Pictor Academy
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Pictor Acadmey




Pictor Academy’s curriculum approach is relatively unique. To ensure that we are able to meet each child’s holistic needs as specifically as possible, Pictor Academy’s curriculum is arranged into three pathways.  These are the Informal Pathway; the Semi Formal Pathway; the Formal Pathway.  Each of these pathways has its own distinct overarching pedagogical (teaching and learning) approach that begins to meet the collective needs of the pupils within that pathway.  This is then personalised to a higher degree to meet the specific needs of individual pupils.


The school has 120 pupils, grouped into 16 classes that are arranged across 3 theoretical pedagogical pathways. Each curriculum pathway is designed to have a defined approach in terms of its provision that extends to the curriculum areas taught, numbers of pupils in a class, staff to pupil ratios, underlying pedagogy and recommended developmental frameworks. Each pathway works towards specific but broad outcomes that underpin and form the foundation of the learners individualised needs.


Within the context of an underlying approach, all pupils are then planned for and taught at Pictor Academy in a highly personalised way, by using developmental Personalised Learning Goals.



  • Moylett, H. (2022) Characteristics of Effective Early Learning: Helping Young Children Become Learners for Life. London: Open University Press.
  • UNICEF (2018) Learning through Play: Strengthening learning through Play in early childhood education programmes. New York: UNICEF.

'Intent' - What are we trying to achieve with our curriculum at Pictor?

We believe that it is vital that our pupils are equipped with the tools needed to become independent learners, both inside and outside of the classroom. All children and young people will receive an education that enables them to achieve their best possible outcomes, and become confident, able to communicate their own views and ready to make successful transitions into secondary school and then adulthood.


'Implementation' - How do we deliver our curriculum at Pictor?

Our curriculum starts with each individual child.  Teachers plan for learning based on each child’s annual targets (PLGs–personal learning goals). These are worked on across the school day and in sessions such as Independent Basket Work, Snack Time, Dinner Time, Outside Play, Group Times, and  Hygiene times as well as transitioning around school.  Details of what this learning looks like is described in a termly Individual Learning Plan that are shared with parents/carers termly along with Learning Journeys.

We use discrete learning activities, real life experiences and play as key vehicles to deliver our curriculum as we believe that this is the best way to engage our pupils in learning. Direct teaching may occur in 1:1, small group and larger group sessions. In addition to this very personalised learning, we have three curriculum approaches- Informal, Semi Formal and Formal.  These are predominantly topic based and ensure our curriculum is broad and balanced and engaging for our pupils.  Each of our curriculum styles is designed to be fun, engaging, practical and meaningful and matched to pupil learning and developmental needs.  Individual learning styles are enabled with opportunity for repetition, reinforcement and overlearning.


All three curriculum pathways support different levels of learning and engagement, but all are child led and driven by the individual interests of the pupil.  They all have an overarching focus on communication, social interaction, independence, emotional wellbeing, physical development and cognition.


New topics are generally started each half term and cover a range of learning over the year.   These are carefully planned to maximise engagement as well as provide a broad and balanced curriculum.

Each pathway has defined curriculum subject areas that are closely matched to the developmental needs of the learners accessing that pathway, enabling them to develop the appropriate baseline level of knowledge, understanding and the skills required to access the next pathway approach or to prepare them for life beyond the school, secondary school and adulthood. These are coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge to build on prior learning and prepare pupils for their next steps.

'Impact' - How do we know it's working?

We assess pupils in lots of different ways.  These are detailed in our leaflet below ‘Assessment at Pictor in KS1 and KS2—Information for Parents’.  We record key learning using software called ‘Evidence for Learning’.  We take photographs and make notes against key learning targets and share many of these with parents/carers through termly learning journeys.


Parent Assessment Booklet








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