Key Stages

Early Years

Children who enter reception class are assessed against “Development Matters” as well as using a mixture of:

  • The SEN developmental journal
  • Speech and Language developmental scale
  • Cognitive development scale

Baseline scores are taken within 6 weeks of entry to the class as well as further assessments at marked points during the academic year; end of the autumn term, end of the summer term as well as in June, in readiness of scores for input to the LA database. This is monitored by the SLT and the LA.

Children have 3 levels of achievement to master within each developmental strand; E for emerging, D for developing and A for achieved (S for secure in used in the final assessment).

Evidence of learning is collected and put into individual scrapbooks, where observations of progress/activities are taken, via the programme “2Simple.”

Primary and KS3

The core curriculum is based on the Drumbeat steps curriculum and assessment model. Targets, planning and assessment all follow Drumbeats bespoke system based on ASD theories and strategies.

Students follow a core curriculum pathway that is based on their Drumbeat levels and progression within these. Pathways can be flexible and, due to our students’ varying needs and skills, can change according across subjects.

In KS3 students work on specific activities that are designed to develop their access to the advanced accreditation pathway that they will move onto in KS4. Students also have access to interventions to ensure high expectations and challenge within specific areas such as Drumbeat Debate Club.

Formative Assessment

Students are given a personalised target in each core area of learning. The progress towards this target is monitored using work books. Once a target is achieved students will be moved onto the next stage of progress and set a new target. This targeted learning becomes teacher individualised planning in action. The duration of a target is personalised to a pupil’s rate of progress in each area. Evidence is gathered using observations of activities or pupil work to meet the varying needs of the pupils at Drumbeat.

In addition, pupils are also set a target per half term for the non-core areas of learning. Each pupil has a personalised topic overview which incorporates personalised plan targets.

Summative Assessment 

For students in KS1, KS2, and KS3 Drumbeat Schools sets yearly targets for each area of core learning. These are based on previously used national progression guidance targets of one or two levels per key stage (depending on the length of a key stage). To ensure high expectations students are set targets in accordance to their pathway of learning with the third pathway (more able learners) being set a level plus 10% or two levels plus 10%. These targets are labelled as excellent progress as they are set higher than the expectation. Target setting is moderated externally as part of the Lewisham Schools Network and internally by teachers and SLT. High expectations are maintained throughout the year and any student exceeding target at termly drops is set and additional challenge target. 



The KS4 core curriculum is based on the AQA unit awards accreditation pathway. The Unit Award Scheme (UAS) offers learners the opportunity to have their achievements formally recognised with a certificate issued by AQA. Unit awards are carefully selected and meet the students’ needs with an emphasis on developing relevant skills for future life and the functional application of the skills developed in our primary and KS3 provision. Non-core areas are worked on, both in class groups and in weekly option groups where students are matched to an option based on EHCP outcomes/personalised plan targets.

 Formative Assessment

Students in KS4 have a daily or weekly target in Maths, Computing and English which forms part of AQA evidence/coursework. These targets are broken down or combined and extended over time periods to match the personalised rate of progress for each student.

In addition to core skills, students are also set a target per half term for the non-core areas of learning. Each pupil has a personalised topic overview which incorporates personalised plan targets.

Summative Assessment 

All pupils have a yearly target in core areas where all AQA accreditations are on Drumbeat’s SOLAR system and progress towards these targets are monitored termly by teachers and SLT. In accordance to a student’s pathway they are allocated a number of AQA unit awards in each area of core learning. This is further broken down to monitor progression within each level looking at whether a skill is developing, secure or generalised.

Sixth Form

 The Sixth Form Curriculum is based on the ASDAN course work. The course work that a student follows depends on the Pathway that they are on which is set by teachers and moderated by SLT. Each student has a work book for the course they are following. This work book has different modules with different challenges, ranging from 9-18 depending on the course. Students have to achieve certain parts of modules in order to gain credits for qualification. Students’ targets are to complete the given course they are in in 1, 2, or 3 years, depending on when they started Sixth Form. We expect most students to complete one program of study to Gold Accreditation standard within these 3 years before moving on to the next higher level program of study. All areas of learning are encompassed within the ASDAN programs including core skills, work experience, travel training, independence, life skills and emotional regulation. Additional interventions which are encompassed include The Duke of Edinburgh Award, schools journeys and sports events.