School Prospectus 2021

“We can because we try”                  







Kemball School Prospectus

September 2021



Senior Leadership Team

Pathway Leaders

Administration staff

Head Teacher

 Mrs Lisa Hughes


Deputy Head Teacher

Mrs Helen Smith


Assistant Head Teacher

Mrs Emily Buttery


Business Manager

Mrs Rachel Buckett


Multi-Sensory – Mrs Kathy Walsh


Engagement – Miss Cath Hulse


Progression – Miss Hannah Phillips


Functional – Mrs Emily Buttery


Senior Admin Assistant

 Mrs Maureen Williams


Senior Admin Assistant

 Mrs Kerry Stockley


Senior Admin Assistant

 Mrs Sarah Gregory-Haynes


Senior Admin Assistant

Miss Jo Mandley


Admin Assistant

Mrs Alex Copestick


Chair of Governors: Mrs Hilary Gregory

School sessions

(times in brackets are for younger pupils)

8-55 a.m. to 12-20 p.m. (12-00 p.m.) morning session

12-20 p.m. (12-00 p.m.) to 1-30 p.m. lunch plus play break

1-30 p.m. to 3-15 p.m. afternoon session

The office is staffed between the hours of 8-00 a.m. and 4-15 p.m.

Please do not hesitate to telephone if you have any queries.

Kemball School is a day special school which is part of the Orchard Community Trust. We meet the needs of pupils with cognition and learning difficulties aged between 3 and 19 years.  All pupils receive specialist teaching and an individual education programme designed to meet their specific needs. 

Safeguarding Statement

Kemball School is committed to safeguarding and prompting the welfare of all pupils.  We expect all staff, students and volunteers to share this commitment.

We have a number of policies and procedures in place that contribute to our safeguarding commitment, including our child protection policy which can be found on our website.

Sometimes we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies, especially when there are concerns about a child’s welfare.  We will ensure that our concerns about our pupils are discussed with parents/carers unless we have reason to believe that such a move would be contrary to the child’s welfare.

We actively support the Government’s Prevent Agenda to counter radicalism and extremism.

Our Designated Safeguarding Lead is Lisa Hughes (Head Teacher), Our Deputy Safeguarding Lead is Helen Smith (Deputy Head Teacher).  The governor responsible for safeguarding is Hilary Gregory.  Rochelle Corbett (safeguarding assistant) provide additional support for pupils and their families. Emily Buttery (Assistant Head) is our Designated Lead for Looked After Pupils.


Whilst lots of parents and carers really enjoy seeing photos of their child’s school life, we are mindful of our duty of care towards our pupils.  We take the issue of safeguarding very seriously and this includes the use of photographic and video images.

We discourage the taking of photographs by parents, carers and family members at school events. 

Mobile phones

In order to further safeguard our pupils we ask that mobile phones are not used in school.


Introduction from the Senior Executive Leader of Orchard Community Trust

I am pleased to welcome you to the Orchard Community Trust. Our Multi Academy Trust (MAT) consists of 7 Founder member schools and one associate member school in the City of Stoke on Trent. The Trust currently consists of 5 Primary Schools, 2 Special Schools and one Associate Special school. Our schools are diverse in their make-up and welcome children and young people from all backgrounds.

We are a fully inclusive MAT that works hard to ensure the needs of all pupils are successfully met. Prior to academy conversion, the 8 schools above have worked very productively together for over 2 years as a network and have established a very positive relationship with each other, which brings both challenge and support to the MAT. They have been instrumental, together with the Trustees, in shaping the MAT, its vision, philosophy and policies. Children and young people lie at the heart of all they do.

The Orchard Community Trust Board’s vision is to develop a high performing Multi Academy Trust that delivers the very best educational experience for pupils from 3 – 19.

The Trust aims to effectively support and improve its Academies across a diverse geographical area of Stoke on Trent, with a clear focus on raising standards, encouraging innovation and collaboration, sharing best practice, and strengthening the ethos of the Trust to ensure that we have a positive impact on all the young people within the Trust.

Our vision is that the Academies, supported by the Trust, will provide an environment which is welcoming, caring, calm, well led and managed and purposeful. This will stretch our children young people academically, support them pastorally and help them develop socially and spiritually. This will enable them to progress successfully and with resilience and aspiration to their next phase of learning, training and/or employment.

The Orchard Community Trust MAT is supported by a strong Trust Board who have a diverse range of skills and experience and who provide the effective support and challenge required to ensure that we build on our track record of excellence. The Board provides strategic challenge and partnerships in order to improve quality, share best practice and operate effectively and efficiently. We have a cost-effective organisation and a business model that delivers efficiency, so that all our students benefit from enhanced resources created by effective economies of scale. We aim to ensure that as much as possible of our income as a MAT is directed towards the children and young people and the education we provide in order to meet all of their diverse needs.

Rob Johnstone
Senior Executive Leader, Orchard Community Trust

More information can be found on the Orchard Community Trust website



School governors are people who want to make a positive contribution to children’s education.  Governors are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part of play in raising school statements.  The role of the governing body is key to the effectiveness of a school.

At Kemball School, our governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in school.  They achieve this by reviewing policies, setting aims and deciding on priorities for improvement.  They take advice on all of this from the Head Teacher but then as a governing body make their own decision.

As a critical friend, they offer support, constructive advice, a second opinion on proposals and assistance when needed.  They also challenge, ask questions and seek information in order to raise standards and attainment for all pupils.

Governors do not intervene with the day to day running of the school but their responsibilities are exercised in partnership with the Head Teacher and the staff of Kemball.

Kemball School Mission Statement


‘We can because we try’

The prime aims and purposes of Kemball School are:

    To maximise each pupil’s potential by enabling him/her to achieve as much independence as possible and to enjoy a quality of life which is both stimulating and rewarding.

