Communication is vital to ensuring success for all our children. At River View, we are committed to supporting our children across all key stages to communicate effectively and help prepare them for their lifelong learning journey.The governors and staff recognise the importance of this and are keen to ensure that this is a priority for the children.
In 2011, we began our work with our Communication Development Worker to deliver specific speech and language support to children across all key stages. She is supported by a Speech Therapist who comes in to school to work with these children and support our staff. We also signed up to support from the Speech Therapy Service who came in to work with children in the Early Years. This helped us to understand and recognise the differing needs of our children as early as possible to help key groups of children communicate effectively, through careful questioning to ensure they understand what is being asked of them.
In 2012, as a result of the work started when we opened, we established a Communication Development Team. We now have two Communication Development Workers who work throughout the school to promote effective communication across the school both in 1 to 1 sessions, small group work and in class support. We have also redeployed one of our Early Years TAs to maintain the Early Years specific intervention, with the continued support of the Speech Therapy Service, as started last year. We are sure that this will help to promote effective communication early so that our children are able to access all the curriculum has to offer both now and in the future.
Our Language Resource staff are keen to share their expertise with all staff, as children from their classes integrate into some mainstream lessons. Language Resource staff are monitoring effective delivery in classrooms and liaising with all outside agencies and the SENCO to ensure that all needs are met.
River View Primary School has also been selected to be part of the Communication Friendly Schools Project run by the Speech Therapy Service. This involves a number of our TAs being trained in the ELKLAN programme - specifically designed to promote effective communication on all aspects of school life - and a large number of the staff are already trained. All staff, including Lunchtime Organisers, Teaching Assistants and Teachers, have received specific training, delivered by two members of staff, to support this project and staff are now using the strategies suggested to make our school Communication Friendly. Click here to read a blog from Liz Elks who identifies the good work that is going on in our school and a school in Bolton.
Following the training, we achieved Communication Friendly Status in September 2013. In February 2014, we were shortlisted for the Shine A Light Primary School of the Year award. We received a "highly commended" from the Shine A Light awards for all the work we have done and continue to do to promote communication and support for all our children.