My Independence

Teaching our pupils to become as independent as possible, is at the heart of what we do at Drumbeat.

My Independence Strands:

  • PHSE and SRE
  • Community
  • Cooking and food technology
  • Careers & work related learning



PSHE underpins the ethos of the Drumbeat Curriculum ‘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’. Personal, Social, Heath and Economic (PSHE) education is designed to develop pupils’ knowledge, skills and attributes to ensure that they stay healthy, safe and are prepared for life and work in Modern Britain. 

As from September 2020 all schools are required to teach PSHE across all phases. This includes Relationships Education at key stages 1 and 2, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at keys stages 3 and 4, and Health Education in both primary and secondary phases. The aims of relationships and sex education (RSE) at Drumbeat is to provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place by giving the students the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies. Drumbeat aims to prepare pupils for puberty and progress their understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene. RSE at Drumbeat aims to develop students feelings of self-respect, confidence and empathy and to create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationships. In Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form) the SRE curriculum can be adapted and used further to  develop and further extend their skills and knowledge in this area whilst taking account of their individual learning needs. 

At Drumbeat we have drawn on principles from the EYFS Development Matters Curriculum 2014, National Curriculum 2014 and the PSHE Education Planning Framework for Pupils with SEND (Key stages 1-2) 2020 from the PSHE Association. These principles have been adapted to meet the individual strengths, needs and wellbeing of all pupils at Drumbeat. The planning framework organises the PSHE curriculum into six areas of focus:

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Self-care, Support & Safety
  3. Managing feelings
  4. Changing & Growth
  5.  Healthy Lifestyles
  6. The World I Live in

In EYFS PSHE is developed through the EYFS developmental strand ‘Personal, Social and Emotional Development’. In this area of learning EYFS pupils are taught to ‘develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to from positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities’ (EYFS Development Matters Framework 2014).

In Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form) pupils follow accreditation programmes provided by ASDAN to prepare them for apprenticeships, traineeships or supporter internships. The PSHE curriculum for key stages 3 and 4 can be adapted and used if needed for specific pupils in Key Stage 5 to broaden, develop and further extend their skills and knowledge in PSHE.



The aim of curriculum scheme of work for Community is to provide ideas, resources and guidance for teaching the Community, Independence and Learning outside the Classroom Curriculum to learners working from a very broad range of abilities following the Drumbeat steps from 1 to 10. The curriculum is taught in a progressive and sequential manner and is personalised to each pupil, meeting the priorities of learners with Special educational needs. For all pupils the Scheme of work is geared to achieve the ultimate aim that as adults they have developed and achieved the skills, particularly the functional skills that will enable them to have the greatest level of independence and most enjoyable and fulfilling lives.

The students will begin by developing confidence in transitioning within the class, the school building and the school minibus before applying the skills into a wider context outside of school such as to using public transport and developing an awareness of road safety.  Functional skills are those skills a student needs to live independently. An important goal of the learning at Drumbeat is for our students to gain as much independence and autonomy as possible, according to their levels.

Cooking & food technology

Cooking and 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, maths, turn taking, basic safety and hygiene rules. During such activities staff respect religious and dietary observances. There are specialists Food Technology/Life Skills rooms in addition to class based activities.

All cooking food technology lessons will take due regard of food hygiene rules i.e. hand washing, appropriate clothing (aprons), cleaning of work areas and equipment etc. Students will be taught how to use equipment safely at a level they are able to access.


Our students have a wide range of abilities and skills and as such may be working at very different levels i.e. developing fine motor skills by spreading and chopping; following simple recipes; trying different foods and textures; cooking for life; working towards catering as a career (ASDAN short courses, Lewisham College) etc. 

The initial aim of the Food Technology Curriculum is to extend each students skills to ensure that they can be as independent as possible; staying safe and learning to produce healthy snacks and meals for themselves. However, we know that some students will work to at a different level and may wish to move onto catering as a career and as such we will be able to extend their knowledge by attending Lewisham College (taster course in catering and/or an ASDAN short course).

Careers and work related learning can be found under the statutory information tab.