Headteacher: Mr P Clayton
Teacher in Charge: Ms P Berry (telephone: 020 8894 7019)
Designation: Speech, language and communication needs
Age range: 7 to 11
As the children spend only part of the week in the unit, the curriculum offered focuses upon their individual needs set out in their statements. There is a balance between group and individual work. The programmes are designed to encourage language development and communication, and to offer intensive help with basic literacy and numeracy skills. In addition, there is an exploration of strategies into all areas of the child’s difficulties. This will help them cope better in mainstream and begin to achieve some degree of independence in learning and social situations, for example memory, listening and attention, social communication.
The Junior Language Unit takes up to 10 children of junior school age who have a statement. They are referred by the special educational needs panel. Children can transfer from the Infant Language Unit but this is not always the case.
Provision is of an intensive, short-term nature providing specialist help for children whose difficulties are due mainly to specific language delay or disorder, or who have specific language related learning difficulties.
The children are expected to spend a proportion of each week in a mainstream setting. Children typically spend three days in the unit and two in their home school, but this varies according to need. As they move into full-time in the mainstream, this usually reduces to two days in the unit. This arrangement ensures access to the full national curriculum and provides the opportunity for social inclusion and transferring social learning to a wider context.
There is a part-time specialist teacher in charge of the unit, a part-time teacher, a full-time teaching assistant and a specialist speech and language therapist for the equivalent of two and a half days a week.
The unit caters for children who have a statement and who have communication and interaction difficulties in the area of speech, language and communication, including social communication, and associated behavioural difficulties.
All children have equal access to resources available within the school and unit. Depending on individual need, some additional resources are available for providing inclusion opportunities or support for physiotherapy or occupational therapy activities. The unit has some funds available for purchasing small items of specialist equipment that may be needed for individual children. The children’s needs are initially identified though the formal statutory assessment procedure and are recorded in each child’s statement. Over the first few weeks in the unit, the children are observed and assessed in a variety of formal and informal ways.
An individual education plan (IEP) is then drawn up incorporating learning, social and language targets as appropriate for each child. These targets are shared with all staff, the parents and the child. Whenever possible, the child is involved in identifying their own targets. The targets are on display in the classroom and children are involved in reviewing and assessing their progress throughout the term. New targets are set once old
ones have been achieved. A meeting is held with parents once a term to review progress and discuss and share new targets. There is an annual review where everyone involved with the child is invited to the review and invited to contribute a report for the review. More regular reviews are held if it is considered necessary.
The children follow a broad curriculum that meets the requirements of the national curriculum at an appropriate level. The curriculum is flexible and is adapted to meet the needs of groups or individual children.
There is intensive work on developing basic skills in speaking and listening, reading and writing, and mathematics as we consider these to be essential skills for accessing all other areas of the curriculum. Work in the classroom is supplemented by regular outings and educational visits.
There is a balance between whole class, group and individual work designed to meet individual learning needs and to encourage language development and social skills. In addition, activities relating to speech and language, and IEP targets are integrated into daily activities.
We follow appropriate aspects of the religious education curriculum. Parents can withdraw their child from religious education if they wish.
The unit staff work in partnership with parents. It is expected that parents will support their child’s work in the unit as in their mainstream school.
There is an emphasis on qualitative, as well as quantitative improvement measured by both observation and assessment, both by the unit and mainstream staff.
Close contact is maintained by home and school diaries. Unit staff are always available for informal meetings with parents. Review meetings are held every six months to review progress and discuss future targets and provision. Written reports are provided on these occasions.
All statements of SEN are reviewed annually. Phase transfer should be held a year early to identify appropriate next placement.
Staff liaise with a range of services and other professionals as appropriate and necessary for individual children. These include occupational therapists, physiotherapists, the Child and Family Consultation Centre and the Educational Psychology Service. The school doctor and any other health professionals involved with the child are invited to reviews and kept up to date with reports.
Close contact is maintained between the unit and regular home-school liaison meetings are held. Weekly contact is maintained through a diary system. The aim is to return the children to full-time mainstream education as soon as possible, with appropriate support. Once full-time inclusion has been decided upon, the unit teacher and speech and language therapist would be available for mainstream consultation and advice, in addition to statement for a limited period.
Children in year 6 attending the unit should be fully included in their home schools by the beginning of the summer term, so that they can take part in SATS, school journeys, and preparation for secondary transfer.
Each child’s learning is closely monitored while they are in the unit. Any individual inclusion programmes or changes to inclusion are planned and discussed with mainstream staff and parents before it takes place. Children must transfer out of the unit at the end of year 6, but children may move on to different placements at other times if it is felt necessary or appropriate.
Formal meetings with parents are held so that everyone concerned can discuss progress and consider the appropriate next steps for the child. Some of the children may be ready for a mainstream placement and some go on to other special settings. The year 6 annual review is always brought forward to the autumn term to allow time for decision making and planning of the transition. The transfer from the unit is managed according to each child’s needs and varies depending on the new setting. For children returning to mainstream, it may involve an increase in inclusion.
Heathfield Junior School
Cobbett Road, Twickenham,
Telephone: 020 8894 3525
Fax: 020 8893 4073
Updated: 29 June 2017