Quick Links

Quick Links

The Windmill School

Primary Department

The Windmill School provides an autism-specific, predictable and purposeful learning environment in which our pupils succeed and thrive more effectively, and where they will have the best chance of achieving holistic progress.  Our priority is to offer a nurturing safe environment for all our pupils, however in our Primary Department the focus is on the development of spontaneous communication and interaction through fun and motivating activities designed to foster positive relationships and enhance engagement with learning. 

Our classrooms are zoned for predictability with visual systems that aid social understanding of the purpose of those spaces. All classrooms are fitted with a sink, combinations of teaching spaces for both independent and group learning with a carpeted area and rest zone. 

All pupils are encouraged to engage in a sensory alerting or calming activity at the start of the day , although it is anticipated the sensory spaces and soft play will be used throughout the day as necessary.  For some, sessions may take place in the classrooms as a small group or 1:1, as individuals may be overwhelmed in some spaces and need the flexibility of remaining in the base classroom until they are able to make transitions to more specialist therapeutic rooms. 

Learning takes place across all natural routines during the day. Lunch and break sessions are viewed as curriculum time, as we consider these to be teaching times for learners providing opportunities to socially interact if this is their preference and develop skills that will support their independence and mirror real life. 

The school day begins with a low arousal and regulatory, low demand transition in to school, followed by registration as a circle time session. This low demand start to the day provides opportunities for regulatory activities at the point of transition to school, followed by 5 further teaching periods. Lesson times vary between 60 and 45 minutes with the flexibility to incorporate predictable routines within those sessions, including sensory break and snack.

End of sessions offer time for staff to ensure note taking, marking and assessment opportunities linked to SCERTS, including annotation of digital evidence of learning are complete and pupils engage in free flow activities prior to the next transition. 

Example Primary timetable showing a range of subject options


Arrival transition to classes supervised by staff teams  

8:50 – 9:30 

Registration period/ therapy programs/sensory passion projects  

9.30- 10:15 

Session 1   Communication Language Literacy (45 mins) 


Break and snack (10 min snack in classroom) 

10.40 am- 11:30 

Session 2  Numeracy and Reasoning  

11.30- 12:20pm 

*Session 3 Lunch     Lunch and Play  

12. 20pm -13:10 

Session 4   Science/ Technology/ Forest Schools 

13:10 –14:0Opm 

Session 5    Historical /Geographical understanding/ PE 

14: 00pm- 14:45 

Session 6    Creative arts/ Music  


Registration form/circle time  

15: 15pm 

End of day / transport /collection/ bus lines  

*Primary pupils begin their afternoon session while secondary pupils are eating their lunch.
As the school grows, there will be 2 lunch sittings: one each for the Primary, Secondary/ P16 phases. 
Our school day for all key stages begins at 8.45 and finishes at 3.15pm. The rationale for beginning lesson 1 at 9.30am is that it provides flexibility during the morning transition from school transport or drop off. Our curriculum approach reflects our respect for each student as an individual, aiming to develop knowledge, understanding, self-reliance and coping skills in a supportive environment that minimises distress.  We offer the least restricted environment where there are opportunities for movement breaks as required.