Humanities (Topic)

Topic helps our children to understand the wider world in a bespoke, creative and meaningful way

The Topic curriculum intent is to promote the subjects of Geography, History and Art and Design through the exploration of creative and meaningful learning opportunities tailored to our children’s individual needs.   Topic at Lisburne is intended to support the children’s understanding of their wider world and encourage the development of key skills that will stay with them for life.

The Topic Curriculum 

The teaching of Topic at Lisburne is delivered through a cross-curricular approach with every class following a whole school topic theme each term. Each class then choses their own key question to explore linked to the topic theme. Topic is taught through multisensory sessions which are adapted and individualised to meet the needs of each child. This teaching approach is fundamental in order to ensure that sessions are creative, engaging and meaningful as well as ensuring inclusion for all pupils across the school no matter what their ability. Our Topic themes are carried out on a two year cycle and they provide the stimulus for the teaching of Art and Design, communication, engagement, PSHE and, where appropriate, History and Geography. Through the teaching of Topic we also strive to promote child-led learning by allowing pupil voice to influence lesson planning. Enrichment learning opportunities enable children to engage with the community to transfer and embed the skills learnt during Topic sessions.


Topic planning is child centered and provides a wide range of learning experiences and opportunities to ensure breadth of study and cross-curricular links. Topic overviews are shared with parents in all classes and a pre- topic homework tasks are set.  Teachers use the progression of skills grids, which break down the skills in the key areas of each subject, to support and guide their planning. All teachers complete the whole school Topic tracking document and record their key question for the term so that the Topic Hub can monitor the breadth of coverage across school.


In the formal, structured-formal and extended-formal pathways individual work books follow the ‘3 I’s’ showing a clear intent, implementation and concluding with an impact grid highlighting each child’s personal progress throughout the year. At the end of the academic year, tracking documents are completed to show what individual children have encountered, participated or achieved throughout the year. In the pre-formal pathway, topic sessions are recorded on children’s individual Tapestry posts and the engagement model is used to assess progress.  Formative and summative assessments are completed by teachers throughout the topic with next steps highlighted through recorded evidence.


Topic is monitored and developed through a yearly action plan which is reviewed and actioned regularly by the Topic hub. Staff professional development is identified through staff voice, learning walks, lesson observations and book-looks. In-house and external training is then devised and accessed as a result of this.

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The Different Aspects of our Topic Curriculum


The experiences gained through the teaching of Topic promote within our pupils an appreciation of their geographical location and their social communities in the context of their local environment as well as the wider world. These experiences enhance our pupils’ potential to become effective, caring and passionate participants in their local community and wider society and promote continuing interest throughout their lives.


The teaching of History through our Topic curriculum fires up our pupils’ curiosity about the past as well as giving them the opportunity to make sense of the present. It helps them to begin to understand their place in the world and helps them to see how events in the past made things the way they are today.

Art & Design

Art and Design plays a vital part in our pupils’ creative and sensory development. The experiences gained through the Art and Design element of our Topic curriculum develops and stimulates the pupils’ imaginations and creativity by providing a range of visual, tactile and sensory experiences. It encourages our pupils to make thoughtful judgments about life and helps them to understand how Art and Design has both reflected and shaped lives.

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   Our Topic Themes

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Contact us

Lisburne School

Half Moon Lane, Offerton, Stockport, Cheshire, SK2 5LB

Samantha Benson | Headteacher

0161 483 5045

About us

Lisburne School is a Primary aged special school over three sites that caters for children with; Severe Learning Difficulties, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties and those with Autistic Spectrum Conditions and Complex needs.