Our approach

Welcome to Eagle House School (Sutton) – our approach

Curriculum Access Team and the Eagle House Approach


“Enabling all Eagle House School learners to access the curriculum through expert collaboration, assessment and intervention.”

At Eagle House School we combine the ‘best of the best’ of approaches for teaching individuals with autism, including TEACCH, Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display Communication (PODD), Makaton and ‘the little group Approach.’

We understand that every pupil is different so in order to support their individual needs appropriately, we complete a 6-week comprehensive baseline assessment using the Autism Education Trust (AET) progression framework, and other discipline specific assessments.

These assessments ensure that we understand the ways in which autism impacts learning and daily living skills, for example sensory and biological needs, motivation to learn and communication approaches, all of which are documented in each pupil’s Ziggurat Action Plan (ZAP). We look at every pupil’s physical, social and communication environments and ensure they have appropriate structure, visual support and curriculum differentiation.

How do we achieve this?

Each school has a Curriculum Access Team (CA Team); a multidisciplinary team comprised of speech & language therapy, psychology, behaviour support specialists, occupational therapy, music therapy and a Pupil Wellbeing Officer. The role of the CA Team includes:


Working collaboratively with teachers to develop, plan and deliver the functional curriculum (social skills, play skills, emotional regulation and food skills).


Supporting teaching staff to meet the individual needs of each pupil (providing the appropriate equipment, adapting the environment and setting learning objectives)


Delivering group and individual sessions as stipulated by the pupil’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or as identified through assessments or referral throughout the academic year.


Liaising with external agencies when additional support is required.


Training staff and parents to ensure a wider understanding of the pupil’s holistic needs and create consistency across both home and school.

Speech & Language Therapy

Communication is an essential life skill and one every pupil that comes to us has difficulty with. As such, our speech & language therapists work closely with each teaching team to support pupils by embedding a ‘total communication approach’ into every classroom. This involves creating a visual environment, which enables pupils to access every lesson throughout the whole school day. Pupils can access speech & language therapy either through class groups, small groups or individual therapy, both in and out of the classroom.

(Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display Communication Tool) Therepy


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.


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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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