    To create a positive and professional environment which is achieved by offering a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum catering for the needs of the individual.

    To promote a supportive partnership involving pupils, parents, professionals and others concerned with the life of the school.



The school was inspected on the 18th October 2017.  The school continues to be Good.

A summary of the key findings of the inspection are as follows

  • The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection
  • Leaders and governors have continued in their efforts to drive the school forward despite the rapid increase in pupil numbers
  • Leaders have a clear passion for ensuring that the needs of all pupils are met, whilst retaining the relationships built with each family.
  • Leaders have taken the school on an incredible journey by accepting pupils who have needs that are unfamiliar to staff.
  • Leaders, staff and governors have risen to the challenge by introduce a robust system of continuing professional development and constantly adapting the school environment to meet the needs of all pupils
  • Leaders have clear expectations of pupils and staff and are quick to determine next steps required to continue in the ambition to provide a stimulating yet safe environment for pupils
  • New schemes of work and programme have been introduced.
  • Self-evaluation is accurate and areas of improvement are quickly identified
  • Leaders recognise that he curriculum offered needs to be adapted and plans have been put into place to allow for the diverse needs and complexity of all pupils
  • In Key Stage 4, Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme is being introduced and a Life Skills Programme of study, which encourages pupils to learn home management, how to travel independently and cook simple snacks.
  • Middle leaders are enthusiastic in their desire to improve outcomes for pupils and have introduced functional skills examinations.  They clearly demonstrate that they have the capacity to assist with driving the school forward
  • The school has developed a strong partnership with the local college and this has enabled pupils to participate in courses at an appropriate level for their needs
  • The governing body is extremely supportive but recognises the importance of challenge where necessary
  • Governors are keen to develop their own skills and have recently introduced a system to ensure that they have a deeper knowledge of pupils’ and staff’s abilities
  • Governors are proud that Kemball School provides everything that pupils require to assist them in their learning and well-being
  • Parents are extremely positive about the school and one stated ‘Kemball offers a safe and happy environment for our child’ and another stated that ‘leadership is amazing.’ All parents reported that they would recommend Kemball to other parents. 
  • Parents feel that all of the staff are understanding of pupils’ needs and that they see the progress made in school at home
  • Pupils at Kemball School are confident and extremely polite. Their manners and behaviour when walking around school are exceptional
  • Behaviour management is a strength of the school
  • Leaders and governors ensure that there is a strong and positive safeguarding culture in the school
  • Teachers are supported by able teaching assistants
  • Staff demonstrate a very caring and sensitive attitude to all learners

    A copy of the full letter can be found on the school website.  It can also be obtained from the Ofsted website which is


The admission of pupils to the school is largely controlled by the Local Authority (LA).  The LA follows the procedures described in the SEN Code of Practice and may recommend placement at the school.  If the offer of a placement is accepted then the school would wish to make the transition as easy as possible for the child and his/her parents.  The school actively encourages prospective parents to visit school and encourages them to bring members of their family with them.

Most pupils leave school at the end of Year 11. Students who have profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) and complex medical needs have the option to stay at Kemball until they are 19 years old.  Pupils can, of course, leave Kemball to transfer elsewhere at any time.  Further details concerning admissions are in the Admissions Policy which is available on the school website or from the school on request.

Home / school communication

Families are encouraged to play an active part in the life of the school and to be fully involved in their child’s education.  Parents are asked to keep in touch with the class teacher by using Class Dojo or for those parents who do not use Class Dojo, a home school diary.  In addition parents are kept up to date with school events by text messages, emails, letters, newsletters, questionnaires, coffee mornings etc. 

School buildings

The school moved into a brand new building at the beginning of the academic year 2013/14.  It has an extensive range of modern facilities to meet the needs of the pupils.  These include specialist teaching areas, hoists in all classrooms and extensive indoor and outdoor play areas. There is also a hydrotherapy pool and sensory / soft rooms. There are also several meeting / training rooms to provide professionals and families with comfortable surroundings.  The building is co-located with the Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy which provides good links with mainstream pupils and colleagues.

Class groups

The names given to each classroom are from local pottery firms.  This acknowledges the close links between the school, local industry and the people of the Potteries.  Class size and staffing is determined by the pupils’ individual needs.  We have a primary and secondary wing within the school. 

General Information

Transport to and from school

Transport to and from school may be provided but this is not guaranteed. If transport is provided for your child, it is arranged by the LA.  Parents are informed of the collection and return times.  It is essential parents have their children ready on time as delays can cause problems for those at the end of the route.  It is the parents’ responsibility to notify the bus company if transport is not required, for example, when a child is ill or has an appointment.  It is also the parents’ responsibility to notify the bus company when transport is required again.

Medication and illness

Regular, prescribed medication will be administered by a member of the school staff providing a letter of consent has been signed by parents/carers.  Medication, with the exception of paracetamol/calpol must be prescribed by a doctor and sent into school with the prescription label clearly identified and marked with the pupil’s name and dosage requirements.  Any medication sent into school must be in an unopened, sealed container. Supplies of medicine must be handed to bus escorts to give to the office staff, to be signed in on arrival.  Under no circumstances should medication be put into a child’s bag.  Our medication policy will be shared with parents on transition into school. A copy of this is also available on the school’s website.

Illness is quite common amongst all children and especially those with additional needs.  The following guidance is important for you to follow.  If your child is relatively healthy please spare a thought for those children who are not.  Their parents constantly worry about them catching everyday illnesses that can be life threatening.

