Speech and Language Department
Welcome to the Talk About Room
PRESS RELEASE: MILTON KEYNES TEACHER’S DEDICATION TO PUPILS’ COMMUNICATION RECOGNISED AT SHINE A LIGHT AWARDS
Warren Academy in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, has been highly commended for the Communication Champion Award at a glittering award ceremony in London, hosted by comedian, David Baddiel. Cordula Hastings, from Leighton Buzzard, has been praised for her commitment to supporting young people’s speech, language and communication development.
The 2015 Shine a Light Awards are a national awards scheme organised by Pearson, in partnership with The Communication Trust, to celebrate innovative work, inspirational individuals and excellent practice in supporting children and young people’s communication development.
Specialist teacher Cordula Hastings works with children who have identified speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), many of whom were permenantly excluded from their previous schools due to their challenging behaviour. Cordula supports each of these children as individuals and they make fantastic progress because of her structured and creative approach. She sets high expectations with clear targets and provides lots of support including creative visual displays in a dedicated 'Talk About Room'. The children Cordula works with have regained a love of learning and pride in themselves, meaning that behaviour issues are now a rarity and the children participate fully in school life.
The Talk About Room
The teaching in the Language Unit follows the National Curriculum but gives an extra focus to developing communication skills, vocabulary, thinking skills, perceptual skills, fine and gross motor skills.
Depending on the individual needs of the children, there is a balance between whole class, group and individual work designed to meet individual learning needs and to encourage language development and social skills. In addition, activities relating to speech and language, and IEP targets are integrated into daily activities.
At the same time pupils are fully integrated in their class and take part in regular events such as assembly, playtime, lunchtime, PE, creative curriculum and special occasions. The children learn and grow together with mainstream pupils, while enjoying the special provision to which they are entitled.
Additional integration into mainstream lessons is individually arranged for each child.
The development of personal and social skills is a high priority in the Talk About Room. The child’s self-esteem plays an important part in their development, both socially and academically. The child who feels relaxed, secure and confident in school is more likely to learn and progress in their learning.
The Language Unit has a specialist teacher and a full time classroom assistant.
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and language therapy is an integral part in the Language Unit. Each child receives individual and / or group speech and language therapy from a specialist speech and language therapist coming to the Talk About Room currently on Wednesdays.
Home / School Link
As with all children the link between home and school is very important. We are able to offer the following support to children and their families:
- Each child has a home/school link book for parents/carers and the Language Unit team will write in daily messages and information. There is also a direct phone line for more urgent matters.
- Meetings are arranged to discuss each child's targets and talk about their progress once a term.
- Annual review meetings take place each year. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss your child's progress and ensure that the special educational provision made continues to be appropriate.
Parents/carers are frequently invited to school on other occasions, for example to watch a school performance, Sports Days, Carol Concerts etc.
Parents/carers are very welcome to visit the Talk About Room at other times. Please telephone first to arrange a convenient time.
If you have any questions or queries please feel free to talk to us.
Mrs. Jones and Mrs.Gedny