How to provide extra support to make my setting or school a place that helps understanding, talking and communication
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The resources here will help you reach the outcome: "I know how to create a learning environment that provides extra support for children who are at risk of speech, language and communication needs."
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TCT Communication Friendly Checklist
A child's learning environment can have a huge impact on their ability to develop speech, language and communication skills. This simple checklist has been designed for practitioners to be able to easily review their own learning environment to see how well it supports children. By completing the 15 easy to answer questions about the use of space, light and layout; noise levels; visual support; adult knowledge and interactions; routines, practitioners will be more informed about what they are doing well and what they could change to make their learning environment more supportive for communication.
Balanced System for Schools and Settings
The Balanced System Scheme for Schools and Settings is a whole system approach to improving outcomes for children across the range of speech, language and communication needs for any setting that supports children. The framework enables a setting to understand existing need and provision for speech, language and communication and develop provision to address the gaps. The framework supports a setting to demonstrate impact of the support for speech, language and communication.
Communication Supporting Classrooms Observation Tool
Developed as part of the Better Communication Research Programme (2012) following a review of provision for children with speech, language and communication needs, the audit tool is to be used when observing the quality of a learning space from Early Years through the first half of primary school. By auditing the environment, language learning opportunities and language learning interactions, practitioners will be more informed about what they are doing well and what else they could do to support communication.
Using visual support
Parents play a key role in supporting their child's language and communication skills in everyday life. Children learn about the world through their experiences and interests particularly within their play. Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust provide information and opportunities for families learn more about developing their child's speech and language - this video introduces how to use visual support to help communication.
BCTC Toolkit - Visual Support
BCTC Toolkit - Effective Surroundings
Makaton sign and symbol resources
These free Makaton resources are available for you to access and use to support communication with children. These symbols and signs, which can also be shared with families, help you to provide extra information and clues about what you are saying as well as support the development of essential communication skills such as attention and listening and understanding.
Signs and Symbols
Widgit provides symbols that can be used to support communication making information, documents and resources to be more accessible and inclusive. The symbols can be used for a variety of purposes such as creating communication books to share information; visual timetables to support understanding of structure and routine; task boards to support independent learning; pictures to develop vocabulary and to support children learning English as an additional language.
This website has information to support your understanding of how to use symbols including training resources, events and links to a network of organisations around the UK who offer advice and support.
There is also information for parents and carers to help them understand how they can use symbols to support their child.
Now and Next Boards
Birmingham Community Healthcare Speech and Language Therapists have produced this video to show you how to use a 'now and next' or 'first and then' board to help your child understand what is going to happen next and to encourage them to do what you want them to do. It explains how using pictures can help if children are having difficulties with language.
Using Objects and Sensory Cueing
Birmingham Community Healthcare Speech and Language Therapists have produced this video to show you how to use objects and sensory cueing to link words, objects and routines. This helps children prepare for and anticipate what is going to happen next; supports language development; supports them to become engaged in a variety of daily routines.