If a child has been prescribed a course of antibiotics it is preferred that they remain at home until the risk of cross infection has ceased.  Parents are asked to note that it is school policy not to administer antibiotics, if this can be managed at home e.g. if it is a 3 times a day dose.  It would be appreciated if children suffering from minor illnesses such as heavy colds are kept at home for a few days.  This is to protect the rest of the pupils in school, particularly those who have delicate health such as respiratory problems or heart conditions.  

Sickness and diarrhoea:  The following guidance is taken from the Government’s Guidance on infection control in schools and other childcare setting.  We need to follow this guidance in all cases because we have a duty of care to all our children and staff.  Your co-operation will be appreciated. The school wants to emphasise that it is important that children should remain off school until they have been symptom-free for 2 whole days at least.  This means parents will be asked to keep their child at home for at least 2 whole days after they stop being sick and / or they stop having diarrhoea.

If a child becomes ill in school every effort is made to contact parents in the first instance.  If a pupil has an accident and requires a hospital visit a member of staff may stay with the child until a parent/relative arrives.  This will depend on the nature of the incident, the wishes of the attending paramedics and the availability of appropriate staff.  It is essential (and a legal requirement) that parents give the school an emergency contact number and are urged to notify school as soon as possible if the details change. 

School dress code (school uniform)

There is a school uniform, described below.  Parents are encouraged to send their child into school wearing the uniform .  The school sells certain uniform merchandise and has details of suppliers etc.

Winter uniform:

grey or black trousers or jog pants                         grey skirt

white blouse/shirt                                                   red or white polo shirt

red sweatshirt                                                          red cardigan/pullover

Summer uniform:

red checked dress                                                red or white polo shirt

grey skirt                                                               red sweatshirt

grey or black trousers or jog pants                      red cardigan/pullover

knee length shorts in school colours


Pupils from year 7 have the option of wearing a school tie

Pupils in our post 16 classes are not required to wear school uniform

PE kit

Pumps / trainers, shorts and tee - shirt.

Older pupils may need other items for use at outdoor centres, football matches etc.  Parents are advised by the class teacher. Some classes find it easier to keep the kit in school and send home at the end of half a term

Extreme hairstyles and hair colours are not permitted.  This includes patterns shaved into the hair.    Small subtle amounts of make-up is allowed for students in years 9 -14.  Long, artificial nails should not be worn.

Muslim girls are permitted to wear a headscarf but this must be accompanied by a full school uniform.

Swimming kit

Swimming costume / trunks

Swim pads if necessary

Bath size towel

These items will be sent home after they have been used and should be returned to school on the day of the next swimming session.

Please note that the wearing of goggles is not encouraged for health and safety reasons.

Spare clothes

The class teacher may ask for a change of clothing to be kept in school or to be sent in each day.  Parents are asked to send in adequate supplies of disposable nappies, wipes, sanitary towels etc where appropriate as these are not provided by the school.  Please note that we do not supply spare nappies.  If your child runs out of nappies and you do not send any in we will have to ask you to collect him/her when they are wet or soiled.  Our older students are encouraged to bring in items to support their own personal care e.g. brush/comb, deodorant etc.

Personal property

Whilst the school will exercise reasonable care for pupils’ property, it is inevitable that property will be lost or damaged from time to time.  Pupils’ property which is worn or brought to school or left in bags/cloakrooms is at their own risk.  The LA cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage unless caused by negligence of the school or staff.  Where school staff take charge of property on behalf of pupils, they will exercise reasonable care for its safekeeping.  The school will take reasonable steps to try to recover lost property.  To help to ensure that pupils property is kept safely parents are strongly advised that:


Jewellery and valuables - Pupils should not bring jewellery or valuables into school as they may get lost or cause accidents.  If your child wishes to wear earrings then one pair of small studs is permitted. Larger studs, sleepers, hoops etc are dangerous and therefore not allowed. Please note that all jewellery has to be removed for PE and swimming and the staff cannot be held responsible for it. If your child has to have their ears pierced, please try to do this at the beginning of the long summer holiday so they will have healed before return in September.  Otherwise they will need to be taped over for certain lessons during the healing period.  Other body piercings are not allowed for obvious reasons.  If parents want children to wear jewellery or other symbolic artefacts for cultural or religious reasons it is suggested that the item is sewn into a pocket or similar.  This way, the child and others will be kept safe.  Please discuss this with your child’s teacher before doing so.

Pupils’ mobile phones - are not allowed in school.  Pupil’s do not need them and they are a Safeguarding problem.  We actively discourage pupils from bringing them in to school.  If however pupils do bring in their mobile phones they should be handed into the office, for safe keeping, on arrival to school.  These will then be returned at the end of the school day. For safety purposes, pupils are able to take their mobile phones with them when they are independently travel training.

School meals

School meals are cooked on the premises by the cook and her staff.  Meals are eaten in the dining area with the exception of some of our multi-sensory and engagement classes who eat in their classes.  For older pupils a cafeteria system is in operation whereby meals are collected from the serving hatch.  Younger pupils are served at the table by their class staff, family style, so that appropriate behaviour and communication skills can be developed.  Again for the older pupils there is a simple choice menu whereby they can choose from a variety of three dishes.  A written example of the menus can be provided on request.  Medical or cultural dietary needs can be catered for.  The speech therapist advises staff on feeding programmes where necessary.  The school is part of a scheme which encourages children to choose healthier options for lunch. This should also be adhered to by parents/carers who wish to send in a packed lunch.  It is also takes part in various health promoting activities provided locally or nationally.  The school has achieved Food for Life Bronze status.  Younger children receive daily fresh fruit as part of a government scheme.  Another important scheme is Healthy Tuck whereby pupils are encouraged to eat healthy snacks at break time.  Crisps, chocolate, sugary drinks etc are actively discouraged. 

