Curriculum Statement


Ocean Lodge Independent School (OLIS) provides education for learners who present with Social, Emotional, Mental Health (SEMH), learning and behavioural difficulties in an independent school setting. Many of our learners have fractured educational histories and as a result are performing at levels well below what would be expected of their mainstream peers. We strive to fill the gaps created by fractured education and ensure every pupil has the opportunity to be the best version of themselves.

The vast majority of our learners have an Educational and Health plan (EHCP) with SEMH, speech & language and/or ASD as their primary needs.

Curriculum Aims

  • To make learning an enjoyable experience which develops pupils as fully rounded individuals and enables them to explore their talents and interests and achieve their potential in the larger world.
  • To re-engage pupils with learning and build their confidence and self-esteem so that they see themselves as successful learners and individuals.
  • To develop their basic skills in communication, literacy, numeracy and decision making so that they are able to function in adult life
  • To prepare them for the world of work and independent living and to take their place as active citizens in the UK
  • To address pupils’ social, emotional and behavioural needs through mentoring and guidance

Underpinning principles

We seek to deliver a curriculum that:

  • Is motivating and enjoyable and engages pupils in learning
  • Is challenging and promotes high aspirations
  • Mirrors the National Curriculum wherever possible and is broad and balanced
  • Encourages pupils to take responsibility for their learning and behaviour and is based upon mutual respect.
  • Maintains an appropriate focus on the acquisition of basic skills in communication, literacy, numeracy and ICT
  • Provides opportunities for accreditation and access to GCSE’s or Level 2 qualifications in Maths, English, Science and ICT, while having access to a full curriculum based on needs/skills and interests.
  • Provides pupils with opportunities to develop their physical skills and interests
  • Supports post 16 progression into further education, employment or training with a careers lesson tailored to each individual.
  • Is personalised and individualised and recognises progress and celebrates achievement
  • Provides opportunities for learners to “make good choices” and builds learners’ self- esteem
  • Provides opportunities for learners to address their social, emotional and behavioural barriers to learning
  • Prepares learners for life beyond school both in their personal and working lives
  • Supports pupils to ‘be healthy’, ‘stay safe’, and ‘make a positive contribution’.
  • Promotes learners spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and enables them to become active citizens.
  • Is accessible to all learners

The Formal and Informal Curriculum

We believe that the informal curriculum plays a very important role in supporting our learners’ personal and social development. We actively seek opportunities to interact with learners informally, to model expected behaviours and courtesies and to improve motivation. Break time and lunch time all provide valuable opportunities for informal contact.

In addition we aim to have a range of trips and visits to enrich the formal curriculum. In the course of a school year we further enhance the formal curriculum with specialist workshops (eg in music and drama) and other activities (eg social events and charity fundraising). We invite appropriate professionals from a range of disciplines to actively work with us to support pupil progress.

The formal curriculum in taught by experienced staff, and whenever possible, qualified teacher. In a small school like ours the teacher leads in the development of all lessons, differentiating them to the pupil’s needs, style of learning, and capabilities which enables experienced support staff to aid in the delivery. All pupils participate in an enhanced PSHE/tutorial programme which is carefully planned to include age appropriate sex and relationship education; information about drugs and alcohol; support for all aspects of safeguarding; career planning and preparation for post 16; active citizenship; British values, decision making and problem solving.

At Key Stage 3 and 4 the formal curriculum includes English, Maths, ICT, Science, History, PSHCE PE, Art & Craft, Food & Nutrition and Outdoor activities.

Their programmes of study lead to appropriate nationally recognised accreditations such as GCSE, BTEC, Entry Level or functional skills.


Linked policies

  • Curriculum

Review:  January 2021