Pupils receive an individualised curriculum, based on the principles of behaviour analysis, which provides a broad range of learning opportunities throughout the school day. The curriculum is delivered and overseen by highly qualified teaching staff. Pupils are also supported by an on-site therapy team, they access off-site activities and families are supported by the school’s parent education programme and comprehensive outreach provision.

All pupils at Jigsaw are initially assessed using the CABAS® Early Learner Curriculum and Achievement Record (ELCAR) and an individualised curriculum is then formulated to best support each child’s needs and goals. The individualised curriculum is also cross-referenced to each pupil’s Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). We ensure that the individualised curriculum for each pupil is engaging and motivating. We set suitable targets that are achievable yet challenging and address each pupil’s barriers to learning.

The five main areas of assessment are:

Communication SkillsCognition and LearningInterests and PreferencesSelf-ManagementPhysical Development

Communication Skills

The curriculum is heavily weighted towards communication skills. There is a focus on listening skills such as following directions, and speaking skills such as asking for items, labelling and responding to questions. There is also an emphasis on developing emergent language skills meaning that a pupil is able to learn more language than is directly taught to them. Pupils can work through the speaking targets with pictures (e.g. PECS), sign (e.g. Makaton) or an electronic communication aid (e.g. the app Proloquo2Go on an iPad) to support with their communication skills.

Cognition and Learning

This category includes academic skills such as reading, writing, maths, general knowledge and learning about concepts. There are multiple cross-curricular links in this area as pupils will also improve their communication skills as they build their academic skills.

Interests and Preferences

This section involves expanding each pupil’s interests and preferences, e.g. choosing to look at books during free time, playing with blocks independently and selecting to go to the gym as a free time activity.


This category focuses on skills that a pupil needs to be independent in school, such as independent toileting, eating and dressing and following basic classroom rules. It also focuses on social skills such as playing alongside others, turn-taking and sharing.

Physical Development

This includes the fine motor skills that are important for school, such as holding and using a pencil and scissors, and also gross motor skills, such as throwing a ball and jumping.

The ELCAR is reviewed regularly by the senior team and new objectives are written for pupils when targets are met. Progress is monitored and recorded regularly and consistently to ensure pupils are appropriately challenged.

An initial assessment is also conducted by the school’s therapy department. Additional targets are included within each pupil’s individualised curriculum based on these assessments. As with the ELCAR, the therapy targets are also reviewed regularly and new targets are written for pupils when targets are met.

The Essential for Living assessment is also used for pupils in year 7 and above. Appropriate targets are also written using these assessment results and these are also incorporated into the pupil’s individualised curriculum.

Pupils also have access to weekly topic lessons. Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education forms the basis of the topic curriculum with links to other subject areas including Geography, History, Science, Relationship and Sex Education (RSE), Art and Design & Technology. The topic curriculum also incorporates a focus area for Religious Education (RE) with consideration to the Surrey Agreed Syllabus.

Weekly P.E. lessons and food technology lessons also take place in designated spaces in the school.

Classrooms at Jigsaw will normally have the following structure:  specialist trained teaching staff plus classroom support assistants, a Lead Teacher plus a Supervisor (who typically oversees two classrooms). Pupil numbers will be approximately 3-6 within each classroom. We aim to create a safe environment where pupils can develop their confidence, self-esteem and achieve their full potential.

A framework is in place to assess pupils’ work regularly and thoroughly and use information from that assessment to plan teaching so that pupils can progress. Visit our Pupil Progress page for more information.

At Jigsaw School our aim is to provide a broad and balanced curriculum which is relevant and accessible to all of our pupils. Our pupils have a wide range of needs and barriers to learning therefore our curriculum is highly personalised to support each pupil making the best possible progress and prepare them for the next stages of life.

More information on the School’s curriculum can be found in our Quality of Education Policy which can be found on our Policies page.  This policy provides more detailed information about our curriculum intent, implementation and impact.


The aim of our reading curriculum is to:

  • Develop a love of books and life-long love of reading
  • Enable pupils to become as independent as possible
  • Support the development of important language skills
  • Enhance social skills and encourage discussions about books and stories

Reading is an essential part of the pupil’s school day and curriculum. It is valued, promoted and actively encouraged.

Twinkl Phonics logotwinkl phonics logo

Jigsaw’s chosen systematic synthetic phonics programme is twinkl phonics. Where required, the programme is adapted and individualised to meet the needs of each pupil. In addition, we use Edmark, SRA Decoding & Comprehension in order to provide a variety of resources and opportunities.  You can find out more details on the twinkl phonics programme in this presentation and for information on parent membership to the twinkl platform, please visit and/or

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

Jigsaw is an inclusive community where linguistic diversity is valued and respected. Jigsaw provides an individualised curriculum and for many pupils, learning the function of communication and identifying effective method of speaking will be prioritised. Individualised curriculum planning will take account of such factors as the pupil’s age, length of time in this country, previous educational experiences and skills in other languages. There is careful monitoring of each pupil’s progress in the acquisition of English language skills and of subject knowledge and understanding. Targeted specialist support will be sought should additional learning or pastoral needs be identified.

We are aware of the importance of understanding the cultural background and family circumstances of pupils and young people for whom English is not their first language. We offer additional support for parents and carers such as the use of interpreters and sensitive handling of meetings with external agencies, for example, educational psychologists.

My son is happy and engaged and looks forward to going to school. (Parent Quote 2019)