If your child has an appointment but will be back at school by dinner time then a school meal should be ordered by ringing into the office by 9.30am.  If you do not ring in and order a dinner then you will need to provide your child with a packed lunch.

Charges and remissions

The school’s policy on charging and remissions is available on the website or on request.  A brief summary follows:

     “As an integral part of the curriculum, pupils participate in educational visits.  The school will not charge for any educational visit that is undertaken during the school day, for educational purposes.  For some visits, which incur expenses such as admissions costs, parents will be invited to make voluntary contributions.  No pupil will be excluded from any educational visit but if there are insufficient contributions towards the costs an activity may be cancelled.  Where pupils participate in residential or holiday activities the costs from external providers can be requested in addition to voluntary contributions to support the planned programme of activity.

In certain circumstances charges made by the school will be remitted in whole or part.  For example, occasionally the school may be quoted a price for admission to an activity or venue and then is admitted free of charge or at a substantially reduced rate.  If a pupil is absent and money has been collected for a visit, then the money will be refunded unless the school has had to pay a substantial non-returnable deposit.” For example, if the school purchased a non-refundable theatre ticket and your child is absent on the day, then that money cannot be refunded to you.

Sending money into school

As far as possible we are a cashless school.  As well as school meals this also includes trips, uniform, tuck and cookery donations.  When your child joins Kemball, you will be given a log in to Parent Pay.  You will also receive a letter which gives all the relevant information. School meals are provided on the basis the meals are paid for in advance via parent pay, unless your child is entitled to a free meal.  Arrears are not acceptable and in particular allowing them to build up is not in anyone’s interest. Parents should note that should arrears be for more than 10 days, then no more meals will be provided.  Please contact the school as soon as possible if you are having difficulty paying for your child’s school meals, we may be able to help you check your entitlements.  

A donation amounting to £5 a term would be appreciated towards the cost of cookery ingredients.  You will be sent a letter requesting this amount at regular intervals.  We request that you send your child into school with his/her own mid morning snack and ask that it is a ‘healthy option’. 



By law, all children of compulsory school age (between 5 and 16) must get a suitable full time education.  Parents are responsible for making sure this happens, either by registering their child at a school or by making other arrangements which provide an effective education.  Having a good education will help to give your child the best possible start in life.  Make sure your child comes to school regularly and arrives on time.  If your child is ever absent from school you should inform staff by ringing the office before 9am.  Further details of the school’s attendance policy can be found on the school website.  The school works closely with the Education Welfare Service to ensure parents are supported in achieving good attendance for their children.  Pupils who have attendance over 95% are awarded a certificate at the end of each term.

Holidays in term time

To comply with government guidelines absences will not be granted during term-time and will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances. If you choose to holiday in term time it will be classed as an unauthorised absence.

Annual school events

Christmas - Each year nursery and younger key stage one pupils along with the choir produce a Nativity play, to which their families and friends are warmly invited.  Other activities include parties at other schools, visit to Father Christmas, pantomimes etc.

Educational visits - The school has four minibuses.  They are used to provide ‘hands on’ experience of topic work connected with the National Curriculum and to generalise skills taught in the classroom.  The school uses the ‘Beatrice’ narrow boat which is designed to accommodate people with additional needs.

Cultural Studies week – Each year, during the summer term, the whole school focusses on learning about a different country.  During Cultural Studies week resident artists are invited into school to work alongside pupils.

Sports day – Weather permitting this is held in the summer term

End of year achievement assemblies – These are held at the end of the summer term. Two classes join together and invite family and friends to celebrate the achievements made over the course of the academic year.  Medals and trophies are presented.

End of year parents’ meeting – This is the opportunity to discuss the school report with your child’s class teacher and look at their work.

Fund Raising - There is active fund raising in school.  Each Pathway, the School council and Eco committee will decide on events to be run throughout the school year e.g. school disco, Children in Need, non-uniform days etc.

Home / School links

Parents Support Group - This group meets regularly, every fortnight on a Thursday.  This group is led by parents and gives an opportunity for a much needed way to share views and problems etc. 

Rochelle Corbett is our Safeguarding Assistant who provide home school links.

As well as supporting individual families, at home and school, she attends many meetings with social care, e.g. Children in Need, safeguarding meetings, Early Help, Children in Care and Outreach.  She also liaises with other agencies such as Parent Partnership, Aiming High, medical professions, Dove Services and CAMHS.  She supports parents with transition visits to other settings and parenting courses.

Work to support the curriculum or to embed learnt skills is sent home regularly.  Your child’s teacher leads with homework activities and any queries should be directed to them.

Parents are encouraged to take an active part in the life of the school and often help out by providing an extra pair of hands.  This participation is positively welcomed as part of the home/school partnership.  It is recognised that friends and families have a wide range of skills and experiences that can be shared with the school.  Please tell the staff if you have an interest or skill you would like to share with others.

Eco -Schools Award. 

The school was very proud to receive our first “Eco School” status in October 2002.  This is re-assessed every 2 years and the school has maintained their excellent record. There is an Eco-committee which involves pupils, staff and governors.  This committee initiates a curriculum development plan for introducing or maintaining environmentally sound practices and a sustainable lifestyle.  Everyone involved with the school is encouraged to reduce, re-use and recycle.  This complements the school’s work in promoting healthy lifestyles and links to our Food for Life work.

Special Educational Needs Policy

The school is legally obliged to have a Special Educational Needs policy.  The policy complies with the strategy guidance laid out in the SEND Code of Practice 0-25 (2014). A full version of the policy is available on the website.  The main points of the policy are as follows:

Our aim is to ensure that all pupils receive appropriate educational provision, therapeutic input and pastoral support to achieve good outcomes and make outstanding progress. Each pupil at Kemball has individual and unique needs so we can plan accordingly to ensure that all pupils are enabled to achieve their full potential.  We aim to provide for the learning, physical, social and care needs of all pupils in a supportive environment. 

