Basic Skills Policy

Ethos and Values

Tweendykes School’s Basic Skills Policy should be read in conjunction with the vision of the school and take into account our policies for, Communication and Interaction, Curriculum, assessment and recording guidelines. 

All students at Tweendykes School have severe or complex learning difficulties/disabilities (SLD/CLDD) which may affect their ability to communicate. These can include medical needs, specific language impairment, physical and sensory impairment, global developmental delay & autism. The triad of impairments, as illustrated by those with ASD, affects language and communication, social awareness and imagination and flexibility of thought.

At Tweendykes School we believe that Basic Skills is fundamental to our curriculum and lives of our pupils. 

We respect and strive to develop their skills at their own level through the use of appropriate teaching strategies across the curriculum (see ‘support we provide’).

What is Basic Skills?

Basic Skills at Tweendykes School incorporates English, Maths and Communication (see ‘communication and interaction policy’).

Basic Skills Principals

  • To ensure basic skills are part of the cross curricular ethos of the School and are applied through the themed curriculum.
  • To assess all pupils performance in basic skills on entry through Baseline testing.
  • To monitor progress through termly teacher assessment.
  • To set individual targets for pupils in English, Maths and Communication which are reviewed termly.
  • To ensure all our pupils all of whom have SLD have basic skills lessons planned for their individual needs, these needs often include ASD.
  • To set End of Key Stage and yearly progress targets for all pupils in English, Maths and communication.
  • To incorporate planning for basic skills in English and Maths medium term planning to ensure progression.
  • To ensure there is an ongoing programme for professional development in basic skills available to all members of staff and Governors.
  • To develop an effective partnership with parents through the sharing of Information and responsibility.


As with all our curriculum the way we teach reading is personalised for all our pupils to match their needs.  Most pupils are taught through systematic synthetic phonics, we use the letters and sounds scheme.  This method does not suit all of our pupils for example our pupils with Down Syndrome are taught through ‘sight’ reading.  We also support reading by using symbols (Programme: Communicate in Print), this is particularly important for our ASD pupils who use these symbols for visual support. Many of our pupils make small step improvements and will be on the same book band for a long time.  Due to this we use a wide range of schemes, the two main being Oxford Reading Tree and Big Cat Phonics.

Support We Provide

  • Individual educational plans with identified targets for Basic Skills.
  • A curriculum offer which is tailored to each individual’s requirements.
  • Where appropriate qualifications and accreditations in Basic skills.
  • Wide and diverse range of learning resources.
  • Well trained staff.
  • Regular assessment and moderation to ensure pupils are meeting their full potential (see ‘Assessment and Curriculum policy’).
  • Medium and long term Basic Skills Plans.

Where To Go For Help?

To ensure students reach their full potential a multi- disciplinary approach is used throughout the school. Information and help can be obtained through:

  • The class team
  • Lead Practitioner for Basic Skills
  • Department Heads
  • Communication and Interaction Team (CAIT)
  • Individual Education Plans
  • Communication Profiles
  • B2
  • Parents
  • Other professionals involved.