“Communication is crucial…. It is an essential life skill….and it underpins a child’s social, emotional and educational development.” (Bercow Review 2008)
We recognise that positive relationships and communication are inextricably entwined and essential to all learning experiences at Wood Bank School. Without relationship there is no desire to communicate and without communication further learning will not take place. One cannot happen without the other.
Relationship and Communication are the first priorities for each pupil and a personalised approach is key to development. This is not something that happens in isolation but over-arches all learning experiences and therefore, opportunities to develop communication skills should be maximised throughout the school day.
At these early stages children should have access to nurturing and responsive adults and holistic communication which is led by the individual child’s needs. To support understanding adults may use a total communication approach.
The total communication approach is about using the right combination of communication methods for an individual to ensure the most successful forms of contact, information exchange and conversation.
For example, an individual may receive information via speech and signs while expressing themselves via signs and symbols.
Methods used include:
A physical, multi-sensory curriculum with high interest, motivating activities should be offered. An Intensive Interaction approach and child-led ‘ethos’ should be embedded throughout the learning experience: children learn best when they are motivated and engaged in activity which is meaningful to them.
Children should be given opportunities to respond, repeat, engage, request, initiate and finish an activity or interaction through: