Primary Curriculum

"Since starting at Cressey he now sleeps through the night, and he's now confident enough to play with his friends, and to understand how others feel, for the first time."

Primary school Parent, 
November 2015

"The whole ethos of the school is lovely. My boy got a great welcome, he's settling in really well and he actually feels wanted. At his last schools he felt like he wasn’t wanted. This is so different, so good!"

Parent, May 2016

Primary Curriculum

Our Primary curriculum has four modules. The subjects covered are listed in the table below.

Academic Curriculum. We focus on literacy, Numeracy, Science, Computing and PSHEE, and all students follow the new National Curriculum. An individual programme is prepared for each student according to their needs, taking their Statement into account. There are many other subject options, as illustrated by the table below.  

Creative Curriculum. Creative activities such as Art cooking or pottery can greatly increase some students' interest in learning. So we provide many options.

Emotional Curriculum. Helping students to cope with emotional difficulties is a core element of Cressey's approach. The emotional curriculum is therefore substantial.

Physical education. Our PE curriculum has many options. We very strongly encourage regular sport and exercise, and there are outdoor activities all year round.

Primary Nurture Groups, Years 1-6

Within Cressey College we have a small school for Primary age students in Years 1-6, who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties with particularly challenging behaviour and/or additional complex needs.

Location. Our nurture Groups are at our Coombe Cliff site, though we can also take Primary students at our Denmark Hall site, in the event that a student needs a dedicated personal classroom.

The importance of Nurture. Cressey's nurture-based approach is entirely appropriate to primary aged children, as well as for older students. In our Nurture Groups the children receive consistent love and nurture, with tough love and boundaries as appropriate; and our strategies are outcomes-driven. 

Small Classes. Nurture Group classes typically have 3-4 students; and each class is supported by 3-4 staff. This very high ratio, combined with the strong emphasis on nurture, enables us to succeed with children where other schools have been unable.

Staff Qualifications. Each class is led by a highly experienced teacher, supported by carefully selected teaching assistants. All staff are trained in behaviour management, and a First Aider is always immediately available.

Year 7-8 Classes, in the Primary Environment

We also run small classes (2-4 students) for selected Year 7-8 children who would benefit from remaining in a Nurture Group environment for a little longer, before transferring to one of our secondary environments. However students who are ready do of course transfer to one of our secondary sites on completion of Year 6.

Primary Curriculum 2016-17

Academic Curriculum

 Creative Curriculum

Emotional Curriculum 

Physical Education Curriculum 



 Social Skills

 Occupational Therapy


Food Technology 

Communication Skills 



Design & Technology 

Confidence Building 

 Outdoor activities



 Equal Opportunities




 Interactive Therapy




 Speech & Lang Therapy




 Restorative Approaches


 Religious Education











 Ice skating







"Being allowed to work at his own pace and ability level has been key. The whole ethos and environment at Cressey is appropriate to his academic and emotional needs. The staff clearly care about his wellbeing ... and celebrate his achievements by way of rewards systems. He feels safe and not overwhelmed at Cressey."

Primary School Parent, March 2016