Communication is a high priority at Highfurlong School and ‘Communicate’ takes one of the 5 areas of our bespoke curriculum. Communication forms the foundations for which all other subjects can be built upon. Pupils require effective communication skills, which can present in a vast range of ways, in order to access their learning, school life and community effectively.

Communication skills are constantly being utilised and are embedded into every lesson. No matter the age, need or ability of learners their methods and level of communication are used and progressed upon following learners individual speech and language targets as set by their Speech and Language Therapists.

By providing our learners with effective communication skills it enables them to become effective communicators, which gives them a voice as well as the being able to express their level of understanding within the curriculum.

At Highfurlong School we use a total communication approach which means that we use many different forms of communication such as signing, eye pointing, objects of reference, symbols, gestures, words and high tech AAC (augmentative alternative communication) devices. In partnership with parents and class staff we provide ongoing in-depth assessments and pupils will have the opportunity to trial different devices to ensure we find the right fit for them.

Communication is used during all parts of a learners school day but we also have additional set times where the timetable allows pupils to practise their communication skills including Snack and Chat and Circle Time. We have access methods to suit all learners, these are formed using learners individual targets which are displayed on each learners personal learning plan.

Communication resources are created and edited  to cater for all areas of the curriculum. Parents are given a full report on their child’s Speech and Language development and a copy of future targets as part of their annual collaborative and review meeting. We have a communication room facility and a range of resources to support speech and language sessions. Teachers work closely with Speech and Language Therapists to set and work on pupil specific targets.