The curriculum at Kemball School supports our vision of ‘We can because we try’ by giving pupils the opportunity to learn and develop in a supportive and creative environment in which there is a focus on recognising achievement and supporting progression.  The curriculum is individualised and flexible allowing the needs of each pupil to be met.


The National Curriculum consists of subjects which all children aged 5 - 16 years must have access to and this includes pupils in special schools.  It is accepted that access to National Curriculum subjects alone cannot meet all the needs of the pupils and the school tries to offer a whole curriculum which provides a broad and balanced education relevant to each pupil’s needs.

In the pupil’s EHCP Annual Review there will be references made to National Curriculum terminology and the following is a guide:

KEY STAGE ONE - pupils aged between 5 and 7; KEY STAGE TWO - pupils aged between 7 and 11; KEY STAGE THREE - pupils aged between 11 and 14; KEY STAGE FOUR - pupils aged between 14 and 16; KEY STAGE 5 – pupils aged between 16 - 19

Our Curriculum Statement of Intent

At Kemball School our aim is to develop independence and the skills needed for learning and life.

The curriculum is designed to meet the individual needs of our pupils.  It aims to provide motivating and relevant learning to maximise pupils’ engagement and support progress.  We strive to deliver wide and varied learning experiences that support the development of functional skills, independence and personal development.  We recognise pupils' Education, Health and Care Plans, prior learning, provide practical/multi-sensory experiences, build resilience, develop communication and help every child to achieve their potential. 

Our Curriculum Implementation

The curriculum has been designed in line with Rochford Review recommendations.  The topic based approach provides stimulating learning experiences and links concepts in a meaningful way.  The curriculum is differentiated at four levels:  Multi-sensory pathway, engagement pathway, progression pathway and functional pathway.  This meets the needs of our different cohorts of pupils ensuring that they access the learning experiences that are relevant and appropriate to them. 


Our curriculum enables the pupils to make outstanding progress in all areas of their learning so that they can move onto Post 16 provision and a life beyond school.  Our aim is that pupils leave Kemball with the communication, confidence, self-help and life skills that support overall independence.  Functional accreditation and qualifications are achieved to enable our pupils to continue their learning journeys into adult life.


Within Kemball School, classes are divided into four different pathways.  This ensures that individual needs are fully met.  The pathways are fluid and pupil may move from one pathway to another if their needs change.  Classes may also change from year to year dependent on the educational needs of the pupils.

Multi-sensory and Engagement pathway curriculum

The pupils within the Multi-sensory and Engagement pathway are taught through a specially adapted, meaningful topic based curriculum. A great deal of emphasis is placed on promoting independence and developing increased levels of engagement within the seven strands of cognition and learning: Responsiveness, Curiosity, Investigation, Discovery, Anticipation, Persistence and Initiation.  Activities are designed to encourage the pupils to respond to the environment and give them access to a purposeful, individualised curriculum that fully meets their specific needs.

Within both pathways emphasis is placed on developing communication strategies that allow our pupils to 'have a voice.' A range of communication strategies are used dependent on the specific requirements of the individual pupil.  At Kemball School we have pupils who use Makaton, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), communication books, PODD communication books and high tech communication devices.

Progression pathway Curriculum

The pupils within the Progression Pathway are taught through a meaningful topic based, subject focused curriculum.  They have discrete English and Maths sessions where emphasis is placed on the acquisition of key skills.

Functional Pathway Curriculum

The Functional Pathway prepares pupils for life beyond school. Pupils begin their qualification pathway (either Asdan Personal Progress or Personal, Social Development and functional English and Maths).  Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of life skills (specific lessons begin at Year 7), travel training, the world of work, moving onto work experience opportunities. Our careers programme begins at year 9 although preparation for adulthood is a focus throughout a pupil's school life.  Work based visits and young enterprise activities allows development for work and teaches pupils about the type of work available in the local job market.  Additional classroom based sessions focus on how to access the work place and cover topics such as interviews, health and safety, CV writing.  Work placement takes place in Year 11 based on personal interests and abilities, initially supported by a workplace coach.

Within the Progression pathway and some classes within the Functional Pathway, subjects are taught through a topic based approach. A brief description of the curriculum subjects follows:


Maths is an essential part of everyday life. The aim of maths is to ensure pupils have an understanding of number, reason mathematically and solve problems. Teachers will ensure pupils’ understanding and concepts are embedded before moving on. Pupils have many opportunities to consolidate their understanding with additional practical experiences and have the opportunity to apply their mathematical knowledge in other areas of the curriculum to develop their confidence in increasingly functional ways.  Throughout the school, we use Numicon to support the pupils’ learning and understanding.  Progression of pupils is assessed across the school in various ways using Evidence for Learning, B Squared and assessment books linked to the functional examinations.  Kemball is a Numicon Advocate School.


 English curriculum statement 

English at Kemball is taught discretely across all pathways in addition to the core skills of reading, writing and spoken language underpinning our entire curriculum. 

Multisensory and Engagement pathways – 

English is taught as ‘Cognition, Communication and Language’. Pupils are immersed within a sensory story that focuses on individual targets. Communication is developed through the use of a total communication approach. This includes: Intensive Interaction, PECs, Makaton, and Communication books/boards, PODD and Speech and Language Interventions. Mark making, fine and gross motor skills are incorporated into the curriculum through the sensory story, activity carousel and topic afternoons. Reading skills are taught through discrete, daily phonics sessions and through book handling, song and rhyme (at an age appropriate level). Pupils are immersed with signs, symbols and text at all opportunities to ensure pupils can access the world around them. 

