We have a lot of children at Queensmead who struggle with some aspect of language, so all our teachers and teaching assistants have some training and experience in how to use strategies in the classroom that help those children.
These strategies include:
1:1 Speech Therapy
Our two specialist SEN Teaching Assistants, Mrs Cank and Ms Smith, now have extensive experience of working with children with speech and language difficulties.
The Speech and Language Therapist will send the school advice about what the child needs to work on and how to do it. They may also send resources such as pictures or worksheets.
Mrs Cank and Ms Smith can use techniques such as cued articulation, which give physical signs to the children about how to make a particular sound.
Ms Smith works with children in the Foundation Stage.
Some of these children may need a lot of work on producing speech sounds, so she will work with them for a short period, almost every day.
Mrs Cank works with children in Key Stages 1 and 2.
These children usually need less intensive work on producing speech sounds, so she will work with them once or twice weekly or sometimes less frequently if they are making good progress.
Let's Talk Groups
As well as providing 1:1 speech therapy for some children, Queensmead also offers a group intervention called Let's Talk for children with language difficulties.
This is particularly aimed at children who have problems with understanding what other people say (eg. following instructions) or with expressing themselves in language (eg. finding the right words or getting words in the right order).
In the weekly Let's Talk sessions the children will do fun games and activities to help them to practise understanding and using language better.
These activities are supported by picture cards as children with language difficulties often need visual support to help them to understand what is happening.
At Queensmead we have realised that some children are having difficulties with their maths work because they are struggling to understand and use the language of maths.
We now run maths language groups in some year groups, where the words and ideas that the children particularly struggle with in maths are being tackled through the Let's Talk programme.
In Foundation Stage (F1 and F2) our SEN Teaching Assistant, Ms Smith, has trained to run Funtime groups.
Funtime is a small group programme for groups of 3-4 children that focuses particularly on developing their language and social skills. They usually attend the group twice weekly. During sessions the children sing a welcome song, play some games and sing a goodbye song. A visual timetable is used to show the children what they are going to do and help them to understand the sequence of activities.
Our Foundation children love their Funtime sessions!