We usually structure our time around Universal, Targeted and/or Specialist Levels in Primary Schools. This helps provide a framework for us to set measurable targets for SLCN in your school. Your Words First Therapist will always begin by discussing the options with you and finally agreeing a comprehensive way forward that will have a measurable and long-term impact.
A few examples of how Words First can work at each level:
Embedding SLCN strategies and raising awareness across the whole school.
If your school is aiming to improve awareness of Speech, Language and Communication and embed more SLCN strategies across the curriculum, Words First will work at the Universal Level through specially-designed whole-school training, an audit of SLCN and screening of whole year-groups. Our specially-designed checklists are often used to screen whole year-groups quickly, thereby identifying pupils at risk of language, literacy or communication difficulties. Our ready-made strategy sheets, alongside training, learning walks and deep dives, are effective ways of “turning the dial” on SLCN (Jean Gross, 2018).
Identification and intervention for small groups of at-risk children or those already delayed in speech, language, literacy or communication.
When you have a significant number of children with SLCN (with or without EHCPs), you may want to extend the reach of Speech and Language to a wide group of pupils. In this case, your Words First Speech and Language Therapist will work closely with a designated member of your team who can deliver interventions under the guidance of your Words First Speech and Language Therapist. Together, the designated member of staff and your Speech and Language Therapist will deliver interventions in small groups, based on the pupils’ assessment results. Our Literacy, Language and Communication Approach is very well suited to this level. Below, you can see the basis of our language and literacy approach in our Reading Wheel. This can be the foundation on which our assessments and interventions are based. However, your Speech and Language Therapist will discuss this as a potential option and she/he may suggest using it as an approach to reach as many children as possible.
Words First has 5 specially-designed, ready-made and research-based programmes with lesson plans and resources for your TAs to use in their sessions (under the guidance of your Words First SaLT). If you are interested in training your TAs, we request that you buy into a Service Level Agreement so that Words First can plan to support your TAs to deliver a robust and effective programme that will have a lasting impact.
Link to Packages – programmes
If your Primary School is interested in hearing more about Words First, please email Amanda@wordsfirst.uk for an information pack or for an obligation-free call.