All children at Cedar Hall have access to a broad, balanced, differentiated and relevant curriculum, which includes full National Curriculum entitlement. Personal as well as academic skills are nurtured to encourage the development of confident, well-adjusted, sensitive and independent young people.

The primary pupils follow a curriculum devolved from the Early Years Foundation Curriculum differentiated to meet individual needs.  Primary literacy and numeracy tend to be taught in discrete sessions, whilst the remainder of the curriculum is met via termly topics. In literacy the Individualised Reading Approach (Cliff Moon 2007) is used alongside phonic decodable readers from a variety of publishers.


In numeracy/mathematics students cover number; algebra; ratio, proportion and rates of change; geometry and measure; probability and statistics at a level appropriate to their individual ability. Where necessary the practical life skills of telling the time and handling money are given a high priority. Lessons include a written or mental starter to provide a warm up for the main focus of the lesson or to review prior learning.

Numeracy/mathematics is taught through a variety of mediums.  These include games (for example: shopping games, clock dominoes, memory games), worksheets, computer programs (for example:  Mymaths, times tables, mangahigh, RM maths, sumdog) and practical activities (for example:  weighing, measuring, building shapes with polydron and multilink, constructing isometric drawings and tessellations).

Parents can support their child by encouraging them to pay for shopping and check the change, sort items into groups (for example setting the table with 4 sets of cutlery), playing games which promote number skills or pattern recognition, and use of the Sumdog and Mymaths websites which can be accessed from home.

In years 10 and 11 all students work towards an Entry Level qualification in Mathematics. Selected students in year 10 and 11 follow the Edexcel GCSE Foundation Level mathematics course.

For further information please contact Mrs S Stott.


English throughout the Curriculum: It is essential that pupils gain the necessary English skills for life so they can succeed in the wider world. English is a whole school approach being emphasised in every department, every learning environment and every lesson. English is therefore not just about English lessons. Language and Literacy are promoted in order to develop pupils’ existing knowledge and ability in a comprehensive, systematic manner.

In the Secondary Department, All pupils have separate Literacy and English lessons.  Literacy lessons tend to have smaller class sizes where pupils are grouped according to ability. Its main focus is for pupils to develop their skills and techniques in reading using high quality, differentiated, age-appropriate texts. Lessons endeavour to create a love and enjoyment of reading. These skills will include phonic awareness, spelling, vocabulary development, grammar, punctuation and comprehension.

In English lessons for Years 8 & 9, pupils cover a much broader range of literature covering poetry, fiction, non- fiction, film and plays. Pupils are taught to speak clearly and convey ideas using a variety of methods including presentations, discussions, debates and using puppets and drama. The Curriculum is very much in line with the New National Curriculum as much as possible; with a lot of objectives coming from the Key stage 1 and 2 National Curriculum, in order to fill in gaps in pupils’ existing knowledge.

In Keystage 4 all pupils will have the opportunity to work towards an English Entry Level. Higher achieving pupils who are able to access the curriculum have the opportunity to gain a GCSE in English.


Year 8
The Year 8 science lessons have been structured to give as much practical work as possible and to split the science into topics that cover the 3 strands (Biology Physics and Chemistry)

As this is potentially the first time pupils have been taught in the Science Laboratory (primary and middle are taught in own rooms) the pupils go through safety in the Science Laboratory. This covers the 8 Science rules and hazardsthrough the use of worksheets and demonstrations. The pupils spend at least 4 weeks using Bunsen burners and do the rock salt experiment which covers the concepts filtration, boiling and evaporation. The interactive whiteboard is used for anatomical and physiological drawings.

 Topic work (Taken from Spotlight Science Scheme Year 7’s)
The following topics take up to a term each and there are end of topic tests to measure progress.

 Forces – a Physics topic to include pushes, pull, Sir Isaac Newton, friction, floating and sinking, levers and pulleys.

 Acids and alkalis – a Chemistry topic to include indicators, the pH scale, neutralisation and soil testing.

 Magnetism and Electricity – a Physics topic to include magnets, magnetic fields, electromagnets, conductors and insulators, series and parallel circuits, resistance, mains plug (wiring up)voltmeters and fruit batteries.

 Variety of Life – A Biology topic to include life processes vertebrates and invertebrates, mosses ferns conifers and flowering plant classification, cells and bodily organs.

 All the work from above is in worksheet form and collated in folders.

 Year 9, 10 and 11 Science Lessons

In Year 9 Science lessons have been structured to begin the 3 year course that is called Entry Level Science. This examination is topic based with some practical investigation work and a research project. There are a total of 39 topics that cover the entire Science curriculum at Key Stage 3 and 4. Each topic lasts 2-3 weeks . Each lesson is a ‘spread’ and most lessons involve answering textbook questions in exercise books. There is an end of topic test for each topic which the marks get carried through to the final total in the accreditation process.

