Since last year, we have offered speech and language therapy to fulfill the requirements of our young people’s EHCPs. Speech and Language therapy is fundamental to children’s learning, particularly developed in an inclusive educational environment that strives to provide equal opportunities for all students, regardless of their abilities. With the help and expertise of Ashna Ganatra, our dedicated Speech and Language therapist, we work collaboratively at universal, targeted and specialist levels to support the children and young people who attend the school.
The staff has received targeted training and is continuously working to integrate speech and language tools and tasks in every lesson to help our pupils develop their language skills. This has been extended into the children’s own learning by developing a set of activities that the children can access virtually at home and complete in their own time (view the course). Immediate feedback is given and outcomes are measured so that the children feel an element of success.
Many children have received weekly speech, language and communication lessons, planned and resourced by the Speech and Language Therapist. Areas addressed are Narrative skills, Active Listening skills, developing auditory processing, receptive language, expressive language and providing social skills support.
Speech and language therapy is a powerful tool that can greatly benefit students in SEN schools, as we play a crucial role in nurturing students with diverse needs, and one vital aspect of their development is communication skills. So here is why we invest in it:
Communication is a fundamental skill that impacts all aspects of an individual’s life. For students with special needs, particularly those with speech and language difficulties, effective communication can be a significant challenge. By providing speech and language therapy, our educators and therapist can help students to overcome these challenges and develop vital communication skills.
Each of our students has unique communication needs. Ashna assesses and identifies specific areas of difficulty and tailors interventions accordingly. Individualised therapy sessions help students develop their speech, language, and social communication skills at a pace and level that suits their abilities.
Supporting Academic Progress
Effective communication allows students to participate fully in classroom activities, comprehend instructions, express their thoughts, and engage in meaningful interactions with peers and teachers. By integrating speech and language techniques into the day-to-day activities of the school, our staff can create an environment that supports academic progress for all students.
Building up on Social Interaction and Emotional Well-being
Communication skills are essential for social interaction, building relationships, and emotional well-being. Students with speech and language difficulties may face challenges in socialising and forming connections with their peers. Speech and language therapy equips them with the tools to improve their social communication skills, fostering greater inclusivity and reducing feelings of isolation.
Enhancing Confidence and Self-Esteem
Struggling with speech and language difficulties can have a profound impact on a student’s confidence and self-esteem. Increased confidence in their ability to communicate effectively enables students to actively participate in various activities and increases their overall self-worth.
Collaboration and Support
Speech and language therapy not only benefits students but also promotes collaboration among educators, therapists, and parents. By integrating speech and language techniques into the school’s day-to-day activities, teachers become more aware of the specific needs of their students and can provide appropriate support in the classroom. Regular communication between therapists, teachers, and parents ensures a holistic approach to the students’ development.
Overall, we believe that speech and language therapy plays a vital role in helping students overcome communication challenges and thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Investing in speech and language therapy is an investment in the future success and well-being of these students, providing them with the tools they need to navigate the world confidently and effectively communicate their thoughts and ideas.
By Elena Voltolina and Ashna Ganatra