Communication & Language

Communication & Language

Communication and Language Curriculum Policy

Central to our communication and language policy is the student’s absolute right to be able to make their needs known to the best of their abilities.

We have looked at literacy and communication skills in detail this past few years. Since the introduction of the “Self –Evaluation of Schools” initiative our primary focus has been on Language and Communication and we are currently in our third year of our five year school plan and in our third year of Language and Communication review.

The staff identified many parts of the language curriculum that were working very well and some issues that we felt could be improved upon.

During the past few years we have introduced some initiatives that have supported and enhanced the curriculum in this area and we can see the benefits to our students already.

Throughout the school the development of the student’s receptive and expressive communication skills is approached as a central aspect of the curriculum. Content and approaches are differentiated in accordance with the pupil’s ages and abilities and induvial needs.

The staff have worked closely with our Speech and Language Therapist to develop a wide range of strategies and communication systems to enhance the student’s communication and help them to be as independent as possible. Emphases is placed on allowing the students as much choice as possible in their lives.

Our school use many different forms of communication systems including

  • The use of objects of reference
  • Use of pictures
  • PECS
  • Lamh
  • IT systems such as Tablets and I Pads. I Pods, Cameras, Apps such as “Special Stories “”Switch it “etc.
  • Communication Booklets

This year the emphasis is on “Oral Language “.The staff attended a training day on oral language in the curriculum on 2nd may.

We then identified some areas of this new curriculum that we could begin to implement throughout the school.

  • A review of the language materials available throughout the school
  • A list of resources to be drawn up and made available to all classes.
  • The introduction of a volunteer librarian to come in one day a week and keep the library in order and support the students as they come to choose their books .Also to be available to read stories to the students and to identify books that are unsuitable either through content or condition.
  • To identify where on the new curriculum scale each pupil is at present and where we would like to identify their goals. This is with a view to assessing and planning for each student.
  • Staff to familiarize themselves with the language around the new curriculum and in particular the new terms of references for assessment and planning.
  • Join the SESS library in order to access books of reference for the school.

The work in the classrooms is enhanced by speech and drama sessions both in class and as a whole school activity.

All rooms within the school are to be identified and labelled using pictures and/or photographs as well as lamh signs and words.

It is school policy to bring the students out into the community as much as possible to practise the skills of communication learnt in the classrooms. This will contribute to their self-esteem and general sense of well-being as well as encouraging and enhancing their independence skills.

It is the policy of our school to allow every student time to communicate to the best of their ability and time to process their thoughts before responding.

All students are encouraged to communicate with both adults and their peers and to greet all visitors appropriately.

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Thank you to all involved from Skerries Community College!
St. Michael's House
Special National School,
Co. Dublin,

01 849 0976

Member of NABMSE
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