Our approach

Curriculum Access Team and the Eagle House approach –

At Eagle House Group, we have developed our own unique approach to teaching and learning, which we have designed specifically for learners with an autism spectrum disorder. Our approach has been developed across many years and has sought to combine the ‘best of the best’ approaches including TEACCH, PODD (Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display Communication) and Makaton. 

We understand that every learner is different, so in order to support their individual needs appropriately, we complete a full autism assessment. This looks at their skills and issues in key areas, as identified in the Autism Education Trust (AET) Framework, which ensures that we understand the impact their autism is having on their learning and other aspects of their lives.

We also understand that learning can only happen when these core elements have been addressed: their ‘autism impact’; their sense of wellbeing; their motivation; and sensory processing difficulties. We look at every learner’s physical, social and communication environments and ensure they have appropriate structure, visual support and curriculum differentiation.

Curriculum Access Team –

Every child works regularly in the classroom with various members of the CA Team, who support teaching staff in providing the appropriate equipment, environment and provision for each child. A pupil will also have individual sessions with a therapist if this has been stipulated in their statement or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). If additional support is considered necessary by teaching staff then the team can become quickly involved through the referral system.

In addition to the ongoing support in the classroom, the CA Team provides regular training for staff, external professionals and also for families. Working with families allows a wider understanding of a child’s holistic needs and a greater consistency of approach across both home and school. The team will work with a family to create goals and programmes, which address any issues or difficulties a child may be experiencing, helping them not only at home, but also at school in their learning, friendships and independence.

How do we achieve this?

Each school has their own multidisciplinary team of therapies – the Curriculum Access Team. This team includes – 


Speech and language therapy


Clinical & assistant psychology


Occupational therapy


Specialist behaviour support

(Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display Communication Tool) Therapy


Many of our pupils have severely challenging language and communication difficulties so our staff use PODD, which is a tool used to help develop talking (expressive language) and listening and understanding (receptive language). PODD works through the use of a multilevel communication book, which learners can quickly become familiar with. The symbols offer a vast vocabulary and allows for spontaneity in their use of language, which pupils find very motivating. PODD can also be used in conjunction with other communication approaches such as PECS, helping them to grow in confidence day by day. Indeed, many of our pupils have found their voice and their humour, often for the first time.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists support learners to function effectively in their everyday activities and to learn about being safe in their environment. They work with them in their self-care, schoolwork, their play and social communication and their independence. Through assessment, therapists are able to determine where pupils are struggling and are able to put appropriate programmes in place to support them. Our therapists also assess pupils’ physical abilities – their gross motor skills, and can support them to improve their strength, muscle tone and posture. Improvements in fine motor skills, such as threading, buttoning and pencil grip, can be life changing so individual programmes of support will be provided where required. Therapists assess every pupil for sensory processing issues, as they are extremely common in autism. They work to improve their ability to modulate sensory experiences in their daily lives and to learn to respond to sensory information from their bodies and from the environment.

Behaviour & Psychology

The Behaviour Support Specialists and Assistant Psychologists are responsible for implementing the school’s Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) policy. This includes:

  • Understanding a pupil’s interests as a basis to motivate engagement in learning and reward prosocial behaviour.
  • Functional Behaviour Assessments of challenging behaviour to develop Behaviour Support Plans. These plans identify the appropriate skill to teach and proactive strategies to ensure consistent response from staff.

The team works to support each learner to understand their strengths and difficulties to promote their wellbeing and confidence. The Assistant Psychologists deliver individual sessions with pupils that focus on positive mental health awareness and strategies. Training is regularly delivered to staff on mental health disorders that co-occur with autism such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety and depression. Liaison and referrals to external agencies occurs on a needs basis.

Music specialists

Our music specialists from ‘Music Making Sense’ are SEN trained musicians who believe that musical experiences can support new responses and learning, and change how we process the world around us.  Our specialists provide opportunities for our pupils to enjoy creating music in an interactive and fun way.


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Contact us

Eagle House School (Mitcham): 020 8687 7050

Head Teacher: Lorraine Titchener

Eagle House School (Bramley): 01483 912 080

Head Teacher: Tom Milson

Eagle House School (Sutton & POST 16 Department): 020 8661 1419

Head Teacher: Francesca Arocas

Eagle House School 6th Form (Strawberry Lodge): 020 3745 8760

Head Teacher: Francesca Arocas

Out of term: 020 8770 7788

Schools' Business Office


Eagle House Group Ltd

Chancery House

Ground Floor Suite

St Nicholas Way




School Board Chair: Mr Steve Bacon

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