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“Pupils at Stanley School are now following either a Pre-Formal, Semi-Formal or Formal curriculum structure with personalised learning opportunities. Cognition, Communication, Sensory & Physical Development and Emotional & Social Development are at the core of this learning.

Children are given the opportunity to build on their previous learning experiences from EYFS.

The children signposted towards the Pre-Formal Curriculum follow a child-led, play-based curriculum with focus on Communication, Physical Development and Personal and Social Development.  Intensive Interaction is used consistently to focus on the fundamental areas of communication.  Multi-sensory approaches to play, story-telling and learning, underpin everything we do.

Children signposted to the Semi-Formal curriculum again have plenty of opportunities to learn through play but will also be introduced to Literacy and Numeracy sessions. Learning is organised into themed topics.

Any child who follows the Formal Curriculum will access a curriculum based on the Full National Curriculum with a personalised approach to their learning.

Play Progression also forms an important pathway in measuring progress.

Another assessment tool currently used is QUEST


A pre-formal curriculum is for pupils who need a very special approach to their learning.  It is a curriculum that focuses on how best the pupils learn and acknowledges and celebrates the different abilities and achievements of every individual. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of pupils through a personalised approach. It focuses on early communication, social and emotional and cognitive skills that are the foundation of learning.  It is a curriculum that recognises the importance of movement and play in a child’s development and the need for sensory and multi-sensory approaches to learning. Many pupils have a need to develop positive relationships with familiar adults, to develop behaviours through which they can communicate, in order to explore the world around them using their sensory and physical capabilities to the full.


The semi-formal curriculum recognises that many of our pupils have a range of complex learning difficulties and needs; any combination of two or more of these difficulties requires that our curriculum is designed through a personalised learning approach. It is an approach based on the pupil becoming a literate communicator, a mathematical thinker as well as acquiring early learning skills including Play Skills. This approach encompasses the development of thinking skills, creative learning and movement and is designed to be developmentally appropriate. It enables all pupils to take part in activities that are engaging, meaningful to them and provide relevant and challenging goals. It is a curriculum for pupils who learn best when learning is related to their own experiences. Some pupils may learn through structured play whilst others will learn more effectively through functional activities and topic-based approaches.

Both Pre-formal and Semi-formal Curricula are currently running across the school. Teaching teams meet regularly to give feedback on the curriculum delivery in individual classes and to discuss planning and further developments.


Our Formal curriculum is for pupils who are academically and developmentally ready for more formal challenges and subject specific learning. The pupils in this group also access learning through a topic or theme to ensure learning is exciting, meaningful and engaging.


Stanley School recognises the important role that educational visits, off site activities, adventurous activities and activities provided by external agencies play in providing a rich and rewarding education irrespective of age, ability or circumstances.

Children have regular timetabled opportunities for LOTC beyond the school setting either within our local community or the wider Merseyside area using our school minibuses.

Children also have opportunities to explore the outdoor environment within the school grounds. This environment has been developed to be a challenging and exciting learning environment which is stimulating and encourages learning opportunities through exploration
and play.

Religious education is taught across all the curriculum pathways at Stanley School. It is integrated within Personal Development and will be taught within topics throughout the school year.

If you require more information about around the curriculum please contact the school office using the details below or the “contact us” page on this site

Stanley School, Greenbank Drive, Pensby, Wirral, CH61 5UE

0151 342 6741