The part time Speech and Language Centre, based in Quarry Bank Primary School, is a specialist provision for pupils who present with severe and complex speech and expressive language needs. The Centre caters for children from Reception to Key Stage One from across Dudley Borough. The two-day placement provides pupils with an intensive immersion in speech and language therapy along with a highly differentiated curriculum in a communication friendly environment. The Centre comprises of two specialist groups; Group One (Monday-Tuesday) targets pupils with severe and complex speech difficulties whilst Group Two (Thursday-Friday) targets pupils with severe and complex speech and expressive language difficulties. Each group has ten children. Staff in the Centre includes, a Lead Teacher, a Specialist Language Therapist, a Higher Level Teaching Assistant; a Specialist Teaching Assistant and a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. In order to access the Speech and Language Centre, all children have to have a primary need of speech, language and communication.
The Speech and Language Centre also has an Education Outreach Team who can work with schools and settings to provide in class or 1:1 support and advice for pupils identified by the Speech and Language Therapists. The Outreach Team can assess the impact of speech and language difficulties on access to teaching and learning; access to the environment; engagement with peers and community and social and emotional development. The Team have a full and on-going understanding of progress and barriers to learning and they aim to reduce those barriers by recommending resources, learning aids and referrals to the appropriate outside agencies.
As we are part-time placement, who aims to prepare our children for full-time mainstream education as soon as we feel appropriate, we aim to expose the children to as many mainstream curriculum opportunities as possible. One of the ways we ensure these opportunities are occurring, is by ensuring the mainstream curriculum is delivered at a pitch that is appropriate to the children's needs whilst taking into account careful consideration of their speech and language difficulties. Activities are highly differentiated and lots of visual resources are used to support the children's speech and language needs to ensure they make progress. All of the children's speech and language aims are embedded throughout the school day and liaison meetings between teaching staff and the Speech and Language Therapists are held weekly to ensure there is a consistent approach to helping the children make progress towards their aims.
- How do you refer or access the service/provision?
Referrals are made through speech and language therapy where parental consent is obtained for a specialist assessment from a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. Following this, the Education Outreach Team will work with the child and a specialist non-verbal assessment will be carried out. Once assessments have been carried out, a panel is held and discussions around the suitability of the provision for the child are held and then places are offered as a result.
Once a place has been offered, parents are invited into the Speech and Language Centre to meet staff and get a 'feel' for the setting. If parents are happy to accept the place, Emily Hodges (Lead Specialist Teacher) contacts the school/setting the child currently attends full time, and discusses start dates and the logistics of the part-time placement. Termly liaison meetings are held with the Lead Specialist Teacher, the Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, parents and teaching staff from the pupil's Home School Placement. Placement is reviewed on a termly basis and when appropriate, transition packages, delivered by the Education Outreach Team, are arranged to ensure a smooth movement back to the child's Home School, full time.