Progression and Functional pathways – 

Within the progression and functional pathways, the curriculum is designed to enable pupils to develop fundamental English skills through a ‘spiral’ approach. A high quality text each half-term forms the basis of the English curriculum with the text being linked to the overall theme for that term. The different themes provide varied contexts for learning and provide opportunities for pupils to apply their developing English and wider curriculum skills. The nature of the ‘spiral’ curriculum enables pupils to frequently revisit a skill, several times throughout the academic year and throughout their school career. The progression of the skill will develop with each revisit based on the individual pupil’s needs and ability. Progression of a skill may be seen in the form of increased independence, quicker recall, and application to other contexts, heightened focus and concentration or through specific, personal related targets linked to the pupil’s wider development. The repetition of skills through different themes and texts allows for new learning to build upon previously acquired knowledge and applied into new contexts enabling our pupils to make more meaningful and memorable links across the curriculum. 

Through each text/theme, pupils will develop skills from the following key areas (adapted from the National Curriculum English programme of study) – 

Spoken Language and Communication 

· Speaking, listening, responding, discussing; poetry (this may be through rhymes, chants or song) and drama. 


 · Word recognition, decoding/encoding, word structure and spelling. 

· Comprehension; understanding and interpreting texts; engaging and responding to texts. 


 · Transcription; spelling and handwriting. 

· Composition; articulating ideas and structuring them in communication and writing

The high quality text for each half-term will be a work of fiction, with non-fiction texts/skills being integrated into the overall theme over the half-term.

Some pupils within the functional pathway will work towards Functional skills exams. These classes will use the examination scheme of work as a basis for their curriculum. Other classes in the functional pathway will follow the curriculum stated above for one half term, followed by a half term with a functional focus where they begin to apply their English skills to the world around them. These follow the themes of: ‘Me and My World’ ‘World of Work’ and ‘Out in the Community’. 

Phonics curriculum statement 

The Read Write Inc. scheme is used consistently across the school, with the scheme adapted for each pathway. Phonics is taught daily for all pupils across the school with the key phonic skills underpinning all subjects across the school curriculum. 

Multisensory pathway – 

Phonics is taught daily using the revisit and review, teach, practise and apply structure. Every day, the sounds previously taught will be reviewed. There will then be a focus letter of the week. Each day, the ‘practise and apply’ aspect will focus on this letter through either a sound focus, a sound story, body percussion or environmental sounds. On a Friday, the ‘practise and apply’ aspect is a reflection session where all taught sounds are used for sensory exploration and tactile mark making.

Engagement pathway –  

Phonics is taught daily following the revisit and review, teach, practise and apply structure. Every day, the sounds previously taught will be reviewed followed by a focus letter of the day. Each day, the ‘practise and apply’ aspect will focus on this letter using a PowerPoint for visual reference linked to different sensory items for that letter. Fine motor and gross motor opportunities are planned within the practise and apply aspect of the session.  

Progression and functional pathways – 

Phonics is taught daily following the revisit and review, teach, practise and apply structure and includes equal emphasis on reading and spelling. New sounds will be introduced at an appropriate pace for the pupils, with segmenting and blending skills being taught at all levels. ‘Red words’ should be taught alongside sounds both for reading and spelling. All pupils have a RWI reading book matched to their current phonics level that is used for 1:1 reading sessions.

If a pupil has completed the RWI scheme, they progress onto the accelerated reading scheme with phonics still being taught daily to encourage retention of skills

and application in spelling.  Pupil’s comprehension is assessed using the Star Read tests and AR quizzes linked to their individual reading books. Pupils should have an AR reading book matched to their reading level that is used for 1:1 reading sessions. 

Guided reading sessions are taught weekly for all pupils in the progression and functional pathways. These are small group’s sessions with texts that are appropriately matched to the groups reading level. There is a clear reading focus for the session that is taught and modelled by the teacher or TA running the session.

Within the progression and functional pathway, all classes have ‘class story’ time to model reading for pleasure and to engage and excite learners to read for different purposes. 

All pupils read 1:1 with an adult at least once a week and have 1 guided reading session

At Kemball we use the following reading schemes:

Read, Write inc

Oxford Reading Tree

Phonic Bugs

Dandelion Launchers and Dandelion Readers

All aboard

Collins – Big Cat

Accelerated Reading Books


At Kemball School, we are passionate about the teaching of Science. We aim to adapt our strategies to suit the unique needs of the pupils in our school, so that they can access scientific learning appropriately, in accordance with the pathways they are in. The Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in pupils. Pupils are encouraged to think scientifically, ask questions and be curious about their surroundings. Teachers work to develop a love of Science and a positive attitude to Science learning within their classrooms. We reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in Science. Cross curricular opportunities are also identified, mapped, and planned to ensure contextual relevance and to make sure that we show pupils Science in the world around us.


History is promoted throughout the school in a variety of ways that is inclusive to suit all children’s diverse learning needs through a broad, balanced and adapted curriculum. The lessons purposes are to develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of past events, improve their historical skills and to promote a sense of chronology that is progressive for individual learners’ development. These learning opportunities can be developed through the use of artifacts; photographs; videos; trips; questioning or experiences that actively engage the pupils and promote their curiosity.


Geography is concerned with encouraging pupils to develop a curiosity about their world and the people within it alongside developing their understanding of diverse places, people, resources and environments. It gives pupils the opportunity to develop their knowledge of the location of globally significant places, including the physical and human characteristics if these places. Pupils are encouraged to explore their immediate environment and given new experiences to develop more global understanding, underpinned by skills in communication, independence and social interaction. Geographical vocabulary is introduced through a range of communication methods adapted to suit the pupils

Cultural Studies

 The school teaches Cultural Studies so that the pupils have a more meaningful experience of the concept of other countries and cultures. This subject is taught during the summer term and aims to introduce the pupils to many different countries and cultures of the world.  It involves other subjects such as geography, history, art, drama, and music.

