English and Phonics


Our intent is to give every pupil the ability to read and comprehend the pictures, symbols and the written word. All pupils will be taught to read in line with their cognitive development, from reading and recognising symbols and photographs to aid communication, to reading a wide range of literature fluently for a variety of purposes


Each curriculum pathway has planned development of communication and wider reading and phonics targets that are highly personal and relevant to the specific area of need for each individual pupil. Reading and phonics is taught across all curriculum pathways through;

  • All teaching staff fostering a love of literature across all pathways through daily storytelling and shared book activities
  • Through highly personalised learning opportunities, English and reading activities are often based on highly favoured and relevant topics for each individual
  • Language development in communication rich environments which includes development of speaking and listening for all pupils, (for some non –verbal this is through using alternative methods of communication) is promoted throughout the school day
  • Interactive systematic synthetic phonics is taught every day for pupils ready to learn sound to symbol correspondence
  • Pupils are encouraged to use and apply their phonic knowledge in independent work, guided writing sessions and individual or group reading where appropriate
  • Pupils read from books with the sounds they know, while they are learning to read. Hedgewood uses the Bug Club reading schemes as well as additional decodable schemes such as, Floppy Phonics, Project X, Oxford Reading Tree scheme
  • Reading is taught by embedding comprehension in functional and recreational activities using a cross curricular approach. our cross curricular teaching develops comprehension of concepts through visuals– across all lessons
  • Our communication development such as; Picture Communication Exchange, Social Stories, ‘Now and Next’ boards, daily timetables, visual stories, visual strategies, behaviour techniques
  • Pupils have access to a wide range of texts and are supported in the school use of our library as well as community visits to the local public library
  • Pupils engage in daily song and rhyme activities and through our Creative Arts programme enjoy dedicated music lessons supporting development of listening to remembering and matching sounds
  • Pupils are supported in their functional reading of recipes, instructions, shopping lists, menus, words in the environment such as; shop signs and items in the supermarket, vocational instructions / work experience – following rules of job, map reading
  • Our lunchtime Reading Club is linked with drama sessions for children to develop their speaking and performance skills.
  • Hedgewood hold ‘Reading Cafes’ for parents to support their engagement in reading with their child, develop understanding of their child’s phonic development and how to use home learning resources to support their child


Pupils are able to effectively use pictures, symbols and the written word in their everyday lives to access, understand and share information.


Our Ethos & Values

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