Our Specialist Speech and Language Provision
What is it?
For short we call it the ‘Language Provision’ and it is a specialist provision within our mainstream primary school. It is for children who have Education Health Care Plans (EHCP) with a diagnosis of Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) previously known as SLI (Specific Language Impairment) or a diagnosis of Verbal Dyspraxia. Children attend full-time and get extra help, including weekly 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 an Educational Health Care Plan. A few will be in the process of having their EHCPs finalised, but they will eventually be issued with an Educational Health Care Plan. 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 Hamlets – 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 people who have championed human rights from around the world.
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 teaching assistant, both have had additional training such as Elkan and have additional experience and expertise in working with children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). The high adult to child ratio provides the time and attention the children need. Due to the smaller class sizes children’s work can be tailored specifically to target and develop language. In addition to this, the smaller class sizes mean that children have increased opportunities to plan and prepare ideas to communicate in class, with more frequency than if they were in a larger class setting. A key ingredient in ensuring success for children is the joint planning done in class teams between teacher, speech therapist and teaching assistant to provide targeted support for each child.
The Headteacher has overall responsibility for the provision. The Inclusion Leader Liz Miranda (SENCO) along with the Assistant SENCO and Language Provision Teacher Fatema Master manage 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 younger children, and then the National Curriculum. Within the classroom, the speech and language therapists work with teachers and teaching assistants to deliver curriculum activities as well as more specifically structured speech and language work. Children will receive speech and language therapy as a whole class. Sometimes children may also receive speech and language therapy in a small group or one-to-one outside of the classroom in other smaller group work rooms. Activities are planned to be motivating and engaging with visual support in order to build confidence and encourage progress.
Children join in all aspects of school life along with everyone else: all routine day-to-day activities - assemblies, lunch and play-times, trips, school journeys, after-school clubs and any special events. They join other classes for educational activities such as Forest School for example 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 and an app called ‘Ping’ which allows parents to receive any news from school on the app. If your child is granted transport on the school bus then 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 – twenty minutes to talk about your child’s progress with the class teacher and the speech and language therapist. We also hold a variety of meetings, workshops and special events including class assemblies for parents and we expect that all families will participate.
How long do children stay?
Children stay for various lengths of time depending on their needs, their progress and how old they are when they are admitted.
Our aim is always to build up our children’s independence so that they do not become dependent on adult support. Children are judged to be ready to leave the Language Provision when their speech and language is assessed and found to be where it should be for a child their age without DLD. An annual review meeting will need to be held in advance with parents and professionals to discuss that the child is ready to move out of the Language Provision and to plan a successful transition for them.
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.
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/new classroom are arranged. These are planned to help children get used to new surroundings and new routines and to help allay any anxieties they, or that 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, SENCO or 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.
And finally …
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 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
Tower Hamlets Parents Advice Centre
30 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 or 020 7490 9420
ICAN – The Children’s Communication Charity
8 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7QE
Telephone: Information: 0845 225 4073 or 020 7843 2552