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Communication, Language and Literacy

At Strathmore we are proud of our inclusive, multi-sensory and motivating approach to teaching Communication, Language and Literacy. We believe that by truly knowing and understanding our pupils, we are able to deliver a bespoke curriculum for each individual.

Strathmore approaches:

As a school, we continue to develop our approaches in teaching Communication, Language and Literacy in line with statutory guidance and latest research-based advice. We improve our teaching and learning through observation, reflection, trialling new ideas and collaborating with other SEN and mainstream professionals. We are very lucky to be able to draw upon our wealth of experience as a team and make very specific, personalised assessments to track pupil progress. Our therapy team provide excellent guidance and work in conjunction with the class team to integrate Speech and Language Therapy into all learning.

Every class:

Each teacher plans their Communication, Language and Literacy lessons to cater for their class groups. For some pupils, a multi-skilled lesson can be most effective e.g. having a range of activities to access within the session based on different aspects in Communication, Language and Literacy (guided reading, reading for pleasure, writing, communication, listening, speaking). Other class groups or individuals benefit from a discrete hour of writing, an hour of reading etc… twice or three times a week. All pupils receive the recommended amount of Literacy/English teaching.

Reading and Writing:

As the children develop, they have access to different reading and writing routes, based on a personalised learning approach. With support from Occupational Therapy, the students develop the skills required to write. Word processing programmes such as Clicker 6 have had a positive impact on the pupils’ ability to write expressively in sentences, or label pictures with nouns if they are unable to write using pens or pencils.

Research-led teaching:

In 2015-16, we carried out extensive research on learners who were not making progress with a phonics approach to reading. Because not all students are able to verbally pronounce sounds and blend, we knew we had to explore other ways to support the early reading skills. After having researched a variety of different approaches, we decided to trial the published ‘Handle Technique’. This is a reading strategy that uses sight reading of whole words to build vocabulary and comprehension; pupils are shown images of interest with individual words that gradually fade over time, eventually leading to the pupil reading whole sentences.

Reading routes

  • Phonics (Jolly Phonics, Letters and Sounds, Read Write inc)
  • Handle Technique
  • Sight Reading
  • Clicker 6 Computer Programme
  • Structured guided reading sessions 1:1 and in groups
  • Functional English (Preparing for Adulthood)

Writing Paths

  • Occupational Thearpy input for fine and gross motor skills
  • Sensory writing and mark making
  • Handwriting Without Tears
  • Structured Jolly Phonics Handwriting
  • PECS sentences
  • Clicker 6 computer programme
  • Typing and touch screen typing

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