At Drumbeat we strive to offer a broad and progressive curriculum suited to the learning needs and goals of our children and young people.

We offer a personalised curriculum to ensure each individual meets their learning potential, through addressing the barriers to learning that they may experience as a result of their ASD. We do this in a number of ways, including; working with the therapy team, pastoral care, focusing on self managing behaviour and independence, addressing individual sensory needs, nurturing special interests and talents to name a few.

The curriculum, as well as providing a framework for learning opportunities, also provides life skills opportunities. We recognise that the key to learning is successful engagement. This must take into account an in individual learner’s preferred learning style and his/her level of motivation and readiness to learn.

The requirements of each individual pupil are determined through careful observation and assessment, discussion with parents and other agencies. There are many and varied opportunities to engage with parents to seek their views on their child’s learning potential. Putting the child/young person at the centre of what we do is key. An annual meeting facilitates this, using the EHCP to underpin the outcomes. This then forms the child/young person’s personalised plan.

The impact of the individualised curriculum pathway can be seen through the outcomes that our students' achieve both at school and when they leave.

The intention of the Drumbeat curriculum is for all pupils to progressively build on skills developed throughout their education journey and develop the skills needed for future life. By embedding learning in practical and meaningful activities teachers enhance students' ability to generalise and use key skill areas.   Schemes of work encompass skills that build upon primary skills and directly relate to the next steps. 

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 accordingly across subjects.

The core curriculum is based on the Drumbeat levels curriculum and assessment model. Targets, planning and assessment all follow Drumbeats bespoke system based on ASD theories and strategies.The subject areas for core subjects (Drumbeat steps) are:


Maths: Number, Shape space and measure and using and applying. 


English: Communication, reading and writing (Read Write Inc Phonics program)


Additional subject areas that form the non core curriculum (Drumbeat levels) are grouped into the categories below: 




My Independence Including PSHE, Travel training, self help and SRE.


My Creativity Including art, dance, music and drama. 


My Health and well being Including psychical education, PSHE and emotional regulation. 


My Understanding of the world Including science and humanities.


Students are class based for all areas of learning and teachers group students and offer smaller outside working groups to maximize learning potential.  The curriculum was written with future outcomes as a starting point and clear progression can be seen throughout. For further details please see individual key stage information. 


Drumbeat Steps and Levels


Drumbeat steps (core subjects) and Drumbeat levels (non-core areas) have been created following the recommendations from the Rochford Review (2016) of the removal of P.Levels as statutory requirement for the assessment of students working below the standard of national curriculum tests. Each subject area or cluster of subjects were written by Drumbeat staff including the senior leadership team, teachers and therapists. For core subject the Wilson Stuart levels were used as a starting point and adapted to incorporate ASD specific learning styles. Drumbeat levels were written using P.levels/national curriculum levels, The SCERTS framework and the AET assessment tool.


If you would like any further information on the Drumbeat Curriculum please contact Bryony Bowen or phone on 02086989738.