In Year 11, before the pupils go on work experience and other examinations come into force, the pupils undertake two assessed practicals. Marks are also awarded sporadically for can do assessments. 

As there are so many topics, each of the main sciences are chosen in turn e.g. a Physics topic followed by a Chemistry one then a Biology topic. All 39 topics have individual lesson activities and content statements that are available from the course R591 Course book (OCR). Pupils can gain a level 1,2 or 3 according to their summative achievement. Some higher ability pupils are chosen to do GCSE OCR science.

Part of science in Year 10 is to attend Writtle College in Chelmsford. The pupils will look at 3 disciplines, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry and Mechanisation. As much as possible these areas are linked to Science. However it is also an opportunity to study at an adult college and start to take responsibility for ordering food and socialising in an adult canteen.

Food Technology

The Vision is for all pupils to be able to prepare and cook at least one healthy meal independently.


  • To provide an opportunity for pupils to learn how to select and prepare food attaining to a balanced diet independently.

  • To provide an opportunity for pupils to learn how to cook food independently.

Skills will be taught mainly through:                                                                                           

  • Primary & Middle: Teacher-prepared selection of savoury and sweet recipes.

  • Secondary: Children and adult prepared recipes, often chosen by the pupils & ‘Licence to Cook’ programme.

 Curriculum links

  • RE – Celebrations and Festivals

  • Art – Creative skills for presentation

  • Literacy – reading recipes, understanding terminology, listening to instructions

  • Numeracy – weighing and measuring

  • Music – linking music to celebrations

  • ICT – use powerpoints/interactive whiteboard to use as learning tools

  • Food Technology is currently in a Home Management module in the Asdan Award Programme

We have a close connection with Morrisons in Hadleigh who have visited the school on numerous occasions and some children have visited the store.  Our Big Bake sale was a great success raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital, where the children had a ‘bake off’ against each other. Breakfast club was another success story and we are hoping to repeat this in the near future.


The focus of Music at Cedar Hall is for all pupils to developtheir skills as musicians and to make progress on their musical journey in a fun and interactive way.  Through playinginstruments and singing , pupils are encouraged to express themselves, work together as a band, and enjoy making music.

Pupils will have access to all the instruments we have in school but there is particular focus on the use of percussion, keyboard and ukuleles.  Pupils work as part of the whole class band and also perform and improvise on their own. 

Cedar Hall pupils are encouraged to develop their own musical tastes but also to respect and allow others to have their individuality too.

Pupils are taught in half termly blocks and recordings are made of their music whenever possible.  Pupils are encouraged to develop their technique with individual instruments as well as their aural skills and musicianship.

We run lunch clubs on Wednesday and Thursday where pupils can come and sing and play the instruments.  We also have choirs for each department and these offer opportunities for pupils to expand their love of music and singing.

Year 11 Careers Education Programme

In year 11, pupils are provided with a specifically tailored Careers education programme which has recently received the RoQa recognition for quality award. It was also highly praised by Ofsted in 2013.

Our Careers programme helps pupils to prepare for their 2 week work experience program which takes place in the Spring term in Year 11. Pupils are taught strategies to be safe in the work place and strategies to cope if things go wrong. It also provides them with confidence to complete the work experience which in turn helps develop their independence and social skills. Pupils will also complete tasks which provide evidence for their ASDAN qualification.

 In the Summer term, pupils study for an Entry Level Health and Safety qualification which encourages them to be safe around school and the work place. Pupils learn about different health and safety signs and demonstrate they can identify potential hazards to ensure they keep safe.

Religious Education

Religious Education is taught to all classes throughout the school. The R.E. programme is based on Essex L.A. agreed syllabus and is available on request.

Parents have the right to withdraw their child from Religious Education and Collective Worship. If you would prefer your child not to participate in this aspect of school life, please inform the Headteacher.



Computing is taught to pupils of all ages throughout the school. In the Primary department computing and ICT skills are embedded into the curriculum. In addition to opportunities to use computing skills throughout the curriculum Middle and Secondary pupils are also taught one Computing lesson per week. Our programme of study for Middle and Secondary pupils has been developed from the ICT Inspires progression guidance which is based on the Naace ICT framework and compliant with the 2014 Computing curriculum.

The programme covers four main areas of study, which are broadly categorised as follows:

Communicating in the digital world

  • Digital communication such as text processing, multimedia presentations and electronic communication.

  • Producing and editing media using graphics packages, digital photographs, video, animation, sound and music.

Exploring the Digital World

  • Collecting, analysing, evaluating real world data and problem solving. This includes research, data handling and data logging.

 Shaping the Digital World

  • Modelling and simulations

  • Control and programming


  • Linked to research and electronic communication elements of the programme of study, including guidance on content, contact with others and online conduct.

