Pupil on work experience at Elms Bank

Thrive Pathway


Thrive is a pathway providing a bespoke curriculum, tailored to the individual needs of a group of students whose main barrier to learning is complex Profound, Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD).

  • Students within this pathway have a combination of complex medical conditions, Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN),  Hearing Impairment (HI), Visual Impairment (VI), Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI), specific conditions impacting severely on cognitive development and/or Physical Disabilities (PD) as additional barriers.


  • We support students to develop a sense of positive well-being, confidence, independence, functional communication skills.
  • A broad & balanced curriculum at KS3 & KS4 reflecting the National Curriculum, providing therapeutic, experiential and sensory opportunities.
  • At KS5 the curriculum will focus on gaining life skills through meaningful community focused, experiential learning and sensory opportunities.
  • A specific Blended Learning offer is in place to engage and support students & their families, who need to self-isolate. (See Blended Learning Policy).
  • The pace and content of the curriculum has been modified in line with our Recovery Curriculum. (See Recovery Curriculum Policy.)


  • The Thrive curriculum is delivered by a main class teacher, supported by TAs.
  • This pathway is mainly class-based, with access to specialist facilities, e.g. sensory room, hydro-therapy pool & provision, e.g. music therapy, eye gaze technology.
  • Highly differentiated National Curriculum subjects allow students to focus on life skills, experiencing their community and a wide range of therapies.
  • This differentiated curriculum develops functional skills through a range of practical, sensory and experiential learning opportunities.
  • We offer nurturing, mixed ability forms, which spend time reinforcing our PSHCE & well-being curriculum. This is called “Excellence for All: The 5 Steps to Wellbeing” (Connect, Give, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning). Wider curriculum opportunities are celebrated and captured within the students personalised “Excellence for All” folders. Within this document students record their involvement within extracurricular opportunities for example: clubs, arts week, the school play, sporting events, PSHE drop down days and residentials.
  • All students within this pathway experience wrap around care from a range of multi-agencies including school nursing, physiotherapy, occupational health, VI, HI, speech and language therapists, and social care.
  • Careers Education, Information Advice & Guidance (CEIAG) is threaded through the curriculum areas, e.g.  experiencing routines in a salon. Students access World of Work events in KS3 & 4 at an appropriate and meaningful level. In Key Stage 5 the students experience work-based placements, e.g. visiting a community café, or experience work environments, e.g. attending the College Salon, as appropriate to their cognitive and academic level.


  • Year 7 students join us ‘working at ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Expected’ academic levels. Their progress to now will have been measured using measures such as ‘Routes for Learning’ or ‘P Scales’.
  • We strive for students to develop their independence and communication skills, to enable them to have their voice; and to enjoy being in the community, participating and contributing meaningfully.
  • KS4 Thrive is a differentiated pathway. Students work towards the Asdan Transition Challenge, where they can follow the sensory pathway or the introduction/ progression pathway. Students also complete Arts Award Discover and may access other accreditations where deemed appropriate.
  • KS5 students will achieve Arts Award Explore and Towards Independence accreditation, that celebrates their experiences. Students move on to local colleges for 3 more years of education, e.g  New Horizons specialist provision at Bury College.