I can find out more to develop my knowledge and skills to support children and young people at risk of speech, language and communication needs
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The resources here will help you reach the outcome: "I know where I can find out more to develop my knowledge and skills to support young children at risk of speech, language and communication needs."
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Language for Learning training
Language for Learning provides training and resources to support all those working with children and young people with speech, language and communication needs. They provide training to the wider workforce in early years settings and schools, equipping practitioners to support children and young people effectively. There is a training for trainers programme where they train speech and language therapists and specialist teachers to deliver Language for Learning training courses in their local area.
Speech, Language and Communication Framework
This professional development tool outlines the key skills for staff working with children to support and develop speech, language and communication skills. It consists of 2 elements, a self-assessment tool and Universal level learning modules. The self-assessment tool enables practitioners to map their confidence, knowledge and skills in supporting speech, language and communication and identify areas for development. The learning modules provide opportunity for practitioners to develop their knowledge in supporting speech, language and communication. A group function is also available to enable audit of a cohort of practitioners to inform training plans.
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.
NHS Services and support for parents
NHS website with details for how to find a GP, Health Visitor and child health clinics in your area
Nuffield Early Language Intervention
The Nuffield Early Language Intervention is a 20-week programme proven to help young children overcome language difficulties. It is designed for children aged 4-5 years and combines small group work with one-to-one sessions delivered by trained teaching assistants, targeting vocabulary, narrative skills, active listening and phonological awareness. The intervention has been evaluated in robust trials and found to be effective for improving children’s oral language skills as well as promoting longer-term progress in reading comprehension.
- The Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) is designed to improve the spoken language ability of children in reception classrooms.
- It is targeted at children with relatively poor spoken language skills.
- Teaching Assistants are trained in how to develop children’s language skills.
- Clear lesson plans are provided to save preparation time.
- Materials for children are bright and accessible.
- Three 30-minute sessions per week are delivered to groups of five children during the Spring and Summer terms (20 weeks).
- Children also attend an additional two 15-minute individual sessions per week.
- All sessions focus on listening, narrative and vocabulary skills.
- Work on phonological awareness is introduced in the final ten weeks.
Information about accessing training to deliver the intervention is also available here.
I CAN Information for Professionals
I CAN is the children's communication charity which provides training and resources for professionals to develop knowledge, skills and strategies to support children's speech, language and communication skills and needs and links to further information.
Course Beetle SLCN training
Course Beetle is a provider of workforce training within Education, Health and Social Care and specialise in training which supports practitioners to deliver evidence-based approaches and interventions for anyone with speech, language and communication needs or learning disabilities. Course Beetle Trainers are experienced and knowledgeable and are fully licensed to deliver the courses they offer. Training includes a wide range of CPD masterclasses and courses that be accessed by individuals or organisations. Training in Hanen, Talking Mats and Makaton can be found here.
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.
Early Talk Boost
Early Talk Boost is a targeted intervention, delivered by a trained early years practitioner to a group of up to eight children aged 3-4 years old that have delayed language. The intervention helps to boost their language skills to help narrow the gap between them and their peers and includes two parent workshops; a tool to identify levels of need and measure progress; and resources to deliver the intervention. Training is available to practitioners who plan to deliver the intervention in their setting or school.
Best Start in Speech, Language and Communication
This e-learning programme has been developed in partnership with Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare, Public Health England and the Department for Education. Best Start in Speech, Language and Communication outlines the importance of the development of children’s speech and language skills for health visitors working with pre-school children and their families.
What Works database
The Communication Trust worked with the Better Communication Research Programme to develop the What Works database of evidenced interventions to support children's speech, language and communication. What Works is endorsed by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. It supports practitioners to deliver evidence-informed interventions and approaches to support children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.
Elklan courses are delivered by licensed tutors across the UK. The evidence-informed courses are aimed at practitioners to support their knowledge about how to support children's speech, language and communication. Elklan have also developed a range of courses for parents.
The WellComm Assessment is for use with any child aged 6 months to 6 years and enables practitioners to evaluate children's language skills, draw up a detailed profile and identify children at risk of having difficulty in developing language skills. It identifies those children who need setting-based monitoring and support and those who need referral to specialist support services. The screen is completed through observation, discussion with families and screening by asking children to carry out a variety of tasks ensuring that results obtained and conclusions drawn are more accurate than using one approach alone.
The WellComm Big Book of Ideas has been designed for use following a WellComm assessment of any child aged 6 months to 6 years. It includes general strategies as well as very specific activities to develop and improve children's speech and language skills and can be implemented by any early years practitioner or parent using toys and items that can be found in settings or at home. The activities are used to develop the particular skills highlighted for support in the assessment - this means that the activities delivered are specific and appropriate to the individual child language development stage and can be used in the setting or at home.
Training videos are included in the toolkit.
The Hanen Centre
The Hanen Centre offers evidence-based interventions and professional development opportunities to early childhood education professionals. Their training programmes and interventions provide practical, naturalistic approaches for promoting the social, language and early literacy skills of preschool children.
Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is diagnosed when children struggle to develop language, resulting in children who have difficulty understanding what people say to them, and struggle to articulate their ideas and feelings. This website provides you with information and resources to help identify and support children with DLD. Information can also be shared with families and carers of children with DLD.
Talk Boost KS1 Intervention
Talk Boost KS1 is a targeted intervention for 4-7 year old children with language that is delayed. The programme is delivered in primary schools by classroom teachers and teaching assistants and provides a structured programme that boosts children’s progress in language and communication. It includes activities so that the intervention is supported in the home environment; a tool to identify levels of need and measure progress; and resources to deliver the intervention. Training is available to teachers and teaching assistants who plan to deliver the intervention in their school.
Training to use Talking Mats communication symbols tool which is based on extensive research and designed by Speech and Language Therapists. It uses unique, specially designed picture communication symbols that are attractive to all ages and communication abilities and is used by clinical practitioners, carers and support workers in a wide range of health, social work, residential and education settings to increase children, young people and adults' capacity to communicate effectively about things that matter to them.
I CAN Online Short Course: An introduction to speech, language and communication
This online short course is free and a great place to start learning about children and young people’s speech, language and communication development. It looks at how you can support the development of these skills on a day-to-day basis in your setting, and how to spot children and young people who might be struggling to develop these important skills.
The course is tailored for the needs of practitioners working across all the different education phases. You have the option to access four different pathways – early years, primary, secondary or further education so you can choose which pathway is most relevant to your area of work.
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.
Every Child a Talker
The materials are designed to support you to develop high quality language provision in your setting. The guidance helps you to create developmentally appropriate, supportive and stimulating environments in which young children can enjoy experimenting with and learning language. It can be implemented in Early Years settings, including childminders.
BBC Something Special
Something Special uses songs, rhymes and visual humour with Makaton sign language to help practitioners and parents learn how to support communication with signing in a fun and exciting way.
Information about a variety of Makaton training options including online; face to face and inhouse workshops. This page also provides information about the different levels of training that Makaton offer.
The British Stammering Association, now known as Stamma since 2019, is a national organisation for children who stammer and their families. It also provides information, advice and support for professionals working with children who stammer.