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Our Specialist Speech and Language Provision
What is it?
For short we call it the ‘Language Provision’ and is a specialist provision within our mainstream primary school. It is for children who have a statement of special educational needs for difficulties specifically related to understanding and/or using spoken language. Children attend full-time and get extra help, including speech and language therapy.
Who goes there?
There are places for children from three to eleven, whose main need is specifically associated with their speech and language development. They come from all over Tower Hamlets and if they do not live nearby then the SEN Section may agree for transport to be provided.
How are children referred to the Language Provision
It is often a parent who first has a concern and gets in touch with the Speech and Language Therapy Service. Or, after talking with a family, it may be a health visitor, teacher, or another professional who raises a concern. After assessment the therapist will then contact the Education Psychology Service, if they are not already involved. If, after a while, the child continues to have significant difficulties, then with your agreement, the local authority will be asked to formally assess the child’s educational needs.
Most of the children who come to Globe’s specialist provision will already have a statement of special educational needs. A few will be in the process of having their statements finalised, but they will eventually have a statement. This is a legal document, which sets out what they need and what should happen to help them do their best at school.
Parents’ views are vital and you should expect to be involved at every stage of the assessment and review procedures.
Can I visit Globe’s Language Provision?
Of course, informal visits are encouraged. You can ask someone else who already works with your child to arrange this for you, or you can get in touch directly. You are very welcome to bring a friend of relative with you.
Further visits are arranged, once we know a child is joining us. Firstly, someone from their new class will visit the child at their nursery, children’s centre or current school. Then, before they start, children come to visit us at Globe. Home visits can also be arranged.
What will it be like?
The Language Provision is an integral part of the whole school. Globe Primary is like lots of other primary schools in Tower Hamlet – it is a large Victorian building with classrooms on three floors. Children whose needs are met within the Language Provision learn in classes very much like any other classroom. The rooms are like typical primary school classrooms and, at Globe, all classes are known by the names of famous artists.
There are two Language Provision classes for younger children with speech and language needs. The older children are in larger classes. In the younger classes there are a smaller number of children – up to ten in each class. Each class has a part-time speech and language therapist, a full time teacher and assistant, both with experience and expertise in working with children with specific language impairment. There is a lot of adult help, which can provide, the time and attention the children need. Staff plan and work together with their class teams and with other teachers and assistants.
The Headteacher has overall responsibility for the provision. The Language Provision Leader, Liz Miranda manages its day-to-day needs and administration.
Some of the children may have other needs. If we need to, we can ask for advice and support from other specialists – for example, the occupational therapist, physiotherapist, the child and family consultation service or child development team.
What do the children do?
The children do the same kind of work as other children of their age, this includes the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum for the youngest children, and then the National Curriculum. The speech and language therapists work alongside teachers and teaching assistants on curriculum activities as well as on more specifically structured speech and language work. Much of the work takes place in the child’s classroom but there are also quiet rooms for smaller groups or individual work.
Children join in all aspects of school life along with everyone else: all routine day-to-day activities - assemblies, lunch and playtimes, trips, school journeys, after-school clubs and any special events. They join other classes for educational activities as planned by their teachers; this may be as a group, whole class or individually.
I don’t live near Globe. How will I keep in touch?
Keeping in close contact with families is a priority. Each child has a home-school book for news and messages. Our passenger assistants and drivers also help keep us in touch. You can telephone at any time – staff will always try to get back to you as soon as they can – and of course you can always visit (it’s best to check someone will be available to talk to you first). We especially like to celebrate the children’s successes and progress, but hope parents will also feel able to raise anything that is bothering them, however small it may seem.
Parent consultations are held each term – half an hour to talk about your child’s progress. We also hold a variety of meetings, workshops and special events for parents and we expect that all families will participate.
How long do children stay?
Children stay for various lengths of time and can leave at any time – it depends on their needs, their progress and how old they are when they are admitted.
When children are ready to leave Language Provision, sometimes they stay at Globe, sometimes return to their previous school, or maybe to a different school in their neighbourhood.
All moves and any changes in arrangements are discussed and planned with parents well in advance.
When children leave, they usually continue to have some additional support to help them to adjust and keep up their progress. Some children continue to have speech and language therapy. Occasionally children may move on to another type of specialist provision.
Before any transfer takes place, visits to the new school are arranged. These are planned to help children get used to new surroundings and new routines and to help allay any anxieties they, or you, may have.
Is there anyone else I can talk to?
Some parents have told us they would have found it helpful – at the very beginning, if they had been able to talk to other parents with children who have additional speech and language needs.
If you would like to get in touch with another parent to talk things over, there are several we know who would be only too happy to speak with you – either by meeting up with you or talking on the phone, whichever you prefer. Just ask your speech and language therapist, educational psychologist, or contact Globe, and this can easily be arranged for you.
There are other organisations that also offer support, some of these are listed below, along with other contacts you might find useful.
We hope this information answers your questions and gives you most of the information you want at this stage. If it doesn’t then please let us give us a call.
Contacts you may find useful
Speech and Language Therapy Children's Service,
First Floor, Grove Building, Mile End Hospital, Bancroft Road, London, E1 4DG
Telephone: 020 8223 8943
Educational Psychology Service
3rd Floor, Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, London, E14 2BG
Telephone: 020 7364 4323
Parents Advice Centre
Greatorex Street London E1 5NP
Telephone: 020 7364 6489
AFASIC – Unlocking Speech and Language
1st Floor, 20 Bowling Green Lane
London EC1R 0BD
Telephone: 020 2490 9410
Afasic UK Helpline – 0845 3 55 55 77 also: 020 7490 9420
ICAN - The Children’s Communication Charity
8 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7QE
Telephone: Information: 0845 225 4073 or 020 7843 2552