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Pupils are grouped according to age or ability into tutor groups based on the Key Stages of the National Curriculum.  Pupils generally spend each morning within their tutor group, concentrating on key areas such as numeracy, literacy, science and ICT. In the afternoons, pupils learn about more ‘specialised’ areas such as history, geography and music usually delivered through a topic approach. 

Class sizes are small, typically 8 per grouping, with a class teacher who is supported by teaching assistants as appropriate.

Where necessary therapists work alongside teaching staff in the classroom in order to effectively deliver their programmes.

Key Stage 2 comprises of one class of Year 3, 4, 5 & 6 pupils.

Key Stage 3 comprises two classes of Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils. They are assigned to a tutor group with peers of similar ages – Lower or Upper Key Stage 3.


We currently have two key stage 4 classes comprising of pupils from years 10 and 11. They are engaged in differentiated programmes of study carefully tailored to meet individual need

Pupils learn alongside their tutor groups during practical and foundation subjects. This allows them to support one another, develop good friendships and get to know the core staff team very well. The staff team is made up of the teacher, advanced teaching assistant and two other TA’s. This consistency of staffing allows us to adapt tasks to suit learning styles and preferences of individuals as well as to address individual needs. Activities are skilfully differentiated by the class teacher in order that pupils are challenged and well-motivated. 

In Key Stage 3 & 4 in the core subjects of English and maths, pupils are grouped according to ability. They will then work towards individual targets set from a range of up to date assessment information. This means that our pupils progress well whatever their starting points. Lessons can take very different forms across the groupings to address need and deploy staff most effectively. 

The curriculum will vary according to pupil need. When appropriate, our pupils are following National Curriculum programmes developing skills, knowledge and understanding in all the subjects covered in mainstream schools. For example, we plan and teach exciting topics and themes in science, geography, history, RE, art and technology. If children are not yet able to benefit from subject-specific teaching, they will develop the seven areas of learning that precede National Curriculum skills.

As a special school, we ensure that our provision is personalised and pupils get maximum benefit from their time here. We have wonderful grounds that are used frequently for outdoor learning. We also use many sensory strategies – built into lesson activities and into the school day – to develop, calm and engage our pupils. Separate from the class lessons, pupils benefit from individual or small group interventions to address identified needs. These include reciprocal reading, physical education programmes (rebound therapy/ hydrotherapy/ physiotherapy etc), Makaton, intensive interaction, music therapy and Imuse, sensory circuits and social and emotional interventions.

To ensure our children are making excellent progress, we use a range of assessments – observations, workbook scrutinise, questioning and more formal testing (where appropriate). We use this information to set targets and then track progress using PAT (pupil assessment tracker). This means we can accurately record and analyse data in all subjects as well as personal, physical or independence skills. If progress is slowing this can be addressed quickly and provision adapted. We are also able to give extremely accurate and highly individual feedback on progress towards EHCP targets during the review process.

At certain points during the year we come off timetable to enjoy enrichment days and school trips. These enhance and deepen the learning for our pupils. Recent on-site experiences include: Diwali Day; Muddy Maths Day; World Book Day; World War 2 day and Invaders Day. On these occasions, pupils often travel around the highly

Engaging and interactive sessions in mixed age groups. We celebrate the fun and learning together at the end of the day.

Trips off-site include regular swimming and community visits during our Friday Life Skills programme. We also plan educational visits to back up current themes. Most recently, these included: Farming Day at Harrogate Showground; Pizza Express; Stephen Joseph Theatre; Flamingoland; Various sports competitions; Tropical World and Ryedale Book Festival.

Welburn has built up quite a reputation for its wonderful musical and dramatic performances. Pupils can get involved with acting, singing and signing in our twice-yearly (all-singing, all-dancing) shows. It really is astounding what is possible when students and staff work together in such activities. 

We enjoy links with the local community – for example the Rotarians fund and volunteer at our annual Flamingoland Trip. We are also lucky to have links with Reverend Sue Binks at Harome parish church. She leads our Christingle, Easter and Harvest services (as well as many assemblies during the year). We also get together with local mainstream schools for activities such as ‘The Big Sing’.

To summarise our goals, we endeavour to provide a supportive, effective and exciting learning experience. We are committed to providing an environment where children feel safe and happy. They will then develop and thrive. We work together as a staff team to provide the best opportunities for our pupils and we focus on developing the Welburn Core Values of respect, perseverance and excellence.


Many of our pupils will have an individualised learning journey which will not always lead to academic achievement which can be measured in the manner of mainstream schools.

Progress is carefully and regularly monitored, and pupils and students are set aspirational targets, both in terms of academic achievement and personal development.

At KS2 where appropriate students are entered for SATs.

In KS4, pupils undertake accredited courses in English, Maths, PE, ICT and Science at Entry Level.

KS5 students undertake accredited courses for functional skills in English, Maths, Personal Progress and ICT at Entry Level and ASDAN courses.

We are committed to enabling and supporting our pupils to reach their full potential in all aspects of their learning.

For information about our attainment data, please click here for DfE facts and figures and school performance table website.

Education and Care Liaison

There is a careful liaison and close consultation between teaching and care staff at the end and beginning of the school day for those pupils who are boarding.

Our staff are highly experienced and well-trained in innovative teaching methods which aim to get the best results and help young people enjoy their school life, flourish and reach their full potential.

As part of our commitment to improving links between education, care and home we have a dedicated Family Support Manager, Cath McGill. Click Here to find out more.



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