SSELP schools aim to work collaboratively to support the high levels of language delay and linguistic diversity in children across the SSELP schools. This includes:
Wave One – quality first teaching to develop language skills
Wave Two – small group “catch up” intervention
Wave Three – individualised specialist support
Three members of Sheffield Speech and Language Therapy service were employed to work with the SSELP schools and Every Sheffield Child Articulate and Literate (ESCAL) to begin to develop a consistent approach to supporting children’s speech, language and communication. Support was provided to schools in the form of training, mentoring, provision of resources and additional funding. This had a positive impact on provision across the schools involved, which was acknowledged by winning the Communication Trust’s national ‘Working Together’ award.
The following aims were targeted:
Every child in SSELP will have their speech, language and communication development enhanced by effective teaching and provision
Children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) will be identified early and receive appropriate support
Teachers and practitioners will know how to identify children at risk of language delay and how to support speech and language acquisition across a broad curriculum
Teachers and practitioners will have increased knowledge and understanding of bilingual language development and will be confident in identifying communication difficulties in this group of children as well as supporting the development of all of their languages
Parents will be actively involved and will be confident that their child’s needs will be met in any SSELP school
Parents will gain greater knowledge and understanding of the benefits of bilingualism and feel confident in supporting bilingual language development
This model of collaborative working led to a number of positive changes across the schools, including:
A consistent approach for early identification of SLCN using the ESCAL Baseline Screen and ESCAL Tracker
The addition of information on bilingual language development to the ESCAL Tracker
The training of some bilingual workers in the use of a ‘Home Language Screen’ in a number of community languages (Arabic, Punjabi, Urdu, Roma & Slovak) to help with the identification of difficulties in speakers of these languages
An increase in the number of schools running the Sheffield Speech and Language Therapy Language Interventions – NIP, LEAP and VIP (for further detail of interventions please see website)
An increase in the number of schools using the ‘Language History Form’ for bilingual children on entry
An increase in the number of schools offering specific support for parents around helping their children’s speaking and listening skills
An increase in the use of Communicate in Print (www.widgit.com) and visual strategies to support learning, communication and independence in the classroom
Progress in speaking and listening scores – greater improvements in SSELP schools than the Sheffield average (e.g. ‘speaking’ – 9% increase in children reaching national expectation compared with 5% across Sheffield)
Further details can be found in the report.
The SSELP schools have agreed to continue with this focus and to use the resources and training provided to continue to support the communication of children across SSELP schools.
Please see the library section of this website to access these resources.