Our first Nurture Base opened in 2017 and has been a resounding success.
With a focus on ASC-friendly teaching and behaviour regulation, there has
been an evolution in the mindset of pupils who attend this highly
specialised provision. There are zones within the Base for sensory recovery and time out. We have a separate playground and sensory garden for the Nurture Base pupils. A total of 12 bases are now open across the school.

Aims of the Sensory Pathway:

  • To develop and facilitate a pathway for pupils with sensory needs; sensory processing difficulties, Autism, anxiety disorder, sleep disorder and medical needs
  • Within individual base classrooms, provide an environment with visual clarity in regards to a safe, sensory-friendly and accessible classroom, not to overstimulate or distract
  • To provide a therapeutic curriculum, developing social, emotional, communication, physical and academic progress
  • For all pupils to access specialist teaching and learning
  • Year 8-11, classes will have a blended and personalised curriculum within the sensory pathway creating flexibility of year groups


Pupils on the Sensory Pathway may:

  • Be overly sensitive to stimulation, for example they may overreact to, or not like, touch, noise, smells, etc.
  • Be easily distracted in the classroom, often out of his/her seat.
  • Be easily overwhelmed in the playground, during break time and in class.
  • Be slow to start and complete tasks.
  • Have difficulty with fine motor tasks such as handwriting. 
  • Appear clumsy.
  • Slouch in their chair. 
  • Seek rough play such as tackling/wrestling games. 
  • Be slow to learn new activities.
  • Be constantly moving or fidgeting
  • Have difficulty making friends.
  • Have difficulty changing from one activity to another.
  • Find changes to the normal routine hard to cope with.
  • Confuse similar sounding words.
  • Misinterpret questions or requests
  • Have difficulty reading, especially aloud.
  • Stumble over words when they are speaking
  • Feel anxious and have difficulty managing their emotions

Teachers and support staff who work on the Sensory Pathway give high-quality teaching and support which provides appropriate learning opportunities to all pupils, whatever their individual needs.

Level of support provided on the Sensory Pathway:

  • All staff have an awareness of the individual needs of the pupils through their IEP and EHCP
  • Most subjects are taught in a nurture base classroom except for Science and Food Technology which are taught by specialist teachers in our Technology Block
  • Consistent routines and boundaries are set
  • Pupils have opportunities to experience success and are given praise
  • Seating arrangements and where personal belongings are kept are considered so that pupils can manage normal daily activities in school.
  • Use of laptop for coursework/in place of written work
  • Environmental considerations have been taken into account, such as the lighting, noise, colour of the background of power points, etc
  • Adjustments to school uniform if required
  • Opportunities for pupils to have breaks or sensory activities during the day
  • Use of fidget and sensory toys
  • Where necessary, additional time is given to process language and complete tasks
  • Provide visual timetables and visual task boards or checklists.
  • Give instructions in small steps and visuals or objects used to help pupils understand what to do.
  • The classrooms are clearly labeled so that resources are easy to find and pupils can learn to be independent.
  • Planned support for times when there is going to be a change to the normal school routine
  • Regular contact between parents/carers and the school through the home/school link book
  • Access to the sensory room and quiet spaces in the school

The Sensory Pathway offers a broad and balanced curriculum and enables pupils to make social, emotional and academic progress. The curriculum is planned to enable progression from each phase of school life.