Being able to speak and communicate with other people is a vital human activity. We need these skills to communicate with our families, to socialise and to build up relationships with others. Most children learn to communicate, developing their skills from birth. However, all children develop at different rates and when they get to school staff and/or parents may have concern that their development is delayed.
There are four areas where children may either be delayed or have specific problems. These are:
Understanding, words, sentences and conversations.
Talking, using words and sentences and building up vocabulary.
Using language socially and knowing how to use different language for different occasions, e.g. speaking to a friend or to a teacher.
Forming sounds correctly so that speech can be understood.
Some children may have a problem with just one of these areas, whilst with others it may be a combination of difficulties.
|If you are concerned or if school is concerned then…
It is always worth getting your child’s hearing checked in case they are not hearing sounds clearly.
Talk to your child’s class teacher about your concerns.
|What will happen in school…
When your child starts school with us we will carry out a SALT Screening Test to identify if any support is. Early intervention is key.
Our Speech, Language and Communication trained staff will carry out a diagnostic test that will identify the areas where your child needs support if any of our staff believe your child needs additional support, if they are not already receiving it.
Our school will encompass a Communication Friendly Environment to make communication as easy, effective and enjoyable as possible.
|If your child has more complex needs…
If your child receives a diagnostic test then there are three possible things that may happen:
1. If they are scored ‘Green’ then no further action at that stage will be required.
2. If they are scored ‘Amber’ then they will be placed on a 12 week intervention programme, in which the class teacher and teaching assistant will put in support for the child. After the 12 weeks, the diagnostic test will be carried out again.
3.If they scored ‘Red’ then they will be referred directly to our Speech and Language Therapist for further assessment.
Communication Friendly Environment:
We aim to make our school consist of Communication Friendly Environments. These should provide opportunities that will support the development of all children’s communication skills and usually includes features which are also beneficial to children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN). Some of the benefits of having this can help children to access activities and lessons, it can help with attention and listening skills, it promotes independence and can increase a child’s confidence.
Key Features of a Communication Friendly Environment include:
- A good space and layout to work
- Good lighting in the classrooms to ensure that the children can see the Interactive Whiteboard in their classrooms
- Visual supports being used in the classroom
- Adults in school to plan and support communication throughout the day
Visual supports can be used for a variety of purposes. They can be used to show a simple message, sometimes they are used in combination to create a support for the class or to make a choice.
Some examples of these include:
- Visual timetables
- Symbols to express an emotion or feeling
- Calendars that show the day, month and year
- First-then or Now-Next jobs to do boards
- Behaviour Management cue cards (Good to be Green)
There are plenty of other examples that you may see across our school.