Here at Richard Cloudesley, we believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to access and enjoy success with learning the skills to read and write. 
We understand the power and importance of being literate, how this opens so many doors for our pupils, with regards functional life skills, access to the environment and community, communication with others, using AAC systems as well as through social media. Above all we understand the pleasure that can come from reading and writing. 
We firmly believe that no student is too ‘anything’ to be able to learn to read and write. 
Here at Richard Cloudesley, we use the Four-Blocks approach to teach the necessary skills for reading and writing.
The comprehensive, research based system was adapted to support the teaching of Literacy skills for pupils with a range of disabilities, by Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver at the Centre for Literacy and Disability. The system is now implemented extensively across the globe, structuring the learning of literacy skills for pupils with severe and complex educational needs.
The system addresses all the necessary skills needed to read and write, providing a balanced diet allowing all pupils the opportunity 
  • to be read to, 
  • to read with others, 
  • to read independently, 
  • to have others write for them, 
  • to write with others, 
  • to write independently,
  • to develop their phonological awareness
  • to develop the skills to talk about reading and writing
  • to develop an enjoyment for reading and writing. 
The four separate blocks, Self Selected reading, Guided Reading, Writing and Independent Writing, interact with each other, ensuring that there is an immersive environment that routinely provides a model for these skills as well as providing opportunities for individuals to practice and develop these skills in a safe and supportive way.
The system has two main pathways, that for Emergent learners and that for Conventional learners. 
The balance of the diet is different for each, with a focus on Shared Reading and Shared Writing providing explicit models for Emergent learners.  
To find out more about the Four Blocks approach, visit 
The CLDS website
Check out Jane Farrall’s blog, a leading consultant on the approach
Or read about the successes one school in Australia is enjoying since introducing the system.