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English (Including Reading Schemes and Phonics Programme)

English encompasses all aspects of communication. It promotes learning across all areas of the curriculum and underpins pupils’ achievements and participation in all aspects of their lives, forming a sound base for lifelong learning.


English offers pupils’ opportunities to:

  • Develop the ability to understand and respond to the people and environment around them
  • Develop their own preferred means of communication – this may be verbal, written, symbols, objects, pictures, signs
  • Interact and communicate effectively with others in a range of situations
  • Obtain and use information about the world around them
  • Develop creativity
  • Make choices, ask question and be actively involved in decision making
  • Enrich and broaden their experience of the world around them
  • Develop lifelong enjoyment of a range of literature.


Our English curriculum at Rosehill has been adapted to suit the needs of the children and young people, so that skills are developed in a way that is meaningful and relevant to each individual pupil at different stages in their school career. English teaching is related to the current topic so that pupils are able to link areas of learning and begin to generalise their understanding of a subject. Teaching is lively, relevant, and creative. It takes account of different learning styles. ICT and sensory resources are widely used as a means of engaging all pupils at a level appropriate to their stage of development, thereby ensuring that pupils enjoy the subject and make academic progress. Our reading programme has been specifically designed to ensure that our pupils learn to read with understanding. Visual discrimination, spelling and colourful semantics are systematically developed in an ‘autism friendly’ way so that pupils are able to achieve and develop confidence to progress further. Pupils will initially learn to focus on objects and then photographs, pictures, symbols and words so that they are able to relate the abstract concept of words to concrete objects and experiences.


We teach pupils to read and write using a range of approaches, based on their learning styles. Pupils are taught using a whole word approach through use of symbols, key words and Colourful Semantics. They are also taught phonics using the systematic synthetic phonics program, (SSP) “No Nonsense phonics”.  This SSP was carefully selected from the vast array of government validated schemes, as the programme provides a comprehensive step-by-step method for teaching reading, handwriting and spelling. Over learning through repetition using the many resources from No Nonsense Phonics and Phonics International means that phonic learning is embedded.


However, we recognise that, for some pupils with autism, breaking down words into component parts fragments the word to a point where meaning is lost and the phonic approach may not be appropriate. 


From early phonics development to fluency, Collins Big Cat phonic books are used as a whole-school programme that provides complete support for reading. The phonics books deliver effective phonics with fully decodable books, which are aligned to the No Nonsense scheme and foster a love of reading with hundreds of levelled readers to support guided, independent and small grouped reading.


We use a wide range of reading material to engage our pupils. We make selective use of published non- fiction and fiction books, ensuring that the content is meaningful and appropriate to our pupils. We make our own printed resources such as photo books, class books, sensory books, story sacks and social stories so that reading matter is tailored to suit the individual’s interests and level of development. We may also adapt published material to make it more accessible to our pupils but maintaining fidelity to the No Nonsense Phonics SSP.


Reading books are available for all readers, and used flexibly to suit individuals. We pay careful attention to the content, so that pupils are able to understand what they are reading.


Reading Schemes and resources we use and adapt for our readers include:

  • Oxford Reading Tree
  • Dockside reading scheme
  • Topic based easy reading non-fiction books
  • Story sacks and sensory book bags
  • Colourful Semantics topic-based books
  • Pupils borrow books from the school library and many visit the local library.

English Long-Term Plans

Further Information and Evidence of Impact

For further information about our English Curriculum please contact:

Tamara Riddell: t.riddell@rosehill.nottingham.sch.uk


For further information about Phonics please contact

Joanne Ritchie: j.ritchie@rosehill.nottingham.sch.uk

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