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Core - English

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Our intent is simple!  We strive to provide the best teaching, to follow and utilise the research, work with our school partners and to maximise all learning opportunities to provide the best possible outcomes for all of our learners.  We do this to enable all pupils to develop their reading, writing and communication skills, preparing them well for their next step/ stage by opening up the world beyond their physical experiences and allowing them to communicate with others and interpret the world around them.  We ensure that our approaches carry meaning and interest for all of our students, as we believe that this helps sustain interest and develop confidence.  Promoting a love of literature in all its forms is integral to our offer.  

We have the highest ambitions for our learners, and we work tirelessly to find materials and methods that will allow all barriers to learning to be overcome.   We view literacy as a lifelong skill for learning and communicating and as a form of pleasure and relaxation that can support wellbeing beyond life in school.


English is delivered through the EYFS areas of Literacy and Communication and Language. English is delivered as a core subject from KS1 – KS4, through discrete sessions and intrinsically throughout the school day.  The development of communication skills is a vital part of the school offer for all pupils. English teaching within Post 16 is part of the Preparing for Adulthood curriculum where learning is embedded and focused upon the application of learnt skills to increasingly complex situations.  In KS4 and Post 16 pupils will work toward accredited qualifications through ASDAN.

Our phonics offer runs across the whole school.  We use the principles set out in ‘Comprehensive Literacy for All, Teaching Students with Significant Difficulties to Read and Write’, Ericson and Koppenhaver.  Students are taught according to the strand they fall within.  The formal phonics scheme used in school is Phonics for Pupils with Special Educational Needs, a scheme designed for pupils with moderate to severe and complex special educational needs.

Our writing curriculum is developed to provide opportunities to write for a wide range or purposes and to support any physical barriers to writing. Following the work of Jane Farrall has been instrumental in our training and in further enhancing our understanding of how to get the best outcomes for learning.

Our communication offer is supported by the school's Specialist Intervention Team, guided by the Speech and Language Therapists and the Cornwall Children's AAC Assessment Team (CAACAT).  Our teaching team are well trained and supported to understand the needs of their cohort and use this knowledge to provide the resources and opportunities to develop meaningful, functional and relational communication for all. 


Students are supported to develop a love of literature that continues into adulthood, whether through books, through the internet or through film and theatre. The curriculum supports them to understand how the skills they have learned can be applied to everyday living.  Through developing skill acquisition, pupils demonstrate a greater ability to communicate effectively, using their preferred and practiced method to support the development of their life/ independence skills including, where appropriate, within the world of work. Data collection through our assessment systems will support teachers to ensure that pupils are graded as established or generalised within targets from their starting point in this area of the curriculum.  At the end of their schooling at Curnow all pupils will leave with an ASDAN accredited qualification.

Our mastery approach, embedding and generalising skills that are practiced over time mean that our students leave school with literacy skills that have the potential to last a lifetime.