At Kemball, our English curriculum and delivery reflects our school mission;

‘To maximise each pupil’s potential by enabling him/her to achieve as much independence as possible and to enjoy a quality of life which is both stimulating and rewarding.’

Pupils are taught the core skills of reading, writing and spoken language in the most purposeful way for them to enable pupils to access the world around them and prepare them for life beyond Kemball.


English at Kemball is taught discretely across all pathways with the core skills of reading, writing and spoken language underpinning everything we do.

Multisensory and Engagement pathways – 

English is taught as ‘Cognition, Communication and Language’. Pupils are immersed within a sensory story that focuses on individual targets. Communication is developed through the use of a total communication approach. This includes: Intensive Interaction, PECs, Makaton, and Communication books/boards, PODD and Speech and Language Interventions. Mark making, fine and gross motor skills are incorporated into the curriculum through the sensory story, activity carousel and topic afternoons.

Reading skills are taught through discrete, daily phonics sessions and through book handling, song and rhyme (at an age appropriate level). Pupils are immersed with signs, symbols and text at all opportunities to ensure pupils can access the world around them. 

Writing skills are further developed through daily write dance sessions for all pupils and physio programmes and rebound therapy for individual pupils identified.


Progression and Functional pathways – 

Within the progression and functional pathways, the curriculum is designed to enable pupils to develop fundamental English skills through a ‘spiral’ approach. A high quality text each half-term forms the basis of the English curriculum with the text being linked to the overall theme for that term. The different themes provide varied contexts for learning and provide opportunities for pupils to apply their developing English and wider curriculum skills. The nature of the ‘spiral’ curriculum enables pupils to frequently revisit a skill, several times throughout the academic year and throughout their school career. The progression of the skill will develop with each revisit based on the individual pupil’s needs and ability. Progression of a skill may be seen in the form of increased independence, quicker recall, and application to other contexts, heightened focus and concentration or through specific, personal related targets linked to the pupil’s wider development. The repetition of skills through different themes and texts allows for new learning to build upon previously acquired knowledge and applied into new contexts enabling our pupils to make more meaningful and memorable links across the curriculum. 

Through each text/theme, pupils will develop skills from the following key areas (adapted from the National Curriculum English programme of study) – 

Spoken Language and Communication 

  • Speaking, listening, responding, discussing; poetry (this may be through rhymes, chants or song) and drama. 


  • Word recognition, decoding/encoding, word structure and spelling. 
  • Comprehension; understanding and interpreting texts; engaging and responding to texts. 


  • Transcription; spelling and handwriting. 
  • Composition; articulating ideas and structuring them in communication and writing

The high quality text for each half-term will be a work of fiction, with non-fiction texts/skills being integrated into the overall theme over the half-term.

In the functional pathway pupils follow the curriculum stated above for one half term, followed by a half term with a functional focus where they begin to apply their English skills to the world around them. These follow the themes of: ‘Me and My World’ ‘World of Work’ and ‘Out in the Community’. 

Some pupils within the functional pathway will work towards Functional skills exams.

All pupils in the progression and functional pathways have a daily writing skills session in addition to their daily phonics/spelling and English sessions.



Pupils receive a focussed English curriculum that develops the core skills of reading, writing and spoken language at the level that is purposeful for them. Pupils develop the skills needed to allow them to live as independently as possible whilst at school and for life beyond Kemball.