Cage Green Primary School Cage Green Road, Tonbridge, Kent, TN10 4PT T. 01732 354325 F. 01732 369 468
Head Teacher: Joanna Styles, Headteacher

The Phoenix Centre for Autism 


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The Phoenix Centre

The Phoenix Centre is a Specialist Resource Provision for pupils with Autism at Cage Green School. It is accredited by the National Autistic Society with the Autism Accreditation status for its ASD provision and provides support and outreach to numerous families and schools within the area.

Admissions for the Phoenix Centre are done through the Local Education Authorities Special Educational Needs Department as all pupils require an Education, Health and Care Plan to be eligible for the Phoenix Centre. Pupils have to have a primary diagnosis of Autism and have Communication and Interaction as their first priority of SEN listed on their EHCP.

Unicorn Class

Unicorn Class is made up of the Reception and Year 1 aged pupils of the Phoenix Centre.

Our classroom is designed for the children to develop their social communication skills and learn to be independent in selecting resources, with space for quiet and shared sessions, as well as access to a small outdoor area.  We follow the low-arousal aspects of the TEACCH approach, with the use of workstations and visual support to help our younger children to focus.

We are a very friendly and outgoing class with a keen interest in exploratory play and every day brings a fresh challenge which we can’t wait to meet.

Griffin Class

In Griffin Class we follow the National Curriculum.  We are a mixed year group including Years 2, 3 and 4. We also follow the TEACCH approach so that our learning environment is structured and visually supported but not overwhelming. Griffin Class use the creative curriculum approach to learning and try to make learning practical and fun.  Griffin Class builds on the social communication and independence promoted in Unicorn Class and they enjoy using the mainschool hall, playground and field for their P.E. sessions.

Dragon class

Dragon Class has pupils from Years 4, 5 and 6 and they follow the National Curriculum, taking Topics from Key Stage 2.  Learning is structured, fun and as multi-sensory as possible for our Dragon Class pupils, taking advantage of our outside area and larger school site for practical aspects of the curriculum.  By the time pupils have reached Dragon Class they are able to manage sensory stimulus more effectively and are proud to have displays of their work on the walls of their classroom.  Dragon Class pupils enjoy joining their mainschool peers for lessons as appropriate, but also for Harvest and Christmas celebrations and for the many fun Year 6 activities (Young Voices Choir, Bikeability, Year 6 Activities Week and School Production). 


Cage Green Primary School is a school for boys and girls between 4 and 11 years of age, and is maintained by Kent County Council.  We are a two form entry school with a published admission number (PAN) of 60.

The Phoenix Centre for Autism is an integral part of the school. Their PAN is 31 pupils. Should our PAN be exceeded, we will follow the Local Authority (LA) set criteria for admission when offering places. 

The Kent County Council policy can be viewed by clicking here.

 The composition of classes within our Phoenix Centre for Autism is of necessity completely flexible dependent upon the needs of the children and this may vary year on year. The pre-requisites of attending the Centre are: A statement of SEN identifying ASD as the primary need and the success of inclusion dictates mainstream ability academically. 

Phoenix Centre Pupil Characteristics:

All pupils will:

Be at a chronological age that falls within the range Foundation Stage (Reception) to Year Six.

Have a diagnosis of Autism/Asperger Syndrome

Have a Statement of SEN/Education Health and Care Plan in which ASD is defined as the primary Special Educational Need.  Additional learning needs will be the result of barriers created by triad of impairment commensurate with ASD.

The pupils will be expected to access opportunities for integration offered by the mainstream school. The percentage of timetable spent integrated into mainstream lessons will be determined by the pupil’s individual needs.


The Centre is a safe, newly structured, physically secure, predictable and caring environment. We focus on the development of social communication, learning and play skills and we ensure that each part of the curriculum contributes to the individual needs of each child. We use the TEACCH approach, principles and strategies to support our pupil’s learning and understanding. The Phoenix Centre has a dedicated Therapy room with state of the art equipment and resources to support pupil’s sensory, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language needs. Our soft space and sensory room provide pupils with the space and facilities needed to address their additional sensory and physical needs.


Pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum modified to individual needs. A large proportion of teaching time concentrates on the National Curriculum especially the core subjects of English, Maths and Science (see main school curriculum)..  

Each pupil has a Personalised Learning Pathway plan which incorporates targets linked to the objectives in their Statement of Special Educational Need. It also includes targets and information around the child’s social communication needs, behavior, interventions, medical needs and integration

Computing – The Phoenix Centre children access the main school's Computing Suite as well as the Centre having its own bank of laptops in the main room.

Music is taught by each class teacher. Activities include singing, rhythm work, percussion and the use of audio-visual materials. A music therapist visits each week to take each class.

