Speech and Language, and Communication

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Speech and Language, and Communication

Communication and interaction are key skills and a central focus underpinning all learning and language experiences. Our physical and social environment promotes communication for all pupils and reduces barriers to learning for those children with a range of Speech and Language and Communication Needs. 

Language development is accepted as being critical to cognitive development. The level of proficiency in speech, language and communication is also essential for social and emotional well-being.

We aim to ensure that every child has a voice at all times, whether they are in the classroom or out on the playground. Using a multi-sensory approach to learning, children communicate through a wide range of tools, eg gesture, body language, speaking, signing, objects, photographs, drawings, symbols, together with written words and technology. Staff are trained to use Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and this is routinely used for those children on the Autistic Spectrum to teach them the interaction of communication. Other communication aids are available eg Widgit symbols, Alternative & Augmentative Communication (AAC) such as Proloquo2 iPad app.

Some children may not be able to understand the words being spoken to them and/or the grammatical rules of sentence construction. They may not be able to effectively process the speech sounds that make up words. Therefore, when their teacher tells the class what they need to do, or explains a new concept or idea, they may struggle to understand what is being said. This may also affect social interactions, emotional development and behaviour, and self-esteem.

 

Teachers use a variety of teaching methods and styles to maximise understanding. It may be one-to-one, small group or collaborative learning. A Speech & Language Therapist, who understands our educational context, works in tandem with teaching staff and parents in devising and delivering appropriate programmes of support. We use the external school natural environment to create awe and wonder and excitement in the learning process, to encourage and challenge the children in their communication skills development, raising their self-esteem, interest and emotional well-being.