In 2007 the school became one of the first schools to be awarded Specialist School Status in ‘Communication and Interaction’. Since that time it has had a very significant impact on the progress pupils make across the curriculum, and in their wider life.
We employ a dedicated and specialised Communication & Interaction Team. Our team works collaboratively with the Integrated Therapy Service to ensure we provide the highest quality speech and language therapy provision for our pupils.
We have a strong communication team comprising of multiple teaching staff who we have titled as "Communication Coordinators". They have been trained to a high level to work alongside the SLT department and encourage the best use of communication across the school and wider community.
We have a dedicated Communication and Interaction Suite.
Every pupil’s communication needs are regularly assessed and their communication skills developed through a range of differentiated and individualised programmes and strategies. Particular emphasis has been placed on developing such strategies for pupils achieving at P-Scale levels 1–4, removing barriers to their learning.
We believe in robust, multi–professional teams and their ability to unlock the communicative potential of pupils. Teachers and the Speech and Language department work collaboratively – bringing the two disciplines together in new and innovative ways.
Close links with parents and carers are maintained. Communication training and resources are provided for home and other settings when necessary.
We are committed to a comprehensive training programme for our wider staff in the area of Communication and Interaction.
Communication systems have been standardised throughout the school i.e. signing, symbols, objects of reference, musical and sensory cues. These whole school systems ensure that communication is at the forefront in every classroom and transition and progression through school is smooth.
Positive Directive symbols are used to encourage positive behaviour, prevent challenging behaviour and support students to understand verbal instructions. Staff have access to these on key chains and lanyards and are encouraged to wear these around the school in order to assist any pupil in need.
Formal standardised communication interventions include PECS, Intensive Interaction, and TACPAC and these are promoted as whole school approaches.
The use of Eye Gaze technology along with iPads. Computer voice output communication aids (VOCA’s) and switches ensure that we give all children a range of multi–modal communication opportunities and promotes the development of Information Technology within and around the school.
The physical and social environment promotes communication for all pupils and reduces barriers to learning.
We continue to focus on successful self-advocacy, by developing effective and genuine methods of enabling ‘pupil voice’ to aid the development of social communication.