Ethan transferred from his local mainstream primary school in the middle of year 3 to enable him to benefit from the speech & language expertise within the SLCN unit. Before he started Ethan and his TA were invited to several introduction sessions to meet the staff and some of his classmates.
Ethan really benefited from these sessions when he started at the school as it was familiar to him and he had already made some friends. At Ethan’s previous school he was becoming more and more dependent on his TA and as class work became harder he was increasingly having to come out of the classroom for one to one intervention. At BVPS the SLCN centre has enabled him to work within small groups, with comparable peers, for many of the core subjects and with his year group class for some other lessons where appropriate. This immediately made Ethan feel like one of the class and substantially reduced the amount of time he needed to spend in one to one sessions with an adult. Ethan feels like he is part of his year class being involved in all assemblies and other activities but has the benefit of learning in small groups where he does not feel ‘out of his depth’ or at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the group. This has meant that his confidence has grown and he continues to love going to school, which is very important to us.
The school and the SLCN team in particular have worked hard to find the most appropriate ways to engage Ethan in accessing the curriculum. This has involved working with other professionals and using additional equipment and teaching tools/methods where necessary. The school have worked hard to progress Ethan’s reading and writing skills
Ethan has been encouraged to join in with all school activities including school day trips and residential stays. He has fully engaged in both and loves being involved and doing new things. We cannot think of any time when Ethan has not been given the same opportunity to join in with his peers. The staff have facilitated him attending after school clubs and involved him in the school productions and activities in the community.
Ethan has always felt safe at the school and he is very fond of all the staff he has regular contact with. Above all, as parents, we feel confident that the staff are taking good care of our child and have his best interests at heart.
The school have always been very good at communicating with us as parents and we are able to discuss any concerns with the school staff openly. We have previously had daily reports on Ethan’s activities where this has been necessary but equally the school have been very good at judging when to involve us and when situations are best dealt with in school, without too much fuss. We have been happy with the school’s approach to the EHCP transfer and review process and meetings have always been conducted in an open and constructive manner.
Ethan settled in very quickly after transferring to BVPS. The induction process was well managed and we were all made to feel welcome. Despite Ethan’s difficulties he is confident in most social situations and has gained confidence academically. This has largely been achieved because his learning has been differentiated, as far as possible, and he has had specialist support for developing basic skills like reading and writing. He is much less dependent on one to one TA support and has integrated successfully with both his small learning group and his mainstream class because the school have placed him in teaching groups that he feels comfortable with, where he is not overwhelmed and feels like he can keep up.
BVPS provide a very good environment for children with speech and language needs. The expertise and facilities within the SLCN unit have enabled our child to be educated with children of similar capabilities and to be taught according to his needs, which has helped his confidence grow. The school has also offered Ethan the opportunity to join in and have a go at everything available to his year group peers and to challenge himself if he so wished. The school have worked well with both Ethan and ourselves as parents.
Lisa Hawtin, Parent
We recognised that Pari was finding it difficult to talk and understand spoken language at around 2 years old, we visited our GP and were sent for further examinations after which she was diagnosed with speech delay and offered an assessment placement at Bletchingley Village Primary School in the Nursery.
At Bletchingley Village Primary School Pari’s time is distributed between the mainstream classroom as well as individual and small group learning within the SLCN centre so she has the opportunity to work alongside her peers as well as focused learning on her target areas of need.
The SLCN centre has supported us in communicating with Pari and sustaining Pari’s concentration through learning using cued articulation, visuals and fun learning methods that we are able to implement at home.
As a parent you want to see your child develop and achieve and school has high demands. Watching your child struggle is upsetting and frustrating. The SLCN staff have always reassured us and given us realistic targets to keep us all focused on her progress.
Having speech delay has had a ripple effect on other areas such as emotional and social behaviour. Pari has struggled to form bonds with her peers and express herself, the SLCN staff have supported Pari by helping her understand her emotional state which has helped her social development.
Having communication difficulties has meant Pari needing reassurance, routine and familiarities at home as well as at school which she has received at Bletchingley Village Primary School, creating relationships between teachers and peers and an awareness of what is expected of her has helped her feel safe and comfortable.
The SLCN centre have played a key role in Pari’s learning, she has become independent, able as well as keen to learn, confident and integrated amongst her peers.
I would say to any parent whose child has speech and language needs that being part of Bletchingley’s SLCN centre provides a support team who will guide and help you work alongside your child on their own targets both for their speech and their learning.
K Jones and T Canty, Parents