At Lisburne School we deliver a range of English focused activities throughout the school day,  through our use of communication aids, daily SALT input, fine motor activities and daily shared story sessions as well as our focused English teaching activities which are implemented at least three times a week. 

Our classes teach reading, writing and Speaking and Listening, through either the EYFS, Pre-national curriculum guidance or the National Curriculum, with input differentiated to the individual needs of the pupils.   We include a number of sensory strategies and real-life situations to give context to our lessons and we encourage child lead learning in the classroom, while working outside and in the wider community.

All sessions are made up of a series of sensory elements which cover auditory, visual, movement and smell stimuli. We use repetition and simple language. Whilst many of our students may not have the cognitive ability to understand complex stories, these sessions offer the grounds to begin to develop an understanding and engagement with sequential elements.

We carefully monitor and track children’s progress to ensure appropriate levels of support and challenge.

Over the year we hold two Creative Weeks, during which we encourage the children to look at specific books as an aid to scaffolding creative and immersive learning opportunities.  We also use this time to further enhance Speaking and Listening through exciting vocabulary and unfamiliar contexts.


letters   satpin

  • Phonics is a vital element to early reading and writing that also supports progression in receptive and expressive language so is a crucial foundation for all Literacy.
  • The Letters and Sounds Phonics scheme is used with each class adapting their phonics teaching to meet the needs of the individual children.
  • Where appropriate there is a sensory approach to recognise letters and their sounds, listening skills are developed throughout the Phase 1 activities and there is a Sound of the Week for the whole school to focus on working through Phase 2 and Phase 3.
  • The aim for this initiative is to ensure children are receiving phonics teaching which is appropriate to their ability and the skills that are taught in discrete phonics sessions can be applied in reading and writing across the curriculum.


  • We encourage all our children to read and we do this through a variety of ways at Lisburne.
  • Sensory stories are used through many of our classes – taking advice from Flo Longhorn and implementing stories which not only capture our childrens’ attention but allow them to explore objects though the five senses.
  • We use ‘book bands’ to monitor progress – ranging from pink pre-readers to magenta. We use Star reading books and Oxford Reading Tree allowing children of all ages and abilities to enjoy stories.


DEAL stands for Drama, Engagement, Active Learning; a strategy which we use throughout the whole of Lisburne. The purpose of DEAL is to bring imaginative worlds to life within the classroom so children engage with reading in a creative, fun and dynamic way. DEAL consists of a range of strategies which can be adapted and differentiated to meet the needs of every child. These could also be used at home. Please see the attached document for more information on how you could use DEAL strategies to bring stories to life.

To view our DEAL Strategies please click here


Useful Literacy Websites:

http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/freeIndex.htm Very useful website about phonics which includes a parents section and lots of games too!

http://www.ictgames.co.uk/ A whole range of lovely interactive games for Primary aged children.

http://www.starfall.com/ For early years – American site so watch the accent but the children love it!

http://www.sebastianswan.org.uk/ Sebastian swan big books to share with the class, including some questions about the text (also available in French and Welsh!!!)

http://www.magickeys.com/books/index.html Scroll down the page for free online animated stories.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/wordsandpictures/index.shtml BBC website based on ‘letter and sounds’. Includes some great online games and activities – particularly the blending games.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/websites/4_11/site/literacy.shtml The Primary Literacy zone from BBC schools.

http://www.seussville.com/ Games based on the stories

http://www.usborne-quicklinks.com/uk/uk_menu_areas_pages/reading_programme/reading_programme.asp?type=subject&menu=s115 Links for books on the Usbourne reading scheme but also helpful for topic work as it has good hyperlinks.