Forest Way is known for its excellent work on speech, language and communication. Pupils are carefully assessed on
school entry and ongoing from then. Forest Way has a communication team of Speech and Language Therapists, teachers
and specific support staff. Developing communication skills is part of everyone’s day and all attempts at communicating
are valued. A range of communication strategies are used including:
Makaton is a language programme using signs to help some pupils to communicate.
It is also designed to support understanding of language and so staff can use signs alongside speech.
These activities make interacting with each other fun and encourage pupils who are reluctant to or have difficulties with communication.
Communication passports give adults working with pupils with little or no communication how to work with them and encourage them to make choices
Symbols to Communicate
These can be individual or in books or PECS books (www.PECS.org). These help pupils to communicate their wants through pointing or looking at or passing a picture.
Symbols to Help Pupils to Understand Language
Individual symbols and schedules can help pupils understand what is expected of them.
Electronic Communication Aids
These are "high tec" devices with a large range of symbols and photos individualised for each child.
Switches can be attached for pupils with physical difficulties or eye pointing software. Pupils use these in all
situations including going out for a drink and snack.
Development of Speech and Language Skills
Speech and Language groups are planned by our Speech and Language Therapists and run with school staff.
Social Communication Skills
Pupils are encouraged to develop wider communication skills such as talking on the telephone and in activities in the community.
Some useful links
Communication Matters - www.communicationmatters.org.uk
We have also developed a Communication Training and Assessment Centre
PCS Symbols in this page (Body Signs, Communication Passports, Symbols to Communicate and Symbols to Help Pupils to Understand Language) are from Mayer-Johnson - www.mayer-johnson.co.uk