PE - Children are taught in the Centre and at the Main School. Unicorn class pupils attend a weekly horse riding session at the RDA facilities at Bradbourne Stables. Griffin class have a weekly water confidence session at the Tonbridge Boys School supported by their Community Outreach Programme and Dragon class  pupils have a weekly swimming lesson at Tonbridge Swimming Pool. 

Art/Design Technology - Children are given the opportunity to express their ideas and reinforce other curriculum areas through art and technology. They work with a wide range of materials and are taught basic skills and techniques.

Geography and History - are delivered as topics based upon National Curriculum programmes of study.

Social Outings - support, enhance and complement many areas of the curriculum and are carefully prepared and followed up. All classes have regular outings into the local community and we are very fortunate to have our own Variety Club minibus.

RE - is broadly Christian in nature. The children also have an opportunity to experience the traditions of other cultures and beliefs.

Homework – the policy is followed as in main school, but individual’s needs are catered for and homework is adjusted as necessary.

Clubs - All children are welcome to participate in lunch and after school clubs run by the main school or outside providers.  


The Phoenix Centre follows the Cage Green Behaviour Policy, which includes the consideration of pupils with additional educational needs and behavioural difficulties. All pupils at the Phoenix Centre have Positive Behaviour Plans which outline their strengths and difficulties and the best strategies to deal with incidents and unacceptable behaviour. Cage Green Primary follows the Proact SCIP strategies of behaviour management and intervention.

Therapy Services

The Phoenix Centre is currently supported by a Speech and Language Therapist two days a week  and an Occupational Therapist two days a week. These therapists are contracted to the school through the NHS and operate out of the Therapy Room. Therapists work closely with all staff in the Centre to ensure that we exhaust all opportunities for supporting pupil’s development. They provide programmes, carry out assessments and contribute to Annual Reviews.


Cage Green Primary School believes that all pupils should have equal opportunity to access a full and engaging curriculum, delivered by trained and competent staff, that enables them to achieve their full potential wherever they are taught. Pupils are placed in the Phoenix Centre with an expectation that they will be able to access mainstream provision.

The following criteria for integration will be applied. In order to be considered suitable for integration pupils will be expected to be able to:

Understand, acknowledge and communicate their needs (both physical and learning) generally through the use of spoken language but where necessary  through their preferred mode of communication.

Demonstrate enthusiasm for learning and the desire and ability to work alongside or with a peer or group of peers.

Follow instructions (simple 2 step instructions in early years)

Use a visual timetable (supported in early years but independently from Yr 1)

Work unaided for an identified period of time (dependent upon circumstance).

Integration will only be initiated once the pupil has settled in the Centre and is meeting the above criteria. Once the pupil is considered to meet the criteria for integration consultation between Centre and mainstream staff and parents will take place and an integration plan will be drawn up.

All integration will be carefully considered in line with pupil needs and there will be careful prioritisation in the event of any timetable issues or clashes.

Success criteria for integration will be that:

There will be good engagement in learning.

Academic progress will be good over time

There will be improvement in social communication

That levels of well-being will be generally high 

Additional resources and aids will be provided as appropriate to ensure the success of integration into the mainstream class. This could include ICT, resources to meet sensory needs, visual timetables, communication aids and staff but NOT necessarily 1:1 Teaching Assistant support either from the Centre or the main school. Additional staff will be deployed to support learning but should be focused on developing independence and removing (not creating) barriers to integration of pupils.


Pupils at the Phoenix Centre are able to choose to have a packed lunch, which is eaten in the Phoenix Centre or have a school lunch which is eaten over in the main school dining hall. Pupils from the Phoenix Centre who have a school lunch at main school are supported by Phoenix Centre staff and the onsite kitchen is able to cater for special diets. Pupils having packed lunch within the Phoenix Centre are supported by Phoenix Centre staff to ensure that there is consistency and continuity for pupils at this often difficult time of the day.

Parental Involvement

Cage Green actively encourages a working partnership between parents, children, staff and governors. This is regarded as essential for the successful development of all children. In the Centre there is daily communication between home and school using contact books to inform on the day's events and future plans. Parent/Teacher consultations and social events are held regularly and every child has an Annual Review attended by parents and other support agencies in accordance to their Statement of Special Educational Need/Education Health and Social Care Plan (EHCP) issue date anniversary.

The Phoenix Centre has a very active parent group called PACT (Phoenix Autism Centre Tonbridge) who are a registered charity and work closely with the school to support each other and raise funds for the Centre. Please visit their web page on:

Other websites of interest for parents and professionals:  KCC National Autistic Society Kent Autistic Trust