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Lionel Primary School

Working together to provide an educational environment that inspires, challenges and nurtures each child.

Speech and Language Centre

Updated: October 2023

Review Due: October 2024

Criteria for Admission


      1. The child must have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and be within the primary

           range of Reception to 11 years old.          

      2. The child must have a recent speech therapy assessment diagnosing and giving evidence

           for a severe specific speech and/or developmental language disorder, apparent in both

           languages if bilingual.


          This evidence will need to be gathered by staff at the Speech and Language (SL) Centre (if

          a recent SaLT report is not available).

       3. The child demonstrates a desire/intent to communicate, irrespective of language

           impairment, but has presenting language difficulties which might include one or more of

           the following:

  • Gestalt language processing / Echolalia - immediate or delayed; 
  • disordered sentence structure;
  • perceptual difficulties – sequencing, spatial awareness;
  • comprehension difficulties, e.g. inability to comprehend simple sentences;
  • expressive speech or language difficulties, e.g. minimal use of language, speech may be unintelligible, inappropriate use of gesture and facial expression.

      4.   Language Impairment should be the primary need and in the absence of:

  • severe cognitive delay or difficulties that would prevent them benefiting from the intensive SaLT input or specialist teaching;
  • emotional or behavioural problems sufficiently severe to warrant regular intervention (or there should be evidence of sufficient social and emotional skills and development to cope in a class/group of up to 12 children);
  • a diagnosis of autism which presents with high sensory needs and/or accompanying challenging behaviour; 
  • a hearing impairment which would require alternative communication systems (BSL);
  • a visual impairment that would prevent them from accessing the visual support provided in the SL Centre.

        5.  Pupils should be able to access the curriculum without continuous one-to-one adult input.


Why are children referred to the SL Centre?

Children with a diagnosis of a Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) on their EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) are referred to the SL Centre.

Children with DLD may have difficulty accessing the National Curriculum in a large, mainstream classroom.

Children attend the SL Centre to develop strategies to help them access the National Curriculum.

Some children are referred to the SL Centre because they have a speech disorder (e.g. Developmental Coordination Disorder) that prevents them from accessing a mainstream curriculum sufficiently.


Applying for a placement at Lionel's Speech & Language Centre

Admissions typically come from Hounslow settings while a few come from other local authorities. Consultation for placements is managed by the local SEN Team where the pupil resides; which has financial responsibility for maintaining the Education Health and Care Plan. 

However, all consultations for placements must come via Hounslow's SEN Team from the relevant local authority. The school cannot accept consultations directly from parents/ carers or any other party.

Admission to the SL Centre is via consultation with Miss Higgins, Head of the SL Centre. 

Parents/ carers are strongly encouraged to visit the SL Centre when trying to determine the best educational provision for their child. 


What is a Developmental Language Disorder (DLD)?

A child with a DLD will have difficulty using and/or understanding spoken language.

Some children with a DLD also have difficulty with written language.

A child with DLD develops language in an atypical way. His/her language skills may be ‘patchy’ with some aspects severely affected, while other areas are developing well.

Children with DLD have language skills that are significantly lower than their non-verbal skills.

No two children with DLD present in the same way.

Children with DLD may show some difficulties associated with their language problems. These include difficulties with attention and listening behaviour, general organisational issues, memory or social interaction, but none of these should be the child’s primary presenting problem.


What is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)?

A child with oral and/or verbal dyspraxia is likely to understand at a much higher level than they can express.

With DCD, there is no damage to the muscles or nerves, but the child has difficulty making and co-ordinating movements.

A child with DCD may have speech that is very hard to understand. Sounds may be inconsistent and in the wrong order.

Children with DCD need more practice learning motor movements (and they tend to progress more slowly with developing complex motor skills).

We follow the National Curriculum in the same way as the main school, but work is planned taking into account each child’s language needs and Individual Education Plan (IEP). 


Who works here?

We have a range of staff working within the SL Centre, including: teachers, learning support assistants, a speech and language therapist and an occupational therapist. All staff work together to promote a safe learning environment for all of the children. The SL Centre also has access to an Educational Psychologist, as required. Further advice from a physiotherapist may be sought for additional fine and gross motor programmes. Adult support varies according to the needs of each child and is closely monitored to ensure maximum independence. 

The SL Centre staff are part of the main school staff and as such attend all meetings and training sessions. 


  • A full list of current staffing can be found at the end of this page.


How many children are at the SL Centre?

