Many children have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), but SLCN is often under-identified in schools. A study by Bercow showed that around half of children with SLCN are not picked up in primary schools, so it’s important to think about how many pupils you might typically expect to have SLCN in school.
10% of children have long term SLCN. For a school with 1,000 pupils, that’s 100 with SLCN. In a small school of 200 pupils, that’s 20 pupils. That’s two or three in every classroom. Identification is key across all phases of education, from early years through primary, secondary and beyond. SLCN can be complex and difficult to identify, so an ongoing focus and putting in the right classroom strategies to support these pupils is absolutely imperative.
Without the benefit of classroom strategies, children with speech, language and communication difficulties will usually go on to have social and emotional development issues, which can significantly hold back their educational progress.
Whether your school works with external SLCN specialists, or has a SENCo expert based in your school, providing all teaching staff with the knowledge of how to implement SLCN strategies in classrooms is highly important.
With around 50% of children in areas of deprivation having a speech, language or communication difficulty at early years’ settings, schools with high numbers of pupils from deprived areas particularly need staff to have knowledge and skills in this type of SEN.
We have collated some of the most effective online and in-person strategies for supporting children with SLCN in the classroom:
Helping children to understand the importance of listening and how to do it well is crucial, these are some of the key actions:
To help children to understand language, you might want to try:
To support a child’s talking development:
As well as using different language development techniques in the classroom environment, there are also online solutions available. For example, Chatterbug provides a Telehealth service which uses cutting-edge software technology to provide a range of engaging activities to help children with speech, language and communication difficulties.
This includes interactive game-like strategies that children find fun to complete, which helps to achieve outstanding progress with language development. This style of strategy is also ideal for children to work on from home and can be provided even during lockdown restrictions or where schools are closed for holidays.
Find out more about the different strategies by registering for one of our online courses, which we deliver on a monthly basis, covering a wide range of SLCN areas and support techniques.