The School Day

The school day at Chatten Free School we have tailored both the pupil and staff experience to optimise learning opportunities on an individual basis.

Every pupil will have a tailored daily experience but there are some consistent elements which will go across all elements of the school:

  • Pupils come into school at 9am and the school day ends at 2:30pm.

  • Pupils will engage in some kind of group learning or guided play at some stage in the day for at least 20 minutes.

  • There is no traditional play or lunch breaks.  Pupils do receive leisure time but this is done on an individual basis in a way which is appropriate to the individual.  For example, some pupils may receive a short break of 5 minutes every twenty minutes while some may need a more formal break time.  Lunch is done on a similar basis with pupils often making their own lunch or practising relevant skills which are pertinent to those times.

  • Staff start at 8.  Between 8 and 9 they will be working on programmes or engaged in training. Staff leave at 4pm.  Between 2:30pm and 3pm they take a lunch break and between 3pm and 4pm they will be working on programmes or engaged in training.  Staff receive a 20-minute break at some stage between 11am and 1:30pm.

  • The hour at the beginning and end of the day is vital to creating, developing and graphing data related to pupil programmes.  It is also vital to ensuring that staff are trained on an ongoing basis to provide the best quality interventions for pupils.

The school is split into three phases these are:

  • Phase 1: Year R,1,2,3,4

  • Phase 2: Year 5,6,7,8,9

  • Phase 3: Year 10,11,12,13,

For more details on the phase structure please look on our website under learning and look at the individual phases.  As all pupils have an individual timetable and curriculum it is difficult to show what timetables might look like, however we have shared below a short description and example timetable for each phase.

Please note

These timetables are totally fictional and real timetables are likely to look very different.  If you would like more details on interventions and curriculum elements described, please investigate learning section of the website. Learning breaks will occur in-between or during the sessions described above.  Real timetables may be more detailed than the above they may be more flexible and less detailed as the needs of the pupils are assessed and understood.  Timetables are also often updated and changed according to the evolving needs of the pupil.  You will be unable to access the sample timetables on the mobile version of this site but you can download them by clicking here

Phase 1

Pupils in phase 1 are younger and may follow a more developmental curriculum such as VB-MAPP or a more functional curriculum such as EFL.  This is dependent on individual needs.  Pupils are likely to spend quite a lot of time being taught new skills intensively and then having those skills generalised through play or the natural environment. Relevant academic skills will be taught discretely during ‘table work’. Pupils may also work on basic safety skills. Below is an example timetable:

Phase 2

Pupils in phase 2 are KS2 and KS3 and will usually follow a functional curriculum such as EFL.  Pupils are likely to spend some time being taught new skills intensively and some time learning  ‘life skills’ in a more functional and practical manner. Some time may be given over to developing hobbies and interests as a way to enrich individual lives and possibly develop employment skills.

Phase 3

Pupils in phase 3 are KS4 and KS5 and will usually follow a functional curriculum such as EFL.  They may also be working on relevant qualification such as ASDAN.  These pupils may access the community more often and may be involved in supported employment experience. If pupils join us in Phase 3 and need to work on phase 1 or 2 skills then we will do this where appropriate to the individual.

Head Designate: Adam Dean (also person to contact for enquiries)


Contact number: 07821680581

Address: C/O Adam Dean - Market Field School, Elmstead Market, Colchester, Essex, CO7 7ET

Chatten Free School is part of the Hope Learning Community (HLC)

Gary Smith OBE is the CEO of the Hope Learning Community Trust

The Chair of trustees for the HLC is Micheal Andrews

If you require a paper copy of anything on this website please e-mail the request to

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