English at Bensham Manor is exciting and enriching, allowing students the opportunity to engage with different characters and settings through reading and drama. Students also explore different formats of writing from letters and speeches to creative stories and more formal essays. Students read widely, from short stories and novels to the plays of Shakespeare and poetry. They also learn Functional aspects of English to support independent living. This includes reading timetables and maps and writing shopping lists and emails. The English curriculum encompasses all the aspects of communication – non-verbal, verbal and written. It promotes learning across the curriculum and underpins pupils’ achievements and participation in all aspects of their lives. Speech and language therapists work within the multi-disciplinary team to develop appropriate programmes to encourage and development communication. Individual assessments of each pupil and conversations with their family inform decisions about which communication system to use with any individual pupils. For some, additional (augmentative) communication systems are used. These include Makaton (a signing system) and the use of Communication books’ which include words or pictures that a pupil can point to in order to comment on their environment or to make a request without (or alongside) speech. All pupils have at least three lessons of English.