 In year 11 most pupils have the opportunity to take Entry Level ICT Functional Skills.
If you would like more information please contact David Lazell or Louise Bruty

Art and Design

Art and Design is taught to pupils from Reception age through to the end of year 11.

At KS1 and KS2, Art is incorporated throughout the curriculum in the form of topic work.  When pupils progress on to KS3, Art and Design is taught as a separate subject.  At the start of KS3, pupils embark on a programme of study which teaches them the foundation elements of Art and Design – mark-making, line/shape, colour, pattern-making, texture/surface and 3D (sculpture).  Year 8 and 9 pupils begin to look at different movements, genres and cultures in art (Abstract Art, Pop Art, Surrealism, Venetian masks etc) and are given many opportunities to explore a range of materials and processes by designing creating their own works of art, both in 2D and 3D.

KS4 pupils are all given the opportunity to study for an arts-related qualification (GCSE and/or Arts Award).  At this stage young people are encouraged to adopt more independence in their work and are given some opportunities to pursue their own interests in the arts.

Throughout the Key Stages, trips and visits to galleries, museums and arts organisations form an integral part of all pupils’ Art & Design education.  Places visited include Tate Modern/Tate Britain, National Portrait Gallery, Saatchi Gallery and the Henry Moore Foundation at Perry Green, Herts.  Pupils gain great value and enormous pleasure in visiting these places and having the opportunity to witness and interact with great works of art at first-hand.

Physical Education and Sport

Physical Education and sport are major strengths and Cedar Hall. We have won over seventy five trophies during the last few years and have had eight children represent the county in athletics.


  • Enjoyment, success and satisfaction through sport and PE.

  • The development and maintenance of physical fitness.

  • The development of gross and fine motor skills.

  • The ability to access sport and leisure facilities after school.

  • The development of social skills through competition and co-operative physical activities.

We have good sporting facilities at Cedar Hall. There is a Hall with provision for basketball, gymnastics, dance and many indoor games. There is a full sized basket ball area on the playground and an artificial grass pitch for all weather sport. We also have a small multi-gym.There is easy access to Runnymede Hall for swimming and to Thundersley Chase for cross-country running.

Despite the success of school teams and individuals in high level competition, the philosophy for sport and physical education at Cedar Hall emphasises personal effort, improvement and enjoyment above anything else. 

Alongside curriculum P.E. several sport related after school clubs are run for pupils of all ages and abilities.

Sex and Relationships Education

Sex Education is taught to pupils as part of the P.S.H.E.C. programme although it has its own aims and policy. These aims are embedded in the context of a mature and caring relationship. Social, emotional and ethical questions are addressed as much as the physiological aspects of the subject.


At Cedar Hall, pupils have the opportunity to take part in Enterprise lessons.  In these lessons pupils are encouraged to develop their own ideas by planning events, making things and purchasing and selling products.  Key enterprise skills are developed such as thinking creatively, developing responsibiltiy, working within a team and managing risks.  Pupils also get a much better understanding of financial matters by calculating the costs, income and profits of a particular venture that they have been involved with.

Key Stage 4 Programme

During the final two years in school, pupils have the opportunity to take part in Work Experience, Community Service and Personal Challenge as certified under the HCS programme. This is exactly the same as the programme offered to children in Mainstream schools. Children in this age group also have the opportunity to follow courses at SEEVIC, Southend and Writtle Colleges.

A variety of awards and achievements certificates are available to our pupils during their final two years in school. These include GCSE, Entry Levels, Arts Award, Duke of Edinburgh and ASDAN.

All children receive a National Record of Achievement document when they leave school. Cedar Hall was the first school of any kind in South East Essex to present a Record of Achievement document to school leavers

Writtle College

Writtle College is a Horticultural/Agricultural College just to the west of Chelmsford.  On Fridays a group of Year 10 pupils attend a SEN course at the College.  This involves a three week rota of Horticulture, Animal Husbandry and Craftwork.  In Horticulture pupils grow plants from seeds or cuttings and tend their own vegetable patch.  Animal Husbandry involves feeding and cleaning out at the pig farm and in Craftwork the pupils make hanging baskets and birdboxes.  The Year 10 group also get to mix with mature students in the college and have some freedom to buy food and play pool!  All good social skills.

ASDAN Awards Programme

The nationally recognised ASDAN Award programmes progress through Bronze, Silver and Gold to University levels and can also link into the ASDAN Further Education Award Programmes.  Each programme is designed to develop, assess and accredit key skills and recognise personal achievements, which helps build a progress file.  At Cedar Hall this programme is built into the Key Stage 4 Curriculum enabling all pupils, regardless of their ability, to achieve nationally recognised certification for their work.  Pupils work mainly at Bronze or Silver levels but these can be built on after they leave Cedar Hall at local colleges that also use the ASDAN certification. For further information visit