Pre-formal literacy is delivered by class teachers and is embedded throughout the day. The curriculum is centred around a story, which will be explored for a longer period than semi-formal learners (a term, or sometimes longer). This provides context and variety and allows the children to generalise the skills they are learning and develop their ability to apply them to real life situations.
The stories which form the curriculum are planned in a thematic cycle to expose learners to a rich variety of sensory experiences and concepts. Activities are built around rhythm and rhyme, sensory play, props, and acting (dressing up as characters). Most pre-formal learners will be working at Phase 1 of phonics, meaning that they are developing their pre-phonic awareness, learning patterns of sound and rhyme through a multisensory approach.
Pre-formal learners develop their attention, listening and communication skills through sensory stories, massage stories, intensive interaction, parallel play and identiplay, attention building, intervenor work and on-body signing, resonance boards, and TACPAC all linked to the story topic. Progress made during these interventions is tracked against student’s individual communication targets on their EHCP, the ‘Communication’ flower framework, the SCERTS framework, or Routes for Learning, depending on what is most appropriate for each learner. For more information about the many interventions, approaches and techniques we use to build a bespoke literacy curriculum for each pre-formal learner, click on an intervention on the right.