Personal, Social & Health Education (PSHE) including Citizenship (PSHCE)

Within Multi-Sensory and Engagement Pathways, discrete PHSE topics will not be taught as standalone lessons.  This is because we believe that pupils within these pathways require individualised targets that promote independence and prepare them for adult life.  These targets are interwoven into all curriculum areas however each week there is a session whereby pupils receive specific, focused one to one support to embed and extend their learning.  These targets are continually reviewed and revisited to meet individual needs. 

 Pupils within Progression and Functional Pathways, follow a rolling programme of PSHE topics. There are six topic areas; Self-awareness, Self-care Support and Security, Managing Feelings, Changing and Growing, Healthy Lifestyles and The World I Live In. In addition, pupils take part in weekly Life Skills sessions. For classes who follow the ASDAN accreditation, the teacher will aim to cover areas of PSHE from the programme not already covered through ASDAN to make sure that pupils have a full coverage of KS4 PSHE. 

  Food Technology

Food Technology aims to provide the pupils with the basic skills needed to produce a simple snack or meal therefore giving greater independence.  Pupils of all ages have the opportunity to develop food technology skills.  Food technology provides many important cross curricular opportunities for learning during enjoyable and often highly motivating activities e.g. following instructions and procedures, turn taking, basic safety and hygiene rules. During such activities staff respect religious and dietary observances. There is a specialist Food Technology room in addition to class based activities

Sex and Relationships Education  

The topics are fully aligned with the Statutory Guidance for Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education from the Department for Education (DfE). Within the topics, the statutory areas of Relationships Education for Primary are covered as well as the Sex and Relationships Education for Secondary pupils. Parents do have the right to withdraw their child from some or all of Sex Education that is delivered in Secondary. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s class teacher to discuss what will be covered and if they still want to withdraw will need to contact the Head Teacher. 

Physical Education (PE)

PE is an important part of the curriculum.  All pupils are given the opportunity to participate in the various elements of PE.  The Government sports funding has meant that our pupils have had the opportunity to have PE sessions provided by external agencies and new resources have been purchased to support the development of key skills.  Inter-school links are positively encouraged via Sports Days, games sessions and through links with the North Staffordshire Special School Sports Association.  The school is well resourced providing a swimming / hydrotherapy pool, Rebound Therapy, large sports hall and indoor and outdoor play equipment, adventure playgrounds and outdoor gym.


Art enables the pupils to gain from sensory experiences by exploring a wide range of different art materials and mediums. Through art-based activities pupils are being encouraged to develop manipulative and tactile skills and aesthetic appreciation. Pupils are supported to explore their own preferences, thoughts and ideas and communicate these in a creative way. They are encouraged to take pride in their own work and achievements. Pupils also learn about artists and their work. The school regularly uses artists in residence. We are also a part of the British Ceramics Biennial's Education program which uses big ideas and innovation to develop engaging, hands-on activity. We strive to create enthusiasm for clay at all stages of learning: EYFS, Primary, and Secondary. 


Computing is used as a tool to enhance the delivery of various aspects of the curriculum.  The school has a serious commitment to computing and recognises it’s potential.  Computers and iPads are available for use in every classroom.  All classrooms have interactive whiteboards installed and all have internet access. There is a considerable range of resources available in our computing library to enhance learning and recreational activities.  The school takes E Safety very seriously. It has its own E Safety committee which meets regularly and contributed to achieving E-safety accreditation.

Design + Technology

In addition to planned lessons, the school also uses community facilities such as workshops at local museums. Pupils are given experience of a variety of materials and skills in order to challenge and interest them. They become involved in activities which begin with the development of hand function and work through to the use of hand tools. All pupils are offered choices and are encouraged to talk, or communicate in some way, about their work. This is in order to develop an interactive approach to their work and to introduce problem solving.


Music is an important part of life at Kemball School and makes a valuable contribution to the education of our young people. Pupils enjoy weekly music sessions up to year 9 with Kemball’s music teacher in the music room. During the sessions pupils sing, listen and respond to music, create their own music using tuned and untuned percussion and learn about musical techniques and styles from a wide range of cultures and genres.

All pupils across the school access music throughout the year from visiting musicians, taking part in workshops and performances. There is a sing and sign choir which performs for parents during the school year and has taken part in concerts with other schools through Music Share and within the Orchard Community Trust.


RE sets out to teach pupils about the world around them, encouraging a sense of their own identity and of relationships with other individuals and groups of different faiths. It endeavours to help pupils to convey their feelings and thoughts, to experience and develop an awareness of the spiritual dimension of life and eventually to approach questions of ultimate value. It complements the PSHE curriculum very well and also focuses upon questions of ethics, building relationships and family.

RE is taught through two RE days a half term focussing upon festivals, stories from religions and key concepts, providing an immersive experience for the children and repetition so that skills can be built over time.

NB: Parents have the right to withdraw their child from RE. Please ask for details.


Pathway assemblies are held at throughout the week, led by a member of the SLT or pathway lead.  These are a celebration of pupils’ achievements. Certificates are given out to pupils during assembly time. Special assemblies are held at Christmas and Harvest time when the local community may be invited in to lead the services. Friends and families are also encouraged to share in the services. NB: Parents have the right to withdraw their child from assemblies.

Leavers programme

When students are in Key Stage 4 there is more emphasis on what will happen when they leave Kemball. Whether it is going into further education or working towards gaining employment the focus is on helping them to continue their career path.  To enable this Kemball school offers nationally recognised qualifications for pupils to work towards.

