Updated: October 2021
Review Due: October 2022
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 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 SLT 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:
a. disordered sentence structure;
b. perceptual difficulties – sequencing, spatial awareness;
c. comprehension difficulties, e.g. inability to comprehend simple sentences;
d. 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:
a. severe cognitive delay or difficulties that would prevent them benefiting from the intensive SaLT
input or specialist teaching;
b. 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);
c. a label of ASD, Asperger’s, Autism or pervasive developmental disorder;
d. a hearing impairment which would require alternative communication systems (BSL);
e. a visual impairment that would prevent them from accessing the visual support provided in the SL
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 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. Dyspraxia) that prevents them from accessing a mainstream curriculum sufficiently.
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 problems, memory or social interaction, but none of these should be the child’s primary presenting problem.
What is a Dyspraxia?
A child with oral and/or verbal dyspraxia is likely to understand at a much higher level than they can express.
In dyspraxia, there is no damage to the muscles or nerves, but the child has difficulty making and co-ordinating movements.
A child with dyspraxia may have speech that is very hard to understand. Sounds may be inconsistent and in the wrong order.
Children with dyspraxia 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 considering each child’s language needs and 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 the child and is closely monitored to ensure maximum independence.
The staff are part of the main school staff and as such attend all meetings and training sessions.
How many children are at the SL Centre?
The SL Centre has provision for 25 children; currently in three class groupings, located in the mainstream school.
The children are generally in 3 teaching groups. Our classes this year are: Peach (R – Y2), Hawthorn (Y3/4/5) and Mulberry (Y6). 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 their termly IEP.
On occasion, some children have individual programmes from occupational and physiotherapists, which are incorporated into the overall programme.
The children are encouraged to take books home each evening in their book bag. We would expect parents/ carers to read with/ listen to their child every evening 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.
What do the children do here?
Work is planned following the National Curriculum, as in the mainstream school, but work is modified 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.
How do the children come to school?
Hounslow Children Services 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 play: Peach Class: 10.00 – 10.20am
Hawthorn Class: 10.25 - 10.45 am
Mulberry Class: 10.50 – 11.10 am
Lunch time: Peach Class: 11.40 am - 12.35 pm
Hawthorn Class: 12.10 - 1.10 pm
Mulberry Class: 12.30 – 1.30 pm
Afternoon play: Peach Class: 2.15 – 2.30 pm
What clothes does my child need?
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 throughout the year, where each item is £1.
Hawthorn Class pupils will go swimming in the Summer term (2022).
For swimming children must wear:
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.
Speech and language aims are included in the child’s Individual Education Programme (IEP).
Children may be seen individually or in small language groups, in the speech 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 is also 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. Where appropriate we use Makaton with the children who need extra support to understand language. It is used alongside spoken language and not as an alternative.
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 child’s needs.
Most, Year 6 SL Centre children have the opportunity to integrate into the mainstream classes 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:
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 Reports are produced at the end of the summer term for Parents’ Evening. These cover all aspects of your child’s school work during the previous academic year. You will be invited to give your own views of your child’s progress and your comments will be added to the annual report.
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 Reviews of your child’s EHCP are timed to coincide with the term 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, attendance) 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 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. Transfer review) and Year 6 the reports will consider the needs of your child on transferring to Secondary school.
At parents’ evening, parents / carers are also given their child’s Individual Education Programme (IEP). These are revised termly and used to inform planning.
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 once a term, 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 other 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 [2021-22]
Teacher in Charge (TiC): Miss C. Higgins
SL Centre Teachers:
Peach Class (R-Y2) Mrs K. Russell
Hawthorn Class (Y3/4/5) Miss C. Higgins & Mrs E. Gomez
Mulberry Class (Y6) Miss K. Jamshaid
PPA Cover on rota
Classroom Learning Support Assistants:
Ms J. Martin
Miss A. Thompson & Mrs J. Joyce (pm)
Mrs J. Joyce (am)
Speech & Language Therapist:
(1 day per week - Monday)
Ms Alice Sapwell
(1 day per month)