The SL Centre has provision for 25 children; currently in three class groupings, located within the mainstream school.

Our classes this year are: Peach (Rec./Y1), Hawthorn (Y2/3) and Mulberry (Y4/5/6). Class teachers manage the team working within their classroom and for any children who integrate, into mainstream classes.

Each child has a speech and language programme incorporated into and/or alongside their termly IEP.

On occasion, some children have individual programmes from occupational and physiotherapists, which are incorporated into the overall programme.


What do the children do here?

Work is planned following the National Curriculum, as in the mainstream school, but work is adapted considering each child’s language and developmental need. There should be evidence that the child will be able to manage some independent learning in the mainstream setting; this may be minimal in the first instance. Some work is individual; some is in small groups but always allowing the children to progress at their own pace.


Speech therapy provision is intensive and incorporated into the overall planning.

Teaching is structured, multi-sensory, with much repetition and consolidation work. Emphasis is placed on developing foundation skills such as: attention and listening skills, organisational strategies, memory, comprehension monitoring and social skills necessary for equipping children returning to larger mainstream classes.


The children are encouraged to take books (their decodable reading book and a library book) home each evening in their book bag. We would expect parents/ carers to read with/ listen to their child every evening and/ or as frequently as possible, and make a comment in their child’s reading record. This extra reading practise is essential for their child's progress.

The children will have spellings to practise, on a weekly basis, using various strategies.

The children also have a home/school book, which is for both you and your child’s teacher to write in. Please check their book bag daily as some correspondence is put in these bags.


How do the children come to school?

Hounslow's School Travel Assistance Team provide transport for children who have Special Educational Needs and/or Disability if they meet agreed entry criteria; children who live more locally come by car, use a scooter, cycle or walk to school.


What are the school hours?

Soft Start: 8.40 - 8.55 am

School starts: 8.55 am

School finishes: 3.30 pm


Morning playHawthorn Class: 10.25 - 10.45 am

                      Mulberry Class: 10.50 – 11.10 am


Lunch time: Peach Class: 11.15 am - 12.30 pm

                    Hawthorn Class: 11.45 - 12.45 pm

                    Mulberry Class: 12.30 – 1.30 pm


Afternoon play: Hawthorn Class: 2.15 – 2.30 pm 


What clothes does my child need?

School Uniform:

  • Lionel Primary logo sweatshirt or cardigan in navy blue;
  • Lionel Primary logo or plain polo shirt in gold;
  • plain grey school trousers, skirt, shorts or pinafore dress; there should be no branding or trousers with cargo style pockets;
  • plain black, grey or white socks/tights;
  • summer dresses in yellow or blue gingham check;
  • shoes must be plain black and without logos or coloured soles;
  • In the summer, closed toe sandals may be worn with socks. Sandals should be in plain navy, black or white;
  • Lionel Primary logo book bags or rucksack.


PE Kit:

  • Lionel Primary logo white round neck t-shirt;
  • plain navy shorts;
  • plain navy tracksuit bottoms (optional);
  • black plimsolls or trainers;
  • Lionel Primary logo kit bag.


Our plain uniform items can be purchased at a range of stockists such as: Tesco, Asda or Marks and Spencer.

All our logo items are available online from: 

The PTA hold nearly new second-hand uniform sales each term, where each item is £1. 



Both Hawthorn Class (Y2/3) and Mulberry Class (Y4/5/6) pupils will go swimming in the Spring term (2024). 

For swimming children need to bring a towel and must wear:

  • a one-piece swimming costume or trunks (not board shorts);
  • a swimming hat;
  • swimming goggles (optional). 


Please remember to mark all clothing with your child’s name!


No jewellery is to be worn in school. An exception will be made for pierced ears (small studs only may be worn for safety reasons) or if the jewellery is of a religious or medical significance.


How will the Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) work with my child?

Speech and language therapy (SaLT) is delivered through joint planning with teaching staff and parents/ carers.

Speech and language aims may be included in the child’s Individual Education Programme (IEP).

Children may be seen individually or in small groups, either in their classroom or in the therapy room.

Formal assessments are completed once a year for most children. Parents/ carers can discuss their child’s speech and language progress with the speech and language therapist, at a mutually convenient time.  


Will there be signing?

We use Makaton with the children who benefit from this extra type of help. It is a signing system that is used alongside spoken language, not instead of, to give children visual prompts when learning, storing and later with recall of vocabulary.


