Pre-phonics Literacy

Although we are a special school exclusively for pupils with autism, our approach to teaching early literacy may be adopted and used with pupils of any age and learning difficulties if functioning on ‘P’ levels. We have very specific assessments and programmes that address the challenges of teaching literacy to pupils who have great difficulties with language and who function lower than the National Curriculum. Pupils functioning at this level do not have the skills which underpin the teaching of phonics. In addition, our pupils are in the main, independent, rather than social, learners and thrive on working at the programmes, at their own pace, without requiring continuous adult direction and assistance.


The vast majority of our lower functioning pupils not only access literacy but also progress to varying degree of functional literacy. The programmes dovetail seamlessly into the Primary Strategy, where they do need, and access phonics. The majority of the pupils at the school move on to National Curriculum levels and develop skills commensurate with their general learning potential. OFSTED praised these assessments and programmes in 2001, 2003, 2010 and 2014 and the school has received a ‘Leading Aspect’ award for the same.

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