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Phonics
at School

At Northern Counties School, we have introduced a linguistic phonics approach to our learners, ‘Phonics for Pupils with SEN’, written by Ann Sullivan. We believe that the teaching of phonics to our learners is a gateway to educational progress for all.

This will be offered to learners who are learning within the semi-formal and formal pathway. This approach is designed specifically for learners with special educational needs and is defined as suitable for learners with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and those who are struggling to acquire age-appropriate literacy skills.

It is also accessible for learners with moderate and severe learning difficulties, autism, specific language impairment and complex needs, including those with significant physical disabilities and complex medical needs.

Learners can access Phonics for SEN via small group, or 1:1 instruction. Our learners are initially assessed before accessing the approach, so they begin the approach at the appropriate starting point for them.

Parents and carers are able to find more out about our programme either by contacting school or purchasing ‘A Parent’s Guide to Phonics: Understanding How to Help your Child with Reading and Spelling’ from Amazon’.

Learners who may not be ready for formal instruction will be offered a pre-formal approach, which aims to prepare them for formal phonics instruction. For some of our Deaf learners, who have a profound hearing loss and no phonological awareness, a different approach may be required to teach reading. For others, we use Visual Phonics (a visual cueing system) to support their access to PPSEN.

Northern Counties School will launch this programme for the majority of learners on the 9th of January 2023. All learners will be assessed termly regarding their progress, and baselines will be reassessed each September so that lessons can be designed for each learner’s individual needs.

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