Cued articulation may also be used. It is a system to help teach children to discriminate the sounds in spoken words. Attention is drawn to the sounds in spoken language using hand movements. These can then be linked to letters and letter patterns used in written language. 


What are the links with the mainstream school?

Integration, a primary aim for all our children, encourages social interaction, unity across the school, academic progress and greater confidence for the child. Therefore, all children integrate for a minimum of 20% of the school week; this includes playtimes, lunchtimes and assemblies.

Individual integration sessions will increase as a child becomes more confident and independent within their SL Centre class. This varies according to the individual needs of each child.

Year 6 SL Centre children integrate into their respective mainstream classes in the afternoons, for foundation subjects; which later eases their transition into mainstream secondary schools. 


The SL Centre Team will decide to integrate for subjects such as Maths and English if:

  • the child meets the range of expected attainment for their age-related year group;
  • the child has developed attention and listening skills that allows him/her to attend lessons within a mainstream class;
  • the child has developed good understanding of language skills;
  • the child has developed good expressive language skills;
  • the child has developed the ability to generalise and use strategies taught in their SL Centre class within a different learning environment.


Emotional wellbeing and confidence as a learner are also elements which are considered.

Adult support will vary according to the needs of the child and is closely monitored to ensure maximum independence.


What reports are written?

Annual School Reports:

These are produced at the end of the Summer term and are sent out to all parents/ carers via ParentMail. These cover all aspects of your child’s school work during that academic year. You can record your comments on your child's annual report. If you wish to discuss the contents of the report you can arrange a meeting, with your child's class teacher, for a mutually agreed time. 


Every twelve months, each child’s EHCP is reviewed by all those working with the child. This is called the Annual/ Phase Transfer Review, and is required by law. 

Parents/ carers are invited to attend and contribute during the review process.


Annual Review:

This report of your child’s EHCP is mostly timed to coincide with the month in which their EHCP was issued. Annual review reports detail progress in terms of the objectives specified on your child’s EHCP and the annual targets set during the Review meeting the previous year. A copy of the reports (including: class teacher, speech and language therapist’s report, (occupational therapist's report if appropriate) and attendance summary) will be sent to you before the meeting and you will have the opportunity to submit your own report if you wish. The annual review meeting offers the opportunity to discuss your child’s placement at the SL Centre and monitor the progress of his/her school career. During Year 5 (i.e. Phase Transfer review) and Year 6 the reports will consider the needs of your child on transferring to Secondary school.


Individual Education Plan (IEPs):

The targets within these documents are revised termly and are used to inform planning. Each term, parents/ carers are given a copy of their child’s IEP; if a parent/ carer wishes to, they can select a meeting time to discuss the targets with their child's class teacher.  


How often do parents visit?

Parental support is an integral part of every child’s education. We welcome and encourage visits which can be easily arranged with your child’s class teacher. There are parents’ evenings arranged in the Autumn and Spring terms, when you will have the opportunity to talk to the class teacher and/ or speech and language therapist and to look at your child’s work.

Parents/ carers may also be invited to school when their child is being assessed by external professionals.

In addition, there may be shared work assemblies and exhibitions of children’s work which you are invited to attend.


What happens when children leave?

When children leave, they either return to their local mainstream primary schools or transfer to Secondary school with support or without requiring any further intervention.

Some children show more significant difficulties than those outlined above indicating that they are likely to need greater input or more intensive specialist support, i.e. a special school.


Speech and Language Centre Staff [2023-2024]


Head of the Speech & Language Centre: Miss C. Higgins


SL Centre Class Teachers:

Peach Class (Rec./Y1) - Mrs K. Russell

Hawthorn Class (Y2/3) - Mr B. Aldridge

Mulberry Class (Y4/5/6) - Mr G. Boohig


Classroom Learning Support Assistants:

Mrs V. Fisher

Miss A. Thompson (Mon-Wed) & Miss H. Judd (Thurs & Fri)

Mrs J. Joyce


PPA Cover Teaching Staff:

Mr D. O'Brien (Wed - am)

Miss C. Higgins (Mon & Tues - pm) & Mr M. Parker (Tues - pm)

Mr M. Parker (Tues - pm) & Mr O. Oluseye (Wed - pm)


Speech & Language Therapy:

Ms Fernanda Espinosa (SLT), 1 day per fortnight - Wednesday

Ms Georgina Roberts (SLT), 2 days per week - Thursday & Friday


Occupational Therapy:

Miss Karina Bradley (OT), 1 day per week - Wednesday