Educational provision


Headlands School provides education for pupils aged 7 to 19.  We offer education to young people who have difficulty learning as a result of emotional, behavioural and social difficulties and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  Our approach is informed by attachment principles which are woven throughout the work all staff carry out within both our education and residential settings.

All pupils at Headlands School have experienced significant difficulties in both a home and school setting.  Many pupils learning has been affected by early childhood experiences.  Therefore, our curriculum uses the principles of DDP (Dyadic Developmental Practice), a relational approach that is embedded by all staff at Headlands School. As a result, our model’s main principles are:-


  • Providing all pupils with a safe and consistent learning environment
  • Ensuring all staff act as positive role models
  • Allowing all pupils to have access to a range of learning experiences that meets their needs and builds their academic, social and emotional skills

If the pupils can experience these principles, they can achieve the following outcomes

  • Build a positive sense of self
  • Develop positive and trusting relationships
  • Develop more effective coping strategies
  • Achieve relevant and worthwhile qualifications and engage in learning experiences

The school is organised in 4 key stages, that all develop the 4 purposes of the curriculum, where all our pupils will be:-

  • ambitious, capable learners
  • healthy, confident individuals
  • enterprising, creative contributors
  • ethical, informed citizens

Through our broad and balanced curriculum all pupils will be able to build and develop their skills and engage in the 6 areas of learning identified in the ‘Successful Futures’ document. These include:-

Expressive arts Humanities


Mathematics and numeracy


Health and well-being


Languages, literacy and communication Science and technology


(see key stage curriculum policies for further detail on how the 6 areas of learning are covered)

Pupils with Additional Learning Needs (ALN) are supported through various interventions such as additional support enabling them to improve their specific social and emotional skills and literacy sessions for pupils who have a difficulty in this area of the curriculum.

All pupils will also be provided with opportunities to develop the 3 cross-curricular experiences including literacy, numeracy and digital competency skills.  These key skills will be developed in all areas of the curriculum in an appropriate and relevant way.   All pupils have the opportunity to build upon their skills and learning experiences as they move through the key stages

Key stage overview

Key stage 2 (7-11)

Our key stage 2 curriculum provide an exciting and differentiated approach to learning which develops a wide range of skills and knowledge.  There is an emphasis on thematic learning that provides a broad and balanced range of learning experiences.  The curriculum is delivered in a safe, nurturing environment with a key focus on developing key relationships, based on the nurture group principles.  The teaching focuses on developing the key skills in the morning, particularly literacy and numeracy. All pupils have access to a wide range of ICT provision to develop their digital competency skills.  We use the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and the Cornerstones Programme to deliver a thematic approach covering the 6 areas of learning (see above).  Pupils also have access to specific PSE, PE, DT, Art and Cycle Studies specialist teachers where they can consolidate these key areas of learning and develop new skills.

Key stage 3 (11-14)

In key stage 3 we continue to use the nurture principles developed in key stage 2.  Pupils improve their numeracy, literacy and ICT skills alongside using the International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) and a thematic based approach to learning to further develop the 6 areas of learning.  Pupils are based in the same classroom (their safe base) with a key teacher and teaching assistants, as well as having access to various subject specialist areas including cycle studies, DT, music, D of E, Drama, PSE and PE.  These wider opportunities develop wider interests and allow all pupils the opportunity to consolidate and improve their social and emotional skills.

Key stage 4 (14-16)

Pupils in key stage 4 are provided with a broad and balanced range of academic and vocational experiences that promotes independent learning alongside gaining external qualifications.  Pupils are given the opportunity to complete a range of work-related learning as well as meeting with Careers Wales to discuss future pathways relevant to the individual.  The teaching model continues to follow the nurture principles and all pupils have a safe base from which the majority of lessons are delivered.  There are a wide range of qualifications that pupils can access and achieve.  These include, Entry Levels, Essential Skills Wales, GCSEs, D of E, BTEC, ASDAN and Agored Cymru qualifications.

Post-16 (16-19)

The post-16 programme aims to offer continuity and progression allowing all young people to develop a wide range of skills through an individually tailored pathway.  This programme enables all young people to develop key transferable skills in various contexts within a safe and nurturing environment. Through developing these skills and experiences the programme aims to ensure that all young people in post-16 are prepared for the next stage of their educational journey. Careers Wales support all pupils to do this, through regular meetings and information sharing. There is a continued effort to develop appropriate independence skills both in the classroom and during community-based learning. The young people have the opportunity to build upon their qualifications achieved as well as complete courses in a wider range of qualifications including GCSE Health and Social Care and Welsh Baccalaureate.




Find us