ASDAN is an awarding body which provides a recognised qualification in skills towards learning, employment and life skills.  An entry level is a level of qualification for students working below a GCSE level of a grade G. They are awarded as three levels: Entry Level 1, Entry Level 2 and Entry Level 3.  For pupils working beyond Entry Level qualifications there are Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications.

Kemball School’s career programme begins in year 9. Pupils in year 9, 10 and 11 have access to a variety of workplace visits and young enterprise activities through a Preparation for Adulthood Day, which allows them to develop key skills for the world of work and teaches them about the type of work available in the local job market. These encounters are supplemented by additional classroom based sessions to learn about how to access the world of work and cover, amongst other topics, interviews, health and safety and CV writing.

Once a pupil in the functional pathway reaches year 11 they also undertake a work placement based on their personal interests and abilities. This takes place over a period of 4-5 days and is supported by a workplace coach initially, with a view for as many pupils as possible to access the placement independently towards the end of their placement. The school keeps a record of meaningful encounters over the pupils’ time in the functional pathway and will keep a work placement diary when they undertake a weeks’ work placement.

For more information of Kemball School’s careers programme please contact the school via the school telephone number or Kemball email address.

PMLD Post 16 provision at Kemball School

 This provision will cater for pupils with PMLD pupils functioning on lower level Engagement Steps (previously P1 and P3ii). This group of pupils will access Asdan personal progress accreditation, follow adult steps in B squared, to allow focused assessment, as well as covering activities to encourage progress in all areas of the preparing for adulthood guidance. Class tasks reflect a personalised approach and focus heavily on individual targets and destination maps. Pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties require specialist care in all areas including medical and physical. It is essential they have access to hoists and other equipment which allow them to take part in activities. Kemball School currently has 5 additional classes specialising in the education of pupils with PMLD. The data collected each term shows progress is made in all areas including the targets from EHC plans. Staff are experienced in this area and set well thought out challenging goals which allow pupils to work to their strengths. With this provision this level of education and care would be extended to those aged 16-19.

Travel Training

Travel training is an important step on the journey to making our young people more independent. Where appropriate, at Key Stage 3, with travel training lessons, students have the chance to learn about road safety skills and public transport. These lessons take place with the class teacher in group sessions where essential skills are learnt. Some pupils will then go on to receive one to one sessions with a support staff member, to learn a specific route e.g. home to school or home to college, with the aim to achieve independent travel.

National Record of Achievement (NRA) / Progress File

All pupils in school are involved in the NRA and parents are encouraged to ask to see these files when visiting school.  Each pupil’s Progress File is a celebration of their achievements and experiences.  Many pupils enjoy compiling this journal, look at it regularly and are very proud of it.  The document is presented to the pupils when they leave school.

Equal Opportunities

The commitment to equal opportunities should permeate every aspect of the curriculum.  Orchard Community Trust is committed to equality of opportunity and this is embraced by the staff at this school.  No person, whether pupil, member of staff or anyone else connected with the school will be treated less favourably because of his or her social class, religion, gender, race, culture, disability, learning difficulty, age or sexual orientation.  The school’s Equal Opportunities policy is available on request or via the school website.

British Values

Throughout our curriculum and ethos, we aim to promote fundamental British values within all aspects of Kemball School. We expect individuals associated with our school to aim to adhere and respect these values which unite us all whatever faith, ethnicity, culture or beliefs.  The values we hold dear are values of tolerance, equality, respect, co-operation, responsibility, compassion and democracy. Our British values statement is available on request and on the website.

Support staff

The following support staff visit school on a regular basis:


The physiotherapy staff are in school several days per week. They liaise with teachers to assess for equipment and physical management.  Home visits are arranged by the physiotherapist where necessary.

Speech therapist

Speech therapy is based on a consultancy model where the speech therapist plans programmes for pupils and liaises with teachers implement programmes.  Speech therapists visit regularly to review pupils’ progress. In addition to this the school employs a speech therapy assistant who works for one day a week.


 Mel Hope, CAMHS disability nurse will be on site for half a day every Wednesday.  In addition to coffee mornings and workshops she will work alongside school staff to support pupils and offer one to one advice.


The orthoptist visits periodically to assess pupils’ vision.  Parents are contacted if action is required.

Advisory teachers for the Visually / Hearing Impaired

These teachers visit when required to assess and advise on visual / hearing problems. Audiology clinics are also held in school.

School doctor

The paediatrician holds surgeries within school.  These are for routine medical examinations and for parents to seek advice on medical matters relating to their child at school.

Medical support

If you would require medical advice you can telephone the Hub to speak to a member of the school nursing team on 0300 1240362. Class staff will pass on messages to all professionals.

Bi-lingual assistance

To meet the needs of pupils and families for whom English is a second language an interpreter is used when required.  In addition, to support Asian children and families, our bi-lingual assistant, Jas Matharu is in school every day apart from Mondays.  A message can be left for her at the school office.

Support for staff

The school aims to equip all staff with the skills and knowledge that are necessary to be effective in preparing pupils to become as independent as possible.  The school provides opportunities for personal development, which in turn benefits the children in school.  Parents can be assured that professional standards are high and staff in school are given every encouragement and opportunity (within the given resources) to develop their skills in teaching and learning.


Inspection of documents.

Copies of all documents referred to under Paragraph 5 and 6 of the Education (School Curriculum & Related Information) Regulations 1989, may be inspected or obtained (except those which are copyright) at the school, upon request to the Head Teacher

Charging & Remissions Policy

A copy of the Charging & Remissions policy is available from the school upon request. This is also available on the school’s website.

Complaints Procedure

Although we hope that it will never be needed, a copy of The Orchard Community Trust's Complaint procedure can be found on the school website or via request from the school office.