_____________ Speech and Language School Approach


All our therapists work collaboratively to implement a tiered model of provision in order to meet the needs of all the children and young people at Riverside Bridge School, most of whom have complex communication needs and many of whom have a diagnosis of Autism and are early communicators.
The Speech and Language model and following definitions are taken from The Balanced System™ and are supported by the new SEND Code of Practice (2014):

Universal provision

Universal provision supports the whole school population and ensures all children have appropriate language and communication opportunities. This level includes workforce development, access to appropriate information, creating communication friendly environments and developing whole school intervention approaches.
The Speech and Language Therapist team delivers weekly training sessions to staff where whole school communication approaches and communication needs are discussed. These training sessions are rooted in evidence based approaches, and include topics such as Total Communication, Aided Language Input, Using Core Vocabulary, Colourful Semantics and Sensory Stories. Regularly twilight and whole school INSET training is also provided to staff. These sessions are evidence based and include topics like Intensive Interaction, and Lego Therapy.
Training for the wider workforce as a whole aims to increases awareness and understanding of the communication needs of the children at Riverside Bridge School, and ensures interventions and approaches which support the whole population are embedded consistently by all staff working with the children and young people.


Targeted provision

In addition to the universal offer, targeted speech and language therapy intervention at Riverside Bridge School offers specific support for children and young people in relation to their speech, language and communication. This level includes small group and individual targeted intervention approaches such as language groups, narrative groups, social communication skills programmes and phonology programmes. Targeted speech and language therapy intervention can be delivered through direct contact with the therapist and indirect contact.
Direct work with pupils, usually in the classroom, include the therapist:
  • introducing the child’s targets and communication programme;
  • demonstrating the use of strategies to staff;
  • supporting staff to deliver the child’s targets and programme through a minimum of 3-5 curriculum activities in the week as planned by the teacher with advice from the therapist;
  • observing staff implementing the targets and programme with the child;
  • delivering a group based therapy session to the children in their class every 1-2 weeks.
Indirect work carried out by the therapist includes:
  • creating and updating the children’s target and programme;
  • making Speech and Language Therapy resources for the children;
  • writing clinical notes and reports;
  • liaising with other professionals as needed;
  • planning and delivering tailored workshop training to those working with your child.
Therapists will also support adaptations to the curriculum and the environment (e.g. use of visual supports) and advise school staff on how to embed Speech and Language activities/strategies within the school day.


Specialist provision

Specialist speech and language provisions are provided in addition to the universal and targeted offer, for those children and young people who require a highly individualised and personalised programme of work that is named in their Education, Health and Care plan.
Adults working with the pupils will maintain and modelled strategies and support with generalisation outside of direct therapy.