properties of 2D and 3D shapes and learn to sort, compare and contrast. Some pupils develop their knowledge of less common shapes and learn about the nets of 3D shapes. They might look at angles and experiment with how shapes fit together or tessellate.


As soon as pupils at Thomas Wolsey begin to understand the value and order of numbers they start practising to add and subtract one. They use real objects and/or pictures and begin to record their sums so they become familiar with numerals as well as the addition, subtraction and equals symbols.

They begin finding number pairs to 5, 10, 20 and 100. They practise these skills in real life situations especially when using money and measures to help with their understanding.

As their skills develop pupils learn how to split numbers up into tens and units which helps with adding and subtracting numbers in their head. They will then move on to using written methods for their calculations.

The Science and Technology Curriculum helps develop a range of skills. Some of these are common to all aspects of this curriculum area: careful observation, prediction, explanation and analysis.


Our Science curriculum aims to encourage and develop the natural curiosity and enthusiasm of our pupils to explore and make sense of the world around them, to question and discover through personal and practical experiences using a range of multi-sensory approaches.  It also aims to foster an understanding and respect for the Environment and by so doing, encourage the guardianship of it.

Pupils are encouraged to work scientifically and where possible, express their findings using scientific terms. In Key Stage 1, pupils are encouraged to experience and observe phenomena.  As they progress up the school, they are encouraged to deepen their understanding through further exploration, testing out their ideas, making decisions about which types of scientific enquiry they might follow and applying scientific processes, methods and skills.

An enjoyment of science is encouraged through a variety of science-based enrichment activities such as participation in Science Week, the Lego Project or STEMfest.


Computing and ICT have a key role to play in the life of Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy.  It is not just essential that our pupils are equipped with the skills and the knowledge for navigating their way through life in our technological age, it is the very means by which many of our pupils are able to explore, enjoy, investigate and understand their world. It plays an essential role in enabling pupils to express themselves and develop their ideas and is crucial for supporting and developing their independence.  

The Programmes of Study for Science and Technology combine elements of the Primary NC for Computing and Secondary NC, where appropriate with other progression guidelines such as the ‘Switch Progression Road Map’. (see below) ICT skills are however, more commonly taught in cross-curricular ways alongside all other areas of the curriculum from life-skills to literacy.

switch skills road map

The extent to which pupils interact with ICT, and the manner in which they do so, varies widely according to the needs of the individual learner. For our emerging learners it will include learning to operate switches and switch operated toys for example. For older, established learners, it may mean learning how to download apps, music, photos and video and how to access social networking sites.  

A key part of the curriculum is online safety which is reinforced throughout the curriculum as well as taught in discrete lessons.  Individualised and targeted support is given to some of our most vulnerable learners as part of our school safeguarding measures and the whole school community take part in Internet Safety Day each year.  

Pupils at Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy are encouraged to develop a sense of self in relation to time and space but also in relation to their own values and attitudes, understandings and beliefs.  Whether learning about times gone by, places far away or cultures very different to our own, pupils are always encouraged to use this knowledge to reflect on their own experiences and understanding of themselves.  Much of the learning in this curriculum area encourages an awareness of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural principles that underlie the curriculum as a whole.  In learning about diversity and difference, pupils are encouraged to develop a respect for it and see it as part of our fascinating and wonderful world. 

Our Programmes of Study in this area of the curriculum are guided in part by the National Curriculums for Geography, History and Religious Education.  This area of the curriculum is also concerned about how we prepare our children and young people for life beyond school or work related learning. See our Careers Education and Post 16 Transition page for more information about this.  

This curriculum area focuses on developing enquiry and investigative skills as well as some more practical ones such as data collection techniques, research methods and how to use specialist equipment.  We try to teach as much of this understanding as possible through sensory experience, fieldwork and educational visits.  The internet and visitors play an important role, particularly during the winter months when getting out is more difficult. 

Through learning about different religions and cultures our children learn about the richness of the world at a local, national and global level. Much of this learning can be experiential and sensory; the curriculum focuses on how important days in the church calendar are celebrated for example.  Pupils are encouraged to think about how different religions influence the lives of the people who embrace it and use this understanding and knowledge as a mirror to reflect on their own beliefs and attitudes about the world.