As a school we believe our school mission statement and aims reflect our commitment to work together with everyone involved in the life of our pupils and school. We believe that each and every member of Lancasterian has their own unique talents, skills and qualities.  We give our best to ensure that every pupil leaves our school with a strong sense of achievement, pride, confidence and identity so that they can move on to their next venture and their future lives, with the skills and values to set them on the path to achieve their dreams.

Our curriculum intent is very clear:

At the heart of all our curriculums is the preparation of our pupils for the next step in education, for adulthood, for employment and to be as independent as possible.

The school has a clear set of values which successfully supports the development of the many dimensions of pupils’ personal and academic development: Inspire, Achieve and Grow. These inform the core offer of the provision and the work of all adults.

Early Years Foundation Stage (3-5 years)

EYFS.pngThe EYFS department has both nursery and Reception children aged between 3 and 5 Years. The EYFS aims to provide a first experience of school life for pupils and their parents that is friendly, warm, stimulating and supportive. 

Our EYFS pupils follow our either our Pre-formal or Semi-formal curriculum. Their learning is delivered through an early years provision adapted for their needs. Pupils are encouraged to learn through indoor and outdoor structured play 
sessions, first hand experiences and specialist teaching which includes individual targets which are set to meet the needs of each pupil.

Curriculum Design

There are 3 curriculums at Lancasterian school that have been developed by our highly knowledgeable and experienced teachers; Pre-Formal, Semi-Formal and Formal. The Pre-Formal and Semi-Formal curriculums have been developed within the last 5 years and are now embedded and trusted by staff. The Formal curriculum is now being further developed to strengthen the link and provide a sequential and knowledge-rich overall curriculum which is unique to our school.

These have been written specifically for the range of pupils who attend our school in conjunction with a wide range of Allied Health Professionals and teaching support services e.g. Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech therapy and Manchester Sensory Support Service, together with national and international programmes. Research has been used at every stage of this planning; e.g. Development matters, Quest, Routes for Learning, Equals, National Curriculum 2016 (and updates) and the PSHE Association.


The Pre-Formal curriculum meets the needs of pupils who are pre subject specific. It focuses on 5 key areas which encompass the 4 areas of the SEND code of practice and support a focus on the areas identified within their EHCP; My Communication (communication and interaction), My Cognition (cognition and learning), Me and My Body (physical and sensory), My Care and Independence (social, emotional and mental health). This is in recognition that the pupils who are engaged in this curriculum are working at the earliest development stages. This curriculum also includes a key area, ‘Me in My World’ which supports our pupils understanding of the world outside of themselves. 


The Semi-Formal curriculum meets the needs of pupils who are ready for more subject-specific content and learning beyond the four areas of SEND. These pupils also need a curriculum that provides direct teaching of skills and concepts required to help them manage their daily lives and to develop towards independence. There are six areas of learning within this curriculum- My Communication, My Reasoning, My Personal Care and Indepdendence, Me and My relationships, My World and My Creative Expression. Each area splits to cover specific content i.e. My Communication covers reading, writing and communicating.


The Formal curriculum includes the full range of National Curriculum subjects. The curriculum has been adapted to meet the needs of our pupils who meet the age-related expectations at different ages and at a different pace.

All areas of the curriculum include a wide variety of educational visits both external and internal, together with engaging visitors, often experts in their fields, that expand the experiences to which our pupils have access, we believe our wider curriculum and the additions it makes, increase our pupils’ stores of cultural capital.

For further information, please download our curriculum documents or contact the school and ask to speak to the relevant curriculum coordinator.

Reading and Phonics

Vision Statement

At Lancasterian, reading opportunities allow pupils to explore new worlds, develop their vocabulary and build a more in-depth knowledge of the intended audience and purpose. It provides opportunities for our pupils to view text and reading as purposeful and essential to everyday life. Through exploring different text types to explain, persuade, argue and evaluate among others, pupils’ develop a knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live. It also presents opportunity to develop an appreciation and love of reading.

Reading and Phonics guidance(1).png


Reading is a priority in all 3 curriculums. In our Pre-Formal curriculum pupils are exposed to a range of texts and books as both the theme for all learning and to foster an enjoyment of reading. Pupils at this stage of their development focus their learning on the pre-requisite skills of communication. Whereas, Reading is a specific strand in both the Semi-Formal and Formal curriculums.

In our Pre-Formal curriculum, the focus is on the very early pre-requisite skills of ‘listening and attention’ in developing later phonic skills. This continues through the Semi-Formal curriculum with specific phase 1 'Foundation for Phonics' teaching and then into the Formal curriculum. At Lancasterian school we use the ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds’ program to structure the standard phonics teaching for any pupils ready to embark on phase 2 and above. However, we also support this with other reading strategies and specific intervention programmes, for teaching pupils who need additional or different support i.e. hearing impaired or BSL users, who use strategies advised by our support services. 


Pupils on our Formal curriculum are put in for the Phonics Screening test at the end of year 1 or year 2. Some pupils are also entered for Key Stage 2 and 6 SATs in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening if appropriate.

For further information, please download our Reading Guidance, Phonics Guidance or contact the school and ask to speak to the English Lead.

Academic Impact and Qualifications

All pupils work towards qualifications and awards at the appropriate level for them.

Qualifications.pngThese include:

* ASDAN Personal Progress which is split into different units – accrediting all things from independence skills to Maths and English and keeping healthy. 
* ASDAN transition challenge at bronze, silver or gold level – they take part in 45 challenges over 2 years and have 18 subjects from which to choose.
* Key Stage 2 and 6 SATs
* Entry level 1, 2 and 3 certificates in Maths and English through Edexel

* Sensory Challenge- a range of activities using functional skills
* Duke of Edinburgh Award at bronze, silver and/or gold level

Performance Tables:
Link to the DfE school performance tables website for Lancasterian School:

For further information, please contact the school and ask to speak to Bethan Glenn, lead teacher for qualifications and awards or Tania Brooks, Assessment Lead.

Remote Learning Provision

For pupils who cannot access the school environent, Evidence for Learning, class pages on the website, appropriate websites and pupil learning packs are used to support continued teaching and learning opportunities for pupils. We also work closely with 'Manchester Hospital Schools' to support pupils who require long stays in hospital. A TA4 linked to LOIS supports pupils not currently able to access teaching and learning within a school environment or who are transitioning between school environments. 

For further information, please see the 'Remote Learning Policy' in our policy section or contact the school. For further information regarding LOIS, please see the LOIS pages on our website.

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