Whole School Approaches

Speech, language and communication are essential for learning. Not only are there strong links between language and learning in terms of cognitive development but communication underpins all that happens in schools both socially and academically. Teachers need to communicate information to children and young people and receive feedback to know that learning has been successful. The Inclusion Development Programme suggests that to communicate effectively, you need to modify the environment and your level and pace of language delivery to match the ability of your children and young people who will still be developing their speech, language and communication skills.

In order for schools to assess and monitor how effectively they enable children and young people to develop speech, language and communication skills, access the curriculum and make good progress it is suggested that schools complete a whole school audit in terms of:

  • School policy towards inclusion of children and young people with SLCN

  • Staff knowledge and skills

  • Identifying staff training needs

  • How they assess, teach and monitor speaking, listening and communication skills for all children and young people

  • How they identify and support children and young people with SLCN before developing whole school, classroom, teaching strategies and resources for SLCN

Please see Whole School Approaches in Primary and Secondary Inclusion Development Programme: teaching and supporting children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (2011) www.gov.uk

Whole school strategies included within the IDP: SLCN include:

  • Strategies to improve communication

  • Multi-sensory approaches

  • Working towards learning independence

  • Adult-child/young person communication

  • Listening, questioning and talking

Other information about whole school approaches may be found in

  • "Is Your School a Communication Friendly School"  - Afasic England (2009) www.afasic.org.uk

  • Language for Learning Across the Curriculum, Hayden and Jordan, 2004, David Fulton

  • Language For Learning in the Secondary School, Hayden and Jordan, 2012, David Fulton

  • "What Works" - for children with SLCN - a website data base for interventions to support SLCN - www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

  • Language Builders for children aged 5-11 and 11-16 years, Elklan www.elklan.co.uk 

For whole school strategies for difficulties encountered by older key stage 2 and secondary-aged children/young people - please refer to classroom strategies information sheets within the resources section.

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