Our curriculum consists of both the formal requirements of the National Curriculum and a range of other enrichment activities. We take a personalised approach to teaching and learning, matched to the individual needs of pupils, whilst taking account of particular health and medical needs. SMSC and British Values are embedded in the everyday working of the classroom.

We liaise closely with pupils’ main schools and, where possible and appropriate, follow learning objectives, targets and topics suggested by them.





Science is taught across the key stages and up to GCSE level following the National Curriculum. Various exam board specifications are used according to need and work is always shaped to fit the requirements of the individual. It is one of the three core subjects and plays an important part it shaping young peoples' understanding of the world around as and our place within it. When ever possible this subject is taught through practical work and exploration and can at times lends itself to cross curricular links with other subjects.


National Curriculum  England  Science Programmes of Study:



For example Edexcel Biology Specification




If you require additional information about any aspect of the curriculum, contact Julia Allen, Head teacher


Writing and Reading.

English subject lead: Jo Hugo


At the Devon Hospitals Short Stay School we recognise the importance of English being taught in line with the National Curriculum to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate




At DHSSS it is our intent to provide engaging and enjoyable learning experiences in order to promote pupil’s competence in spelling and handwriting and how to communicate and structure their ideas into their writing.  We aim to support pupils during their admission to NDDH or RDE hospital or our ‘outreach’ service to assist in the continuation of their progress made at their usual ‘home school.’ 


Students of all abilities, including those with SEND, and/or an EAL background are supported in meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum for English. Where possible, and when appropriate, close liaison with home schools for all pupils, including those working towards GCSE qualifications. 




Early reading is taught through systematic synthetic phonics; phonics and spelling skills are encouraged for EYFS and KS1(and older Key Stages when appropriate to the individual learner) to support pupils to learn phoneme to grapheme correspondence and use these skills to encode and decode words successfully.  DHSSS uses either the DfE validated, Twinkl Phonics SSP programme or the Read Write Inc. scheme. Pupils are assessed as soon as possible to ensure that we teach them at their current level. 


Older pupils who attend have a wide range of prior reading experiences and therefore, teachers liaise closely with the home school, where possible, to ensure that a consistent approach is maintained, allowing continuity for the pupils. The school has a range of reading books, including picture, audio and digital books, catering for pupils at EYFS and throughout KS1-KS4.  Pupils are encouraged to read widely in many situations and to recognise that reading is a valuable life skill, rather than simply an academic subject.


At DHSSS books are at the core of our English provision for all ages; EYFS-KS4, weaving in spelling, punctuation and grammar skills where appropriate, and in accordance with the statutory English National Curriculum (2014) requirements. We have half termly topics (eg: Polar regions, Space, Plants) to hook learning from, in cross curricula based activities which writing and reading lend themselves to. This is reflected in our teaching of English and Literacy across the whole curriculum, by implementing a cross curricular creative approach enhances the learning of English.


For Key stage 4 pupils we will ascertain the exam board towards which they are studying and provide targeted support in specific programmes of study. This ensures that their educational experience across both contexts is as seamless as possible. The school has access to the texts and anthologies that are studied in preparation for English Literature and English Language examinations across all examination boards. There are also a wide range of resources including films, graphic novels and games to support the variety of learning styles. 


Thanks to our links with the 'Read For Good' charity, we not only own a wide range of books but are able to give many away! Half-termly visits from the 'Read for Good' storyteller provide enhanced cultural capital opportunities for pupils, but also inspiration for developing creative thinking and descriptive writing skills.




Pupils at our School and those receiving home tuition are taught in a nurturing, personalised and multisensorial way which is beneficial to all pupils, in particular learners with Dyslexia and other SpLDs, in this way we are enabling pupils to make progress adapted to their individual needs.


DHSSS understands the significant impact that English can have on the personalised needs of each individual pupil. Regardless of age or ability, we enhance the aims of the National Curriculum by promoting an enriched learning experience, including:

  • basic literacy skills
  • confidence and self esteem
  • reflection skills
  • collaboration
  • relationship building
  • emotional well being
  • resilience
  • developing imagination
  • escapism
  • creativity
  • social interaction 
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